2023 Virtual Conference

October 31 – November 2

Fostering Conversations on Questions that Matter
Core to the work of Smithsonian Affiliations is catalyzing public engagement, sparking curiosity and learning, and ultimately inspiring a deeper understanding of our world and how it can be changed for the better. We know that to make this kind of change, we have to start—and continue—to have conversations with our audiences, our stakeholders, our colleagues, and ourselves. We have to commit to looking deep within our organizations to amplify untold or neglected perspectives, experiences, and stories of people and communities, and be sure they are represented in all that we do. This is ongoing work, and at the 2023 Smithsonian Affiliations Virtual Conference, we will come together to hear from different and diverse perspectives sharing the ways we are all fostering conversations around questions that matter.

Registered attendees will receive access to the Virtual Attendee Hub with their conference registration. If you do not receive the password, please email affiliates@si.edu.

Conference Schedule


The 2023 Affiliations Virtual Conference includes activities on Monday, October 30 through Friday, November 3. All times are in EASTERN TIME. An overview of each day is below:

NOTE- Registered attendees will access the sessions via the Attendee Hub (currently in development).

Download a printable Conference Agenda here.

Monday, October 30
12:00 – 5:00 PM
Informal meetups and Affiliate executive leadership meetings

Tuesday, October 31
12:00 – 5:15 PM
Opening Conversation Starter session
60-minute and 90-minute sessions

Wednesday, November 1
12:00 – 5:30 PM
60-minute and 90-minute sessions

Thursday, November 2
12:00 – 5:00 PM
60-minute and 90-minute sessions
Closing Conversation Starter session

Friday, November 3
12:00 – 3:00 PM
Informal meetups and Affiliate executive leadership meetings

Many places in the Americas have been home to different Native Nations over time, and many Indigenous people no longer live on lands to which they have ancestral ties. We recognize this is a complex subject and together we acknowledge the Native Peoples on whose ancestral homelands we all gather, as well as the diverse and vibrant Native communities who make their home here today.

Our hope is that together we can take steps towards not only acknowledging the past, but towards understanding and healing actions in the future.

Smithsonian Affiliations Land Acknowledgement

Registration Fees:

Registration includes all 3 days of the conference. There are no single day or single session options.

Affiliate Institution- $150.00
Institutional registration must include at least 3 staff, up to 12.

Affiliate Staff (Individual registration)- $75.00

Speaker- $50.00
Speakers may join their session at no cost. If speakers are interested in joining any additional sessions, Speaker registration will apply. Affiliate speakers are encouraged to take advantage of the Affiliate Institution rate.

Smithsonian Staff- Free
Please email FingarE@si.edu to inquire if we have space for interns and/or volunteers.

Affiliate Leadership Meetings only- Free
Executive Leadership meetings are only for executive level staff at Affiliate organizations and invited Smithsonian guests.


Payment questions:
Natalie Wimberly

All other conference questions:
Elizabeth Fingar

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Smithsonian Affiliates and Smithsonian staff members only.  If you are interested in learning more about a Smithsonian Affiliation, please visit our Applying for Affiliation pages.