About Us

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex dedicated to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithsonian Affiliations creates long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with museums and other cultural and educational organizations to fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission.

Our network of more than 200 Affiliate organizations collaborates with the Smithsonian – and with each other – to create experiences that educate and inspire.

Through our Affiliates, the Smithsonian reaches millions of visitors each year and many times more in classrooms and online with engaging and innovative learning opportunities. By sharing our collective resources with communities near and far, we create a greater impact on those we serve.

Our dream is big — to enrich lives by expanding the boundaries of the Smithsonian outside Washington, D.C.– and to make our work, our collections, and our research more widely accessible to communities throughout America.

Visit our FAQ section for more information about Smithsonian Affiliations.

At the SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations we have three major programs–Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Smithsonian Affiliations, and the Museum on Main Street. These three programs are one of the primary ways in which the Smithsonian reaches the nation. Learn more about us in the video above.

Our Vision

Strengthen connections between the Smithsonian and museums and cultural organizations—and their communities and audiences everywhere—inspiring a deeper understanding of our world and how it can be changed for the better.

Our Mission

We catalyze public engagement and spark curiosity and learning by connecting the knowledge, resources, and expertise of the Smithsonian with a vital network of cultural and educational organizations.


Cover Page of 25th anniversary publication

Stronger Together: Smithsonian Affiliations Celebrates 25 Years

Smithsonian Affiliations celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021. We are grateful for the collaboration of the Affiliate network and look forward to continuing our work together in connecting communities near and far to the Smithsonian.

Download the Smithsonian Affiliations Celebrates 25 Years publication. (PDF)

Cover page of the strategic plan depicting two people in a musuemLooking Back, Moving Forward: Strategic Plan 2021-2026

The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Smithsonian Affiliations will guide our work in the coming years.

To learn more, download our Strategic Plan using the link below. We welcome your feedback and look forward to doing this work together!

Download the SITES | Smithsonian Affiliations Strategic Plan (PDF)

Cover of the 2023 Year in Review2023 Year in Review

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service | Smithsonian Affiliations achieved noteworthy milestones in fiscal year 2023: debuting several new exhibitions, welcoming three new Affiliates, launching season two of the Museum on Main Street’s Stories from Main Street podcast, and hosting a number of interns over the summer months.

Download the Year in Review (PDF)

Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Find an Affiliate near you!