Affiliations Policy

Smithsonian Affiliations creates long-term relationships with museums and other cultural and educational organizations to fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” and to advance the Smithsonian’s Strategic Plan. Smithsonian Affiliate organizations are key partners in bringing the Smithsonian’s content, resources, and expertise, including research, educational programming, exhibitions, and collections to new and diverse audiences.

Our work is guided by applicable laws, Institutional policies, codes and best practices of the museum field, and new initiatives established by the senior leadership of the Smithsonian.

Before applying, or as a refresher, please review the detailed list of core policies and principles of the Smithsonian Affiliations program here.

Policy for Affiliates in Parent/Child Organizations that wish to expand their Affiliation

Beginning in March 2021, any current Affiliate that wishes to expand its Affiliation beyond its original applicant organization must reapply to the Affiliations program for the expansion. The Affiliate is required to follow all current application processes and include documentation for all parts of the organization, including updating information for the existing Affiliate part of the organization.. The application will be considered alongside other applications received during that application cycle. Should the expanded organization not be accepted into the Affiliations program, the Affiliation for the original applicant organization will remain intact.

The next deadline for new Affiliate applications is Friday, January 7, 2022. Application requirements will be posted in summer 2021.

Beginning in 2018, organizations that apply to become Affiliates have been required to indicate if they are a parent organization with multiple locations/institutions, or a subsidiary of a parent organization. They have also been required to indicate which part of the organization will be included in the Affiliation; they must specify if they are applying for Affiliate status for the entire organization, including the parent and its subsidiaries, or just one or multiple subsidiaries. The application is required to include documentation for the parent and all subsidiaries that will be part of the Affiliation.

Smithsonian Castle and Enid A Haupt parterre garden on a blue sky day

Completed in 1855, the Castle is the Smithsonian’s signature building and home to the Smithsonian Visitor Center.