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Learning Excursions

Explore what it means to be an engaged Affiliate and evaluate your organization’s readiness to apply!

We intentionally designed these Excursions to prepare you for the application process of becoming a Smithsonian Affiliate.

We present a range of topics that are important to Smithsonian Affiliations and the broader Smithsonian that we hope will also resonate with you, as we collectively think about our work today and into the future. Through the examples we share, you will experience how current Affiliates have built on their reciprocal relationship with the Smithsonian to become trailblazers as they have shared stories and histories unique to their communities. 

We hope these Excursions will help you to identify areas where you might engage with the Smithsonian and how your collaboration with the Institution might benefit your organization as well as the Smithsonian. These are things you may consider expanding upon in the Statement of Purpose you submit with your application.

To make these reflections actionable, we have included worksheets [coming soon] at the end of each Excursion. These can be used as a tool to reflect on your own organization as you consider whether affiliating with the Smithsonian is right for your organization. 

Are you ready to take the first leap? We recommend you follow the Excursions in order, but you can also feel free to choose your own exploration!

“[T]his is our moment to be that place that matters…There’s not one simple path, but if we are all committed… then this country is going to be in better shape than it is now.”

Lonnie Bunch thumbnail size portraitLonnie G. Bunch III Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
A young person gazes upwards.

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Diversity, Equity,
Accessibility, Inclusion
(DEAI)

How do we commit to DEAI in collaboration with our communities and within our organizations? 

Protesters marching

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Local and
Global Issues

How do we authentically speak to the multifaceted American experience and responsible stewardship of planet earth?

IMG Innovation and Resilience

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Innovation
and Resilience

How do we develop and foster an innovation mindset and innovative programming now and into the future?

IMG- Community Engagement

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Community Engagement

How do we engage meaningfully with our communities in ways that continue to surprise, delight, and sometimes challenge, while meeting their needs and interests?

IMG-Educational Programming

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Educational
Programming

How do we better understand, connect with, and engage learners served by our organizations?

Two people pose in front of a framed collage.

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Collaboration and
Relationship Building

How do we build and foster reciprocal relationships and collaboration with like-minded organizations through and with Affiliations?

Coming Soon Tag

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Vision for Engagement
Coming Soon Tag

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Professional Development
IMG Innovation and Resilience

5 MIN READ + WORKSHEET

Innovation and Resilience
How do you foster an innovation mindset among your team and develop innovative programming for your public–now and into the future?

Learn More

Feeling ready to apply?
Start your application now.
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Want to learn more about the Affiliations program?

Get in touch with one of our National Outreach Managers now…