Smithsonian Channel Screenings

Showing a Smithsonian Channel program is an easy way to bring the Smithsonian to your neighborhood. As part of a Smithsonian Affiliation, Affiliate organizations have access to the Channel’s award-winning programming on popular topics such as air and space, history, science, nature and pop culture.

Affiliates can request a program to complement an exhibition, to be a stand-alone event, or to celebrate a heritage month. Screenings may be in-person, purely digital, or a hybrid event. It’s a great way to highlight the Affiliate partnership with the Smithsonian.

Screening rules and restrictions apply. This benefit is for current Smithsonian Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, contact us.

The process is easy:

  1. Browse the list of licensed, available programs to make your selection.
  2. Plan in advance. Please allow a minimum of 8 weeks advance notice for approval. Please note- programs are currently only available in MP4 format. DVDs and BluRay are not available until further notice. 
  3. Fill out the Smithsonian Channel Screening Request. Please note- if requesting multiple programs, please submit one form for each program you are interested in.
  4. Publicize the screening and program only after receiving written approval and a license from the Smithsonian Channel.

If you have additional questions, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee, (202) 633-5304;

Smithsonian Channel Screening FAQs

Please note, until further notice, Smithsonian Channel programs will only be available in MP4 file format. DVD and Bluray format will not be produced. Please contact us if you need to test an MP4 file before requesting a program.

There is no cost to a current Smithsonian Affiliate for screening a Smithsonian Channel program.

No. The Affiliate organization may not charge an additional fee for screening Smithsonian Channel content. The screening may be included as part of regular admission, but it cannot be a separate charge.

Smithsonian Affiliates can screen the program as many times as they’d like within the dates outlined in the approved license agreement. For dates outside of the original approved license, the Affiliate must submit a new request.

2021 UPDATE: Currently the Smithsonian Channel is not producing DVDs. Channel programs will only be provided in MP4 format unless otherwise noted. DVDs do not have to be returned once the screening is over. The Affiliate should destroy the DVDs unless they plan to request additional screening dates. If requesting new dates, a new form must be submitted for a new license to be approved.

Closed captioning must be requested in advance, preferably when submitting the original form. It is not automatically included in the DVD. If requested, the captioning cannot be disabled during the screening.

The Smithsonian Channel will provide marketing materials once the signed license agreements have been submitted. Any and all promotional material must be reviewed by the Channel before printing, publishing, posting, etc. Please allow 3 business days for materials to be approved. Affiliates should send drafts to their National Outreach Manager or Elizabeth Bugbee for approval.

Trailer image for the Smithsonian Channel program America In Color. Scene is of a man in overalls holding tools while balancing on a beam of a skyscraper being built.

Featured this month

America in Color (Season 3)

Rated TVPG-V; approximate run-time is 45 minutes; free for Smithsonian Affiliates.

In the first half of the 20th century, America transformed from a young country on the rise into a global superpower. It’s a decisive period in our nation’s history that has only been revisited in black and white…until now. Using digital colorization technology, we present over 50 vibrant years of good times and great despair, technological triumphs and natural disasters, and global villains and national heroes.


Smithsonian Channel sunburst logo