I. Michael Heyman served as the tenth Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1994-2000. To celebrate his inspiring and productive years at the Institution, current Secretary Dr. Wayne Clough invites all Affiliate staff to join a program and reception at the National Museum of American History, Warner Bros. Theater, at 5pm on June 14.
In his five years as Secretary he helped usher in a more dynamic Smithsonian, an Institution more thoroughly engaged with the American people.
Heyman’s signature program was the celebration of the Smithsonian’s 150th anniversary in 1996. That event saw the unprecedented exhibition “America’s Smithsonian,” which traveled to major cities across the United States, and culminated in a Birthday Party on the National Mall.
Heyman also oversaw the creation of the Smithsonian’s first website and established the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Asian Pacific American Program. Heyman secured funding and presided over the groundbreaking of the National Museum of the American Indian, and received a key donation for the building of the Udvar-Hazy Center.
Of course, Heyman also initiated the Smithsonian Affiliations Program, which has grown into a network of more than 171 museums across the country. His vision for the program, to get Smithsonian collections out of storage, has evolved into a truly two-way street of resource sharing and collaborations that impact communities nationwide.
In the words of Secretary Clough, “Heyman was unflinchingly optimistic about the Smithsonian’s ability to be a force for knowledge and inspiration in our society.” We are no less optimistic today, especially given the rich network of Smithsonian Affiliate partners that are such an important part of his legacy. What better way to honor his passing than with our Affiliate colleagues. We hope you can join us.