Virtual Programs

Smithsonian Affiliations develops special online events offered exclusively to Smithsonian Affiliates and their communities. Virtual Scholar talks bring Smithsonian experts directly to Affiliates when people may not be able to physically visit their local organization. Office Hours provide a virtual environment for Affiliate and Smithsonian staff to network and share ideas on a range of timely topics. Below are examples of recent online events.

Save the date! The Smithsonian Affiliations Digital Conference Series begins September 23, 2020.  Learn more here.

Affiliate Partner Collaboration

Smithsonian Affiliations is looking for Affiliate partners to collaborate with us on the upcoming Virtual Scholar Talks. Affiliations will produce and host the program, oversee registration, manage all technical aspects, and provide a promotional toolkit. We also will provide a captioned recording of the program, along with a full registration list to each Affiliate collaborator after the program.

Affiliate partners agree to:

  • promote the program to their audiences, including posting event information and registration link on social media.
  • use the Smithsonian Affiliate logo and/or any other Smithsonian collaborator’s logo on any promotional material.
  • use any social media hashtag and/or social media toolkit in conjunction with program promotion.
  • attend the program.
  • participate in the chat discussion during the program.

If you are a Smithsonian Affiliate interested in collaborating on an online event or have a topic to suggest for Office Hours, please email or contact your National Outreach Manager.

Affiliate Office Hours*

August 20: Rapid Response Collecting
Register Here

September 10: The Future of Traveling Exhibitions
Register Here

*All office hours begin at 3 pm Eastern Time. Office hours are for current Smithsonian Affiliate and Smithsonian colleagues. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact us. Make sure you are signed up for The Affiliate eNews to receive updates and invitations for future online programs. Sign up here

Upcoming Programs

Black and white poster depicting African American woman Shirley Chisolm. The poster reads "Bring U.S. Together, Vote Chisholm 1972, Unbought and Unbossed."

American Women’s History, August 2020.

Image: A political poster for United States presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gifted with pride from Ellen Brooks.

Virtual Scholar Talks

Click on each topic for more information.


Women's History

Women’s History
After generations of struggle for suffrage, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed in 1919 and ratified in August of 1920, giving women the right to vote for the first time- although not all women were included. At the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, this program will explore the suffrage movement through the activists that we may be aware of and stories of those less well-known.

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Science of Pandemics

Science of Pandemics
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program (GHP) will look at the ways in which staff are learning more about how epidemics impact animal and human populations. The GHB is based upon the One Health platform, which recognizes that the health of all species — human and nonhuman animals — are inextricably linked to one another and to the environments they share.

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Legacy of The Green Book

Legacy of The Green Book
In 1936, Victor Hugo Green, a Harlem postman, began publishing a guide for African American travelers modeled after a similar publication for Jewish travelers. The Green Book, as it was known, was an instant success providing black travelers of the era with information on hotels, restaurants, service stations, and other facilities where they would be welcomed. In this program, we’ll explore the legacy of the Green Book, its impact on communities, businesses, and families, and its relevance today.

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Recent Programs

Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and ten Smithsonian Affiliate organizations, presented a special online lecture- “Michael Jordan: A Re-evaluation.”

The Senator John Heinz History Center, in collaboration with Smithsonian Affiliations and the Smithsonian’s National Museum American History presented a special online lecture- “Illegal to Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture early childhood education team presented an online discussion about their web portal, “Let’s Talk! Talking About Race.”