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.

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.

Watch It Again

A Legacy of Healing, Rebirth, and Leadership (Originally streamed on November 19, 2020)

In collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and two Affiliates—the Japanese American National Museum and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience—scholars discuss examples of activism and finding joy after the destruction of trauma, resilience in response to oppression and ways this has been observed throughout history in Asian American communities.

If you would like to request the Closed Caption transcript of this Virtual Scholar Talk, please email

Artists Jess X. Snow and Kayla Briët with a still from the short film AFTEREARTH at ‘Ae Kai: A Culture Lab on Convergence produced by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center in Honolulu, 2017. Photo by Tara Rock. 

Past Programs

See all videos in our  Virtual Scholar Talks playlist on our YouTube Channel. If you would like to request Closed Caption transcripts from any video, please email All Virtual Scholar Talks are Closed Captioned.

Collecting American Elections

Smithsonian Affiliations and the National Museum of American History present a roundtable discussion of scholars discussing the hard choices and years of experience that they bring to collecting objects and documents from presidential campaigns for the nation’s collection.

The Legacy of the Green Book

Smithsonian Affiliations, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and author, photographer, and cultural documentarian Candacy Taylor explore the legacy of The Green Book, its impact on communities, businesses, and families, and its relevance today.

We Are All Connected: Saving Species and Preventing Pandemics

Our current global health crisis has highlighted the ways in which the health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably linked—a concept central to the work of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program.

Illegal to Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall

Katherine Ott, curator and historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, discussed her work curating Illegal to Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall. The exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and other pivotal moments in the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.

Suffrage Stories: A Complicated Narrative

At the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, this program explored the suffrage movement through the activists that we may be aware of and stories of those less well-known.