I wish you an advance welcome to the 2010 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference in the nationâ€™s capital. I will not be able to join you this year because I will be in Basel, Switzerland with Hirshhorn Museums and Sculpture Garden director Richard Koshalek for the international art show there. More than most, you know that the Smithsonian offers a world of artâ€”as well as history, science and culture. Thanks to our productive partnerships, we are making more of these treasures accessible to audiences around the county.
Over the past two years, I have visited several Affiliate museums and experienced first-hand the impact of your impressive work. I applaud the wonderful job that you are doing to bring Smithsonian artifacts, exhibitions, and curators to your communities. This is a vital public service, especially in todayâ€™s economic climate.
This year, Harold Closter and the Affiliations staff again have created an informative conference agenda filled with a variety of sessions and workshops so that we can learn from each other and strengthen our partnerships. I am particularly pleased that you will be discussing the Smithsonianâ€™s Strategic Plan and the four â€œGrand Challenges.â€ I look to forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can best implement this vision for the future. Enjoy all the sessions, as well as the Congressional Reception at the Capitol Visitor Center.Â Thank you for your ongoing interest in the Smithsonian.
G. Wayne Clough
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