2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Smithsonian Affiliations program, designed to bring the Smithsonian experience to neighborhoods around the country and around the world.
Twenty years ago, during the 150th anniversary celebration of the Smithsonian Institution, Secretary I. Michael Heyman announced the creation of a national outreach program that would extend the reach of the Smithsonian collections to communities, museums and research organizations across the nation. To fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,” Smithsonian Affiliations was created to provide access to Smithsonian collections and vast resources. The program’s goal was to make sure those who cannot travel to Washington, D.C., could experience and enjoy the Smithsonian in their own neighborhoods.
At the end of its first year, Smithsonian Affiliations welcomed 21 museums as Affiliates. Today, the program has established partnerships with more than 200 organizations in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.
Beginning this month we’ll be highlighting the Smithsonian in Affiliate communities. We’ll be posting blogs, sharing photos, inviting Affiliate and Smithsonian guest authors to share their stories. We’ll be continuing this series through October 2016, so follow along on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram.
Posted: 4 January 2016