The Smithsonian Affiliates Program, created in 1996, is designed to offer nonprofit cultural and educational organizations the opportunity to access the Smithsonian collections and resources. The goal of the Affiliates Program is to establish meaningful relationships with communities by working through local institutions to maximize the benefits.
The program is intended to be mutually beneficial to both parties. The Smithsonian has the opportunity to place their collections and exhibits before a much larger national audience through the Affiliate network of local museums. The benefits to the local museum are almost incalculable. They include the following:
- Access to one of the world’s great cultural collections for exhibits that are tailored specifically for the museum’s interests and audiences;
- A variety of outreach services including public programming and workshops which call on the expertise of Smithsonian scholars and staff members;
- Exhibition space in the Smithsonian’s Arts & Industries Building in Washington, D.C. for Affiliate’s high caliber exhibits;
- Participation in the Smithsonian Membership Program for museum members and patrons;
- Use of the Smithsonian logo and the exclusive tag line “In Association with the Smithsonian Institution” on the museum’s signage, printed material, and buildings, plus prominent listing on the Smithsonian web site.