The Smithsonian Associates, the Smithsonian’s museum-based education program, is offering almost 100 virtual programs between July and November.
While the Smithsonian Institution’s museums remain closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the online summer activities range from photo exhibitions to wine tastings, from reading literature to science and technology events.
Smithsonian Associates is the largest museum-based education program in the world that offers access to the Smithsonian’s world of knowledge. Smithsonian Associates Streaming is now bringing that program to people’s homes. The first series of free streaming programs were from May 14 to June 11.
“We’re excited to present this new aspect of our 55 years as the worlds’s largest museum-based educational program—and to have you be an important part of that process,” the Smithsonian Associates says on its website.
“We decided that in this new world, we want to keep the Smithsonian open, so all of our programs are available online,” Frederica Adelman, director of Smithsonian Associates, told WTOP.
“Museums closed, we walked out of our offices, turned off the lights and immediately started postponing, canceling and rescheduling everything. Pretty soon after that, we realized that this was going to go on longer than we anticipated and that coming back meant that we’d have to look at our buildings in a whole new way,” she added.
Smithsonian Associates is part of the Smithsonian Institution, however, it does not receive federal funding and relies on support from individual supporters.
The Smithsonian Institution released a statement in late May, saying that it has already made its plans for its museums’ reopening. According to the statement written by Lonnie G. Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian, the institution has created two task forces and a COVID-19 response team to design a strategy on how they can gradually reopen.
The museum’s strategy is based on local and federal health guidance, sound science, and public health data in the localities. “It will be accomplished in phases, allowing us to open our doors to our staff, and eventually the public, in a way that reduces risk and protects our most vulnerable employees and visitors,” the statement said.