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Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering what the difference is between a Smithsonian Associate membership and a Friends of the Smithsonian membership? Interested in how to rent the Smithsonian's facilities for an event? You can find answers to all of these questions and more in our FAQ.

Membership Benefits

Click on a membership level below to learn more about the benefits. For a listing of our tax-deductible benefits and information for 2023, see: Friends of the Smithsonian and James Smithson Society.

Upcoming Events

National Museum of the American Indian

Luncheon at Frost Science

Thursday, March 7, 2024

A lunch and learn at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, FL, with Jorge Zamanillo, the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Latino.

For more information about this event, please email

National Museum of the American Indian

Reception at the National Museum of the American Indian

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

An evening reception to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall featuring remarks from the museum’s director, Cynthia Chavez Lamar.

For more information about this event, please email

Symbols Sourcebook

Virtual Conversation with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

In this online conversation and behind-the-scenes peek into Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols, Smithsonian curator Dr. Emily M. Orr will tell us the origin story of the Symbol Sourcebook and fascinating histories behind many of the symbols that instruct, protect, entertain, empower, and connect us.

For more information about this event, please email

Annual Smithsonian Weekend 2024

Annual Smithsonian Weekend

May 10-11, 2024

A tradition much beloved and attended by members and donors from across the nation, the Annual Smithsonian Weekend gives you the opportunity to hear from the highest-level leaders about how your gifts help fund new initiatives and exhibitions, and meet new leaders sharing their vision and the impact the Smithsonian is having on the nation and the world, through your support.

For more information about this event, please email

Recent Virtual Events

A selection of recordings from recent events for you to enjoy.

Virtual Hike with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

This year, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute celebrates the centennial of Barro Colorado Island’s founding in 1923 as a gateway to understanding the most complex and biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. BCI is a magnet for those curious about unraveling the mysteries of biodiversity and its relevance to human welfare. From microbes to monkeys, anthropology to zoology, and fossilized forests to lightning storms, join STRI researchers as they take you into the woods and share their fascinating insights and reflections on over a century of continuous Smithsonian exploration in Panama and beyond. View recording »

Hidden Figures No More: Women in Aviation and Space History

Since the advent of aviation and space flight, women have been a part of every major milestone and every mundane task. Yet women’s stories are undertold and underimagined, leading to an erasure from the historical record that contributes to the continued underrepresentation of women in these fields today. The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is committed to disrupting this pattern by researching and amplifying women’s stories in exhibitions, public programs and digital resources. Learn more about this important work and some of the histories being amplified today. View recording »