Special Member-Only Events

Among the many benefits of the Smithsonian Council for American History, members are regularly invited to events and programming with Museum leadership and expert curatorial staff. In addition to going behind the scenes, members have exclusive opportunities to learn about new initiatives and learn about Museum news first.

Previous events include:

Behind the Scenes of Puppetry in America
Guests were treated to a behind-the-scenes presentation of the history of Puppetry in America with curator Dwight Blocker Bowers.  In addition to learning about the history of puppetry, members enjoyed a private reception in the Presidential Suite with an opportunity to view many puppets up-close from the Museum’s extraordinary collection, including Kermit the Frog, Elmo, Howdy Doody and more!

Join the Conversation: An Education Center for American History
Members participated in a phone and webcast presentation to preview the Museum’s new Education Center, set to open in 2015 in our transformed west wing.   Judy Gradwohl, MacMillan Associate Director for Education and Public Program, led this discussion on the Education Center and national outreach with education. 

Discovery of an American Slave Ship
Curator Paul Johnston has identified the approximate location of the only known American slave ship that went down with all the enslaved Africans onboard.  He shared his discovery of this shipwreck and efforts to recover the ship and its history.  Guests enjoyed a reception and discussion with Paul, in addition to a hands-on program that shared Paul’s research through touchable props.

Keep on Keepin’ On Film Screening and Reception with Quincy Jones
Members were invited to the Museum for a special evening featuring the legendary Quincy Jones.  The evening consisted of a VIP reception with the guest of honor before an exclusive screening of the moving documentary Keep on Keepin' On, which explored the unlikely bond that formed between Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old, blind piano prodigy and his mentor, jazz legend Clark Terry.   After the exclusive screening, John Edward Hasse, curator of American music at the American History Museum, led a discussion with the legendary Clark Terry on the making of the film.

Hard Hat Tour of the Museum’s West Wing Transformation
This afternoon was a special behind-the-scenes opportunity for Council members to take a hard hat tour of all three floors of the West Wing as it is being renovated. With renderings in each space, guests were able to explore the future spaces and learn more exciting new exhibitions and programs. The tour was followed by a casual lunch with a presentation on the Museum’s theatre programming from Chris Wilson, who is the Director of Experience and Program Design.