Special Events

The Office of Special Events plans and coordinates over 100 events each year including: exhibition openings, press conferences, donation ceremonies, staff receptions, donor cultivation events, and corporate dinners and receptions. The office is characterized by a busy but proactive environment that strives to forward the goals of the Smithsonian Institution by connecting with the community and public at large. We offer an unparalleled opportunity for students/individuals interested in event planning and coordinating to delve into the museum environment and gain hands-on skills from a highly esteemed workplace. Our interns are given a great deal of responsibility and permitted the chance to develop their writing skills, interact with museum officials, work with caterers and vendors, and staff numerous special events. As an intern, you will be exposed to the nuances of protocol and frequently accompany staff members for on-site visits with potential donors and walk-throughs with clients and vendors.

Duties may include:

  • Coordinating and attending receptions, dinners, conferences, donation ceremonies, and other special events at the Museum.
  • Planning menus, décor, entertainment
  • Managing invitation lists, managing responses and guest lists, and taking the lead on the printing and mailing of invitations
  • Determining protocol and overseeing the printing and mailing of invitations.
  • Managing the museum-wide special events and conference room calendar


Past Special Events interns have gone on to work at the following:

  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • The Field Museum
  • Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • National Museum of American History
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts
  • Occasions Caterers
  • Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Smithsonian Institution Office of Advancement


Intern Testimonials

Kathryn Haskins
Student at James Madison University
My internship in the Office of Special Events at the National Museum of American History gave me an incredible “real world” look into the field of event planning. This experience helped me begin my transition from a student into an events professional. I gained countless new skills, connections, and memories that I know I will be able to apply in my future endeavors.


Audrey Ladd
Student at University of North Texas
Working with the Special Events team at NMAH has been one of the best opportunities of my life. My internship further validated my choice to work in museums and taught me valuable lessons about professionalism, communication, and cooperation. Besides being a worthwhile networking and learning experience, it’s also a LOT of fun!


Andrew Rondinone
Student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design
My internship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in the Office of Special Events provided me an exciting, fun, and educational experience that has been a tremendous help to my career. It allowed me to develop professional skills through a hands-on environment and see a vast array of events go from concept to reality. The staff were extremely knowledgeable and went above and beyond to make sure the internship was well rounded and a valuable experience. I was tasked with meaningful projects within my department and had ample opportunities to learn things outside our office as well. Overall, it was an extremely beneficial, supportive, and enjoyable experience — I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a summer.


Please contact Sarah Loux at LouxS@si.edu with questions regarding the Special Events Internship.