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Detail from William H. Johnson's BOATS at KERTEMINDE, 1935. Courtesy Morgan State University

 

  1. When did SITES begin traveling its exhibitions?
  2. How many exhibitions does SITES travel a year?
  3. Where do SITES exhibitions go?
  4. Does SITES travel Smithsonian collections only?
  5. How does SITES select exhibitions
    for its program?
  6. How are SITES exhibitions funded?
  7. Why does the Smithsonian need funding? I thought the federal government supported it.
  8. How does a museum or other institution
    host a SITES exhibition?

When did SITES begin traveling exhibitions?
SITES—the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service—began developing and circulating exhibitions in 1952. Since then, it has put more than 1500 exhibitions on the road, making it the world's largest traveling exhibition service. Follow the SITES story.

How many exhibitions does SITES travel a year?
SITES has more than 50 exhibitions on tour at any given time, with up to 20 more in various stages of planning and production. On average, each year, SITES travels its exhibitions to over 250 communities across the nation in almost every state. View current and past exhibitions.

Where do SITES exhibitions go?
SITES takes exhibitions not only to museums, but also to libraries, science centers, historical societies, community centers, botanical gardens, schools, and shopping malls.

Does SITES travel Smithsonian collections only?
Most SITES exhibitions are based on Smithsonian collections and scholarship. Our mission is to connect the Smithsonian with the American people. Among the hundreds of Smithsonian objects on tour are a piece of the Burgess Shale from the National Museum of Natural History, exquisite jade sculptures from the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and classic lunch boxes from the National Museum of American History, Behring Center. SITES, however, has a strong history of national and international collaborations, and continues to pursue partnerships that will bring a wide variety of objects to the American public
.

How does SITES select exhibitions for its program?
SITES draws upon the expertise of its staff, Smithsonian curators and scholars, as well as experts at America's finest museums and research centers. SITES is looking for a few exhibitions to add to our program, and welcomes outside proposals that offer intriguing approaches to popular topics. SITES reviews exhibition proposals monthly to assess a number of factors such as timeliness, popular appeal, technical feasibility, and cost.

How is SITES exhibitions funded?
SITES exhibitions are supported through a combination of federal government
appropriations and monetary and in-kind contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals. A small percentage of the cost of each exhibition is covered by the participation fee that each host museum pays. SITES itself is not a funding organization, nor does it customarily pay curatorial or artist's fees.

Why does SITES need funding? . . . I thought the federal government supported it.
The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service receives a federal appropriation that covers approximately 1/3 of its operating costs. In order to create new and innovative exhibitions, care for our extensive collections, and conduct groundbreaking research, SITES seeks the support of corporations, individuals and foundations. Find out ways to give to SITES.

How does a museum or other institution host a SITES exhibition?
It's easy! Please go to Host an Exhibition for details about hosting a SITES exhibition as well as complete information about our programs and policies.

 




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