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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Ask the Smithsonian

"Where's the Smithsonian?"

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from the Institution's twenty million annual visitors, but the answer is not a simple one. The Smithsonian extends far beyond the National Mall and the greater Washington, D.C., area, with research centers in Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Panama; an astrophysics observatory in Massachusetts; and two major museums in New York City. Smithsonian research projects, collections efforts, and partnerships with other institutions reach all the way around the world.

There's much more to learn about the Smithsonian Institution, and we have assembled just the right people to answer your questions. Staff and volunteers from the Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center handle general inquiries; National Programs staff provide information on outreach around the United States; and public information officers can tell you the latest news. Security officers meet and greet visitors while keeping both the public and our Smithsonian collections safe. Smithsonian Enterprises staffers plan informative programs and products to enhance visitors' learning experiences.

Come on in and "ask the Smithsonian!"

Click images to enlarge and view captions

June 24-28

All activities are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the National Mall

Thursday, June 24 Friday, June 25 Saturday, June 26 Sunday, June 27 Monday, June 28
  • Office of Protection Services Security Officers
  • Office of Public Affairs
  • PhotoCity
  • SI Affiliations
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • Your Kind Of Town
  • Affiliations
  • Leaf ID: What Tree is That?
  • Office of Protection Services Security Officers
  • PhotoCity
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • Your Kind Of Town
  • PhotoCity
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • Affiliations
  • PhotoCity
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • Office of Public Affairs
  • PhotoCity
  • SI Affiliations
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • Your Kind Of Town

July 1-5

Thursday, July 1 Friday, July 2 Saturday, July 3 Sunday, July 4 Monday, July 5
  • Office of Protection Services Assistant Security Manager
  • Office of Protection Services Security Officer
  • SI Affiliations
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • Your Kind Of Town
  • Office of Protection Services Security Officers
  • PhotoCity
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • Your Kind Of Town
  • PhotoCity
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • PhotoCity
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center Staff