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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Program Information

Streaming Programs on Zoom

Tickets and Confirmations

Streaming programs require advance registration via the SmithsonianAssociates.org website. You will need to provide a name and email address for each streaming program registration After registering for a program, patrons receive two emails: The first is an immediate automatic confirmation of your purchase from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org and a second one from no-reply@zoom.us closer to the program date with a link to your streaming program on Zoom.

Note: If you do not receive a follow-up email from Zoom 24 hours prior to the start of the program, check your spam or junk folder to see if it was caught by your spam filter. If you do not find it in your spam or junk folder, Contact our Customer Service team to have your Zoom email resent to you.

Program Cancellations

To cancel a streaming program registration follow the cancellation process outlined in Smithsonian Associates Cancellation and Refund Policy. You cannot cancel a program registration via the Zoom application. You must contact us directly at Smithsonian Associates.

Installing Zoom

It is not necessary to download the Zoom application to participate in most of our streaming programs. However, some program formats may require the Zoom application for interactive participation.

Download Zoom

Viewing the Program

Smithsonian Associates Streaming programs are streamed live. To view a program, click or tap the Zoom link sent to you via email ("Click Here to Join"). It will automatically open a web page window asking you to launch the Zoom application. Click or tap "Open Zoom Meetings." If you are on a desktop computer, then once the meeting is open in Zoom, for the best experience maximize your Zoom window by clicking "Enter Full Screen" in the top right corner. Make sure your speakers are on.

Accessibility at Smithsonian Associates Streaming Programs

Closed captioning is routinely provided for most programs. For small format programs, such as Studio Arts classes and workshops and Smithsonian Summer Adventures closed captioning is provided upon request. Patrons who require closed captioning to participate are asked to submit an email request to Customer Service at least two weeks prior to the program.

Sign language interpreters for streaming programs are available by submitting an email request to Customer Service at least two weeks prior to the program.


1. Do I have to watch the program from my computer, or can I watch from a phone or tablet?

You can access Zoom on most mobile devices. You may want to try connecting your digital device to your television to enjoy the program on a larger screen.

2. The video and slides in the presentation look fuzzy/pixelated. Is there a way for me to "focus" them?

Unfortunately, a fuzzy screen can be caused by multiple factors, some within our technicians' control, but many are outside of our control. If you are experiencing this, check your internet connection (preferably via an Ethernet cord) and that you do not have too many other programs open on your computer.

3. If my computer or the Internet connection shuts down, is there another way that I can experience the program?

Yes! You can dial-in from a telephone line (listed in the Zoom email) to listen to the program live. Unfortunately, you will not be able to see slides or video with this method.

4. How many tickets do I need to purchase if multiple people in my home are viewing the program?

For non-Studio Arts programs, each ticket purchased will grant you one "login" to the event. If multiple people are watching from one device in the same household you will only need to buy one ticket. If you wish to show your support for our programs, consider donating the admission price of your additional viewers so that we can continue to bring quality programming to our members and audiences!

All Studio Arts classes require a ticket for each participant so that the instructor can provide individual attention to every student listed on the roster.

5. Why are some programs and classes sold out? Isn't one of digital programming's perks that audiences aren't limited by a seating capacity?

We have restricted the size of some of our classes so that teachers can give participants individual attention to enhance their experience. For our larger programs, we still have a limit based on the software we use, as well as the technology we have available while our staff continues to work remotely.

6. What is the deadline to register for a Smithsonian Associates Streaming program?

Registration for streaming programs closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.

7. Are Smithsonian Associates Streaming programs recorded for later viewing?

Except for Studio Arts multi-session classes, live streaming programs are not recorded and are not available for later viewing at this time. We hope to be able to offer that option soon.

Lectures, Seminars & Courses

1. How can I find out about changes in published event schedules?

Occasionally Smithsonian Associates must change the time, date, or location of a program after an announcement has been published or tickets have been mailed. Our office notifies participants by phone, email, and/or mail. If you are uncertain about where and when a program is to take place, please call us at 202-633-3030, M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A recorded announcement on our 24-hour automated hotline lists events and locations for that day. Friday's recorded announcement also includes the weekend events and tours.

2. Can I purchase tickets at the door?

Tickets are available (on a first-come, first-served basis) at the door of some Smithsonian Associates events. Tickets for tours and studio arts workshops are not available at the door. Please call 202-633-3030 to be sure that the event is not already sold out.

3. What is your policy on photographing and recording events?

Participants in Smithsonian Associates member activities may be photographed or videotaped for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian Associates. The taping and/or photographing of concerts or lectures by participants at these events (except tours) is not permitted.

4. How do I find out about cancellations due to inclement weather?

Visit our website or call 202-633-3030 anytime for the latest activity information. For Local Study Tours recorded updates and information, call 202-633-8687.

5. Why am I only able to order tickets at non-member prices, even though I am member?

If you are a current Smithsonian Associates member, have logged in, and still see only a zero in the Member rate tickets drop-down menu, you might be logging in with a duplicate account that is not associated to your membership record.

Call us at 202-633-3030 during business hours or send us an email at CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org to get your account user name and an email to reset your password. You will then be able to purchase tickets at member prices. Your membership level will determine how many member rate tickets you can order.

Study Tours

1. How can I find out about last minute tour updates?

You may call our 24-hour automated hotline at 202-633-8687 for emergency updates. If you have any concerns about weather, we suggest you call our tour hotline prior to departing from home on your tour date.

2. How can I order a meal that fits my dietary needs (food allergies/vegetarian) on a tour that includes a meal?

Please email CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org at least one week prior to your tour to discuss your dietary needs.

3. Where can I find the fringe stops listed in the Associate program guide?

4. Are gratuity and tips included in the cost of the tour?

Yes, gratuities and tips are included to all appropriate parties. Your Smithsonian Study Leader and Smithsonian Representative are professionals who do not receive tips.

5. Do tours operate rain or shine?

Yes, tours operate rain or shine. In the case of severe weather, tours may be rescheduled, please call our 24-hour automated hotline at 202-633-8687 for updated tour information prior to your tour.

6. Where can I park for tours?

Download Study Tours parking information

7. Where do tours leave from?

Daytime, weekend bus tours usually depart from the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C Street, SW (corner of 6th & C). Weekday and overnight tours usually depart from the DeSales St. side of the Mayflower Hotel located at 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW. Specific departure information will be listed on the tour webpage at the time of registration.

8. What if I have to cancel a tour?

You can cancel a tour 3 ways. Sometimes you are charged a fee and not every part of a tour is refundable.

By Phone:
Call 202-633-3030 (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

By Email:
CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org

By Mail:
Smithsonian Associates Refund Department
P.O. Box 23293
Washington, D.C. 20026-3293

9. Are there any cancellation fees?

Overnight Study Tours Refund Policy:
View the one-day Study Tours refund policy

Overnight Study Tours Refund Policy:
View the overnight Study Tours refund policy

10. How do I know if I meet the physical requirements for the tour?

If you are doubtful of your physical abilities please call 202-633-3030 to discuss physical requirements for the tour in which you are interested.

11. What do I need to bring/wear on tour?

Read the tour description carefully to be prepared with appropriate clothes, hats, shoes, water, etc. If you have any questions, please call us at 202-633-3030.

12. Is travel insurance available for day tours as well as overnight tours?

No, travel insurance is only advised for overnight, multi-day tours.

13. Why would I want to purchase travel insurance?

Overnight tours are non-refundable and emergencies do occur where last-minute cancellations may be necessary. Travel insurance provides additional coverage against unforeseen incidents.

14. Do I purchase travel insurance on my own or through Smithsonian Associates?

If you wish to purchase travel insurance, you can do so on your own. Smithsonian Associates does not do this for you, however you can download information on third-party travel insurance.

15. Do you wait for everyone before the tours depart?

Tours depart on time and do not wait for late arrivals. Please give yourself plenty of time to arrive at bus departure location.

16. How are seats determined on the bus?

Seats on the bus are first-come/first-serve.

Study Tour Policies & Important Information

Unless otherwise noted in an announcement:

  • Tours go rain or shine.
  • Fees are all-inclusive.
  • Only animals providing assistance to a participant with a disability are permitted on tours.
  • Tours depart on time and do not wait for anyone not on board.
  • Teenagers 14–17 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Unless otherwise noted, minimum age is 14.
  • Itineraries are subject to minor change.
  • Smoking is not permitted on buses.
  • Email CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org to determine accessibility of specific tours for persons with limited mobility, and to make advance accommodations if necessary.
  • Those with dietary restrictions should email CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org prior to departure; most requests can be accommodated.
  • Seats at or near the front of tour buses can be reserved for those with special needs by emailing CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Participants on overnight tours will be required to sign a responsibility statement and liability waiver and complete a personal information form prior to the tour. Participants may wish to buy travel insurance for overnight tours.
  • Please check your calendar carefully before registering—study tours are nonrefundable within 15 days of the start of the program. No exceptions.
  • Review our refund policy for Study Tour cancellation and refund policy.
  • You may call our 24-hour automated hotline at 202-633-8687 for up-to-date tour information. IF you have any concerns about weather, we suggest you call our tour hotline prior to departing from home on your tour date.
  • Tour departure information can be found on individual program webpages.

Studio Arts

Studio Arts hotline: 202-633-8690

1. What should I bring to class? Are materials included?

Most classes do not have materials included. Please refer to the full course write-up in the Associate course program guide or online to determine whether a student supply list is available to download from our website. There are some instances in which the instructor provides supplies in the form of a kit to be ordered from them directly, or where supplies are discussed at the first class meeting. Information on supplies is contained in each course description.

When ordering supplies from an instructor or online store, please allow sufficient time for your items to be shipped prior to the first class.

2. What should I wear to a studio arts class?

We recommend wearing comfortable clothing that you won't mind getting a little messy. If you're coming from work, bring a smock or old shirt to protect your nice clothes from any damage.

3. Where can I find my supply list?

Supply lists are available for download at the same time the class goes on sale and can be found on the course page; either by searching for the event code or by selecting the first date of the class from the calendar on our homepage.

4. Where will my class be held?

All Streaming classes are held in the Zoom meeting format. You will receive a link in a confirmation email after you register for the class, in a welcome email from associates-studioarts.si.edu one week prior to the class start date, and again 30min before the first class begins. Zoom links are not sent out each week so please be sure to hold onto your welcome email for the duration of your multi-session class.

Most in-person classes are held on the National Mall in the S. Dillon Ripley Center classrooms, while some classes are held at other locations. Check your tickets and/or the Associate class description for this information. If you still have questions, please call 202-633-3030 or email us at CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.

5. Is my class recorded?

Most Studio Arts classes are recorded. The individual class page will indicate if the session(s) are recorded or not.

Class recordings are made available as a courtesy to enrolled students within 72 hours of the individual class session(s) ending. Recordings are available for one week after the last day of the course/ workshop session(s) and are not downloadable. On occasion, technical difficulties may prevent us from recording the class. Please note that the absence of a class recording will not entitle you to a Smithsonian Associates credit or refund.

6. My class is at the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Where can I park?

View parking information and metrorail directions for the S. Dillon Ripley Center

7. When are classes typically announced?

New classes are typically announced on a quarterly basis via our monthly Smithsonian Associates program guide:

  • Fall offerings (October-December) = August issue
  • Winter offerings (January-March) = November issue
  • Spring offerings (April-June) = February issue
  • Summer offerings (July-September) = May issue

8. Can I bring a friend or spouse to class?

All those wishing to participate in a studio art class or workshop must be registered. You may register online or by calling 202-633-3030.

9. Can a teenager participate in a studio arts course?

Unless specifically described as a class for teens, studio arts classes are designed for participants age 16 and up. We do have unique summer camp experiences specifically for children K-8th grade. Information on our summer camp programming is generally available on our summer camp website beginning in February.

10. Can I enroll after a class has begun?

You may register late for a class if there is still space available and the instructor agrees to add another student. To join a class already underway, please call customer service at 202-633-3030.

11. What is the inclement weather policy?

In the case of severe weather, classes may be postponed. Announcements regarding class schedules for the day(s) in question will be posted on the Studio Arts Inclement Weather Hotline at 202-633-8690 at least two hours prior to the start of class time. Information regarding class postponements will also be posted on the home page of the Smithsonian Associates website and social media.

12. I have to miss a session of class; can I attend another section?

The majority of Studio Arts classes are recorded and made available to registered students via a password protected drop box folder link. The recordings are not downloadable. Recordings are uploaded within 24-48hrs of a class session, all recordings for a course are in the same drop box folder and are available until one week after the final course meeting. The drop box folder link for the recording/s and the password are sent in a welcome email from associates-studioarts.si.edu one week prior to the first class meeting. The link will not be emailed out week-to-week, so please hold onto your welcome email for the duration of your multi-week class. The class description on our website will specifically state if a class is not being recorded.

Attending another class session of a course section (e.g. Beginning Drawing) won't be possible. Classes are specifically structured and they often run at full capacity and at different paces. This makes it impossible to accommodate visitors from other classes. We recommend that you check your schedule carefully before committing to a multiple-session class, to ensure that you are free and able to get the most from your educational experience. If you must miss a class due to your schedule, and have still chosen to enroll, we recommend speaking to your instructor prior to the class session you will miss to see if there is an assignment or supplemental reading that can be done to keep you on schedule. Your instructor will be your best guide in this situation.

13. I can no longer attend the course that I signed up for. Can I get a refund?

The Smithsonian Associates does not issue refunds except in cases when a program is canceled or if it is filled before we receive your order. In some circumstances, purchasers may receive a credit to their account by contacting customer service in writing at least two weeks before the program date to request a credit.

Review our complete refund and credit policy.