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Program FAQs

Program FAQs

Online Programs on Zoom

Tickets and Confirmations for You and Guests

Online programs require advance registration via our website. You will need to provide a name and email address for each online program registration.

After registering for a program you will receive two emails: The first is an immediate automatic confirmation of your purchase from You will then receive a second email from closer to the program date with a link to your online program.

If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses at the time of registration so they can receive their own Zoom link email as well. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.

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, you can access your personal program page and resend the link to yourself.

Program Cancellations

To cancel an online 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 online programs. However, some program formats may require the Zoom application for interactive participation.

Download Zoom

Viewing the Program

Smithsonian Associates online programs are streamed live. To view a program, click or tap the Zoom link sent to you via email ("Click Here to Join"), or click the "Join" button for the program on your personal program page. 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 turned on and adjust your volume level as needed.

  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?

    A fuzzy screen can be caused by multiple factors, some of which are within our technicians' control, however many are outside of our control. If you are experiencing fuzzy or pixelated video or slides, check your internet connection, WiFi signal strength (if applicable), 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 online program?

    Unless otherwise noted, registration for online programs closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.

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

    View our recording policy

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. Our office notifies participants by phone and email. If you are uncertain about where and when a program is to take place, please contact us. 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 at the door on a first-come, first-served basis for select in-person programs and events. Tickets for tours and studio arts workshops are not available at the door.

    Contact us to be check that the program in which you are interested is not already sold out.

    Contact us

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

    View our recording policy

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

    Visit our website or contact our Customer Service team for the latest activity information.

  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, or you may have already purchased the maximum number of membership tickets allowed by your membership level.

    Contact us 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?
    Last minute tour updates will be communicated with you via email ( or by an automated phone call. We suggest checking your email, voicemail, and the tour’s webpage before departing for the tour.
  2. How can I order a meal that fits my dietary needs (food allergies/vegetarian) on a tour that includes a meal?
    Please email at least one week prior to your tour to discuss your dietary needs.
  3. 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.
  4. Where can I find the fringe stops listed in the Associate program guide?
  5. Are gratuity and tips included in the cost of the tour?
    Yes, gratuities and tips are included to all appropriate parties, including restaurants and the bus driver. Your Smithsonian Study Leader and Smithsonian Representative are professionals who do not receive tips.
  6. Do tours operate rain or shine?
    Yes, tours operate rain or shine. In the case of severe weather or safety concerns, tours may be rescheduled. Last minute tour updates will be communicated with you via email ( or by an automated phone call. We suggest checking your email, voicemail, and the tour’s webpage before departing for the tour.
  7. Where can I park for tours?
  8. What if I have to cancel a tour?

    Contact us to cancel your tour tickets. Sometimes you are charged a fee and not every part of a tour is refundable.

    Contact us

  9. Are there any cancellation fees?
  10. How do I know if I meet the physical requirements for the tour?
    If you are unsure of your physical abilities for a tour in which you are interested, contact us at 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 contact us.
  12. Is travel insurance available for day tours as well as overnight tours?
    Travel insurance is highly recommended for all overnights. It is a personal choice should you want to purchase trip insurance for a day tour.
  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 Tours 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 to determine accessibility of specific tours for persons with limited mobility, and to make advance accommodations if necessary.
  • Those with dietary restrictions should email 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
  • 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 in detail.
  • Last minute tour updates will be communicated with you via email ( or by an automated phone call. We suggest checking your email, voicemail, and the tour’s webpage before departing for the tour.
  • 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 online 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 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.

    Still have questions?

    Contact us

  5. Is my class recorded?
  6. My class is at the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Where can I park?
  7. When are classes typically announced?

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

  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 contacting our customer service team.

    Contact us

  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 contact our Customer Service team.
  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 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, online or in person) 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?