A rare chance to go behind the scenes at the Smithsonian will be offered October 20-23. Smithsonian Journeys has announced the "Celebrate Smithsonian" event in which participants will meet Smithsonian curators and staff, explore Smithsonian collections not on public view, attend private demonstrations and the newest exhibitions and enjoy exclusive dinners with Smithsonian staff in museum galleries.
The program begins with a private gala reception and dinner at the Smithsonian "Castle" building. Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture, will welcome participants and give an overview of the Smithsonian's colorful past and present. The next two days will focus on Smithsonian collections in storage and on display. Museum staff will lead tours through the Museum Support Center, a high-tech home to more than 54 million artifacts, where scholars work on the research and conservation of some of the nation's treasures. At the National Museum of American History, curator of musical instruments Kenneth Slowik will how priceless instruments from the collection and demonstrate their rich tones.