The Smithsonian does not rent the Museum; however, groups that support the Museum with a donation are invited to hold a private celebratory event. For more information on donations, contact the Office of Special Events.
The total payment provides use of the Museum’s public areas, and includes facility services such as security, housekeeping, and support from the Office of Special Events.
Personal events, fundraisers, partisan political events, religious and promotional events are not permitted.
Tentative ‘holds’ may be placed on clients’ preferred date. The client then has first right of refusal (24 hours) to sign a contract for their event or release the date
Depending on complexity of the event set-up, events can begin as early as 6:30 p.m. For events that require considerable equipment, large numbers of vendors, multiple entertainment options, the assigned Special Event Coordinator will recommend a later time (7 or 7:30 p.m.). Additional charges apply for events ending after 10:30 p.m.
For standing receptions, the Museum can accommodate up to 3,500 guests.
In addition to the Rotunda, the Office of Special Events will recommend galleries specific to your event.
The Museum has an auditorium on the ground floor which can be used for programs or entertainment associated with special events. The seating capacity of the auditorium is 530.
The Museum does not have a PA system or audio-visual equipment available for clients’ use. Clients are provided with a list of experienced vendors that includes caterers, AV companies, lighting, décor, and talent representation for use in planning the event.
Yes, with the Museum’s prior permission. Any photos or video of the event may only be used for internal purposes and may not be used for promotional or commercial use.