The vision for American Spaces today is for them to be vibrant, active places that offer interactive, engaging programs that can capture the interest of visitors and help them:

  • learn about, discuss and debate foreign policy, social and global issues
  • gain skills they can use to improve their lives, their communities and the world
  • interact with people they might not otherwise meet and
  • generally expand their minds and horizons.

To  help American Spaces do this, the Office of American Spaces is committed to providing programmatic resources that both U.S. government staff and non-U.S. government partner staff can use to make it as easy as possible to offer a full calendar of excellent programs. New packaged programs and other guidance and materials will be regularly posted in this section of the website.  Also check out the Community Forum to get ideas and materials from other American Spaces.

Packaged Programs Created by the Smithsonian Institution for American Spaces

Crowd of people marching with placards
“Leading the March” (photographer unknown) 1963; The Great March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history calling for civil and economic rights for African Americans. (National Archives Catalog)

Civil Society Certifications
The Civil Society Certification curriculum enables facilitators to host a program or series of programs focused on the ways that photography and video can be used as tools for civic engagement. Workshops aim to build familiarity with camera and video features of mobile devices, as well as computers or tablets and offer opportunities for discussion, brainstorming, exploration and hands-on learning. The facilitator guide comes complete with step-by-step lesson plans for facilitators, activities and all printable materials needed for running programs intended to strengthen digital skills and promote civil society. The Word document allows facilitators to modify handouts to meet the needs of a particular audience, if necessary.



Entrepreneur Incubator
This in-depth curriculum provides all the instructions and guidance necessary for American Spaces to lead programs or workshops on the entrepreneurial process. The curriculum is available as a Word document for customization.


Ocean Portal
The Ocean Portal and American Spaces activity page provides a thorough curriculum on ocean science and conservation.


Spark! Lab
This comprehensive facilitator packet includes five separate, hands-on activities to promote creativity and innovation.


Additional Smithsonian Institution Programming Resources

Content & Programming Book
This is a guide to a wealth of content available from the Smithsonian Institution’s museums and over 800 websites and how to easily use it for creating programs, handouts, posters or other materials to engage American Spaces visitors and deepen their understanding of the United States and important topics.

The Content and Programming Book is designed to help easily identify public diplomacy programming material within six priority topic areas:

  • U.S. History, Presidents & Democracy
  • Equality, Human Rights & Tolerance
  • American Culture and Diaspora
  • Science, Technology, Health & Environment
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Education

Downloadable Poster Shows
Host an exhibition with one of these free, downloadable poster shows.



Digital Videos
This website provides a wide range of short, topic-driven videos organized into four categories: entrepreneurship, education, environment & STEM and civil society.