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Professional Development Workshops

Teacher Workshop.

Enjoy time in the galleries with a museum educator for your next professional development! Designed for classroom teachers, these sessions bring the museum collection to life for use in your classroom. Educational materials and refreshments are provided at each session.

In addition to our scheduled onsite workshops, we are able to accommodate groups for customized in-service days, or offer a workshop anywhere via real-time videoconference. For more information, send an email to


Preamble, Mike Wilkins

Be the Curator: Using Art and Portraiture to Teach 21st Century Literacies
Workshop presented with the National Portrait Gallery
Saturday, January 24, 2015
9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m

Museum curators communicate ideas through exhibitions. Join educators from the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a daylong workshop on incorporating exhibitions into classroom teaching. Discover how curators make their decisions--including selecting artworks on a certain theme, arranging them to tell a story, and writing labels to accompany them. Participants will then place themselves in a curatorial role and create their own exhibition, using works in both collections. Participants will also brainstorm about ways of incorporating a "Be the Curator" activity into their classroom lessons and receive teaching resources.

Register here:

Embracing the Common Core with Art
Workshop presented with the National Portrait Gallery
Saturday, February 21, 2015
9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Have you considered using art and portraiture as text in the classroom to teach the Common Core? Art museums are poised to support classroom educators as you adapt to the new integrated approach. Join museum educators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery and to explore the connections among social studies, English language arts, and visual arts. In this workshop, participants will read objects as text-determining the main idea, identifying the purpose, and revealing the artist's point of view.

Register here:

Jitterbugs II

Jitterbugs (II), William H. Johnson

Evening for Educators
Painting Rhythm: Jazz and American Art

Co-sponsored with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Tuesday, March 10, 4:30–7:30 p.m.

Many American artists of the 20th century found inspiration in the distinctly American musical style of jazz, embracing the concept of improvisation and striving to evoke the rhythm and swing inherent in what many have called "America's Classical Music." In this special evening for educators, explore artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's permanent collection and gain insights about how artists have been influenced by jazz. Engage in hands-on art activities, tour the galleries, and enjoy live jazz music and refreshments in the Kogod Courtyard.

Fee: $25 (includes reception)

Register here: (note: you must create an account to register)