The Smithsonian Women’s Committee (SWC) is a volunteer grant-making organization dedicated to advancing the Smithsonian mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. Since its founding in 1966 by Mary Ripley, wife of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, the SWC has annually produced signature fundraising events as well as solicited, researched and selected grants awarded to the Smithsonian with those funds.
As an active Washington, DC area leadership group, the SWC is dedicated to supporting all branches of the Smithsonian. In concert with this role, the SWC president serves on the Smithsonian National Board.
The SWC produces two annual signature events, the Smithsonian Craft Show and Craft2Wear, which serve to promote fine American craft and are the major sources of funding for our grants and endowments to the Smithsonian. SWC members solicit, research and select the grants to be awarded from our SWC Grants Fund.
The SWC has awarded nearly $11 million in grant awards and endowments for education, research, conservation, acquisition, exhibition and outreach programs within the Smithsonian complex of 19 museums, scientific facilities and the National Zoo. SWC members donate considerable time and talent to the management and staffing of our fundraising events, therefore costs are kept low and profits go directly to the Smithsonian in the form of grants.