New Home Page ao 4.6.23

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 The Smithsonian Women’s Committee (SWC) advances American craft artistry in support of a worthy cause:

To raise funds for needed programs of the Smithsonian Institution’s museums, research centers, libraries and the National Zoo.

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We Are a Force of Talented Women
The all-volunteer SWC comprises dynamic, skilled women who contribute their ingenuity and smarts to help fund vital programs for the Smithsonian.

We Fill a Special Need
The SWC funds grants for valuable Smithsonian programs that would otherwise not take place. Often these grants are the seed money that leads to additional funding.

We Promote Craft Artistry in America
The SWC produces the annual Smithsonian Craft Show and a fall show of wearables and home goods. We also sponsor the Smithsonian Visionary Award, honoring artists at the pinnacle of craft design, and the SWC Delphi Award, honoring mid-career artists.

We Are an Active Part of the Smithsonian
SWC is officially part of the Smithsonian. When researching and selecting the projects the SWC funds, our members have direct access to Smithsonian curators, researchers, conservation specialists and educators.

We Make a Difference
Despite our small size, the SWC brings knowledge, adventure and discovery to the world.  

A Proud History   Small Investments, Big Results   Craft Luminaries

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Each spring, the Smithsonian Craft Show offers a premier showcase for the finest American hand-crafted contemporary craft and design. Held in Washington, DC, the show features approximately 120 artists selected by independent jurors. There is also an online auction of works donated by generous artists.

Each fall, the SWC hosts another show featuring designers who create wearable art, often with sustainable materials and novel fabrications. For 2023, the show will bring limited-edition jewelry, clothing, and accessories to serious collectors and casual shoppers, at a wide range of prices, and will add a boutique with a selection of unique home goods.

  2024 Smithsonian Craft Show    2023 Craft: Fashion + Home

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A “visionary” is someone who can envision the future. Extraordinary artists whose innovative approaches to contemporary craft and decorative arts are recognized annually at the Smithsonian Craft Show.

The Smithsonian Visionary Award
The Smithsonian Visionary Award honors craft artists, often with works in major museums, who are deemed by curators and experts to have risen to the pinnacle of sculptural arts and design. The award is presented annually by the Secretary of the Smithsonian to an individual who has demonstrated distinction, creativity, artistry, and vision in wood working, ceramic sculpture, quilting, glassmaking, or sculpture. Learn more about current and past Visionary Award recipients.

The SWC Delphi Award
The Smithsonian Women's Committee Delphi Award recognizes mid-career artists whose work is exceptional but who lack the career longevity to be in many permanent museum collections. Learn more about the
2023 Delphi awardees and past Delphi recipients.

The Visionary Benefit Auction 
Each spring, you can see the works of Visionary Artist and winners of the Delphi Award in the SWC Visionary Benefit Auction, a coveted online event that raises funds for grants supporting Smithsonian programs.

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What do elephants, orchids, and a scientist exploring the deep sea have in common? They are the beneficiaries of vital Smithsonian projects made possible through grants from the SWC.

SWC Grants Help Close the Smithsonian’s Funding Gap
Only about 60% of the Smithsonian's funding comes from taxpayers. The SWC awards competitive grants for needed projects that are too small for major giving and would otherwise go unfunded.


SWC Grants Help Fulfill the Smithsonian’s Mission
To support the Smithsonian’s mission – the increase and diffusion of knowledge – the SWC funds projects that have an immediate impact and open knowledge, adventure, and discovery to the world.  

SWC Projects are Chosen through Rigorous Review
Each year, teams of SWC members review proposals from across the Smithsonian, selecting those programs that best meet the Smithsonian’s goals and SWC’s funding priorities.


This overview video, produces a few years ago, shows how SWC grants support conservation, species preservation, childrens' theatre and more. With a recent grant the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and Alaska's Tlingit Indian tribe were able to restore a tribal headpiece to cultural life. See the video for the full story.

Grant Examples  Endowments


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  • Get to know the top craft artists in the US and highlight their work through SWC programs
  • Take part in planning and hosting the premier craft shows in the country
  • Meet with museum experts and review new Smithsonian exhibits
  • Visit Smithsonian research centers to learn about efforts to fight climate change or protect animals in the wild
  • Review grant requests from the different Smithsonian museums and research centers and decide the programs the SWC will fund
  • Work with interesting, passionate, savvy women and become part of the Smithsonian community

If you love art and design, are interested in science and education, or want a cause where you can make a difference, the SWC opens the doors for learning, doing, sharing, new friendships and personal satisfaction. Membership requires a commitment of hours and annual dues. To learn more about the SWC, contact our membership chair at

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With your help, the SWC can expand our reach and impact, and further help maintain the Smithsonian’s amazing exhibitions, innovative research, ongoing conservation efforts and world-class education programs. Please make a special tax-deductible gift today.