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The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

In the Loop

ITC enters national arena

Smithsonian Affiliations

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures moved toward national prominence when it was accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliations program in January.

As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the ITC has access to artifacts, performing arts programs, expert speakers, teacher workshops and other resources from the national institution.

“The Smithsonian has a long and proud relationship with the ITC, going back to 1972 during the first Texas Folklife Festival and continuing right up to the present,” said Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations. “We are confident that the affiliate relationship will enhance the work that both of our organizations are doing to understand, interpret and display the wonderful and diverse traditions of the American people.”

This summer, staff members from the institute will attend the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference in Washington, D.C. It will be an opportunity to review traveling exhibits and artifacts available to bring to San Antonio. At any given time, there are about 1,000 Smithsonian artifacts on display at affiliate museums. There are 168 Smithsonian Affiliates in 41 states, the District of Columbia, Panama and Puerto Rico.

“As UTSA moves toward becoming a national research university, this affiliation helps propel the Institute of Texan Cultures onto the national stage as well,” said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. “With the opportunity to host traveling Smithsonian exhibits, the institute will make the rich Smithsonian cultural experience available to many people who otherwise may never have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C.”

The Smithsonian Affiliations program shares the knowledge of the Smithsonian Institution with a broader audience. The program aspires to create experiences and opportunities to broaden perspectives on science, history, world cultures and the arts.

“I had the good fortune of establishing Smithsonian Affiliations at the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Dallas Museum of Natural History,” said Tim Gette, ITC executive director. “The partnership impacted both museums in a very positive way.”

—James Benavides

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