Public programs facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals, informing scholarship and strengthening practice.

Multiple day conferences, year-long colloquia, individual lectures, “conversations” between individuals, hands-on workshops, and Museums at Noon talks featuring our graduate students all contribute to the remarkable richness of MSP offerings.

Video recordings of some MSP lectures are archived for viewing in our Media Gallery.

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The Smithsonian Institution and the Making of the American Nonprofit Sector

March 24, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

When Englishman James Smithson left $500,000 to the United States of America to establish the Smithsonian Institution in 1829, he improbably forced the United States Congress to design America’s first national benevolent institution. This talk will address how Congress came to a decision about whether the Smithsonian should be a government agency, a quasi-governmental institution, or a private corporation in the mid-nineteenth century. Their decision has had a lasting impact on the formation of the American nonprofit sector, I will argue, as future philanthropic foundations used the Smithsonian Institution’s articles of incorporation as a model into the twentieth century.

Presented by Elizabeth Harmon – PhD candidate, American Culture

Friday, March 24 at 12:00 pm in the UM Museum of Art Multi-Purpose Room (125)




March 24, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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