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Share Your Thoughts to Shape the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum

Lisa Sasaki stands in front of the U.S. Capitol

Photo of Lisa Sasaki, interim director of the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum, by Emmanuel Mones.

Editor's Note: Thank you to everyone who responded to this survey! The survey has now closed. Subscribe to the Because of Her Story newsletter for updates and ways to get involved with the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum.

In December 2020, Congress enacted legislation to create the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum in the nation's capital. I am proud to honor women's history by working to build this museum. We are still in the early phases of planning for a new building, which we estimate could open in 10 to 12 years based on the Smithsonian's experience building museums.

I am excited to share our process with you as we create this long-awaited museum. One of the most urgent issues on our minds is where the museum will be built. The legislation establishing the museum decrees that Smithsonian's Board of Regents will select the location by the end of this calendar year. As the Smithsonian's Board of Regents weighs options for sites, we're asking for your input to help inform the Regents' site selection process.

We invite anyone invested in sharing American women's history to participate in a survey, which will gather public opinions regarding priorities related to the new museum's location. So many criteria must factor into this decision—such as the site's size, environmental impacts, and the proximity to the National Mall. We need input from our future visitors to better understand which aspects are the most important to you.

These considerations are complex. Each possible site has pros and cons. By sharing your dreams for the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum, you will help us move this process forward. The survey will close on Wednesday, March 23, so please respond soon.

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Lisa Sasaki is Interim Director of the forthcoming Smithsonian American Women's History Museum. Her work is currently focused on establishing the foundational elements of the new museum, including  developing its first staffing structures and site selection.

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