Special Events in DC image
Special Events in DC image

Host an Event in Washington, DC

With event spaces as diverse as its holdings, and stunning views of both the US Capitol and the National Mall, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is one of the city's premier event venues.

The museum is available for private event rentals for corporate and non-profit organizations, personal and social events, fundraising events for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, and daytime meetings. The museum can host events ranging from a private dinner for 10 to a full-building rental for 1,500 guests.

For more information and to reserve your space, contact the Office of Special Events at nmai-specialevents@si.edu or 202-633-6982.

Welcome Plaza

Guests' entry experience begins with the museum's landscape and installations, a cascading water feature, and indigenous plant life leading to the Welcome Plaza. The Welcome Plaza and Riverwalk are available for receptions for groups to welcome their guests with hors d'oeuvres and performances as they arrive for your event. The National Native American Veterans Memorial is accessible from the Welcome Plaza and remains open to visitors every day, 24 hours a day.

Welcome Plaza at night Native performance at the Welcome Plaza Welcome Plaza

Welcome Plaza | Reception capacity 300


Outdoor Amphitheater

Accessible from the Potomac Atrium, the Outdoor Amphitheater allows guests to enjoy the landscape during your event. Open the space for a pre-dinner reception or wind down the evening with a dessert reception beside the water feature.

Outdoor Amphitheater

Outdoor Amphitheater | Reception capacity 80 | Seated capacity 100


First Floor

Potomac Atrium

Guests enter the museum into the Potomac Atrium, the museum's main event space. Named for an Algonquian phrase meaning "where the goods are brought in," the Potomac celebrates contemporary Native culture and offers a place for receptions, awards ceremonies, programs, and seated dinners. The sweeping white walls are ideal for decorative lighting, and the space features a built-in wooden dance floor.

View of Potomac Atrium from above Stage setup at Potomac Atrium View of Potomac Atrium from above Tables set up in Potomac Atrium Seating in Potomac Atrium Potomac Atrium

Potomac Atrium | Reception capacity 500 | Seated capacity 350


Mary Louise and Elmer Rasmuson Theater

With a generous stage and an intimate atmosphere, the Rasmuson Theater is a flexible space that can be used for presentations, lectures, and performances. Rental of the Rasmuson Theater includes access to the greenroom suite and two dressing rooms.

Seating area in theater Seating area in theater Exterior of theater THeater stage

Mary Louise and Elmer Rasmuson Theater | Seated capacity 314, plus 6 additional accessible spaces


Third Floor

Third Floor Overlook

The Third Floor Overlook is an ideal setting for evening receptions, including a cocktail reception prior to a seated dinner in the Potomac Atrium. Guests have the opportunity to explore the exhibitions on this level.

Third Floor Overlook Elevators on the third floor

Third Floor Overlook | Reception capacity 200 | Seated capacity 60


Fourth Floor

Fourth Floor Overlook

A reception on the Fourth Floor Overlook offers guests access to private lounge spaces, views of the National Mall, and access to the exhibitions on this level.

Exhibition on the Fourth Floor Overlook

Fourth Floor Overlook | Reception capacity 250 | Seated capacity 60


Patrons Lounge

The Patrons Lounge is an elegant space for a dinner, luncheon, reception, or other gathering, with unparalleled views of the US Capitol and the National Mall.

Lunch spread in the Patrons Lounge Tables in the Patrons Lounge Seating in the Patrons Lounge

Patrons Lounge | Reception capacity 80 | Seated capacity 80


Fourth Floor Meeting Rooms

The Fourth Floor Meeting Rooms are available for daytime meetings, luncheons, and presentations. The main meeting space includes use of in-house meeting AV. For an evening event, the meeting rooms can also serve as a private lounge, an office for day-of coordinators, and a staging space for event materials.

Seating in a conference room Tables in a conference room View of Capitol from a conference room Tables, chairs, and podium in a conference room

Room 4018/4019 | Theater seating 80 | Classroom seating 60 | Boardroom seating 40
Room 4025 | Theater seating 25| Classroom seating 20 | Boardroom seating 12


Fifth Floor

Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Terrace

Affording guests spectacular views of the US Capitol and the Washington Monument, the Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Terrace is an outdoor space suitable for lunches, receptions, and seated dinners.

Tables and Capitol view from terrace Setting for meal on terrace View from terrace

Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Terrace | Standing capacity 125 | Seated capacity 80


Policies and Guidelines

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, can host the following types of private events:

  • Private receptions for corporations, non-profits, and foundations
  • Fundraising events for organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status
  • Personal social events for adults, such as wedding receptions, memorials, anniversary celebrations, and birthday parties for those over the age of 13
  • Personal youth events, such as proms, dances, and birthday parties for those over the age of 13
  • Business gatherings in non-public spaces

For additional information, please refer to the Policies and Vendor Guidelines for each building.

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