Event Policies and FAQs

Thank you for your interest in hosting an event at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art!

Due to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases, the Smithsonian Institution facilities are currently closed. The Freer and Sackler Galleries’ reopening will be based on public safety, resource availability, local conditions related to COVID-19, and other factors both internal and external.

The Freer and Sackler Galleries will not book any third-party rental events until after August 31, 2021. External parties may book Smithsonian rental spaces from September 1, 2021–November 30, 2021 with a “soft hold,” which will not require a deposit or executed contract, but will be limited to groups of 50 or fewer (including SI staff). External parties will be required to adhere to any social distancing or other criteria that may be in place at that time, and the hold may be cancelled by the Smithsonian for any reason.

Due to planned construction projects at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, events and rental bookings may be impacted through spring of 2022.

We look forward to working with you on your event soon!

Event Policies

We are pleased that your organization in interested in hosting an event the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. The success of your event is important to us, and we are eager to help make it a wonderful occasion.

Funds from special events are used for various museum activities, such as offering free public programs, conserving our artifacts, and designing, fabricating, and maintaining our exhibitions. Your support helps us present our invaluable collections and programs to the millions of international visitors who come to the Smithsonian each year.

The museum’s Office of Special Events is happy to provide a list of vendors whose expertise and familiarity with our spaces will help make your event successful.

Download a copy of our special events policy (PDF).


What kind of events do you allow?

The following types of rental events are authorized at the Freer and Sackler:

  • Private corporate receptions;
  • Fundraising galas for organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status (including religious organizations)
  • Personal social events for adults such as wedding receptions, memorials, anniversary celebrations, and birthday parties. Weddings are limited to four per calendar year and no more than one per month.
  • Personal youth events, such as proms, dances, bar/bat mitzvahs, debuts, cotillions, quinceañeras, or birthday parties.

Do you have an in-house caterer?

The Freer and Sackler do not have an in-house caterer. Your special events coordinator will be happy to provide a list of approved caterers and vendors.

When can I start my event?

The museum is open to the public from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Evening special events can begin at 6 pm, after the museum closes to the public.

Can you host daytime events or meetings?

Requests for daytime events or meetings will be handled on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact FSevents@si.edu.

I would like to host a free public program (film screening, lecture, seminar, etc.) in the Meyer Auditorium. Whom should I contact?

The museum may cohost public programs that relate to the its collections and mission. If you would like to submit a proposal for a public program, please contact 202.633.0461.

Contact Us

  • To inquire about space availability, please complete an event inquiry form.
  • For more information about hosting an event at the museum, please contact the Office of Special Events at FSevents@si.edu.
  • Special Events Staff

Event Inquiry »