Women Leaders: Stephanie Stebich of Smithsonian American Art Museum


Our spring arts preview showcased 20 females cultural leaders in Washington, D.C. We preferred to amplify their voices in our on the internet newsletters, spotlighting each and every of them independently. Our Monday May perhaps 9 publication characteristics Stephanie Stebich, the Margaret and Terry Stent Director of The Smithsonian American Artwork Museum.

THE GEORGETOWNER: D.C. really should have a “spring awakening” of types soon after two lengthy many years of Covid. What are you most hunting ahead to for your establishment this period?  

STEPHANIE STEBICH: I am counting the times right until the Renwick Gallery’s 50th anniversary exhibition opens May perhaps 13th. It is a possibility to share what we have been collecting: the finest of American makers, who are helping determine our time and inspire our long term — just as the title claims: “This Current Moment: Crafting a Far better Environment.”

GEORGETOWNER: What led you to develop into a leader in your organization? Explain to us a bit about your career trajectory and inspirations alongside the way?  

SS: I was lucky to be invited to come do the job at the Smithsonian—an present I embraced supplied the reach, relevance and effect of our countrywide museums. I mark my fifth 12 months at SAAM this April, and in people yrs have knowledgeable whipsaw moments from document attendance and phenomenal help to a authorities closure and the pandemic unexpected emergency position we are now emerging from with renewed power about the museum’s mission. Remarkably our committed team satisfied the moments we have confronted with resilience and grace to retaining the digital doors open, even when we ended up shut quickly. We have acquired a great deal about our audiences and our abilities for delivering on our commitment to checking out American art with global connections, significantly in a time of renewed inquiries about our shared American identification. 

GEORGETOWNER: What are the largest problems for your corporation? 

SS: Balancing how to be a national museum that’s welcoming and representative of all, when sustaining our robust connections with our community audiences. Notably, our very last audience survey confirmed that 51 p.c of our visitors are repeat site visitors!   

GEORGETOWNER: How do you feel becoming amongst the initially females to direct an arts establishment?  

SS: I observe in the techniques of my predecessor Betsy Broun who was a single of the longest serving administrators at the Smithsonian, and for a time, the only feminine director at the establishment. Now there are extra woman administrators foremost D.C. place cultural institutions than ever ahead of!   

 GEORGETOWNER: What are you most very pleased of carrying out though serving in your situation?  


SS: It is tricky to decide on just one detail. So I will highlight a recent task the place we designed our collections and American tales extra appropriate and engaging.  We lately posted a collection of fantastic electronic comics named “Drawn to Artwork: 10 Tales of Inspiring Gals Artists” which are small can take on artists’ life each and every drawn by a pupil-illustrator via a partnership with the Ringling Higher education of Artwork and Layout. I also prioritize educating the next generation of scholars in the industry of American art and tradition, and winner our virtual instructional programs this kind of as our real-time movie conferences for K-12 courses around the globe. Which is how we bring American art to American youngsters abroad. 


tagsArts educationBetsy BrounMargaret and Terry StentRenwick GalleryRingling Higher education of Artwork and DesignSmithsonian American Museum of ArtStephanie Strebich“Drawn to Art: 10 Tales of Inspiring Women of all ages Artists”“This Existing Moment: Crafting a Superior World”