Events Policies

Please refer to the PDF file below for full text of policy and guidelines.

Freer|Sackler Special Events Policy (PDF, 161 kB).


  • All events must conform to the Smithsonian Institution’s and Freer|Sackler’s policies, mission, and goals. The Freer|Sackler does not allow events of a political, religious, promotional, or personal nature (e.g., weddings). In addition, no commercial, ticketed events are permitted.
  • The Freer|Sackler is considered a co-sponsor with all donors and organizations having special events at the Freer|Sackler.
  • To secure a date on the museum calendar, the Freer|Sackler requires the co-sponsoring organization to sign a special event agreement and return it with a non-refundable deposit.
  • The Freer|Sackler Office of Special Events is a partner in all phases of the event process as well as a resource for assistance.
  • Special events should not interfere with the normal visitation or work of the museum. The regular operating hours of the Freer|Sackler are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • There are no parking facilities at the Freer|Sackler.
  • The Freer|Sackler is not responsible for any disruptions that may occur due to mechanical difficulties, facility emergencies, construction, or unanticipated events beyond the museum’s control.
  • Donations to the museum are not refundable.
  • The Freer|Sackler has final approval over menu, printed materials, programming, décor, etc., to ensure special events in the museum appropriately reflect the goals and mission of the Freer|Sackler.
  • Standard events at the Freer|Sackler last three hours.



  • All vendors for each event must secure final approval from the Freer|Sackler.
  • All caterers must provide a current insurance certificate on file with the Smithsonian Institution.
  • No food or drink may be consumed in the Freer|Sackler exhibition spaces.
  • Red wine and red juices are prohibited.
  • Any tables, chairs, bars, or other accessories used during an event must be at least 4 feet from any objects or cases.
  • Sterno is permitted. Propane and butane are prohibited.
  • Plastic must cover and protect all floors of the designated kitchen staging areas in the museum.
  • Votive candles are permitted. Taper candles and open flames (such as flambé and stir frying) are prohibited.
  • Florists and caterers must remove all flowers, trash, equipment, and debris from the museum at all events’ conclusions.
  • Due to the lack of storage space at the museum, all equipment for a special event must be delivered immediately preceding set-up for the event and removed immediately after the event.
  • The museum can arrange basic audio-visual support.