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during the year of the Smithsonian's 1846 founding. Many of the other bureaus will tie in exhibitions already planned for 1995-96 to an overall picture of the Smithsonian at 150 years. One example is the epic "Islam" exhibition proposed as a joint effort by the Sackler and the National Museum of African Art. The National Museum of Natural History proposes an ambitious IMAX film on the history of research in biodiversity.

In one of the programs under consideration for the 150th commemoration, young people working in the sciences and the arts would be given an opportunity to exchange their ideas and interests with Smithsonian mentors: scholars, scientists, artists and historians, as well as with others from outside of the Institution. Students would be introduced to the processes of research, discovery, and inquiry, tools and methods, and information about careers in the sciences and the arts and the satisfactions and rewards that professional life offers.

International scientific and scholarly collaboration will be the focus of other anniversary activities. Under consideration is a meeting of scholars and museum professionals from many nations that have had long established links with the Smithsonian.

Other programs have been proposed for the Smithsonian community itself. The Office of Public Affairs may produce a 36-page "Family Album" chronicling lives of employees throughout the 150-year history of the Institution. The Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies may present the "behind-the-scenes" culture of the Smithsonian at its 1996 Festival of American Folklife. Several electronic media projects are under consideration including oral or video histories of important Smithsonian figures, beginning with S. Dillon Ripley, and a development of the National Portrait Gallery's series of videotaped interviews with "Great Americans of the 20th century."

The Smithsonian could enhance its national profile by encouraging other organizations to "tie-in" their events with its 150th celebration. For example, the city of Atlanta will host the summer Olympics in 1996. Discussions are under way with organizers of the Olympics to incorporate the Smithsonian's Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in the opening ceremonies. Other national events, such as the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year's Day, could provide opportunities for tie-ins to the Smithsonian and is sesquicentennial. 

The Office of External Affairs continues to solicit ideas, proposals and suggestions on ways to fully utilize the Institution's many resources in the planning of the 150th. In the climate of continued limited resources, an Institutional commitment to innovative solutions will be necessary if goals are to be realized by 1996.


The casting of the 6.5-meter mirror for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory-University of Arizona Multiple Mirror Telescope was successfully completed early this summer. The next step is to remove from the bottom of the mirror 30,000 pounds of excess material used to channel the glass into a honeycomb pattern. The mirror must be lifted from the hearth on which it was

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