Smithsonian Open Access Initiative and MHz Curationist

  • Year: 2020
  • Location: RICHMOND, Va
CurationistCURATIONIST MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Sabharwal | [email protected]
February 25, 2020
New initiative encourages public access and use of 2.8 million digital collections

RICHMOND, Va. – Curationist, a platform launched in 2019 by the MHz Foundation, today joined the Smithsonian Open Access Initiative, a new program allowing people to download, share and transform nearly three million of the museum’s online items for any purpose, without cost, or permission.

“We can’t think of a more fitting or better-timed collaboration than with the launch of the Smithsonian’s Open Access Initiative,” said Virginia Poundstone, Content Curation Director at Curationist. “This collaboration perfectly aligns with Curationist’s mission – to deepen the understanding of the world we live in together – and we’re thrilled to be part of today’s launch.”

Curationist is a database where people can search the Creative Commons, public domain art and cultural content for their use. As part of today’s launch, Curationist is showcasing a series of art curated from content just released into Creative Commons Zero (CC0), thanks to the Open Access Initiative. CC0 is a section of the Creative Commons that dedicates copyrights to the public domain, and allows people to access content without the limitations of copyrights. Curationist’s featured content is accessible through March 31.

Other collaborators announced as part of the Open Access Initiative include Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, Creative Commons, Cesium, Georgetown University Library Maker Lab, Google Arts & Culture and Wikimedia Foundation.

“We are proud to be in such esteemed company, as the Smithsonian and the others that are collaborating today, because ultimately Curationist believes that greater cultural understanding uplifts us all.” said Poundstone.

Since launching in May 2019, Curationist has facilitated cross-border cultural exchanges that are free to everyone. It was launched by MHz Foundation, a Virginia-based organization that provides digital programming and public broadcasting to connect audiences and better understand cultures.

Today’s launch event will be live streamed this evening from the Smithsonian’s and its Secretary’s Twitter handle at 7:15 p.m. EST.

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About Curationist


Curationist is a not-for-profit digital platform and global community that allows people to collect and share cultural materials from the Creative Commons and public domain. Through a people-driven, global community of individuals sharing their knowledge and voice, Curationist prioritizes open-minded collaboration to enhance curiosity, intercultural exchange and critical thinking that directs attention to the source. Learn more at

About MHz Foundation

Established in 2014, the MHz Foundation is a Virginia-based 501(c)(3) corporation committed to making global content and perspectives available to North American audiences through digital programming and public broadcasting. Through its recently launched online platform, Curationist, MHz Foundation advances its mission and reach by providing a powerful tool for people interested in exploring curated arts, culture and educational content from around the world. Learn more at


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