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Volunteer Program

Volunteers have provided vital support for the Smithsonian Institution since its establishment in 1846. Volunteers play an essential role in inspiring and engaging our audiences and supporting behind-the-scenes work. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) Volunteer Program began in 2008 and is highly competitive.

Currently, the NMAAHC is no longer accepting volunteer applications. If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign-up to receive an email alert when we reopen volunteer recruitment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I volunteer for a position not listed on your website?

  • If you are interested in another volunteer position, you can sign-up to receive an alert or phone call when we begin recruitment for other volunteer positions.
  • The Smithsonian Institution has many opportunities for you to play an essential role in inspiring and engaging millions of people all over the world. We encourage you to explore the many opportunities available around the Institution and discover the right volunteer program for you. To learn more about the Smithsonian volunteer program visit:

I am interested in being a volunteer at the NMAAHC Grand Opening Ceremonies
how can I get involved?

  • We are receiving many inquiries regarding the Grand Opening Ceremonies, the specific plans of which and the date are still to be determined. Please return to this website to view information when those plans are finalized.

I live outside of the Washington, DC area, but would still like to volunteer for the museum. How can I get involved?

  • We are still offering a Virtual Volunteer Program, through the Freedmen’s Bureau Project. Those of you living outside of the area, we hope that you will take advantage of our pilot Virtual Volunteer Program as well.

Who do I contact to receive more information about your volunteer program?

  • If the information listed on our website does not answer your question, you may email our volunteer resource account,

How do I apply to work as an employee at the NMAAHC?

  • Volunteer positions do not transition into permanent positions. If you are seeking employment, please monitor positions announced on the Smithsonian Institution Office of Human Resources website at and apply via

I would like to volunteer my talents to the new museum. How do I submit my ideas for activities, exhibitions, programs, publications, special events and tours?

  • At this time the NMAAHC is unable to accept submissions for activities, exhibitions, programs, publications, special events and tours. In this final push toward our Grand Opening, the museum staff is singularly focused on the enormous task of fundraising and visibility; building the collections; creating both pre-opening exhibition and inaugural exhibitions for the new museum; producing public and classroom programs, designing publications and technology, and constructing a building.

*SI EEO Statement
The Office of Equal Employment and Minority Affairs (OEEMA) ensures compliance with regulatory guidelines and Institutional policies as they relate to diversity and equal opportunity; the office provides direction, oversight, facilitation, and reports on all aspects of equal opportunity (EO) in the Smithsonian Institution's employment and business relationships.

Learn more about the Smithsonian’s EEO policy on the Smithsonian website: