Volunteer Information Volunteers create opportunities for visitors to engage with the museum's content in a meaningful way. Volunteers are stationed at the Welcome Desk and throughout the museum to serve as a resource to visitors who require orientation, information, and emotional assistance.
- Introducing and welcoming visitors to the museum
- Responding to inquiries, comment, and feedback from diverse audiences clearly, courteously, and effectively
- Providing information about the Smithsonian Institution and NMAAHC such as its exhibitions, daily program offerings and surrounding attractions
- Using knowledge of museum content to guide visitor learning
- Using available resources including computer, iPad, colleagues and print resources to answer questions, concerns, and comments
- Resolving most issues that arise from visitors and bring escalating problems to the attention of volunteer managers when appropriate
- Staffing exhibitions, public spaces, and exterior museum areas as needed to engage the public in conversation and facilitate large crowds.
Volunteers must commit to at least two years of services including 6 months of comprehensive training.
Volunteers must serve a minium of eight hours per month. Volunteer shifts are from 9:30 - 1:30 pm and 1:00 - 5:30 pm on weekdays and weekend.
- Flexible and willing to make adjustments as needed
- Reliable and outgoing
- Provide excellent customer service
- An interest in African American History and Culture and an eagerness to learn something new every day
- Must be comfortable using technology and have basic computer skills
- Enthusiasm for working with the museum's diverse audiences
- Strong interpersonal skills - must be able to make each visitor feel welcome, impart relevant museum content, and resolve problems
- Comfort and confidence speaking to small and large groups
- Ability to work with a team
- Ability to problem solve or recognize when to contact a staff person
- Able to stand for long periods of time
- Foreign language and ASL skills are not required, but a plus
The training program will be comprised of in-person and online sessions. Training includes directed and independent study; an introduction to object-based inquiry strategies and techniques; lectures and demonstrations by Museum educators and experts; activities; and on-the-job experience. These sessions will also be taught in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution Office of Visitor Services and the Office of Protection Services.