Please create an account and complete the online application below. You will be notified if your skills match the opportunity's needs. Volunteer placement is a selective process and not all applicants are accepted into the program.

Please review the Smithsonian's Volunteer Privacy Notice regarding use of your information.

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Most Smithsonian Volunteer Programs are temporarily suspended in the DC metro area and New York until further notice. Many upcoming shifts and assignments in those areas have been canceled. Please contact your supervisor for questions. Recruitment postings for new volunteers are for virtual or future opportunities at the Smithsonian.

Visitor Information Volunteer


Position Description

Visitor 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 strategically throughout the museum to serve as a resource to visitors who require orientation and information. As part of the Office of Visitor and Guest Services, Visitor Information Volunteers greet and welcome visitors, encourage an exploration of the museum's exhibitions and daily program offerings, and provide information about surrounding attractions.

Applications accepted from December 1, 2021-January 6, 2022.

**Please make sure you answer the question: What are your objectives in seeking a volunteer position at the Smithsonian?**

Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Introducing and welcoming visitors to the National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Responding to inquiries, comments, and feedback from diverse audiences clearly, courteously and effectively
  • Providing information about the Smithsonian Institution, NMAAHC and its exhibitions and daily program offerings as well as surrounding attractions
  • Using knowledge of museum content to guide visitor learning in the museum's public spaces
  • Initiating and facilitating conversations and using objects to spark new questions and ideas from visitors in exhibitions
  • Using available resources including computers, iPads, colleagues, and print resources to answer visitor questions, concerns and comments
  • Resolving most issues that arise from visitors or bring escalating problems to the attention of volunteer managers when appropriate/necessary
  • Staffing exhibitions, public spaces and exterior museum areas as needed to engage the public in conversation and provide wayfinding assistance
  • Understanding the Museum's crowd management protocols and queuing plans in order to direct visitors appropriately during periods of high visitation
  • Assisting with the facilitation of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences to visitors

Time Commitment

The monthly time commitment is two three-hour shifts (6hrs) each month. Continued volunteer service is subject to meeting this time commitment and maintaining performance in line with volunteer requirements.

Daily volunteer shifts are:

  • 9:30AM-12:30PM
  • 12-3PM
  • 2:30PM-5:30PM

Volunteers must commit to at least two years of service as a Visitor Information Volunteer before they may apply for additional volunteer opportunities within NMAAHC.


  • Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination to the Smithsonian's Occupational Health Services (or receive approval for legal reasonable accommodation)
  • All abilities are welcome.
  • Background check is required
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must fully complete the training program

Necessary Skills and Qualifications

  • Flexible and willing to problem solve and adapt to quickly changing situations
  • Reliable and willing to meet requirements and expectations set by Museum staff
  • An interest in African American History and Culture and an eagerness to learn something new every day
  • Ability to utilize computers, iPads, and other technology to assist visitors
  • Enthusiasm for working with the museum's diverse audiences
  • Demonstrable interpersonal skills or customer services experience - must be able to make each visitor feel welcome, impart relevant museum content, and resolve problems
  • Comfort and confidence speaking to groups of all sizes
  • Ability to work with a team
  • Foreign language or ASL skills are not required but a plus


  • The training program will be comprised of in-person and online sessions.
  • In-person trainings will be offered on multiple dates. Virtual sessions will be recorded for those needing to make them up. Volunteers must attend/view all trainings to be fully on-boarded into the program.
  • Training dates are still being finalized. Expect the trainings to occur the last two weeks of January and first two weeks of February.

Personal Information
Emergency Contact

If under 18, give parent/guardian contact information here

Additional Information
Parental Consent If you are under 18 please provide:

The Smithsonian may contact the references listed below.

Reference #1

Reference #2

Volunteer Privacy Notice and Agreement
I have read and understand the Smithsonian's Volunteer Privacy Notice and I certify that the information contained in this application is correct to the best of my knowledge.