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.


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.

Opportunity: Visitor Information Volunteer

Visitor Information Volunteer


Visitor Information Volunteers create opportunities for visitors to engage with the museum's content in a meaningful way. Volunteers will be stationed at the Welcome Desk and strategically throughout the museum to serve as a resource to visitors who require orientation, information and emotional assistance. 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.

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


  • Flexible and willing to 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
  • Able 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
  • Ability to solve problems or recognize when to contact a staff person
  • Able to stand for long periods of time
  • Foreign language or ASL skills are not required but a plus
  • All abilities are welcome.
  • Background check is required
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Volunteers must attend all training sessions


The monthly time commitment is two four-hour shifts (8hrs) each month. Continued volunteer service is subject to meeting this time commitment and maintaining performance in line with volunteer requirements.

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

We are looking exclusively for volunteers with availability on weekdays from 1PM to 5PM and on Saturdays from 1PM to 5PM.


The training program will be comprised of in-person and online sessions in 2021. Training includes directed and independent study; lectures and demonstrations by NMAAHC staff and other experts; activities; and on-the-job experience. Due to COVID-19 the initial training may take place primarily online, with further training in the Museum at a later time.

Questions may be directed to

Due to the volume of applicants, only applicants selected for an interview will be notified. Interviews will take place virtually.

Personal Information
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Additional Information
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The Smithsonian may contact the references listed below.

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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.