Visitor Information Volunteer


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.

Application Timeline

We are accepting volunteer applications for the class of 2025 through November 30th, 2024.

Potential candidates will be contacted for interviews beginning in October 2024.

Training and on-boarding for selected volunteers will begin in January 2025. Additional details will be announced later this year.

Please make sure you answer the below question "What are your objectives in seeking a volunteer position at the Smithsonian?" in detail.

Assignment Description

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 or concerns
  • 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 All abilities are welcome, please let us know if you need accommodations at any point during this recruitment process.

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

We are especially looking for volunteers with availability during afternoons Monday through Friday.


  • All abilities are welcome, please let us know if you need accommodations at any point during this recruitment process.
  • Background check is required
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Volunteers must attend and complete all training in order to be on-boarded as a volunteer

*Please note, we are unable to offer parking*

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 virtual and in-person sessions. Volunteers must attend and complete all required trainings in order to be on-boarded into the program. Additional information about training dates will available later this year.

Location: Washington, DC.NMAAHC: African American History & Culture