The Museum appreciates its volunteers and strives to give them meaningful and satisfying assignments. Volunteers enhance our ability to make the Museum a premier cultural institution. We're currently recruiting dedicated volunteers who are eager to explore the world we build for ourselves. We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities and benefits:
The National Building Museum is seeking volunteers who are interested in delivering tours of our Designing for Disaster exhibition. This exhibition, and its discussion of the importance of design in mitigating the impact of natural disasters on communities, is certain to be popular with a wide variety of audiences. Docents are expected to take a prerequisite course, 2 nights, and informational training specific to the exhibition, three nights. This will be the last open docent training until 2016.
- Docent 101- May 19th and 20th, 6:30-8:30pm. Learn all of the basics of presentation techniques, museum audiences, and education theory as it applies to crafting and delivering a tour.
- Designing for Disaster informational training- May 20th, June 9th and 11th, 6:30-8:30pm. Take a tour with the exhibition's curator, then learn more about the wide-ranging information in the exhibition.
Upon completing training, docents are expected to prepare and deliver a qualifying tour to the volunteer manager.
Applications due by May 9th.
Teen Programs is looking for design professionals in all fields, educators, and those interested in working with teenagers for our multi-visit, experiential programs, CityVision, Design Apprenticeship Program, and Investigating Where We Live. These programs teach local teens how to observe more closely and look for ways to change the world around them.
- CityVision brings 30 D.C. public school middle school students to the Museum every Thursday during the school year to learn about urban planning and architecture. Volunteers assist Museum staff as participants learn about the basics of design, explore development sites throughout the District, and propose their own solutions to improve D.C. Fall and spring sessions.
- Design Apprenticeship Program meets eight Saturdays and brings together 30 youth from the D.C. metro area to learn the basics of design and construction. Volunteers actively instruct and assist the teens as they explore materials, learn to use power tools, and work in teams to fabricate their final product. Fall and spring. Volunteers must be able to commit to at least six of the eight Saturdays. Fall and spring sessions.
- Investigating Where We Live is a five-week summer program in which students interpret Washington, D.C. neighborhoods through photography, creative writing, and original artwork. Each summer, approximately 30 students spend their Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays exploring neighborhoods and developing an exhibition to be on view at the Museum. Summer only.
- Be enthusiastic about working with youth and allow them to guide their design process
- Consistently attend sessions according to predetermined schedule (ideally every week, but Teen Programs staff can work with you to find schedules to accommodate working professionals)
- Attend training and orientation sessions, and complete all required paperwork
- Satisfaction of mentoring and guiding the next generation of designers
- Both programs eligible for continuing education credits and IDP
- Museum wide volunteer benefits, explained below
We are currently seeking volunteers for Investigating Where We Live. Volunteer applications for fall programs will be reviewed in July and August, in December and January for our spring programs, and in May and June for our summer program. Questions? Contact teenprograms[at]nbm.org or call 202.272.2448 and ask for Teen Programs.
Volunteers are an integral part of the Museum's daily operations. In our fiscal year 2013, the Museum's volunteers contributed a total of 11,440 hours. Volunteering at the National Building Museum requires a commitment of time, enthusiasm, and interest.
Benefits of volunteering include:
- Discount in the Museum Shop
- Discount in the cafe
- Monthly calendar of events
- Free admission tickets (four per month)
- Free admission to the Museum's public programs and lectures
- Educational opportunities such as monthly enrichment trips, volunteer continuing education, and curatorial overviews and tours
- Annual volunteer appreciation dinner and awards ceremony
- Access to the Museum’s volunteer office and library
Questions? Contact the volunteer manager at 202.272.2448, ext. 3302 or email@example.com.