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Volunteer Opportunities

Building Museum Shop

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 are currently recruiting dedicated volunteers who are eager to explore the world we build for ourselves. We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities and benefits:

Volunteer & Docent Program
Teen Programs
Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteer & Docent Program

The National Building Museum's award winning shop is seeking volunteers to provide excellent customer service to our visitors. Be part of our exciting museum!

Requirements for Museum Shop volunteers:

  • Outgoing personality and strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent customer service
  • Works well independently and with others
  • Long periods of standing
  • Willingness and/or experience working a cash register
  • Ability to use and learn computer resources such as; product databases and websites

Shifts in need of volunteers:

  • Monday mornings
  • Thursday afternoons
  • All day Friday
  • Many weekend shifts

Apply now.
 

Teen Programs

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.

Expectations:

  • 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

Benefits:

  • 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

Apply now.

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.

 

Benefits of Volunteering

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 ksheldon@nbm.org.