You are here

Ways to Volunteer

The Art Institute is looking for dedicated, reliable, and energetic individuals who would like to experience this world-famous institution from the inside—as a volunteer!

Join the over 800 volunteers who help make this institution feel like home to members and visitors from across the world.

The coming spring and summer will be an exciting time to get involved. In March 2017 the museum unveils an expanded display of the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, including the famous arms and armor collection. Also in the spring, we will welcome James McNeil Whistler’s iconic "Whistler’s Mother", visiting from the Musee d’Orsay, and in June of 2017 the museum presents the major exhibition Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist.

We are looking for individuals who would like to share their love for this museum and its iconic collection with a diverse and global audience.

Public Contact Opportunities

High School/College Summer Volunteers Needed

The museum gets increasingly busy during the summer months as we welcome visitors from all over the world.

This year will be no exception as we have the major exhibition Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist, opening June 25, 2017. We are looking for high school- and college-age volunteers to help direct visitors to our special exhibitions and their favorite works of art. This is the perfect opportunity for students to immerse themselves in art, meet new friends, and perform service hours.

Visitor Engagement Volunteers

We are looking for energetic, enthusiastic and outgoing volunteers to help direct and inform our visitors in the coming year as the museum presents a very special gallery expansion and a major exhibition.

Visitor Engagement volunteers will be located at points throughout the museum and its galleries to help visitors navigate the museum, locate their favorite artists and works of art, and answer any and all questions.  Volunteers will need to be able to be physically active for a shift of 3 to 4 hours, exhibit excellent customer engagement skills, and have the ability to represent the museum in a positive way.  Multilingual is a plus.

Information Volunteers

Information Volunteers help at the various information desks/kiosks located throughout the museum. These volunteers are the face of the museum to both our members and the public, making sure that everyone who walks through our entrance is greeted warmly and has the most up-to-date information available about the museum, its collections and programs, and the city of Chicago. Volunteers at these stations are able to sit down for periods of time but an active engagement with our visitors is encouraged.  Computer and iPad experience required.

Behind the Scenes Opportunities

Most behind the scene volunteers need to have a background in art history research coupled with translation skills.  

There are no behind-the-scenes opportunities open at this time. If you would like to be considered for one in the future, please attach resume with your Information Sheet and indicate which department and duties would most interest you.

School of the Art Institute Volunteer Opportunities

AIADO Material Collection Resource Center Volunteers

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago offers a resource center of materials and finishes for in AIADO faculty and students. Faculty and students have access to an array of current design material samples provided by top manufacturers.  Samples include building materials, textiles, wall and floor coverings, plastic laminates, wood and glass products, hardware, and paints. All materials in the resource center are cataloged in the CSI format, the standard for all professional design libraries. Additionally the resource center has a variety of books from the estate of John Kurtich and AIADO. Volunteers supplement the staffing of the resource center so that more students can take advantage of the area. 

Fashion Resource Center

The Fashion Resource Center maintains a unique hands-on collection of late 20th- and 21st-century designer garments and accessories representative of extreme innovation. The center's singular nature is defined not only by the visitor's ability to handle the apparel but also by the extensive visual, print, and fabric reference collection that support and illuminate the garments and the study of attire. These elements combine to provide students and guests with a creative and educational environment in which to explore the most progressive achievements in the world of dress and fashion. The volunteer serves a vital role helping to keep the FRC open during extended hours.


All applicants who are members get first priority for interviews.

Please download a volunteer application and e-mail it to the address below.

If you have any questions about the Volunteer Program or various positions, please feel free to contact Michael Mitchell at or at (312) 443-3504.