You are here

Volunteer Opportunities

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

We have two different areas to volunteer: Public Contact and Behind the Scenes.


Public Contact Opportunities

Information Volunteers

Information Volunteers help at our 15 information desks and greeter stations 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 information they need to make their museum experience an enjoyable one. Some positions are located at information desks, while others require an ability to stand for periods of time as the volunteers proactively move through the galleries looking for visitors who may need their help.

We are currently looking for:

Weekend Rotation Volunteers 

Rotation Volunteers rotate through three information desks  (Michigan Avenue, Gallery 150, and the Modern Wing) throughout their shift

Saturday (every other week): 10:00–2:00 or 12:00–5:00
Sunday (every other week): 10:00–2:00 or 12:00–5:00

Weekend Membership Volunteers 

Membership Volunteers are our on-site membership ambassadors. In addition to general information duties, these volunteers help promote membership to visitors and renew and upgrade current members.

Sunday (every other week): 10:00–2:00 or 12:00–5:00

Weekend Thorne Room Volunteers

The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms are a Chicago family tradition. This holiday season we will be decorating several of the rooms to showcase how families celebrated this special time throughout the years. The volunteers in this area welcome visitors to the collection and inform them about the history and creation of these small marvels.

Saturday (every other week): 10:00–1:00 or 1:00–5:00
Sunday (every other week): 10:00–1:00 or 1:00–5:00

Ryan Education Center Volunteers

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Education Center, occupying the first floor of the Art Institute's Modern Wing, is a state-of-the-art facility that hosts education programs for families, school groups, teens, and teachers. This space doubles the size of the museum's previous education facility and features five classrooms, three large studios, a Family Room, and Educator Resource Center. The Department of Museum Education is looking for volunteers to assist in welcoming audiences and facilitating programming in this exciting new space. Positions include:

Weekend Vitale Family Room Greeters
Saturday: 10:00–1:00 or 1:00–5:00
Sunday: 10:00–1:00 or 1:00–5:00

Artful Outreach Volunteer

The Art Institute's Community and Family programs division offers free drop-in art making programs for family audiences at the museum and throughout the city. Artful Outreach Volunteers aid education staff with special programs held on weekends and school holidays at the Ryan Education Center and at off-site locations. These volunteers work at the museum on Family Festival days and also represent the Art Institute off-site events for families around the City of Chicago. Artful Outreach Volunteers work with museum staff in demonstrating art-making projects, distributing information about family offerings at Art Institute to families, and generally provide friendly help to program participants. Volunteers will be trained before working with this program.

Fashion Resource Center Volunteers

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. 

Art Insights Volunteers

Art Insights is a free art outreach program visiting Chicago-area senior centers, retirement communities, and nursing homes. Art Insights is designed to improve the quality of life for the senior adult community by acquainting and reacquainting participants with the world-renowned masterpieces and special exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago. Art Insights volunteers offer an interactive, educational, and therapeutic experience for local seniors, who may find it difficult for various reasons to visit the museum. Additional volunteering opportunities include Escorts for the Blind and Senior Celebrations. If interested, please e-mail seniorprograms@artic.edu.


Behind the Scenes Opportunities

These volunteer opportunities take place in our administrative and curatorial offices. Volunteers who are interested in this area must be available to work weekdays. Most volunteers working in a curatorial area must have translation skills and previous experience in the field. 

Volunteer Programs Information Desk Supply Coordinators

This volunteer works with the Volunteer Programs staff and helps make sure the information desks in the museum are ready for business each morning. This would include stocking all desks with supplies, distributing calendars, helping to update the reference materials and starting all computers. 

Sunday–Thursday

Volunteer Programs Information Desk Supply Coordinators

This volunteer works with the Volunteer Programs staff and helps make sure the information desks in the museum are ready for business each morning. This would include stocking all desks with supplies, distributing calendars, helping to update the reference materials and starting all computers.

Sunday–Thursday


Requirements

What are the requirements for volunteering at the Art Institute? We look for an individual with a love of the museum and a desire to learn more about the collection. Public Contact volunteers must be open to working with visitors from across the world, have basic computer and communication skills, and be able to commit for one year to the museum.  A public contact volunteer also needs to be reliable and able to commit to at least seven hours a month.

All volunteers must become members of the Art Institute. All applicants who are members get first priority for interviews.

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

E-mail: mmitchell4@artic.edu 
Phone: (312) 443-3504