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Volunteer Opportunities

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

A young woman talks to two others about work in the collection.

Our passion is to exceed visitor expectations, delivering a memorable experience that supports the finest museum in the world. Volunteers are ambassadors of the Art Institute of Chicago who strive to deliver exceptional customer service  and help to create a welcoming environment. 

If you join now, you can participate during the groundbreaking exhibition Andy Warhol—From A and B and Back Again (October 20–January 26) and other diverse exhibitions, incluing El Greco: Ambition and Defiance and all the holiday traditions of the museum, from the Holiday Thorne rooms to the Neapolitan Crèche!

Guest Engagement Volunteers

The Art Institute is dedicated to providing a world-class visitor experience. With this in mind, and our public contact volunteers are one of our most important resources.

Enthusiastic and outgoing, visitor engagement volunteers are the face of the museum to both our members and the public. They make sure that everyone who walks through our doors is greeted warmly and has the most up-to-date information available about the museum, our collections and programs, and the city of Chicago. There are three categories of these volunteers:

Guest Hosts Volunteers

Our Guest Hosts are responsible for sharing information about the museum in a unique and authentic way, much as someone would with friends and family. These volunteers:

  • Welcome all of our guests as they enter the museum
  • Aid in line management in our admission areas
  • Answer question about the museum and our collection
  • Direct people to admission areas or Information and Membership Desks
  • Move around the museum looking for people who need directions and information
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time and love to work with diverse guests from around the world.

Special Exhibition Hosts

This special group of volunteers will help greet, orient, and inform visitors who are here to experience our two upcoming special ticketed exhibitions: Andy Warhol—From A and B and Back and El Greco: Ambition and Defiance. These volunteers:

  • Greet guests around the exhibition space
  • Orient visitors to the buildings and galleries
  • Answer questions about the exhibition
  • Aid in line management into the Warhol exhibit
  • Engage with visitors in line 
  • Walking around the museum or standing in high traffic areas to actively engage guests
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time and love to work with diverse guests from around the world.

Information Volunteers

Information volunteers help at the various information desks and kiosks located throughout the museum. These volunteers:

  • Are placed at 9 different Information stations throughout the museum
  • Can spend more time with our visitors and give more in-depth information about our artists, the collection. and our programs
  • Information volunteers can sit down but they are encouraged to move around the immediate area
  • Information volunteers should feel comfortable using computers and iPads and working closely with other volunteers and staff.

Expectations

Training

  • 2 half-days of weekend training
  • 3 mentoring sessions

 Shifts

  • Morning: 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
  • Afternoon: 1:00–5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday evenings: 5:00–8:00 p.m.

 Active volunteer hour minimums

  • Regularly scheduled volunteers/weekday substitutes: 7 hours per month
  • Weekend volunteers/weekend substitutes: 3.5 hours per month

 Dress code

  • No jeans, sneakers, or athleisure wear
  • Special exhibition greeters will be provided a Warhol themed t-shirt
  • Training for all visitor experience volunteers consists of 2 half-days followed by 3 mentoring sessions.

Interested in volunteering with us?

We welcome your interest!

Please fill out our online volunteer application form. Art Institute of Chicago members receive first priority for interviews. If you have any questions about the Volunteer Program or various positions, please contact Michael Mitchell at mmitchell4@artic.edu.

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