Taking advantage of local museum volunteer opportunities is a great way to benefit the community, support the arts, and explore the subjects that interest you the most. You can become an expert on a topic you love while connecting with people of similar interests from all over the world, all while improving your community.
New York City is home to some of the best museums in the world, featuring everything from priceless art to unusual scientific discoveries, to culturally significant exhibitions. These museums act as anchors to the community, offering high-quality educational, social, and conservation services that may not be found elsewhere.
However, museums of all sizes are dependent on volunteers. In fact, there are an estimated 6 volunteers for every one paid museum employee, on average; and that number rises to an astonishing 18:1 for small museums with budgets under $250,0001. Many museums would be unable to survive without the support of dedicated volunteers.
If you are interested in supporting the arts in NYC, check out these museum volunteer opportunities near you:
Explore Museum Volunteer Opportunities in NYC with These 5 Arts Organizations
Asia Society is an educational organization and museum located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Founded in 1956, the society promotes mutual understanding between people, leaders, and institutions located in Asia and America. Exhibitions at the Asia Society museum are curated to generate ideas, promote collaboration, identify challenges, and create a shared future between Asia and America.
Louis Armstrong House Museum
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is one of the city’s most unique museum offerings. Even though Louis Armstrong was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, he lived in a modest home in Queens with his wife, Lucille. This home has been preserved as it was by the Louis Armstrong House Museum and is open to the public. Take a guided tour of the house and grounds, and attend events such as concerts and lectures.
The Museum also offers fellowships for college students studying black history, art, library studies, music, and the humanities. Volunteers can train to lead 40-minute tours of the Louis Armstrong House Museum and gardens or to help the museum in other ways on a flexible schedule.
Museum of the City of New York
The Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) was created to preserve and celebrate the unique history of New York City. In addition to the impressive permanent collection, the MCNY organizes several special exhibitions every year. Recently, the museum exhibitions have included ‘Pride: Photographs of Stonewall,’ ‘City of Workers, City of Struggle: How Labor Movements Shaped New York,’ and ‘In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson.’
The Rubin Museum
The Rubin Museum in Chelsea is an art museum celebrating the work of Himilayan, Tibetian, and Indian artists, exhibiting art and artifacts as well as hosting events benefiting the community. It also acts as a cultural hub, bringing the community together for its weekly Cabaret Cinema, or to meet for drinks or a meal at the Café Serai.
The diverse set of volunteer opportunities at The Rubin provide New Yorkers with a chance to learn about Himalayan art while they contribute to a vital, energetic cultural center.
Located in Long Island City, NY, SculptureCenter curates contemporary art that showcases sculpture’s ability to manipulate how people engage with the world. The organization’s core values: rigor, transparency, inclusiveness, and independence are all on display at the museum. With a commitment to diversity and artists, the organization facilitates meaningful conversations about complex subject matter.
Volunteers at SculptureCenter will learn new skills that can help further a career in the arts and receive behind-the-scenes access to events.
Taking advantage of one of the many museum volunteer opportunities in New York City has benefits for the museum, and for the community at large. Volunteers help support the educational, cultural, and conservation goals of the institutions, it’s true – but volunteering at a local museum has benefits for the volunteer as well.
Museum volunteer opportunities help a person to connect with people of similar interests and sharpens valuable skills such as public speaking, organization, fundraising, and customer service. Moreover, it may benefit the volunteer’s mental and physical health, combat depression, and create a variety of fun and engaging experiences for volunteers and the community at large.
Subscribe to the NYXT newsletter
Learn about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and new organizations looking for your help.