About / Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

Friends of the Institute

Founded in 1922, the Friends is one of the oldest and largest volunteer organizations in American art museums. Members sponsor monthly free lectures, contribute to the education programs of the MIA, and provide a variety of other services (see Volunteer Programs below). All members of the MIA are invited to become members of the Friends. Call (612) 870-3045.

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Internships

The MIA offers many volunteer internships. These range from one to twelve months in length and up to forty hours a week, with opportunities in each of the museum’s divisions: Curatorial, Education, Marketing and Communications, and Development. For information about internship possibilities, museum careers, and the application process, please contact the Intern Coordinator: (612) 870-3176; internships@artsmia.org

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Docent Program

Docents are enthusiastic, creative, self-motivated volunteers who have excellent communication skills and a desire to interact with people of all ages. The required two-year study course trains volunteers to conduct inquiry-based, participatory tours of the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. Weekly sessions focus on the history of art with emphasis on the museum’s collection, and on teaching techniques that actively engage tour participants. Assignments include readings, oral presentations, and several hours of preparation outside of class. Those who complete the program are asked to give 40 tours per year for a minimum of three years. A college degree or college-level coursework and/or art history classes are recommended but not required.

The application process for the two-year program beginning in September 2015 is now closed.  For more information, e-mail Volunteers@artsmia.org or call (612) 870-3176.

Collection in Focus Guides

The Collection in Focus Program (CIF) is an evening and weekend volunteer opportunity for adults interested in learning about art and eager to share their enthusiasm with others by leading guided tours and facilitating hands-on Art Carts for museum visitors. CIF guides are enthusiastic, creative volunteers who commit to participate in the nine-session course on select Thursday evenings (6:30–9 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m.–3 p.m.) Coursework includes reading assignments, oral presentations, and several hours of preparation outside of class. Upon successful completion of the course, CIF Guides commit to volunteer for a minimum of 24 hours over one year on Thursday evenings and weekends. Applications due October 1, 2014.

Or, for more information on the Collection in Focus Program, contact Volunteers@artsmia.org or call (612) 870-3176.

Art Adventure Guides

This six-month course trains volunteers to lead Art Adventure thematic tours designed for children in grades K–6. The program was launched in 1991 to complement the museum’s highly popular Art Adventure school program. Art Adventure Guides are enthusiastic, creative volunteers who enjoy working with children, have strong communication skills, and a desire to learn. Art Adventure guides make a three-year commitment that coincides with the school year, September through early June. Training includes a six-month course on the history of art with an emphasis on the museum’s collection. Guides are also taught tour techniques and teaching methods that encourage children to participate in the museum experience. For more information, call (612) 870-3176 or e-mail Volunteers@artsmia.org. Download the Art Adventure Guide Program brochure (PDF) ».

Visitor & Member Services Volunteers

Visitor & Member Services (VMS) volunteers connect visitors with the MIA’s collection, programs, and amenities. If you’re proactive, outgoing, and assertively friendly, you’ll fit right in our team of indispensable volunteers dedicated to welcoming and assisting all MIA audiences. For more information, call (612) 870-3176 or e-mail volunteers@artsmia.org.