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Docents at the museum's Annual Volunteer Luncheon Docent Robert Lee gives Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough and his wife, Anne, a tour of Reclaiming the Edge at the museum's 45th anniversary gala.


Every year, more than 100 people contribute to the cultural vibrancy of this community by donating their time and efforts to the museum. Men and women of different backgrounds, from high school students to retirees, help the museum to meet its educational and institutional goals. At the Anacostia Community Museum, volunteer opportunities encompass a broad range of abilities and interests. We look for volunteers who are effective communicators, patient, compassionate, interested in issues affecting communities, and enthusiastic about learning and teaching. Flexibility, good judgment, and the ability to work independently as well as within groups are additional skills for successful candidates. Volunteer options include leading tours of museum exhibitions, assisting with clerical duties, greeting guests, facilitating children's art projects, and assisting exhibits, education, conservation, archives, special events, and research staff. Below is more information on specific types of volunteer opportunities here at the museum. Smithsonian Volunteer Application


The word docent comes from the Latin word doc─ôre (to teach, or lecture). ACM docents play an integral role in helping interpret museum exhibition content for visitors in the form of public tours. They are the museum's front-line ambassadors to the general public and are essential to helping the museum fulfill its mission. Docents receive training by museum education staff on proper tour techniques, age-specific learning, and group behavior dynamics. Docents also help the museum in other ways. They assist with museum events and also help to recruit new docents. If you are interested in being a docent, call the education department directly at 202.633.4868.

Education Volunteers

Education department volunteers help education staff to develop and carry out the museum's many programs that teach visitors about current exhibitions and the museum's collection. Because the museum serves diverse audiences, programs are developed to reach K-12 students, teachers, families, adults, people with special needs, and audiences served through its outreach efforts.

Research & Collections Volunteers

The museum has an active research component and a collection that includes artifacts, works of art, photographs, documents and paper records, audiovisual media, and other material that help us understand how communities work. Volunteers in the research and collections departments work with historians, curators, archivists, and collections management staff on projects that help advance the scholarly profile of the museum. Duties might include helping staff with current ongoing research, assisting in object documentation, cataloguing and archiving, object database management, and transcription of documents.