Docent and Volunteer

Volunteer

Get involved at the Birmingham Museum of Art by volunteering! There are many ways to volunteer your time at the Museum. Volunteers assist at the Information Desk, Museum Shop, special events, and more. Docents are volunteer tour guides who share their passion for art while helping visitors make connections to artworks in the Museum. Teen BMA is a hands-on volunteer program for high school students that provides opportunities to learn from Museum professionals, artists, and other arts professionals.

Docents and volunteers must be 18 years old or older. High school students are invited to apply for our Teen BMA program. Please note, the Birmingham Museum of Art is unable to accept volunteers for court-ordered community service or any other community service requirement that is a result of a disciplinary infraction.

Volunteers

The Birmingham Museum of Art seeks volunteers with excellent customer service skills, an interest in art, and a desire to get involved in the Birmingham community. In return, volunteers receive benefits such as an increased knowledge in art through exclusive tours and lectures, invitations to volunteer appreciation events, and a free Museum membership for volunteers who commit to 12 shifts per year. See below for a description of volunteer opportunities at the Museum.

Apply Now

Community Engagement
Volunteers represent the Museum at various events in the community. Duties include preparing art supplies, assisting with drop-in art activities, and providing information about Museum programs and exhibitions. Community engagement shifts are often on weeknights and weekends, but occasionally on weekdays. Shifts are typically 2-4 hours.

Information Desk
Volunteers at the Information Desk ensure a great experience for Museum visitors. They greet visitors, help them plan their visit, and provide general information. Shifts are 10am-1pm and 1-4pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 1-4pm on Sundays. Information Desk volunteers sign up for at least one shift per month.

Museum Shop
Volunteers in the Museum Shop assist staff with greeting and helping customers, as well as pricing and displaying items. Shifts are 11am-2pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 1-4pm on Sundays. Museum Shop volunteers sign up for at least one shift per month.

Special Events
Special events volunteers assist with drop-in art activities, ticketing, and other duties during events such as Art On The Rocks, Family Festivals, and more. Special events are often on weeknights and weekends and shifts are typically 2-4 hours.

Studio Add-on Classes
Studio add-on classes are for K-12 grade students before or after their tour. Volunteers assist docent studio facilitators with setting up the studio, distributing materials to students, helping students one-on-one when needed, and cleaning up after the class. Shifts are typically 2-4 hours and will be scheduled around tours on Tuesday-Friday from 9am-3:30pm.

For more information about volunteering, please fill out the volunteer application form, or contact Lindsey Hammel, Volunteer Services Manager, at lhammel@artsbma.org or 205.254.2070.

Current volunteers can sign up for shifts here:
Volunteer Information Center

Teen BMA

Teen BMA is a volunteer group at the Birmingham Museum of Art that gives high school students opportunities to learn from artists and other arts professionals, and hands-on volunteer experience.

During the school year, teens will have the opportunity to assist with gallery interpretation, Bart’s ArtVenture, studio art classes, community outreach, museum festivals, and other events.

Perks for Teen BMA members:

  • Meet other high school students who are interested in art from all over Birmingham
  • Work with professional artists, curators, and other Museum professionals
  • Learn about careers in the arts
  • Enhance your college application and resumé
  • Visit other museums and arts organizations through Teen BMA trips
  • Receive a free membership to the Museum
  • Give back to your community and Museum

Requirements for Teen BMA members:

  • Must be entering 9th through 12th grade
  • Have an interest in learning about art
  • Attend orientation on a Saturday morning
  • Attend monthly program meetings on Monday evenings
  • Volunteer three hours per month (minimum), primarily on weekends but some evenings
  • Work as a group to plan and organize the annual Teen Night at the Museum

Applications for the 2019-2020 school year are due May 31, 2019. For more information, please contact Lindsey Hammel, Manager of Volunteer and Visitor Services, at lhammel@artsbma.org.

Apply Now

Current Teen BMA Members: Volunteer Information Center

DOCENTS

What Is A Docent?
Docents are volunteers trained to lead gallery tours and provide art experiences for visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Approximately 80% of docent-led tours at the BMA are school field trips but we also have extensive offerings in adult tours. Docents share their deep passion for art, culture, and learning to help all visitors connect with the Museum’s collection.

Top Five Reasons To Become A BMA Docent:

  • Learn about art
    Docents have the opportunity to learn about the Museum’s collection, special exhibitions, and art history during docent trainings given by curators and other art aficionados.
  • Share your passion
    Docents create meaningful experiences and engaging conversations around art with visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Give back to your community
    Docents donate their time to educate and inspire the community by sharing the joy of the Museum’s collection.
  • Make friends
    New docents will be warmly welcomed by our delightful group of active docents, many of whom have made life-long friends through the program.
  • Exclusive perks
    The docent program extends beyond the Museum walls, it also comes with additional cultural opportunities such as our docent book group, luncheons, and exciting local and international trips to other museums, art galleries, and historic sites.

Interested In Becoming A Docent?
We recently concluded our search for the 2019-2020 training class.

If you would like more information regarding the program or would like to be added on the notification list for the next training class, please email Emily Hylton, Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs, at ehylton@artsbma.org.