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Volunteer at the Freer and Sackler Galleries

Volunteers are an essential link between the public and the Galleries in carrying out the museums' mission of engaging with visitors and enriching their experiences.
Program Volunteers
Volunteer Information Specialists


Docents volunteer to lead tours of adult and school-age (K-12) groups. As they guide visitors through special exhibitions and permanent collections, docents engage visitors in learning primarily about Asian art and culture through active looking at works of art. In preparation, docents receive in-depth training in art history and gallery teaching. They are managed by the Department of Education.

The 2014-15 docent class is now full, and we are no longer accepting applications. Please complete our online application to be considered for docent opportunities in the future.

Program Volunteers

Program volunteers assist with public events, such as family programs, after-hours events, festivals, gallery talks, and workshops. Each program has specific requirements and training. Volunteer duties may include helping with wayfinding, sharing information, assisting performers, facilitating hands-on activities, managing crowds, and/or ticketing.

Program volunteers commit to a minimum of four programs per year (October to October) and receive regular newsletters from staff, enrichment opportunities, and an invitation to an annual Volunteer Appreciation event.

Program volunteers are accepted on a rolling basis as needed.

To apply, visit the Smithsonian Volunteer page and complete all requested information for “FS Program Volunteer.

You will receive an email within two weeks with additional information. A signed Program Volunteer Agreement is required to complete the application process and to initiate your status to active.

Ushers are program volunteers who assist with ticketing and seating for films and performing arts programs. If you're interested in ushering, email vickto@si.edu.

Volunteer Information Specialist Program

We are not currently recruiting volunteer information specialists for the Freer|Sackler.

Volunteer Information Specialists provide information services to museum visitors at the information desks and within the galleries. In addition to welcoming visitors, they supply general information about the museums, their exhibitions and collections, and the Smithsonian in general. They also furnish specific information about daily programs and events, and they answer visitor questions. They give directions, make connections to places and events around the Smithsonian, ignite curiosity, and help to ensure visitors have a positive experience at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

To learn more about becoming a Volunteer Information Specialist, please visit the Smithsonian Volunteer Opportunities page.

volunteer at Asia After Dark

More Ways to Support the Galleries


Discover new ways to enjoy the Freer and Sackler Galleries through exclusive privileges reserved for members only.
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Only 30% of our funding derives from government sources. Your tax-deductible gift will help in so many ways!
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As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.