Tickets
Museum Hours
Thurs: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
Cafe Hours
The cafe is temporarily closed.
Location
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.581.3500
Tickets
A man wearing glasses speaks to a group, gesturing toward a wall decal depicting two men sitting on the floor

Volunteering at the Asian Art Museum

Volunteers enjoy an intimate relationship with the Asian Art Museum, supporting and enriching the visitor experience.

The museum relies on the enthusiasm, energy and commitment of more than 400 individuals — architecture guides, docents, storytellers, and frontline volunteers — to enhance the museum experience for visitors, bringing art and people together.

Become one of the valued frontline volunteers who bring the Asian Art Museum alive for visitors. No previous experience is required and you don’t have to be familiar with or an expert in Asian art. Because the museum serves diverse audiences, frontline volunteers come from all Bay Area communities and all walks of life and backgrounds, from high-schoolers to retirees.

What Is a Frontline Volunteer? 

Frontline volunteers help either at the information desk and coat check or in the museum boutique. Information desk and coat check volunteers extend a friendly welcome when visitors first arrive and guide them to locations and activities of interest. Museum boutique volunteers provide excellent customer service, creating a great retail experience by helping visitors find merchandise that relates to artworks in the collection galleries and/or special exhibitions.

About Being a Frontline Volunteer

Requirements
  • You are at least 16 years old
  • You have a specific interest in volunteering for an art museum
  • You can commit to 96 hours annually, the equivalent of two four-hour shifts each month
Expectations
  • You have a desire to make each visitor’s experience of the Asian Art Museum a memorable one
  • You have an outgoing, positive, enthusiastic attitude and are comfortable meeting and interacting with a wide variety of people
  • You will be warm and welcoming to all visitors, greeting each with a smile
  • You are dependable, reliable, and punctual for volunteer assignments
  • You have a willingness to learn what you need to know to do your volunteer assignment
  • You show a willingness to cooperate with staff and other volunteers, accepting supervision and evaluation of your volunteer work
  • You are familiar with and have access to a computer for correspondence and scheduling
  • Because the museum serves diverse audiences, we recruit individuals from all Bay Area communities to volunteer, including those with multilingual skills (a plus but not a requirement)
Benefits
  • The opportunity to learn more about the Asian Art Museum’s collection and special exhibitions
  • Unlimited free admission to the museum, including special exhibitions, any time
  • Invitations to exclusive volunteer-only tours and events
  • Access to the museum’s research library (by appointment)
  • Opportunities to volunteer with others who have similar interests and to share your enjoyment and knowledge of the museum with visitors
  • Opportunities to participate in project-based or one-time activities for volunteers
  • Subscription to the digital Voices newsletter, a publication written by volunteers for other volunteers and published about three times a year
  • 20% discount in the museum boutique, 10% discount in the museum cafe, and a 20% discount on museum membership (must be an active volunteer at the time of purchase or renewal)
  • Pride in representing a valued art museum to visitors from your community and from around the world
  • Once you become a frontline volunteer, you’ll hear about additional volunteer opportunities around the museum

It is important to us that the experience of being a volunteer at the Asian Art Museum is meaningful because this helps volunteers, in turn, to make the experiences of our visitors meaningful.

How to Apply to Become an Asian Art Museum Frontline Volunteer
  • Learn more about a specific volunteer opportunity by clicking on one of the links below.
  • Volunteer applications are accepted at all times. We will keep your volunteer application on file for up to six months
  • You will be contacted within two to three weeks of receipt regarding the status of your volunteer application and with information about the mandatory orientation session/interview. Orientation sessions/interviews are held at least twice a month
  • SFUSD students applying to fulfill community service hours should tick the appropriate box on the volunteer application
  • Volunteers applying for the summer months (May to September) must apply by May to be considered and must volunteer more frequently than twice a month for the summer months

 

Apply Now

Museum Boutique Volunteer

About Being a Museum Boutique Volunteer 

Work side-by-side with staff and other volunteers to create a great retail experience by providing excellent customer service.

In the museum boutique, we pride ourselves on creating an engaging, friendly atmosphere and sharing a passion for Asian art and culture through unique merchandise. Volunteering in the boutique is a lot of fun as you get to interact with visitors from around the world, learn and share about the museum, explore new merchandise, and contribute to the financial support of the museum’s exhibitions and programs. You’ll help to maintain the neat and tidy appearance of the boutique and you may also have the opportunity to learn the computerized cash register. As a museum boutique volunteer, you work side-by-side with staff and other volunteers.

Requirement

  • Comfortable with long periods of standing

Expectations

  • An interest in and willingness to learn about museum boutique merchandise and share your knowledge with visitors
  • A warm, outgoing, and enthusiastic attitude with clear verbal communication skills
  • Dependability, reliability, and punctuality for volunteer assignments
  • A neat appearance consistent with representing the museum and the museum boutique to visitors
  • A willingness to cooperate with staff and other volunteers and accept supervision and evaluation of your volunteer work
  • Familiarity with and access to technology for correspondence and scheduling
  • Mandatory wearing of a face mask while volunteering if still mandated by San Francisco’s Department of Public Health
  • Because we serve a diverse audience, we recruit individuals from all Bay Area communities to volunteer, including those with multilingual skills (a plus but not a requirement)

Training and Time Commitment

  • Mandatory orientation session/interview, including mandatory training on COVID-19 safety protocols, before you can be scheduled to start volunteering. The mandatory orientation session/interview will be scheduled when your volunteer application is accepted for consideration
  • On-the-job training with a museum boutique staff member and/or a mentor volunteer
  • Ongoing briefings about new merchandise, merchandise specials, and changes in the museum boutique each time you come to volunteer
  • A commitment of 96 volunteer hours annually is required for at least one year, preferably two four-hour shifts each month
  • There are two museum boutique shifts every day the museum is open:
    • Thursdays, 12:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., when museum hours are 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Fridays through Mondays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • The museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays

What more should you know about volunteering in the boutique?

  • Museum boutique volunteers are scheduled by the volunteer programs team and report to the boutique staff
  • This is a great opportunity to learn about Asian art and culture and to meet new people
  • Boutique volunteers work alongside a variety of people, both staff and volunteer, from throughout the Bay Area
  • With the ebb and flow of visitors, there are quiet times during which you’ll be asked to help with restocking and tidying
  • The opportunity, if requested by staff, to learn the computerized cash register Please feel free to contact volunteer@asianart.org with any questions you may have prior to applying

 

APPLY NOW

Information Desk & Coat Check Volunteer

About Being an Information Desk & Coat Check Volunteer

Become an essential part of the museum’s frontline operations, extending a warm welcome to visitors when they arrive and wishing them well as they depart.

As an information desk and coat check volunteer, you are an integral part of the museum’s frontline operations, setting visitors’ expectations for their museum experience. You’ll provide information about what visitors can do in the museum while answering questions about the San Francisco area. You’ll hand out floor plans and check out mobile guides, assisted listening devices, wheelchairs, and strollers, and then sanitize these items when they’re returned.

Requirement

  • Some periods of standing are required as well as the ability to handle visitors’ backpacks and bags

Expectations

  • A desire to make each visitor’s Asian Art Museum experience memorable
  • An interest in and willingness to learn what you need to know to do your volunteer assignment
  • A willingness to cooperate with staff and other volunteers and to accept supervision and evaluation of your volunteer work
  • A warm, outgoing attitude with clear verbal communication skills
  • Dependability, reliability, and punctuality for volunteer assignments
  • Familiarity with and access to technology for correspondence and scheduling
  • Mandatory wearing of a face mask while volunteering if still mandated by San Francisco’s Department of Public Health
  • A neat appearance consistent with representing the museum to our visitors
  • Because we serve a diverse audience, we recruit individuals from all Bay Area communities to volunteer, including those with multilingual skills (a plus but not a requirement)

Training and Time Commitment

  • Mandatory orientation session/interview, including mandatory training on COVID-19 safety protocols, before you can be scheduled to start volunteering. The mandatory orientation session/interview will be scheduled when your volunteer application is accepted for consideration
  • On-the-job training with a mentor volunteer and/or guest experience staff
  • Ongoing briefings from guest experience staff about what’s happening each time you come to volunteer
  • A commitment of 96 volunteer hours annually is required for at least one year, preferably two four-hour shifts each month
  • There are two information desk and coat check shifts every day the museum is open:
    • Thursdays, 12:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., when museum hours are 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Fridays through Mondays, 9:45 a.m. to 1:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • The museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays

What more should you know about volunteering at the information desk and coat check?

  • The information desk and coat check are staffed exclusively by volunteers
  • Information desk and coat check volunteers are scheduled by the volunteer programs team and report to the guest experience staff
  • This is a great opportunity to learn about Asian art and culture and to meet new people
  • Information desk and coat check volunteers work alongside a variety of people, both staff and volunteer, from throughout the Bay Area Please feel free to contact volunteer@asianart.org with any questions you may have prior to applying

 

APPLY NOW