Learn, share, contribute, make a difference!
Make a difference to your community, to the arts, and to yourself. Get involved in the ongoing excitement and growth of the MFA.
Volunteers perform a broad range of functions in a variety of departments across the Museum. From greeting and assisting visitors at public programs and events to database maintenance and assistance in clerical or administrative work, volunteers work alongside and in support of staff to further the mission of offering art to everyone.
Each volunteer opportunity is different—with its own unique set of responsibilities and therefore requiring its own unique mix of relevant skills and experience. Many volunteer opportunities do not require an art background, and each department will provide job-specific training to the selected volunteer. Prospective volunteers should be enthusiastic, flexible, and willing to learn new things.
Please read each description carefully before applying for those opportunities which call for the combination of skills, experience, and interest that most closely matches your own.
Volunteer opportunities are posted only as departments determine they have need of volunteer help. Therefore, you are encouraged to visit this page often since it can be updated without notice.
Exciting internship opportunities at the Museum are available seasonally in the fall, spring, and summer in a broad range of disciplines.
MFA Gallery Instructors
MFA Gallery Instructors provide guided learning experiences through art from across cultures and time periods for K–12 students from greater Boston and beyond. Gallery Instructors facilitate discovery, new ways of looking, and critical thinking by conducting interactive Museum tours relevant to our visiting students. Gallery Instructors delight and engage all students by communicating the joy of learning through art, building confidence in expressive abilities, providing new tools to enhance museum experiences, and demonstrating connections between art and life.
MFA Associates and Senior Associates
The MFA Associates (MFAA) and Senior Associates (SA) are the largest volunteer organization at the MFA. The organization, created in 1956, supports the goals of the Museum by promoting and maintaining membership and enhancing the visitor experience. MFAA and SA Members serve as either guides or floral designers. Floral designers enhance the visitor experience by creating weekly, holiday and special event flower arrangements throughout the Museum. Guides engage in the galleries leading free daily tours, as well as ESOL, Outdoor, Foreign Language, Member, and Special Exhibition tours. Guides and floral designers combine to create the annual signature event, Art in Bloom. For those interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity, information and program application will be available summer 2019.
Teen Volunteer Opportunities
Unfortunately, we do not offer any teen-specific volunteer opportunities. Teens aged 15–18 are welcome to apply for posted volunteer opportunities for which they have the required experience, skills and time/schedule availability. Be sure to review the descriptions carefully for the posted schedule, mindful that most volunteer opportunities require availability within normal business hours (i.e. Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm) although a few require evening and/or weekend commitments.
Also, volunteer opportunities at the Museum of Fine Arts are designed to provide long-term, ongoing support to the operations of the Museum. Therefore, we do not offer short-term volunteer opportunities which accommodate or satisfy the variety of volunteer/intern/service learning/job-shadow/community service requirements of many high schools.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a volunteer at the MFA?
Begin by reviewing the descriptions listed in Open Volunteer Positions. Next complete and submit the online volunteer application. (To submit a resume, attach it as a Word document to an email sent to: email@example.com.) You will receive acknowledgement of receipt of your application within four business days. Please note: due to the volume of applications received, only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. Note: volunteer opportunities at the MFA become available based on departments’ needs, and therefore are published as opportunities arise. Please visit this page often to learn of changes in need for volunteers.
How much time is required of volunteers?
While each volunteer opportunity is unique in its work and time requirement, most require a minimum of 3–5 hours per week on a consistent basis for at least nine to twelve months.
Are volunteer required to attend an orientation?
Museum policy requires that all new volunteers attend an orientation before beginning their work-specific training and before receiving their ID/security badge. This orientation introduces the volunteer to museum-wide policies and procedures related to volunteering at the MFA. Orientation sessions are held on the first Wednesday of each month; volunteers should plan to attend either a 10 am or 6 pm session on the first Wednesday of the month. Each session usually lasts just under two hours. Confirmation and directions for arrival at the orientation are e-mailed approximately one week in advance.
What are the benefits of volunteering at the MFA?
- Participation in an exciting and dynamic atmosphere
- Discounts related to various dining, retail, and Museum programs at the MFA
- Admission to select greater Boston cultural institutions
How do I become a docent (tour guide)?
The MFA has several opportunities for leading guided tours, including: MFA Associates; Gallery Instructors; Weekend Guides; and Access Guides. Each group recruits new members as needed every two years by posting descriptions in Open Volunteer Positions. (Note: applications are accepted only when descriptions are posted.) All groups are trained by professional museum educators and have very intensive training schedules which require 7–15 hours per week for 3–4 months. Additionally, the MFA Associates and Gallery Instructors each require additional time commitments for ongoing enrichment and/or ambassador-type work once the training period ends.
Expected recruiting schedules for each group are as follows:
- MFA Associates: daily public tours plus fundraising and ambassador events (Next recruitment: late 2019)
- Gallery Instructors: daily school group tours (Next recruitment: early 2019)
- Weekend Guides: public tours on weekend days (Next recruitment: early 2022)
- Access Guides: tours for visitors with various disabilities (e.g. blind, deaf, Autism, etc) (Next recruitment: as necessary based on program volume/needs.)
Anyone interested in becoming a guide should also complete and submit the online volunteer application at the appropriate time.