Become a Guardian of the West
The great stories of the American West exist because of teachers, scholars, elders, and storytellers. Since opening in 1965, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum embraced this story telling tradition. It continues today through the strength and passion of volunteers. Volunteers interpret the evolving history and culture of the West. The Museum’s success and guest experience depend upon their generous time, effort, energy, and expertise
Adult Annual Volunteers make a regular commitment to Museum and serve a minimum of two shifts per month in their designated role(s). They may also serve in seasonal opportunities and have those hours count towards the recognition they receive. Adult Annual roles typically include one of the following opportunities:
Museum Docents are both teachers and learners. Docents create the social and educational environment in which Museum teaching and learning take place. Docents serve in the galleries conducting museum-based lessons and integrating tour themes with exhibition content, and some choose to work with all ages, while others prefer working with just adults or with students.
Docent orientation is Thursday, August 11 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Training will take place on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on the following weekdays: August 16, 18, 23, 25, 30 and September 1, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22.
Welcome Hosts greet, distribute general information, orient and educate guests about Museum exhibitions, galleries, and programs, answers general questions about the area. As public relations ambassadors for the Museum, they are among the first to be encountered and they help set a positive tone for guest experiences. (Note – the next Welcome Host recruitment and training will occur in February 2023.)
Seasonal Volunteers serve in roles that vary month to month and are not regularly scheduled. This status requires only 1 shift per year the designated role(s) and typically includes the following:
Art sellers participate in the Prix de West, Traditional Cowboy Artist Sale & Exhibition and Small Works, Great Wonders. including answering questions about specific artists and their works, the process for purchasing individual pieces by drop-bid, drawing names of potential buyers, and verifying and posting buyers names. A benefit of this role it that art sellers have the opportunity to network with renowned Western artists and other art enthusiasts from across the country.
Education Assistants help with programming for students, children, and families, in the Museum galleries, classroom, or meeting spaces to enhance the quality of the visitor experience and help learners connect with collections and exhibitions. Activities may range from gathering teaching materials, demonstrating crafts, or leading parts of a museum-based lesson plan.
Event Assistants help with large format education programs and include facilitating activities and/or crafts stations. The main events led by the Education Department are Chuck Wagon Festival, National Day of the Cowboy, Steampunk Fall Celebration and Holidays at the Museum.
Program Assistants conduct public programs in the galleries, classroom, or meeting spaces to enhance the quality of the visitor experience and help visitors interpret collections and exhibitions. Activities may range from introducing speakers to leading book club discussions, with a general focus on adult learners. This is a good opportunity if you enjoy working with people, are friendly, enjoy meeting new people, and being an ambassador for arts and culture, the Museum, and the community.
If you have questions, contact:
Manager of Volunteer Engagement