Volunteering at GRAM

Support a greater connection to art in our community by volunteering at GRAM. Whether you are a high school student or a senior, we’ll match you with an area that suits your interests.

Already a volunteer? Visit the Volunteer Portal

  A woman in a GRAM apron and wearing cat ears smiles while she hands out brochures

About Volunteering

Volunteer Update:
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Museum! GRAM is currently pausing applications for new volunteers as we review our program and plan for the future. We will resume applications for new volunteers in 2024 and plan to keep our website regularly updated with details. If interested in becoming a GRAM Docent, please email Kristen Hoeker, Director of Learning and Creativity, at khoeker@artmuseumgr.org for more information and how to apply. 

Benefits of Volunteering

To show appreciation for volunteer services, the Museum offers the following benefits:

  • A supportive environment where volunteers can perform and grow
  • Professional orientation, training, and continuing education
  • Parking below the building or parking passes for a neighboring lot during your shift
  • Use of the Member Lounge during office hours
  • A volunteer recognition program which rewards volunteers with free passes and membership at different service levels

For more information please call 616.831.1000 or email khoeker@artmuseumgr.org.

  GRAM Docent discussing artwork in the gallery with a group of museum guests on tour.

Ways to Volunteer

Select an option to learn more about each volunteer opportunity.

GRAM Docents

A GRAM Docent is a volunteer educator with a keen interest in art and learning. GRAM Docents support the community as well as the museum by providing experiences that enrich students’ academic studies and the museum experience for all guests. Docents have flexible schedules and give tours of various themes to all ages. Click Here to learn more about becoming a volunteer docent.

  • GRAM Docents are required to complete an 8‑month training program which provides the content and practical knowledge necessary to lead groups of all ages through GRAM’s galleries.
  • Docents continue to attend bi-weekly education sessions after training.
  • GRAM Docents lead a minimum of 11 tours per fiscal year (October through September), and dedicate 50 hours per fiscal year to GRAM’s Docent Program (which includes tours and education sessions).
  • The Docent Program is directed by the Group Experience Manager within the Learning and Creativity Department.
  • Docents get an insider’s look at GRAM’s collection and special exhibitions and a preview of upcoming exhibitions.
  • Docents get access to special guests and curators.

Special Events Volunteer

A Special Events volunteer greets and helps guests during special events at the museum such as exhibition openings, Gala, GRAM on the Green, ArtPrize, Project 1, Festival of the Arts, and other similar events. Special Events volunteers may be required to dress in attire suitable for the event (both indoors and outdoors). For example, a GRAM Gala volunteer is expected to dress more formally than the casual attire appropriate for GRAM on the Green events.

Possible duties include:

  • Greeting guests and groups
  • Coat & item check
  • Elevator operator
  • Wayfinding
  • Registration
  • Visitor counting
  • Exit attendant
  • Set-up and Tear-down
  • Other jobs as needed for event

Group Volunteering

There are many opportunities for corporate and school volunteer groups throughout the year. Contact khoeker@artmuseumgr.org for more information.

Learning & Creativity Program Volunteers

Learning + Creativity Program volunteers are friendly, outgoing, and enjoy working with children and families in art-making activities.

  • Help with gallery activities, such as Drop-In Studios, and other art-making workshops in the GRAM Studio.
  • Drop-in Studio shifts are typically on Saturdays from 11 am — 3 pm.
  • Assist with studio and related activities during special public events such as evening programs during the holidays, family events, and GRAM on the Green. Some of these shifts are outdoors.
  • Shifts for preparing studio project materials are available. These shifts are flexible, and hours may vary depending on needs.
  • There are also studio organization, inventory, and clean-up shifts.

More Ways to Volunteer

Sometimes we need help with one-time events or special projects that don’t fit neatly into any of the categories above. Feel free to let us know what type of activities are a good fit for you at khoeker@artmuseumgr.org and we’ll reach out when something comes up.

Other volunteer activities might include:

  • Delivering promotional materials for GRAM events and exhibitions around Grand Rapids.
  • Stuffing envelopes or prepping materials for new programs or events.
  • Administrative tasks for departments that need help.