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The volunteer program at the Portland Art Museum is currently on hold. As we begin to return to pre-pandemic operations we will continue to reassess. Please check back for updates.

Are you someone who is passionate about art? Do you want to share this passion with others? PAM’s volunteers do just that: whether serving in coat check, in the galleries, or behind the scenes, our volunteers help our visitors engage with the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. Volunteers also provide essential support to our events and community programming.

Volunteer working the coat check.

Becoming a Volunteer

Volunteers with the Portland Art Museum must be at least 18 years of age and should be able to make a six-month commitment to the program. Weekly shifts for most roles are available.

Our volunteer onboarding process consists of four steps:

  1. Apply – Prospective volunteers are asked to complete an online application.
  2. Meet with Us – After the application has been reviewed, applicants will be invited to meet with PAM’s Volunteer Services Department for an in-person interview. This 45-minute meeting gives us a chance to get to know your skills and interests a little better so that we can match you up to a meaningful volunteer role.
  3. Complete a Background Check – All volunteers with the Portland Art Museum and the Northwest Film Center are required to pass a criminal background check.
  4. Attend a Volunteer Orientation – This 90-minute session provides volunteers with some history of the Museum, information about our collections and programs, and a review of our volunteer policies and procedures. After a volunteer completes this step, Volunteer Services will reach out to confirm a role and schedule the first shift.

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

PAM’s energetic and generous volunteers are an essential part of fulfilling our mission. Our volunteers provide exceptional customer service, assist with administrative tasks, provide event support, and more. Below are brief descriptions of the ongoing volunteer opportunities that we typically have available. Please note that not all positions listed are available at all times.

Visitor Services
The Visitor Services Department is an excellent place to volunteer for those who enjoy interacting with the public. Visitor Services Volunteers greet guests, provide directional assistance, and check coats, bags, and umbrellas. Volunteers in this role should have a welcoming and professional presence as well as strong customer service skills. This area may require standing for 3-hour periods and lifting up to 10 pounds repeatedly, but accommodations can be made. More than half of our volunteers serve in this area and it is where we have the greatest need for volunteer support.

Rental Sales Gallery
The Rental Sales Gallery (RSG) is a nonprofit gallery to help promote public awareness of regional artists, making art accessible to everyone through the sale and rental of works of art. Rental Sales Gallery Volunteers assist the RSG staff at the front desk by greeting visitors, helping clients locate artwork and answering their questions, data input, and fielding incoming calls. This position requires a kind, professional public presence and customer service skills; ability to communicate effectively with staff, volunteers, and visitors; and comfort with computer technology. Training is provided.

Event Support
Be the host with the most at museum special events, family programs, members’ previews, and after-hours programs. Event Support Volunteers greet and guide our guests, check coats and parcels, and assist with art making activities. Requires a kind, professional public presence and customer service skills; ability to communicate effectively with staff, volunteers, and visitors.  Physical requirements may include standing for extended periods and lifting up to ten pounds. Projects typically occur on evenings and weekends.

Northwest Film Center
The Northwest Film Center screens over 500 films each year, most of these as part of our regular, year-round programming at the Whitsell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum. NWFC’s dedicated Theater Volunteers are integral to bringing these films to the Portland viewing community. For more information about volunteering at NWFC and to apply, visit their site.

Current Volunteers

If you are an active volunteer with the Portland Art Museum and would like to view your upcoming schedule, you can access your account here.

Contact Volunteer Services

If you have any questions about volunteering at the Portland Art Museum, please contact the Volunteer Services Department by emailing or by calling 503-276-4288.