Employment / Intern / Volunteer

Guided Tour Classroom


“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

We couldn’t provide the excellent programs we do without our volunteers! We always have opportunities for new volunteers and will work with your interests and skills to find the best fit. These are just some of the areas in which you can help:

  • Gift Shop
  • Fundraising
  • Clerical Assistance
  • Historical Research
  • Educational Programs
  • Special Events
  • Publicity/ Marketing
  • Museum Collections
  • Tours

For more information, contact the Museum at 319-862-2101 or download the  Volunteer Application 2013 and  return it to the African American Museum at 55 12th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.


Part of our collaboration with local educational institutions is through resume-building internships and short-term projects. We have worked with students from dozens of colleges across the state of Iowa to give them a feel for what museum work is like.

Established in 1994, the African American Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa is a dynamic, cutting-edge non-profit institution whose mission is to seek out and preserve the rich African American heritage of Iowa.

Because the Museum has a small staff and is growing rapidly, interns have the opportunity for invaluable hands-on professional experience tailored to fit their individual talents and interests. Internships are offered year-round. While internships are unpaid, they offer invaluable professional experience.

Majors/Minors who might be interested:

History, American History, Museum/Archival Studies, Education, Marketing/Tourism, Journalism, Non-Profit Management, African American Studies, Women’s Studies, Graphic Design, Communications.

Interns may gain professional experience in the following:

Curatorial & Collections:

Interns in the Curatorial Department will have the opportunity to conduct historical research for upcoming exhibits; assist the Curator in managing the museum’s collection, archives, and library; and assist in the design, fabrication, and installation of temporary exhibits.

Marketing/Public Relations:

Marketing/Public Relations interns will write articles for the Museum’s quarterly newsletter, The Iowa Griot. They will assist the staff in all aspects of marketing and promotion for Museum special events, fund-raisers and educational programs. There will also be opportunities for interns to meet and network with local marketing/tourism groups such as the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance.


Education interns will have an opportunity to help plan annual events such as the Martin Luther King Day Service Project, Black History Month programs, Juneteenth and Kwanzaa. Interns in the education department will also be required to attend docent training and give at least one tour during their internship.


Fundraising interns will assist staff in planning fundraising events such as the Annual Celebration of Education and Achievement. Interns in this department will also write grants and identify funding sources.

Non-Profit Management:

Management interns will gain some experience in all of the categories listed above as well as handling personnel; working with boards and committees; facility design and management; legal aspects and other unique aspects of running a non-profit organization.

To apply for an internship, fill out and return the Volunteer Application 2013 to the Museum Educator at kgladden@blackiowa.org.

Here’s what our past interns have said about their experience:

Joshua Terronez

Nathan Shephard

“Interning at the African American Museum of Iowa provided me with first hand experience in the field of museum curating by putting together an exhibit. I worked as part of a team of equals with other interns and the museum staff. Not only did I gain valuable experience in the field but I was able to research some interesting and unique historical perspectives that were outside of my usual coursework.” – Nathan Shepard, Intern 2008.

“A great opportunity to work with a wonderful and knowledgeable staff. I really enjoyed working directly with the curator Susan and members of the Cedar Rapids community. The experience was certainly a testament to the value of field study.” – Joshua Terronez, Intern 2008.

“Working here for the past 5 months provided me with numerous valuable skills and a wide range of knowledge, as well as great friendships and many laughs, which I look forward to using in my future career.” – Nick Ellsworth, Intern 2013-2014

To apply for an internship or volunteer opportunity, fill out and return the Volunteer Application 2013 to the Museum Educator at kgladden@blackiowa.org.

Job Opportunities

There are no positions currently available. Please check back later for new opportunities.