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 cannot provide the excellent programs we do without you, our many highly-valued volunteers! And as a state-wide organization, we are looking for more volunteers statewide. 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
  • Helping with Museum Collections
  • Tours
  • Statewide Museum Chapters
  • docents
  • Adult Voices, Children’s Eyes Oral History Project Assistants

For more information, contact the Museum: 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.

Learning Safari


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.

Interns may gain professional experience in the following:

History/Museum & Archives:

History/Museum & Archives interns will do historical research for upcoming exhibits, assist staff in managing museum collections, archives, and library; collect oral histories; 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 Director of Education at educ...@blackiowa.org.

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

Joshua Terronez

Nathan Shephard

“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.

“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.

To apply for an internship or volunteer opportunity, fill out and return the Volunteer Application 2013 to the Director of Education at educ...@blackiowa.org.

Job Opportunities

Development Director
This job reports to the Executive Director. This position works closely with Museum staff to fund Museum activities. This position has overall fundraising responsibilities, which include but are not limited to grants, donations, fund-raising events, and memberships.
Fundraising (70%) Coordinating the application process for Museum grant proposals, including acting as lead grant writer, assisting staff members with proposals, and tracking proposal deadlines and reporting deadlines. Maintain and grow the Museum’s Annual Fund, including managing the annual appeal, developing specialized appeals, and creating appropriate recognition programs. Call on donors and donor prospects to increase gifts or make new gifts to the Museum, managing relationships with individuals, companies, and foundations as appropriate. Maintain and grow the Museum’s membership, including periodic review of benefits structure and member acquisition techniques. Act as lead for Museum fund-raising events, including sponsorship, event planning, marketing, ancillary incomes, and attendance. Plan all donor correspondence, including newsletters, updates, and brochures for various campaigns. Perform some marketing/public relations work for the Museum, including addressing community groups, coordinating donor events, as needed. Assist Executive Director with their fundraising efforts, including capital, planned giving/endowment, and event sponsorship. Create an annual development plan and continually assess its progress and success. Other duties as assigned.
Fundraising Administration (20%) Manage the Museum’s donor database, including tracking donations and addresses. Acknowledge all gifts in line with IRS and Museum policies.
Administrative (10%) Turn in staff reports and paperwork in a timely fashion. Attend staff meetings. Attend all major Museum events.
BA from accredited college in history, English, business, communications, or marketing Strong writing and speaking skills Strong attention to detail Ability to deal with diverse groups of people Ability to travel (must provide own car, mileage reimbursed at $.50) Good computer skills, particularly Microsoft Office Suite
Qualified applicants please send your cover letter, resume, and three professional references to
Michael Kates at Click here to view email address. Application deadline is January 3, 2014.