The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center is an event driven institution.  It takes approximately 6,000 volunteer hours to accomplish our annual goal of bringing programs to our community that diversify our cultural landscape.  Volunteers work individually or in groups, performing a variety of duties and are needed for weekday, evening and weekend events year round. Read on to learn more about our volunteer positions.


Volunteer Docents
Docents are invaluable to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. They play an important role in implementing the museum’s education mission by guiding groups of all ages on a variety of tours of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center exhibitions.  Training is provided. We are accepting docent applications now!

Electronic Guide Application


Volunteer Greeters
Greeters welcome visitors to the Heritage Center, introduce visitors to the contemporary art gallery as well as the historical exhibit Pride Overcomes Prejudice, and answer questions regarding the Jefferson School. Weekday and Saturday hours are available. The JSAAHC relies on its greeters to create a welcoming environment to all of its guests.

Event Volunteers
The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center enjoys a busy schedule of events: lectures, meetings, exhibit openings, cook-offs, and more. Volunteers are often needed at these events to ensure that they run smoothly. Event volunteers may find themselves collecting tickets, setting out hors d’oeuvres, opening bottles, or greeting visitors.

Making History
The Isabella Gibbon Local History Center facilitates the study of Jefferson School and local Charlottesville-Albemarle history.  Volunteers provide research assistance to patrons.  The Isabella Gibbons Local History Center is open 10-6 Tuesday-Friday and 10-3 on Saturday.

Getting the Word Out
Help us promote our events through social media, hanging posters and handing out leaflets. If you have a flare for design we could use your graphic skills as well.

Setting up and Breaking Down
The Heritage Center auditorium seats as few as 28 and as many as 300–setting up and breaking down for each event take about 2 hours.  We also need help installing and de-installing our temporary exhibitions.  Volunteers must be able to lift a minimum of 50lbs.

Keeping it Going
Our behind the scenes administrative departments such as exhibitions, public programs, advancement, information technology, trips and membership keep the Heritage Center running.  Volunteers in these areas are granted a behind-the-scenes look at how the Heritage Center develops and grows. Volunteer opportunities are available Tuesday-Friday 10-6pm, Saturday 10-3pm and as needed for special events.

While our volunteers are not compensated financially, the rewards they receive are culturally enriching:
~ The opportunity to meet with others who share your fascination with history and the arts
~ Invitation to Heritage Center member events
~ Exposure to world-renowned artists and scholars
~ Discounts on ticketed events, publications and trips

The Heritage Center is committed to creating an environment in which people of diverse backgrounds are welcome and valued.  It is the Center’s objective to recruit a team of volunteers that reflects the broad constituency we strive to serve.

If you are interested in joining our team as a volunteer:
Fill out an electronic volunteer form and submit it: Electronic Volunteer Application
For those interested in becoming a volunteer docent, please submit this form: Electronic Docent Application
Send questions regarding volunteering to or call us at (434)260-8720