984 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL | (773) 384-3352 | Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, & Sundays, 11AM-4PM

Volunteer Opportunities

Work with PMA curators and educators and gain experience in the museum field. Donate your time and talent to the Polish Museum of America and discover opportunities you never imagined. Museum volunteers have a wide range of opportunities and options including:

  • Learn about our mission, collections, and organizational systems
  • Gain practical and theoretical training in museum work
  • Contemplate the role of museums in contemporary society
  • Work closely with a members of the PMA staff
  • Help organize, catalogue and archive the Museum collection
  • Assist with clerical responsibilities
  • Help set up exhibits and special events
  • Provide technical expertise and support
  • Connect with the Museum to design a volunteer experience that best meets your needs


Message from PMA Director

Each year the PMA offers more than 20 individuals of varied background and ages the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the work of the museum through its volunteer program.

Learn More

Art Collections

Initially, the Museum of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America was focused chiefly on the gathering of historical materials, but changed its profile in…

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Employment Opportunity


Hours: Part-time 10-20 hours per week
Flexible schedule, includes weekday, weekend and evening hours, as needed
(Museum is open for tours Friday through Tuesday, 11 am-4 pm, Wednesday, 11 am-7 pm, and closed on Thursday. Event hours may vary.)


Tour Guide

Reports to: Managing Director and President
Objective: To advance the educational goals of the PMA by conducting tours for the general public (children, adults, families) and specific groups (students, seniors, special interest).

  • Through formal and informal guided tours of the Museum, tour guides utilize techniques of dialogue, inquiry, and storytelling, to engage with visitors and to encourage exploration of the exhibits. Topics may focus on history of the PMA, Polish American immigration, military activities of Poles and Polonia, Polish art movements, the Polish Pavilion of 1939, and more.
  • Following introductory training with senior staff and reviewing PMA published guides, tour guides should continue to familiarize themselves with all permanent exhibitions and well as temporary displays on a regular basis.

General Maintenance duties:

  • Tour guides are responsible for opening and closing operations of the Museum (turning on/off lights, alarms; locking/unlocking exhibit rooms, etc.).
  • Tour guides should review exhibits, displays, and public spaces regularly for any safety concerns as well as cleanliness.

Admission/Gift shop duties:

  • Tour guides must be trained in register procedures of the Gift shop in order to receive payments for guest admission.
  • Tour guides should also be familiar with inventory and assist with regular visitor sales.

Event and Programming Support

Reports to: Managing Director and/or Event Coordinator
Objective: To provide staff support during events held at the PMA, ensuring operations run smoothly and without incident, thereby maintaining a positive public perception of the PMA.

  • Needed support of events and programming may vary, depending on the event. Support staff should be flexible as unexpected demands may arise.
  • Typical responsibilities may include: logistical set-up/break-down of event space, including arranging chairs, tables; preparations/clean-up of food and bar service stations; admissions/coat-check services; etc.
  • Support staff will also provide assistance as directed by the Managing Director, Event Coordinator, and/or senior staff; and cooperate with other support staff, interns, and volunteers.

Additional tasks, duties, and responsibilities may be assigned by the Managing Director and the President.


  • Full to Native proficiency in both English and Polish REQUIRED -- language skills will be tested
  • College or university course work, on-track for diploma preferred, fields of Polish Studies, History, Polish Language, Art, or Political Science helpful
  • Good public speaking skills, enthusiastic attitude, interested in working with the bilingual public of all ages, willingness to be involved in PMA programming


  • $13.00 per hour
  • Free admission to the PMA for family and friends
  • 10% discount at the PMA Gift Shop


Submit cover letter and resume with 2-3 professional or academic references via email to: PMA@PolishMuseumOfAmerica.org, subject line: Tour Guide application – [applicant surname], or mail to: PMA Tour Guide Application, 984 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60642-4101

Additional questions can be sent to PMA@PolishMuseumOfAmerica.org.

No phone inquiries.

One of the oldest and largest ethnic museums in the United States, The Polish Museum of America, a 501(c)(3), is dedicated to preserving the Polish American past for future generations. The Museum showcases a unique permanent collection as well as temporary exhibits, and hosts workshops, programs, and films to preserve Polish folk arts, customs, and traditions. Its Archives preserves historic materials, documents, maps, and photographs from Polish and Polish American individuals and organizations. Its Library holds over 100,000 books for research and lending, and collections of Polonica, rare prints, and periodicals. Founded in 1935, the Museum celebrates over 80 years of service to the community. The Mission of the PMA, as an integral part of the dynamic mosaic of Polish and Polish American life in Chicago, is to promulgate the rich cultural history of the Polish people by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and displaying materials related to this heritage; and to integrate these resources into appropriate programs, activities, and exhibitions that enrich the intellectual and artistic lives of all members of society.


  1. Reply
    Rick Burdorf says:

    I was told that you are offering free classes in Polish. I have been taking Polish classes through Triton College. Unfortunately the class meets only once a week and only 7 classes in a session. Would love another source for learning.

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