Become a volunteer at the American Swedish Institute!
Volunteering is a great way to connect with other volunteers, members, staff, and our visitors!
ASI offers semester and J-term internships. Current internship opportunities are posted on our Employment page.
For more information about internship opportunities please contact the Visitor and Volunteer Services Coordinator at 612-870-3344 or diannek@ASImn.org.
History of volunteering at ASI
The American Swedish Institute has relied on volunteers throughout its history to carry out its mission and serve the community. Over the years, volunteers have played a vital role in the shop and mansion by lending their time and talents at the reception desk, as guards and guides in the galleries, as café cashiers and bakers, and as shop clerks. The names of volunteer positions have changed, but the functions have remained relatively constant since the early days of the Institute. In earlier years, volunteer roles were separated into shop positions and mansion positions.
During the mid to late 1930s, a group of volunteers came together to form The Associates to coordinate the gift shop at ASI, which was located in the den of the Turnblad Mansion. The Associates held monthly meetings to report on shop business. During the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s, the shop was managed by a volunteer manager. In the late 1990s, the shop transitioned to its current management format, and volunteers continue to play a vital part in its success.
Throughout its history, ASI has relied on guards, guides, and reception desk volunteers. During the 1980s, John and Marge Pollack were in charge of coordinating volunteers for reception, guide, and guard positions. During this time, volunteer committees were formed, and a day leader would be in charge of all volunteers for a specific day of the week. An ad hoc committee met three or four times a year to discuss volunteers’ concerns, and to socialize. Over the years, as the Institute expanded its programming, volunteer opportunities increased, and more volunteers were brought into the ASI family.
In the early 2000s, a staff member began serving as a liaison to the volunteers, and through their efforts the volunteer program was greatly expanded. The process of becoming a volunteer has been streamlined into a simple application and interview process.
Benefits of volunteering at ASI
- Volunteers receive a 10% discount in the Museum Shop, and volunteers who work at least 40 hours in a calendar year receive a 20% discount.*
- Volunteers are automatic enrollment in a monthly volunteer-only raffle.
- Subscription to ASI's online newsletter Klipp!
- Volunteers are recognized at annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.
- Optional volunteer-only lectures and training sessions about ASI every other month.
- Volunteers enjoy the rewards of growth, learning, and satisfaction that come from contributing time and service to an organization.
- Free Parking!
* This discount does not include food items.
How to Become a Volunteer
For more information about volunteer opportunities please contact the Visitor and Volunteer Services Coordinator at 612-870-3344 or diannek@ASImn.org, or fill out the form on the side.