The museum relies on volunteers to a great extent to maintain and expand the organization and deliver programs, which have firmly established it as a unique cultural resource. Opportunities to join the museum as a volunteer exist in a number of areas. If you enjoy promoting the history and heritage of aviation, either by developing and maintaining exhibits, restoring iconic aircraft, delivering education programs, managing a great library collection, helping with marketing and organizing museum events, or if you just like planes and hanging out with folks with a similar interest, ESAM is the place for you!
Volunteers are specifically needed for the following areas:
Education and outreach – a major focus of the museum is the delivery of quality education programs, both at the museum, as well as at area schools and community organizations. Activities range from serving as a docent, to explain exhibits and answer visitor’s questions, conducting group tours and classes, and making presentations to community organizations. We are always looking to enhance existing programs and developing new ideas and topics for classes. Skills needed include the ability to work with all age groups, experience in teaching or education, and a basic knowledge of aviation.
Interior exhibits – the museum’s tremendous collection of exhibits, housed in two galleries, is truly unique, and maintaining and enhancing these resources is an on-going effort. If you have skills related to carpentry, electrical work, or crafting, this is a really satisfying area for you.
Aircraft restoration – the museum features a fleet of nearly thirty historic aircraft, most of which are military planes located in the outdoor airpark. As you can imagine, maintaining these legendary fighters and other planes in display condition is certainly challenging, as well as very gratifying. Our restoration work group undertakes a variety of activities, such as re-painting and repair of the aircraft. Ideal skills include sheet metal fabrication, mechanical engineering, and painting, to name a few!
Information technology – the museum is also in need of volunteers related to information technology, such as computer skills to support presentations and classes, the management of museum collections, and the development of outreach materials.
Research center/library – the museum’s research center and library contains a huge collection of aviation-related books, photographs, and flight logs. The Library/Research Center is looking for new volunteers and leadership. Library volunteers support ESAM’s Restoration, Exhibits and Education teams; respond to research inquiries; maintain and manage ESAM’s archival and library collections; utilize ESAM’s Past Perfect software to document the archival and library collections; help maintain the physical condition of the Research Center; and when possible attend museum-related training opportunities. The ESAM Library/Research Center is normally open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 9 am and noon.
In addition to the areas described above, help is also needed in a variety of other topics, such as grant writing, curator duties, preparing marketing material, organizing fund-raising and special events, building maintenance, and undertaking traditional office functions.
Serving as a volunteer at ESAM is truly rewarding – you can help to promote the history and heritage of aviation, educate the public, and otherwise interact with folks with a similar interest. AND, it’s fun – you can work on everything from a 1910 Curtiss Pusher, to an inter-active lunar exhibit, to a supersonic F-14 Tomcat! So if you’re interested in being a volunteer, call us at 518-377-2191.