Top Menu

Teen Ambassadors Program

A youth program for students in grades 10 – 12

The Arts Can Take You Places!

Teen Ambassadors Program

Teen Ambassadors Program

The Teen Ambassadors Program at the National Museum of African Art is a youth development opportunity for teens in the D.C. metro area with an interest in the arts, culture and history of Africa. This program is an opportunity for young people to become involved in the nonprofit world and learn techniques for looking at and talking about art. In addition, teens will gain valuable experience serving as front-line representatives of a national Institution. They will develop communication skills that can be applied to any future career. Most importantly, the program will inform and reframe students’ attitudes and knowledge about the arts, history and culture of Africa.

Youth in this program participate in trainings on the arts of Africa and the principles of museum education. At the end of the training period, Teen Ambassadors will be ready to serve as gallery guides and deliver “Teen Tours” and engage visitors with hands-on materials through the Museum’s Art Cart program.

Feedback from Current Participants

Here are some thoughts from the Inaugural Spring 2015 Class of Teen Ambassadors:

  • “Art has spoken to me so loudly my entire life, but before I did this program I wasn’t really listening”-Kai, 16
  • “I’m getting ready to go to college, and volunteering here at the Smithsonian feels like my first step into the real world”- Amyra, 17
  • “As a parent, to bear witness to your child experiencing such a positive and transformative moment is priceless and is something my husband and I will both cherish. We both look forward to hearing more stories from our daughter about her impressive and amazing experiences at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art”- Lisa, parent

The Teen Ambassadors Program has Fall, Spring and Summer sessions. Each training period consists of several hours working with museum educators, curators, docents and other professionals. Once students finish a training period along with a qualifying tour, Ambassadors sign up for weekend or weekday tour volunteer shifts. Requirements include:

  • Participation in all training sessions (for a total of 24 hours for the summer session)
  • Service of 4 hours/month after completion of training for at least 3 months

The program may be used to qualify for community service hours, if required by your high school for graduation. Active Teen Ambassadors who have met all the guidelines may also have the opportunity to take part in:

  • Museum activities such as exhibit openings, press previews, and other public programs
  • Field trips and opportunities to meet teens at other Smithsonian museums
  • Additional project opportunities and collaborations with outside organizations
  • Art-making workshops with staff, volunteers and visiting artists


  • Week One: July 7-10, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Week Two: July 14-17, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
There will be a required parents meeting on Monday, July 6 from 6:00-7:00.

To apply to be a member of the Summer 2015 Teen Ambassadors Class, please send completed applications to Alli Hartley by May 25, 2015. Applicants will be notified by June 15, 2015.
Address for applications:
Alli Hartley
National Museum of African Art
Smithsonian Institution
950 Independence Ave., S.W.
MRC 708 PO Box 37012
Washington D.C. 20013

Teen Ambassadors Application

To download, please use the “Download” button at the bottom of the application and follow the links from there. You can also share it across social media or embed the document into your own page in order to make it more accessible.

Alternatively, you may download the pdf directly.
Download directly