Welcome to the wonderful world of museum volunteers! Shawnee Town is looking for qualified volunteers who can share their knowledge and passion for history with visitors of all ages. Volunteers are needed for living history programs, school programs, and general guided tours. Our volunteers are the key points of contact with museum visitors, and are responsible for educating our general public on what life was like in the 1920’s. This position is responsible for telling the story of the people who lived and worked in 1920s Shawnee, a small rural community in Kansas, and it’s connection to the Midwest farm economy, and its relationship to Kansas City. The reconstructed town and farm at Shawnee Town 1929 are currently being developed, and interpretive programs are being built which will bring these places to life. The program will be constantly growing and changing over the next 5 - 10 years.
The Interpreter reports directly to the Curator of Education. Responsibilities include:
- Mastering the information and skills necessary to teach specific aspects of Shawnee’s history through a training program, readings and an interpretive manual.
- Attending mandatory training on interpretive techniques, program content, and working with visitors—all provided by museum staff.
- Wearing period appropriate clothing provided by the Museum.
- Orienting visitors and preparing them for their experience.
- Engaging visitors in hands-on activities appropriate for the time period.
- Working with a wide variety of audiences including school groups, adults, families, and life-long learners.
- Understanding, identifying, and appropriately responding to the multiple learning styles of visitors.
- Using proper care of Shawnee Town’s artifacts, reproductions and buildings.
- Ensuring the safety, security, and cleanliness of the work area.
- Setting up and taking down the assigned work area for each program prior to and after use.
- Communicating any concerns to museum staff.
- Working in sometimes inclement situations - ie., hot and humid, cold and damp. Most programs happen between March 1-October 31. Training happens intermittently during the year, with annual “Living History Boot Camp” in April.
- Having lots of fun and making life-long friends who share the same passion in history!
- Ability to work outdoors in heat or cold for up to 5 hours.
- Ability to engage in limited manual labor - lifting materials up to 20 lbs.
- Enthusiasm for engaging people of all ages in the story that is uniquely Shawnee’s, uniquely Kansas City, and uniquely Midwestern!
- Great communication skills.
- Flexibility and ability to adapt to changes.
- Passion for learning and a desire to continue through process as new information becomes available.