Japanese American National Museum

100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, Ca 90012
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Our missionThe mission of the Japanese American National Museum is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.

Japanese American National Museum

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Ways to help

Group Tour Facilitators

Our weekday group tour facilitators share the Japanese American story with our diverse audience of students in grades 1-12. They facilitate interactive school group experiences of our core exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community and, alongside our Origami Docents, craft with students one of the Museum’s four designated origami pieces.Prior experience is not needed. You will receive knowledge in classroom settings and through active learning. Familiarity with Japanese American history is a plus but not required. On-going learning opportunities are available through volunteer and staff led sessions, JANM public programs, and online resources.Facilitators are needed for morning hour shifts of 4 hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. An annual average of eight volunteer hours per month (96 hours per calendar year) is requested.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays

Origami Docents

Origami Docents are needed to assist in hands-on activities with school groups (elementary through high school). Training will be provided in a classroom setting for Museum orientation and Japanese American History. Hands-on training in the four official Museum origami pieces is provided along with a brief history of origami in America and how it relates to the JANM’s mission.Origami Docents are needed on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday mornings (9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.), with particular need on Fridays. Weekly (preferred) or twice per month.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays

Writing, Editing & Translating

JANM’s Discover Nikkei project is a community-based web project that shares the stories and perspectives of Nikkei around the world in four languages—English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese. Volunteers write about JANM exhibitions and upcoming programs; interview authors, artists, filmmakers, and others; review books and films; and more.Other volunteer opportunities include translations, transcribing oral history interviews, video editing, guest hosting Nima Voices episodes, assisting with multilingual social media posts and responding to inquiries, and programming (must be proficient in Python/Django).Most Discover Nikkei volunteers work remotely and communication and coordination is primarily done through e-mail or through Slack. All volunteers must be able to communicate in writing and verbally in English or Japanese. Writers/editors/translators must submit samples that demonstrate fluency and skill in the language they will be writing/translating into.
  • Occasional, Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Virtual, Indoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekdays, Evenings, Weekends
How you helpJANM’s allure rests not only in its award-winning design and exciting exhibitions, but in the warmth and beauty of its heart. The heart of the Museum is found in our volunteers. Here you will find a welcoming community of men and women of diverse ages and backgrounds who uniformly share a commitment to JANM and its mission.
About usAs the national repository of Japanese American history, JANM creates groundbreaking historical and arts exhibitions, educational public programs, award-winning documentaries, and innovative curriculum that illuminate the stories and the rich cultural heritage of people of Japanese ancestry in the United States. JANM also speaks out when diversity, individual dignity and social justice are undermined, vigilantly sharing the hard-fought lessons accrued from this history. Its underlying purpose is to transform lives, create a more just America and, ultimately, a better world.
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