Friends of the Museum
Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park


The Friends of the Southwest Virginia Museum organization was founded in 2005 and established as a 501 C 3 non-profit in 2007.  The group is a membership organization that meets monthly to plan and promote activities to support the efforts of the museum.  The group has initiated or promoted a number of projects to include: 

  • Assisting to identify historical photos in the museum's collections.
  • Assisting with exhibits.
  • Hosting the annual music festival "Gathering in the Gap."
  • Assisting in setting up the museum's virtual exhibit room.
  • Providing needed equipment for the museum's programs.
  • Providing assistance to the museum by hosting various volunteer groups throughout the year.
  • Host a website for the museum and for the Gathering in the Gap Festival.


The mission of the Friends of the Southwest Virginia Museum is to act as a Citizens Support Organization (CSO) in assisting to identify and promote activities to conserve, enhance, and interpret the cultural and historic resources of the Southwest Virginia Museum.


The Southwest Virginia Museum is a member of the American
Association of Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Virginia Association of Museums.




Potential members may click here to view an online application (which may be printed) or CALL US AT 276-523-1322.  Written applications should be returned to the Friends of the Museum, either in person, or at the following address:

Friends of the Museum
P.O. Box 294
Big Stone Gap, VA  24219

Membership dues are $10.00 per person, per year.


All Friends members must complete a Virginia State Parks Volunteer Application.  The form will be provided to you at your first meeting.  As a Virginia State Park volunteer, you will receive incentives for your volunteer efforts at the Southwest Virginia Museum.