If you've answered "yes" to any or all of the above, then your Museum needs YOU! As a wholly non-profit institution, the Art Museum cannot exist without volunteers. Museum volunteers greet visitors, assist with special events and KidsArt programs and serve as docents at the Museum. They work as many - or as few - hours per week or month as they choose.
‘Shy’ Volunteer Blossoms at the Art Museum
Ex-Ohioan Debbie Fry was somewhat dubious when she offered to help at the Museum a year ago.
“I’m a shy person, so it’s amazing that I’ve been able to volunteer,” she says. “But here we all share the same interests.”
That’s been particularly true when visitors came to see Apron Chronicles and A Survey of Gee’s Bend Quilts and, afterward, were anxious to share memories of their own mothers and grandmothers. “It’s been so rewarding and fun to hear the stories of the people who came to see the exhibits,” Fry adds.
That was particularly true when a visitor attending one of the Museum’s Stitching Stories Series events, held each Wednesday in conjunction with the Gee’s Bend exhibit, told her, “I hate to see these Wednesdays end.” Fry herself attended each of the Wednesday events and described them as “wonderful.”
A 15-year transplant from Pataskala, Ohio, with two sons and two grandchildren (and a third on the way), Fry discovered the Museum just over a year ago â€“ a resource she calls “a little treasure.” That experience was echoed by a visitor at a recent Sunday Funday event (August 15), who told Fry she was visiting the Museum for the first time after living in Myrtle Beach for 17 years.
“What took you so long?” Fry joked, adding that the woman enthusiastically told her she’d be back.
When asked why she volunteers at the Museum, Fry puts its staff members at the top of the list. “Pat and Casey, Lori, Arielle and Karen â€“ they’re very nice ladies, and so knowledgeable,” she says.
“I look forward to Fridays,” she said, her day to volunteer. “I’m fortunate that I have time and am able to volunteer â€“ it’s a blessing.” And, she added, “Everybody likes to be needed.”
It’s also nice to be able to see the exhibits and events that she might not otherwise have gotten around to seeing. Being there once â€“ or more â€“ a week, she says she feels “involved in the arts community.” She’s even considering signing up for a painting class, to renew an interest she hasn’t been active in for a while.
Her advice to potential volunteers is simple: “Don’t hesitate,” she says. “It will become one of the best days of your week. You won’t regret it.”
“I’m just glad I got off the couch and came in,” Debbie adds with a grin.