Fairbanks Arts Association has been providing the Alaskan Interior with quality arts programming since 1966 and we can’t do it without you!
Volunteering at the Fairbanks Arts Association is a great way to connect with the artistic community in the Interior and learn more about opportunities for artists and audiences in every discipline. Here are some of the many ways you can help:
In the BEAR GALLERY, a public place for the exhibition of fine art:
The Bear Gallery in the third floor of the Pioneer Park Centennial Center for the Arts features a new exhibition of original Alaskan art each month. Fairbanks Arts is able to maintain a free admission gallery because of the invaluable assistance of our volunteer docents. Docent responsibilities include making sales of gift shop and exhibit items, maintaining a tidy and respectful environment for the artwork and being a congenial presence in the Bear Gallery. Being a docent gives you a chance to become familiar with Alaskan artwork and artists, learn how an art gallery is run, and provides time to practice your own art, read, or study in a lovely atmosphere! Docents typically volunteer for one shift per week, although different arrangements can be made based on availability. Summer shifts (June, July, and August) are Noon-4 pm and 4-8 pm daily. Winter shifts are Noon-3 pm and 3-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday.
Art exhibits are open to the public from the First Friday of each month until the last Saturday. In just a few days, it takes many hours of preparation in order for one exhibit to transition seamlessly into the next and provide the public access to beautiful Alaskan contemporary art. Volunteers make this happen by assisting with taking down exhibits, hanging new shows, painting pedestals, cutting and hanging labels, and lighting the gallery.
First Friday Reception Help:
Since the 1960’s, it has been FAA’s tradition to celebrate new art exhibits in the Bear Gallery during a reception on the first Friday of every month. There are several tasks that must be done that day to make sure the exhibit is ready and the gallery is set up for the opening reception. Having consistent volunteers for this event ensures an enjoyable evening for all.
School Performance Ushers:
Each year the Fairbanks Arts & Cultural Education (FACE) Committee chooses a wide variety of performances to offer to the public school children to enhance their artistic education by exposing them to different forms of performing art. These performances take place at theaters and concert halls around town during the school day, usually from 10-11 am at Hering Auditorium. During the 20 minutes before the show, 1300 students and teachers need to find their seats in a prompt and orderly fashion. The team of kind and organized ushers help FAA staff handle the demands of getting the students into their correct seats and maintaining a safe environment for all who attend. Once everyone is seated, students and ushers alike get to enjoy a 50 minute performance by some of the most talented artists to visit our borough. School performance ushering is a great way to see some of the acts that come to town and help children learn how to be good audience members.
Very Special Arts Assistance:
Very Special Arts is an annual day set aside for special needs children in the schools to learn art in lessons tailored just for them. Usually the second Tuesday in April, Very Special Arts is a wonderful annual event to be a part of whether you’d like to help with transforming the Exhibit Hall to a kid safe art classroom, teaching art to special needs kids, or cleaning up after the event, every little bit helps to make the event wonderful and exciting for the students.
FAA holds many events from literary readings to artist lectures, the Fairbanks Film Festival, Mayor’s Awards for the Arts, fundraisers, and special performing arts events. Most of these are held in the evening somewhere in Pioneer Park and require transforming the gallery, the Blue Room, the Exhibit Hall, or the Theater into a place perfectly suited to the needs of the event. Every pair of hands can help make arts events comfortable and safe for the audience and the performers. Many times there are receptions with delicious hors d’oeuvres and live music!
FAA’s programs provide a unique opportunity to earn community service hours. Call our offices at (907)456-6485 ext. 222 and we will be happy to look at the current volunteer needs and utilize volunteers where we can.
Benefits of volunteering at FAA include boosting the volunteerism section of your resume, fulfilling community service hours, learning more about the goings on of the art community and much more. We happily write letters of reference for our volunteers.