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Volunteering in Arts

'To be an artist is to believe in life’, said Henry Moor. Indeed, art, which comprises various branches of creative activities, is not just a way of self-expression or creating impressive and thought-provoking pieces.

Why you should choose volunteering in arts

Art education for children is proven to be important for cognitive development and critical thinking and is linked to academic achievement. Art projects help to develop important skills such as the ability to work in a team. Moreover, the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing" (Rand Corporation report, 2005).

In general, volunteering in any field is a great way to engage in activities that will contribute to sustainable development and, generally, make the world a better place. Volunteering in the arts field is an excellent way to share your skills with those who might benefit from them, to learn about the work of charities, museums, and nonprofits, get valuable experience, meet like-minded people from all over the world, and make your CV really stand out!

Volunteering in arts involves participating in art education projects and may require you to have some artistic skills and qualifications, prior experience of teaching art, or relevant education. However, there are many projects that do not require that, and it is always possible to choose the right one for you. Even if you do not have any artistic abilities, you can still volunteer in the arts field by working on the website, fundraising, or doing administrative tasks like advertising for the non-profit organization or assisting with office work.

Before applying to any volunteering in arts, it is important to figure out if the non-profit that you plan to volunteer at holds on to the same values as you. If you believe that singing may improve a young child's development, or that teaching crafts to stay-at-home mothers can help them generate jobs, you should look for a volunteer program that shares your views. Check whether the non-profit is trustworthy and ethical, and has a solid reputation. If you plan to volunteer abroad, find out would you need to pay a weekly or monthly charge to cover lodging and food.

Examples of volunteering projects:

Volunteering in a historical concert hall in Scotland

St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh, owned by The University of Edinburgh, contains one of the world’s most important collections of historic musical instruments, many of which remain playable in a concert setting. The museum searches for volunteers to interact with visitors, help to provide a welcoming atmosphere and assist the museum team.  

Volunteering at Cambodian art space for children 

CAHCC Happyland is a charity association that provides a safe and supportive environment where young people can play, learn, create and just be themselves. Located in Cambodia, the organization looks for volunteers to do the tasks such as teaching/assisting classes, organizing games/activities/workshops, engaging and supervising young people, community outreach, gardening, construction/carpentry, site maintenance/development, admin/IT, cooking and cleaning.

Volunteering at the Portland Art Museum

Internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions, Portland art Museum looks for volunteers that would provide customer service, assist with administrative tasks, provide event support, and more. Ongoing volunteer opportunities can be found on the website. 

Volunteering at the UK art therapy charity 

Teapot Trust is a UK charity providing an art therapy and creative interventions program for chronically ill children in hospitals and hospices nationwide. Volunteers are needed to go along to the Head Office in Musselburgh near Edinburgh and help out in an admin capacity. 

Volunteering at Creative Technology Volunteer Program in Spain 

The program searches for volunteers who would put their current web, design, photography, or videography talents to good use by assisting local NGOs in developing their online presence and boosting their charitable activities through the Creative Technology project. Volunteers get experience in their area while also giving knowledge that would otherwise be out of reach and costly for NGOs.

Volunteering in Brasil on various projects

A voluntary organization with 17 years of experience, Iko Poran offers a wide range of safe, affordable, and responsible volunteer programs in Rio de Janeiro. These include Teaching, Childcare, Child Development, Community Development, Environmental Protection, Sports Development, Arts & Design, and a special program preparing costumes for the big Carnival parade.  Programs with 4 weeks or more include a free 20-hour Portuguese course.