Join Friends of Art, the volunteer organization of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Comprising more than 400 members, Friends of Art supports the Arts Center through thousands of hours of volunteer service each year and fundraising for education program scholarships.
If you would like to learn more about volunteering, please complete this brief interest form.
Current Volunteers, please log in to the Volunteer Information Center (Volgistics) to update your contact information, check your schedule, and sign up for shifts. For further instructions on how to use this online system, please watch this tutorial. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 920-458-6144 if you need any assistance.
The ARTery, located at the front of the Arts Center, is the interactive learning gallery for all ages. Volunteers familiarize visitors with ongoing collaborative projects, assist them as they proceed in their projects, and help maintain orderliness in the space. In addition, volunteers provide a welcoming presence for visitors and answer general questions about the Arts Center.
The term “docent” is derived from the Latin verb docere, “to teach.” Volunteer docents are dedicated to learning and teaching. They help visitors of all ages to see, understand, and respond to works of art exhibited at the Arts Center in meaningful ways. Depending on your interests, there are two ways in which you can serve as a docent: you can tour visitors through the exhibitions, or you can lead art-making workshops. In either case, the staff will provide you with the information and tools you need to do your part. Docents touch the lives of over 10,000 visitors each year.
Volunteers interested in studio music production are considered for this position. Volunteers will be trained to use the Mac-based audio processing software suite Pro Tools and to operate M.I.K.E., the Arts Center’s outdoor public sculpture that also functions as a digital recording studio and a transformable performance stage. In exchange for the free training, volunteers commit to volunteering in M.I.K.E. for a minimum of twenty hours during the summer.
Volunteer ushers provide customer service to patrons attending events at the Arts Center. This includes taking tickets, assisting patrons to their seats, distributing event programs, and answering general questions. Volunteer ushers receive free admission to the performance but are not guaranteed a seat. In most cases, volunteers arrive 45 minutes prior to the performance for a pre-event meeting and may also assist with concessions during intermission.
Theatre production volunteers work directly with the Arts Center’s technical coordinator and technical assistant. Positions include light-board operator, sound-board operator, costume prep, and prop work. Other duties may include setting up risers and chairs for performances, laying dance floor, or assisting backstage. Some experience necessary. Volunteers will be interviewed for available positions.
Administrative volunteers help with general clerical tasks such as data entry, filing, and sorting.Volunteers may also assist with processing mailings by folding letters, stuffing envelopes, and sorting for distribution. Administrative volunteers are needed on a sporadic basis and are contacted as needed.
Hospitality volunteers may prepare food, serve food, bartend, and greet or host. They work together with other volunteers to support events such as Family Festivals, Festive Fridays, seasonal exhibition celebrations, a wide variety of receptions, and special events. Bartending volunteers must be age 21 or over.
Do you have a skill or special interest that is not listed here? Please contact the Arts Center to discuss the possibility of combining your personal interests with the needs of our programs.
MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS—The Arts Center Midsummer Festival of the Arts is held annually the third weekend in July. Over 130 artists from across the nation sell their wares at this juried art show. The Festival is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to serve in a wide range of areas including food and beverage service, providing breaks for artists (booth sitting), silent auction supervision, hands-on workshops, gallery assistance, and raffle ticket sales.
Our gratitude is extended to The Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation, the West Foundation, Sargento Foods Inc., and the Herzfeld Foundation for major support of this exhibition and to the Wisconsin Arts Board, with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding also was provided by the members of the Exhibitions & Collections Giving Circle. In addition, Arts Center programs are made possible by the generous support of its members.