It’s National Volunteer Week, What’s Your Volunteer Story?

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April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week where organizations can recognize and thank volunteers for everything that offer. I’m curious to hear your stories; take a moment to share something in the comment section and while you’re thinking about that, here are some volunteer oriented topics and resources. There are a slew of articles at ArtsHacker covering everything from special software you can use to help screen volunteers, hacks on improving organization …

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Revisiting Orchestra Docents

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One of the advantages of being Editor-in-Chief at ArtsHacker is getting to see what’s in store before everyone else. To that end, there’s a good post on the way about volunteers and it made me think of a four-part series here from 2004 on the topic of orchestra docents and how those programs could grow and evolve into something even more effective than the way most were designed at that time. …

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Orchestra Docents Study Part 3

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The final installment in this series will outline how orchestras can adopt and develop their own docent program similar to the Denver Zoo system.  In Part 1 I detailed the similarities between zoos and orchestras and Part 2 provided a comprehensive look at what motivated individuals to become a volunteer docent as well as how the three major stakeholders in that organization perceive the impact of the program on the zoo’s success. …

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Orchestra Docents Study Part 2

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To continue where we left off yesterday, we will begin to learn how the Denver Zoo docent program enables members of the community to become active participants in helping the zoo achieve its stated mission.  In order to fully understand how much of an impact the docent program has on the organization, I conducted a study involving the three primary stakeholders in the program; the volunteer docents, animal keepers, and zoo administrators. …

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Orchestra Docents Study Part 1

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062Certainly, a number of US based professional orchestras maintain docent programs, the bulk of which focus primarily on children’s educational outreach programs in the public schools.  One of the largest of these programs utilizes approximately 40 volunteers that lecture visiting school children on the music they are going to listen to and they also visit classrooms to teach children about classical music. Although these programs certainly generate positive results, they are representative …

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