Volunteering for the MFoA is an easy way to support local arts, give back to our community, and make new friends!
You don’t have to be an artist to volunteer for the Festival! The Marblehead Festival of Arts is a diverse group made up of all kinds of folks who have one thing in common— an appreciation of the arts and the desire to promote them in our community.
This all-volunteer organization doesn’t just produce the premiere local arts festival, they also plan and produce a year-round series of events sponsored by the MFoA.
When you volunteer for the Marblehead Festival of Arts, you become part of a great legacy here in town. This year will be our 53rd Festival, and every one of those previous fifty plus years was the result of great folks coming together and working hard, but having a terrific time doing it.
A broad range of volunteer positions can be tailored to fit the individual’s time schedule. Year-round needs include computer skills/data entry, writing ability, financial acumen, fundraising expertise, event planning talent and physical strength.
During the Festival, volunteers staff art exhibits and information booths, run such events as the Model Boat Building, a Sand Sculpture Competition, Children’s Festival, Street Festival and Artisans’ Marketplace and operate the Festival’s Logo Store.
Volunteering for the MFoA is an easy way to support local arts, give back to our community, and make new friends.
The Festival has an immediate need to fill several important positions.
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Finance Committee members work with the Treasurer and committee chairpersons on matters pertaining to expenses, budget, and donations. The committee can use someone with basic bookkeeping skills and also people with basic computer skills in one or more of the following: Microsoft Word, Excel, or QuickBooks.
The MFoA utilizes computer technology in many areas and needs volunteers with various skills. If you would like to contribute your technology talents to the Festival, please let us know the areas in which you have skills. Our needs range from very basic word processing and spreadsheet management, to skills in digital graphics and page layout.
The Development Committee generates financial support for the Festival through a series of fundraising activities which include our annual, Friends-of-the-Festival direct mail campaign. We need volunteers to manage and coordinate this very important activity.
The Festival keeps track of volunteers, contributors, art exhibit entrees, art auction donations, and more. Volunteers are needed with skills in Excel, FileMaker Pro, or Microsoft SQL Server. We also need volunteers with general computer skills who can help with data entry.
The Branding and Publications Committee is responsible for print publications: brochures, flyers, forms, posters, and programs. People with various skills are needed: copy writing and editing, proofreading, design and layout, and technical proficiency in page layout programs (QuarkXPress or InDesign) and graphics programs (Photoshop or Illustrator).
The Facilities Committee is responsible for the physical facilities used at Festival art exhibits and other Festival events, including flats used to exhibit framed art work, pedestals, kiosks, tables, chairs, etc. This team maintains the equipment, and manages its delivery and setup for events throughout the year, although it is most active during the summer Festival.
The printed Festival Program is the visitor’s guide to the Festival. It contains the Festival Schedule, listings of all are works on display at the exhibits, listings of Festival sponsors and donors, descriptions of Festival events, ads by Festival sponsors. Producing the Program requires people with various skills: writing and copy editing, proofreading, contacting advertisers, graphic design to create ads, page layout, and coordinating the work of everyone involved. All this is done on a tight schedule from early May through mid June.
During the summer Festival, digital photographers are given specific assignments and they also have opportunities to free lance. At other times of the year, photographers cover Festival events. In addition to picture taking, our extensive photography collection provides ample opportunity for digital photo editing. Another photographic project is scanning the Festival’s archive of film slides.
The Publicity Committee handles the Festival’s Press Releases and coordinates publicity with news media, the Festival’s Web site, and print production.
The Receptions Committee handles food and refreshments at various events throughout the year, including Christmas Walk, Logo Premiere, Art Auction, Volunteer Information Party, and Opening Night of the Festival.
Our goal is to expand all committees with talented people of all ages and backgrounds who love the arts. No prior experience with the Festival is necessary. This committee will produce printed materials specifically geared to new volunteers; recruit volunteers at Festival events year-round; and organize two volunteer events: a Volunteer Information Party (spring) and a Volunteer Appreciation Party (summer).
The Festival Website involves the coordination of various talents: Web page design and construction; digital photography; digital image editing; and graphics creation. There’s also an opportunity for someone to research and write a narrative of the Festival’s history for online publication.
Exhibit Committee members handle artist registrations during art drop-offs, assist at the judging, set up the exhibits, and monitor the exhibits during the Festival. Exhibit Committees include Crafts, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Senior Art, Sculpture, Student Art, and Youth Art. The Exhibit Committee needs volunteers who have basic skills in using Excel to help with exhibit drop-offs and recording the exhibit entries for subsequent judging and submission to the Festival Program.
Brawny volunteers are needed to assist the Art Exhibit Committees by lugging around flats during exhibit setup prior to the Festival, and breaking down flats immediately after the Festival.
Held on Abbot Hall lower grounds during the Arts Festival, Children’s Festival incorporates activities for children ages ten and younger. The Children’s Festival Committee plans the event, utilizing resources in the community to produce a program that is fun and educational. Volunteers are welcome to get involved in the early, planning stage; or may be more interested in helping to run the events during the Festival. We welcome your ideas and your creativity.
Information Services provides key information to town visitors, Festival attendees, and volunteers during the summer Festival. Its information kiosks provide Festival Programs, bottled water, and Festival Trolley information. It also operates behind the scenes, handling Festival logistics such as seeing that all exhibit sites are kept supplied with Festival Programs, and attending to various last minute problems that invariably arise.
If you like to shop and want to experience a different perspective, here’s your chance to work in our very own shop selling T-shirts, hats, and other logo products during the Festival. Work before the Festival includes the selection, purchase, receipt and preparation of the products to be sold.
Each year, boat kits are available for purchase that parents and children assemble outside Abbot Hall. In the afternoon, the boats are set sail at the Regatta at Redd’s Pond. Prizes are awarded for the winners of each age category.
Painting the Town is both an event and an exhibit. Work begins before the Festival when plein air painters are recruited. During the Festival, the artists meet for breakfast and then go out to paint the town. The next morning, they turn in their finished, framed works, a judging is held, followed by a reception and awards ceremony. The exhibit remains on display for the remainder of the Festival, and sometimes longer.
Volunteer to spend a day at the beach! The annual Sand Sculpture Competition, open to kids of all ages, is held during the Festival at Devereux Beach. Advance preparation includes obtaining prizes and award certificates. At the beach, committee members register the participants, judge the sand sculptures, and hold an awards ceremony.
Street Festival is a big block party. A large section of Washington Street is closed to automobile traffic, and various performers set up shop at designated locations. The Street Festival Committee members develop the program and work out the logistics.
Every year, the Festival adopts a new logo, the result of a design competition. This committee’s work begins in October with the announcement of the Logo Contest, and extends through the Logo Premiere in late January. Activities include publicizing the contest, meeting with logo judges to select finalists, setting up voting stations at various locations, then collecting and counting the ballots.
The MFoA will be holding its 53rd Festival in 2018. If you would like to serve on a planning committee for this event please get in touch with the Director of Volunteers.