Hundreds of volunteers help the Arts Festival go ’round
July 7, 2015
The Park City Kimball Arts Festival is a massive undertaking, but also the biggest fundraiser for the Kimball Art Center.
The three-day event, to be held this year from July 31 to Aug. 2, takes over Main Street and features hundreds of visual and performing artists from across the United States, including many from Summit County.
To maintain order and help the festival run smoothly, the Kimball Art Center staff relies on volunteers, according to volunteer coordinator Samantha Greer.
"We do have a staff and board members and patrons that help out, but it’s really the volunteers that make up the force that keep it going," Greer said during an interview with The Park Record. "I would go so far as to say that without our volunteers, the festival would not happen. We have several hundred volunteers signed up so far, but we still need several hundred more."
Volunteers are usually comprised of people who love Park City and the arts and there is a full range of opportunities for them to serve, she said.
"Some of the [opportunities] include entry gate greeters and we will have several gates this year," Greer said. "Another opportunity is in artist relations. These volunteers help out the artists run their booths when the artists need to take breaks or go on lunch breaks."
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Volunteers are also needed at the festival’s beer garden and concession stands.
"That’s always a fun place because people can enjoy hanging out with the crowd who come from all over the world," Greer said.
The festival also features a children’s art area.
"We get a lot of volunteers who love to face paint and help kids with art projects and things like that," Greer said. "We also accommodate volunteers who can’t do any heavy lifting or can’t be outside in the sun all day. We have plenty of opportunities for them."
A full list of volunteer opportunities can be found by visiting http://www.kimballartcenter.org .
Parkite Patricia Horyna has been an arts festival volunteer since 1986 and continues to volunteer today.
"Our family arrived in Park City in 1985 in the month of June and one of the first events was the Park City Arts Festival and we were hooked," Horyna said. "The following year, my husband and I volunteered to help at the main gate. To meet people, who come up the mountain to get a taste of the little town is a very rewarding experience."
During the past years, Horyna has done everything from serving drinks, taking ice to artists, setting up the tents and meeting busloads of people who are interested in Park City.
"To volunteer is to give freely of your time and self only for the feeling of giving back to my community," she said. "The closeness of the people, the kids, the dogs, the food, the wonderful art and the fun of the festival is why I volunteer at the Arts Festival."
"Most of the shifts are between three and four hours, but some are shorter and some are longer," Greet said. "However, people can sign up for more than one shift."
Those who do sign up for two or more shifts will be entered in a drawing for an hour-long massage from Knead a Massage.
"We wanted to give these volunteers, who work nearly eight hours, an extra reward and recognition," Greer said.
All the volunteers will receive some great benefits, including letters of recommendation that can be used for resumes and job searches.
"This is great for teens who are looking for service hours," Greer said. "The minimum age for volunteering at the arts festival is 12 years old. I would still encourage them to volunteer with their parents or an older sibling or friend."
Another volunteer perk is an appreciation party that will be held at the Kimball Art Center on July 23, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
"We will serve food and drinks and the volunteers will get a chance to meet other volunteers and learn more about their jobs," Greer said.
On top of that, all the volunteers get a Park City Kimball Arts Festival T-shirt.
"That’s really cool, because they are different from year to year, but are really bright and fun," she said.
The nicest reward, at least in Greer’s eyes, is a goody bag filled with items from our sponsors.
"The items vary from year to year, but I can say one of the biggest things this year is a pair of Skull Candy headphones that will go to every volunteer," Greer said. "That alone is probably worth the hours put into volunteering. We really appreciate our volunteers and want them to know."
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Park City Kimball Arts Festival can sign up by visiting http://www.kimballartcenter.org/events , emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 435-649-8882, ext. 102.
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