Free Arts MN

http://www.freeartsminnesota.org/get-involved/

Agency Description: Free Arts Minnesota works with youth in challenging circumstances to support artistic and personal development through a unique combination of mentorship and arts learning. We help strengthen communities by partnering with social service agencies, community organizations, and local artists; engaging underserved youth with the arts allowing creativity to drive learning; building positive mentoring relationships; and expanding arts programming to under-resourced neighborhoods. Free Arts is a secondary organization, meaning we travel to our partner sites to do art with youth that are already enrolled in their programming. We work with youth 3-18 years of age who have experienced the trauma and stress of poverty, domestic or sexual violence, mental health issues (anxiety, depression, etc.), addiction, and/or homelessness. Because we have 25 different partner sites throughout the Twin Cities area, we would not have the ability to run programming as we do without the help of over 130 volunteers each week. Our volunteers build trusting relationships with the youth by providing a safe, supportive, and consistent experiences while working alongside them as they engage in art projects. Our volunteers are required to go through multiple checkpoints before they are sent out to one of our partner sites to work with the youth. These checkpoints include a background check, volunteer application, volunteer training, and a partner site orientation.

Volunteer Opportunities:

One-time Volunteers:

Free Arts Days are art festivals that are sponsored by corporate, civic, or faith-based groups, who generally supply their own volunteers to work directly with the youth. Free Arts still needs additional volunteers to assist
with these events.

Commitment: 3-6 hours, for one day.

Expectations: Volunteers engage with the youth and their families in art activities and projects at the chosen community nonprofit and create a safe environment for creative self-expression. Volunteers will lead and support youth in various art activities provided by Free Arts. Supervised by site and Free Arts staff.

Requirements: At least 16 years old, passionate about serving youth in the community, excellent communication skills.

Next Steps: If you would like to be contacted about volunteering for available Free Arts Days, contact Annemarie at agillispie@bigstwincities.org to be added to the Free Arts Day Volunteer Email list. As Free Arts Days are
confirmed, you will receive invitations to register for volunteer shifts. Following registration you will receive an email with confirmation of your shift and your role and duties for the day. An on-site orientation will be provided on the day of the event.

Create Workshop:

CREATE Workshop is a less intensive program in which volunteers commit to at least 3 sessions over an entire term. These sessions with the youth are less frequent (1-2 times a month), but longer (1.5-2 hours), and take
place at our partner sites where youth are in high transition (average stay is less than 3 months). Projects are in depth and intensive; they are created by the Free Arts staff, but chosen by the partner site staff before the term
begins to make sure that the art will be relevant and engaging for the cohor of youth they may have at that time.

Commitment: Volunteers will sign-up for a minimum of 3 CREATE Workshop sessions per term which are 1.5-2 hours in length (spring, summer or fall). They will be teamed up with 3-5 other volunteers
at a transitional site.

Expectations: Volunteers lead and conduct art projects provided by Free Arts Minnesota. Each set of planned arts curriculum is unique to the site because it focuses on the areas of development and themes relevant to the site. The workshop will include a short lesson about the medium, artist, or style that is being introduced to the youth followed by the completion of an art project.

Requirements: At least 16 years old, passionate about serving youth in the community, ability to engage with youth.

Next Steps:

  1. Attend an Informational Session
  2. Submit reference
  3. Submit background check
  4. Submit a confendiality form
  5. Schedule a 30-45 minete one-on-one interview
  6. Attend Weekly Mentorship/CREATE Workshop Volunteer Training

Weekly Mentors:

Weekly Mentorship is the bedrock of our programming and the more intensive of the two volunteer opportunities. Volunteers commit to an entire term (Spring/Fall term= 12 weeks; Summer term= 8 weeks), in which they go out weekly to a partner site and engage in an hour of art programming with the youth. Weekly Mentorship takes place at our partner sites that work with/house the youth for three months or more, therefor the volunteers are building long-lasting relationships over the term due to the fact that they are seeing the same youth each week. These volunteers are also in charge of creating the projects they lead, but we ask them to get input from the youth before creating them. This gives meaning to the projects and helps with youth engagement.

Commitment: 45-60 minute sessions (plus set-up and clean-up time), once a week for at least 1 term (spring, summer & fall terms, 8-13 weeks long)

Expectations: Fully commit to mentoring youth at one of Free Arts' long-term partner sites for the duration of a term. Work with a team of 3-5 mentors to plan and conduct arts projects each week. All sessions are supervised by partner site staff.

Requirements: At least 16 years old, passionate about serving youth in the community, ability to engage with youth.

Next Steps:

  1. Attend an Informational Session.
  2. Submit reference
  3. Submit background check
  4. Submit a confendiality form
  5. Schedule a 30-45 minete one-on-one interview
  6. Attend Weekly Mentorship/CREATE Workshop Volunteer Training

How To Apply: Contact Annemarie Gillispie at agillispie@bigstwincities.org.