Volunteer Program

Become a part of art changing lives.

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  • Photograph by Sam Andrews, 2011

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Each year, hundreds of Frist Center volunteers from across the Nashville area inspire people to look at their world in new ways. Not only is the Frist Center’s volunteer program a great way to support the arts in our community, but it’s the perfect way to meet interesting people just like you.

The Frist Center is extremely proud to have received the second round of the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement(EVE) certification, an initiative developed by the Metropolitan Nashville Mayor's Office to recognize high-quality volunteer management by nonprofits and to help increase the number of volunteers in Davidson County. It is the first such certification effort in the nation.
 

Won’t you consider becoming part of our team? CLICK HERE to learn more about our program.

 

VOLUNTEER PROFILES

Dierdre Dickerson
Occupation:
Current: Vice President, Communications Strategies, Nashville
Former: Director of US Corporate Communications, McCain Foods, USA Corporate Manager, Internal Communications, Nissan North America

Volunteer Hours:  Over 183 hours of service as of October 2016

Questions:
1. Why did you want to volunteer at the Frist?
I have always loved art and been fascinated at the way artists see. Growing up in New York, I was fortunate to be surrounded by many different art museums that highlighted different schools and types of art. The first time I went to the Frist after moving to Nashville, I was completely captivated by the building and by the exhibits. Once I had a little more time to myself, I thought volunteering at the Frist would be a great way to feed my artistic soul and meet people from all over the world.

2. What has been your favorite exhibition so far?
They're all pretty amazing and of course Bellissima is jaw dropping but my favorite so far is Inka Essenhigh: Between Worlds. I love the strangeness of her work and the peek she gives us into worlds that only exist in her imagination. So many of her pieces seem to change every time you look at them. Details jump out that you didn't notice before; colors are highlighted that you didn't see the last time you looked; you notice creatures hiding in the background that escaped your attention. Her work speaks to my love of all things strange and weird and otherworldly.

3. What does volunteering at the Frist mean to you?
It means I'm able to share my love of art with our visitors and help them experience the Frist in the best possible way. I want them to leave us already planning their next visit and impatient to tell all their friends what a special place the Frist is. And I get to work with really wonderful people who live and breathe the vision and mission of the Frist and who make all of our visitors feel like they have landed in the best place on earth!

4. What has been your favorite Frist Volunteer moment so far?
Well there are two that I have to mention. I was doing a shift as a visitor ambassador and a gentleman stopped to ask me where the Italian sports car exhibit was located. His friends who live in town told him they were on display and, as he was visiting from Italy, he was very excited. I was very confused as I thought if we had Italian sports cars in the building I surely would have noticed. I hated telling him that the Bellissima exhibit was still 6 months away but encouraged him to come back then if he could and he did! I was on-site the day he came back and he re-introduced himself to me and thanked me for making the exhibit sound so amazing that he had to come back to see it. That was wonderful!

The other was when a staff member from the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, DC visited ArtQuest and told us that she had never seen anything like it at any of the other museums she had visited and how it inspired her to investigate the possibility of doing something like it at NMAI that would incorporate Native American art and culture in a hands-on art setting like ours.

 

Carl Collins
Occupation: retired, used to work for the main post office building which is now the Frist Center.

Volunteer Hours:  Over 55 hours of service as of October 2016

Questions:
1. Why did you want to volunteer at the Frist?
I wanted to volunteer because I love art and I also worked in the building when it was the main post office. I also wanted to meet new people.

2. What has been your favorite exhibition so far?
I loved the car show! I had seen it before in prior years.

3. What does volunteering at the Frist mean to you?
It’s the opportunity to help other people. That always gives me a good feeling!

4. What has been your favorite Frist Volunteer moment so far?
Seeing the young kids come in with their eyes wide open looking at the building and exhibits.

 

Lawrence Tenorio
Volunteer Hours:  Over 65 hours of service as of February 2016

Questions:
1. Why did you want to volunteer at the Frist?
I’ve always enjoyed the Frist. I was looking for an opportunity to be closer to the art and the community in an educational setting.

2. What has been your favorite exhibition so far?
I’ve lived in Nashville for 3 years and so far my favorites have been the Kandinsky exhibition, Inka Essenhigh, and the Phantom Bodies exhibition. I love how the Frist showcases both contemporary artists and more traditional artists.

3. What does volunteering at the Frist mean to you?
It gives me a chance to see the daily workings of an institution of the arts. How they work to educate and bring art to the public fascinates me.

4. What has been your favorite Frist Volunteer moment so far?
I’ve enjoyed greeting the guests, answering questions, and getting to view the galleries for free. This has been an invaluable asset to me and my own educational pursuits. Another plus has been getting to bring my friends as guests and introducing them to the art and artists they were unaware of.

 

 

Since before we opened our doors in 2001, volunteers from throughout the Nashville community have been in an important part of helping us to fulfill the Frist Center’s mission and vision.

In a typical year, nearly 400 volunteers provide more than 25,000 hours of service to the Frist Center. Docents lead more than 15,000 visitors on tours, visitor services volunteers welcome over 200,000 visitors into our exhibition galleries, and ArtQuest volunteers assist over 110,000 children and families in the Martin ArtQuest Gallery.

And that’s not all – from promoting membership to assisting with sales in the gift shop, from evaluation to office assistance, volunteers can be found throughout the Frist Center every single day.

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