Volunteers are part of every project at Manege. They welcome visitors in the lobby, help out in the exhibition hall, guide tours and art mediations, and assist in organising educational and inclusive events. When you join Manege’s volunteers, you become part of a community of like-minded peers, exploring the complex and endlessly fascinating world of art and gaining valuable museum administration experience along the way.
We have asked Irina Levashova, head of the School of Volunteering, to answer some frequently asked questions about volunteers at Manege:
1. Who are the Manege volunteers?
A Manege volunteer is a trusted guide through the world of art within the walls of our exhibition space.Our volunteers are teenagers, students, and older people who feel passionately enough about contemporary culture to offer their time and services to help our team to make exhibition projects and educational events happen.
The volunteers who welcome you at the door and keep watch in the exhibition hall are an integral part of the Manege ecosystem.With their enthusiasm, responsiveness, and hard work, the volunteers are an inspiration to visitors and to our entire team. At Manege we are always open to their ideas and suggestions. Every volunteer has a chance to one day become part of the Manege team and see their most ambitious aspirations realised.
2. Who is eligible to volunteer? Are there age limits?
Anyone can volunteer. Age is not important. We have schoolchildren, undergraduate and graduate students, and parents who sometimes bring their kids along with them. We also work with an organisation called Silver Volunteers, whose members inspire young people with their strong motivation and active stance in life.
3. What skills and abilities does it take to become a Manege volunteer?
It is important for our volunteers to be keenly interested in art and willing to learn. We want our volunteers to be interesting, literate speakers, good communicators, and kind, friendly people. We expect our volunteers to be ready and eager to work on all manner of tasks and to render assistance to all employees and departments of Manege in accordance with their interests and abilities. We want our volunteers to be sincerely committed to the work they do and sincerely desirous of helping out.
4. What do your volunteers do?
The work of a volunteer is highly versatile and extends to many areas of the exhibition hall’s operation.Young volunteers help out near the entrance and the coat check during shows. Some other tasks they can help with are online ticketing and navigation around the venue.When a show is on, volunteers will be available in the hall to tell visitors about the project and Manege and to assist visitors with disabilities.
If a volunteer wishes to guide tours for Manege visitors, we will gladly let them do so after a series of training sessions, and we will give them all the resources they need to learn about the art. We also engage volunteers in preparations for all kinds of educational events, exhibition previews, workshops, lectures, international conferences, and so on.
5. Do volunteers have the option to work half-days?
Volunteers help in two shifts:
• first shift: 10:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• second shift: 3:20 to 8 p.m.
Shifts are 30 minutes longer on Wednesdays, when Manege stays open until 9 p.m.: from 10:50 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then from 3:50 to 9 p.m.
Volunteers get to choose the shifts that best suit them. Personalised schedules are possible for volunteers who cannot work an entire shift. Volunteers are free to sign up for any number of shifts per week, whatever they can fit in between their study and work. But generally we would like our volunteers to commit to at least two shifts per week.
6. When do you recruit volunteers for upcoming exhibitions?
We recruit our volunteers 2 to 3 weeks before an exhibition, but new people can come aboard even when the exhibition is running.
7. Do Manege volunteers get any perks?
We let our volunteers attend exhibitions, lectures, and other events free of charge at Manege.After working a certain number of shifts, a volunteer receives a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or other gift from the current exhibition project. After 8 shifts a volunteer receives a thank you letter. Volunteering can be documented as an internship to earn credit in school or university.
By volunteering at Manege, people get to know the art world from the inside, learn new professional skills and gain experience in cultural event management, hone their leadership abilities and communication skills, and make new friends.Volunteering at Manege extends beyond the walls of the exhibition hall. Since all our volunteers are united in their love of art and thirst for learning, we visit exhibitions in our partner museums together – the Museum of St Petersburg Art, the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, ROSPHOTO, and others – and sometimes attend theatre performances, lectures, and concerts. We also participate in a discussion club and often simply have a great time together.
If volunteering at Manege sounds like an attractive proposition to you, please get in touch with School of Volunteering director Irina Levashova:
8 (906) 245-01-76
The partner of the Manege Volunteer School is a chain of natural food stores «VkusVill».