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Volunteer in Arts and Culture

Volunteer for culture and art projects and use all your creativity to do something meaningful whilst you travel the world...

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Art & Cultural Volunteer Opportunities

Why are culture and arts volunteers needed?

Culture and arts are what makes the world beautiful and has the ability to illuminate people’s lives. It allows people to access a set of skills and emotions which otherwise remain untouched. Art and culture are also wonderful means which help bring people together. But most importantly, it has been proven that teaching arts and cultural practices lead to a balanced intellectual, emotional and psychological development of individuals and societies . Here are some of the fields you will be able to volunteer in to pass on your skills and knowledge:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Dancing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Videography

If you’re an art or music teacher, volunteering in a developing country can be a unique opportunity to teach locals creative skills they otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to discover. Being introduced to the arts will help improve their creativity and result in a positive outlet. It’s also an excellent form of stimulation because it teaches some valuable skills. Some art volunteer opportunities focus on teaching arts and crafts combined with a business perspective. These initiatives help locals earn extra income through their newly acquired skill.

Many developing countries don’t have the resources to teach arts so it has become somewhat of a luxury. Fortunately, there are programs in place that are dedicated to helping bring culture and arts into these people’s lives. This way they can benefit from the positive impact and inspiration that go hand in hand with art and culture.

By volunteering in a project focused on culture and arts, you will get in touch with your creative side while teaching and engaging with the local community. As an art volunteer, your experience will not only give you the chance to help but also provide opportunities to travel and explore a new location while you connect with locals in a meaningful way. Most importantly, as an art volunteer, you will help introduce art and culture into the community!

What will I do as a volunteer for culture and arts?

What comes to your mind when you think of culture and arts? Most likely music, painting and drawing, maybe drama. You get it, there are many culture and art opportunities available for volunteers. Creativity is the key word here and most project centers are focused on teaching locals a specific art. Let’s take a look at some possible project types and discuss what kind of activities you may expect as a volunteer:

Projects in Arts and Crafts

Programs focused on arts and crafts can either take part in schools where you hold crafting lessons with the kids or in the communities where you will be working with adults. Depending on the focus of your program, it could be very helpful for volunteers to have skills in:

  • painting
  • graphic design
  • paper-mâché
  • card making
  • beadwork
  • screen printing
  • bamboo craft
  • jewelry
  • other crafts

Some projects apply a business approach to learning arts and crafts. The aim of these programs is to teach locals handicraft skills which they can apply to help them earn supplemental income. There’s an important focus on sustainability and keeping raw materials as natural as possible. Volunteers who are business savvy or have an entrepreneurial background are welcome to share ideas in this area.

Also, there are volunteer programs that focus on museums. As a museum volunteer, you will be guiding visitors through the museum while giving information about its objects. During your time as a museum volunteer, you will also have the chance to become active in making jewelry, ceramics, knitting, painting, and much more.

Projects in Photography

Teaching photography to children from underprivileged backgrounds is a great way of empowering them to use their creativity and help them to train new skills. Similar to the field of arts and crafts, there are organizations who have set up a unique business model in combination with art and culture. The business model requires volunteers with a background in photography to teach locals the tricks of the trade.

The locals who have learned how to take nice pictures will in turn be able to sell their images. They can keep part of the proceeds which allows them an extra source of income while the remainder will be reinvested into the organization. If you are an adventurous soul, eager to share your photography métier, this is your chance to help those less fortunate. Get your camera gear ready for travel and mind-blowing shots.

Projects in teaching Music, Dancing and Drama

Volunteers with an arts background who have had the opportunity to pursue their passions can pay it forward by introducing their favorite art form to locals. This will open up new opportunities allowing locals the chance to learn how to play a musical instrument, how to draw and paint or express themselves through acting. By volunteering this way, you are giving them a platform to enhance their creativity and bring out talents which would otherwise remain uncovered.

Dancing and acting are also great ways to help children and adults to gain a greater self-confidence and learn how to work as a team. These soft skills will be helpful to them in other aspects of life as well.

Depending on the program and where the organization is situated, there will be different opportunities to discover. Get ready to explore some of the most exotic places as you meet interesting people and unleash your creativity.

Best places to volunteer for culture and arts

Organizations for culture and art are continuously changing and the best places to volunteer will vary depending on demand. The different organizations are located across different developing countries in South America, Africa and Asia.

Volunteers with a strong rhythmic feel and passion for music will likely head towards the Caribbean, South America or perhaps certain African countries where music and dancing are important parts of the culture. Crafty volunteers may be drawn to India where there’s a strong affinity for intricate detail and handicrafts.

Combine the unique experience of volunteering for culture and arts with the chance to discover a new place you have always wanted to travel to. This is your chance to contribute to the local community and get to know a side of your destination which you would otherwise have not discovered.

5 benefits of volunteering for culture and arts

You’ll definitely be contributing to a greater good if you decide to volunteer your time abroad and you’ll be touching more lives than you think. But apart from that, here are five benefits of volunteering for a culture and art project:

Happiness

Most people will agree that helping others feels great. Research shows that the act of contribution makes people feel happier because it gives them a sense of purpose. Being able to express creativity is another source of happiness and brings people together. If you decide to volunteer for culture and arts, happiness is guaranteed!

Experience

Volunteers with a professional background in teaching arts will have the opportunity to gain experience in a completely different setting. Volunteering experiences are always appreciated by future employers and bring along wonderful opportunities to improve skills.

People

Not only will you be connecting with locals but you will also connect with other volunteers and staff who are passionate about the same cause. You’re destined to meet inspiring people and build meaningful relationships during volunteer projects.

Empowerment

Deciding to volunteer in a different country and culture requires you to get out of your comfort zone which can be challenging. It will definitely feel like an accomplishment as you gain strength and self-confidence which will help you pursue other things in life you never thought possible.

Travel

This is the ideal opportunity to combine travel with something meaningful. Explore a region you’ve always wanted to visit and discover it in a way you never would as a tourist.

Skills as a volunteer for culture and arts

You’ve decided you would like to become a culture and art volunteer but you’re wondering if you are cut out for it? Keep reading as we will discuss some skills which would be great to have as a volunteer for culture and arts programs.

Volunteers for culture and arts definitely need creativity. The exact skills needed depend on the requirements specified by the center. Projects range from teaching arts and crafts, drama, music, art, photography to even videography! It would definitely help if volunteers have a background in a specific skill like a musical instrument, drawing, arts and crafts, photography, etc., alongside some teaching experience.

What language skills are required?

English is the main language on all projects so it’s important that volunteers have a good understanding of English. This is important to communicate with the staff at the center as well as other volunteers. For projects in South America, it would help if you gain a basic knowledge of Spanish prior to going as most locals don’t speak any English. Knowing some Spanish words would definitely help kickstart your art volunteer adventure!

How do I get started?

You’re determined to become a volunteer for culture and arts and you’ve selected some art volunteer programs you’re passionate about. What’s next? Let’s take a look at the first 3 steps to becoming a volunteer for culture and arts:

  1. Check whether there’s a match between the program requirements and your skills.
  2. Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it would be a location you are willing to travel to.
  3. Get in touch with the program organization and see whether your expectations and your schedule match up.

Almost done! Once you know your destination, take the following 2 steps before setting off on your culture and art volunteer adventure:

  1. Look into the visa requirements for the country you will volunteer in.
  2. Make sure you have a valid passport.

When these 5 items are sorted, you are good to go! Travel safe and get ready to help introduce culture and arts to local communities in some of the most exotic locations!