Denver Art Museum (DAM) Appreciates Volunteers



DAM volunteers are not unlike other volunteers. They give their time freely and what they get back is usually pure gratification for a job well done but a little extra recognition for a job well done is always valued. The DAM's Volunteer Executive Board (VEB) acknowledges DAM volunteer service in many ways and are taking volunteer appreciation to another level. They give the men and women, who provide volunteer service to the DAM, a broader educational opportunity than what is normally available to them through the museum's traditional volunteer training and educational programs.

The VEB hosts special events, called Koffee Klatches (KKs,) that are available to all DAM volunteers about ten times a year. And yes, we do serve coffee and refreshments. The VEB limits attendance to these events and offers them on some Saturdays and always Mondays, since the museum is closed on Monday, empty and ours.

The Monday KK is designed to accommodate the most volunteers. Approximately thirty to sixty volunteers gather at 9:30 am, take a forty-five minute to one hour docent-led tour and then return to socialize with food and coffee. After thirty minutes, another thirty to sixty volunteers meet and divide into groups of ten to fifteen for their docent-led tour.

Saturday's gathering meets in the afternoon for a thirty minute social. We take one docent-led tour of approximately fifteen to twenty-five people to see a special exhibit or existing art work, whatever is pertinent to the time.

The Koffee Klatche started with the Museum Shop Council as a council activity, but through the years it has evolved into a program to which the entire 500+ volunteer community is welcome.

Our VEB is solely in charge of organizing these events, under the supervision of the DAM Volunteer Manager. Our two elected members-at-large create and organize these special events approximately two to three months in advance. They plan events that are associated with what is currently on exhibit at the DAM to support the DAM's mission. Docents are chosen based on their exhibition training and general museum collection knowledge.

These opportunities, offered to our volunteer community, have been fun, educational, enriching and engaging for all. The experience has been overwhelmingly popular and every KK "sells out" quickly. They clearly meet a need most volunteers are looking for--a small payback for all their time and commitment spent enriching the lives of the Denver community.

Submitted by:
Diane Chowen
Patsi Johnson
DAM volunteers,
VEB Members-at-Large

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