Free Arts relies on our weekly mentors, teaching artists, event volunteers, group volunteers, and volunteers who provide other types of support, like office and administrative support, to make our programs possible.
To you, it’s a few hours each week. To a child at Free Arts, it’s a chance to connect, create, and build a bright future.
Volunteering at Free Arts begins with a one-hour, no-obligation volunteer orientation to learn about the many ways you can get involved in our programs that connect children to opportunities to overcome trauma through artistic expression.
All of our volunteers are required to complete an application for a background screening. In addition to your application, you’ll also need to submit two references, a copy of your valid photo identification, and a copy of your fingerprint clearance card.
Free Arts volunteer training provides a base of knowledge needed to safely interact with children. During training, you’ll learn about adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care, self regulation, and using the arts for self-expression. You’ll also learn the logistics of Free Arts programs and best practices for engaging with children. Training is interactive and creative, and the information you learn has the potential to impact your life beyond your volunteer experience.
One-on-one interviews help the Free Arts staff get to know you so we can create a volunteer plan that works best for you and the children we serve. Volunteers also receive information about how to receive a fingerprint clearance card at this time.
Free Arts relies on the generous help of more than 700 volunteers each year to power its transformative arts programs. By volunteering at Free Arts, you’re helping create a safe space where children can express themselves and discover their strengths. Volunteering also has positive effects on those who are donating their time, such as improved self-esteem, well-being, and overall happiness.
Our volunteer opportunities aren’t limited to artists or individuals. In fact, no artistic skills are required to volunteer! We offer both short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities, working with children or working in our office. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to work with children. However, children and young adults can help by volunteering in our office, hosting an art supply drive, or running a fundraising campaign.
Here are some of the ways that volunteers can transform lives in our office, in the community, and in their own homes.
Weekly mentoring is a fulfilling and fun way to support children who have experienced abuse, neglect, or homelessness. A weekly volunteer mentor commits to approximately three volunteer hours per week for 8-16 weeks. As a volunteer mentor, you:
Professional teaching artists provide instruction on artistic skills. They work alongside volunteer mentors, who support the children by encouraging their artistic process. Professional Artist Series volunteer mentors commit to one series at a time, which can last 3-10 sessions.
Volunteer mentors support children in interactive arts experiences at local museums and arts venues for these one-day, unique events.
Free Arts hosts five weeks of camp sessions each summer that bring together children and teens from social service facilities across Maricopa County. Every camp session culminates in a moving performance for the community. Camp volunteer mentors must be available for 3-5 weekdays during summer camp sessions.
Spend time in our office and art room assisting with administrative and organizational projects. There is no set time commitment — come in for as little as a few hours, or more if your schedule permits.
Committees support Free Arts events and special projects.
I get more out of Free Arts than I put into it. There’s a lot of soul-searching, a lot of storytelling … it’s made me braver and stronger.
We’re giving them a way to express all these feelings in a safe way — to express themselves [and] get all of that anger and confusion they have inside … at such a young age.
We know that children build resilience when they’re surrounded by caring, supportive adults. We provide the training, you provide the time.