We continue to celebrate National Volunteer Week with this story about the volunteer experience by Wexner Center usher and community docent Dolores Blankenship:
I retired as a Columbus Middle School Principal on July 1, 1994, after 40 years in education as a classroom music teacher and administrator. I wanted to remain active--participating, contributing, involved, and serving others--to support the arts, and to be a lifelong learner.
I immediately contacted the Wexner Center and, by September 1994, was busy as a docent and as a volunteer usher. I have continued these activities to the present, including leading tours of the reopening exhibition, Part Object Part Sculpture, and ushering at various performing arts events.
I find these activities rewarding: I can experience the cutting edge in all these areas without monetary investment--just the investment of my time. I am encouraged to experience, to expand my horizons. As docents, we have access to wonderful materials and lectures, and I can interact with others in a teaching role I enjoy. As an usher, I see former students and teaching colleagues, as well as new friends and fellow volunteers, and I never go alone to the theater. There are other perks, too, like the annual usher party.
A nice feeling of respect and appreciation from the Wexner Center's staff is evident, and, really, it's more than is given in volunteer activities at some other venues. A "thank you" is often expressed at the end of an activity.
To sum it up, my needs to stay active and support the arts are being met in an enjoyable manner. I appreciate the opportunity to be associated with a world-class institution such as the Wexner Center for the Arts!