Houstonians are the Sparkle that Make Houston Shine

A table in a Texas Southern University studio has become a parking lot of cars waiting to be painted.

671.  That’s the number of shifts (thus far) required to produce AAM Houston 2011.  Session monitors, office assistants, registration assistants, hospitality lounge assistants, greeters, public art docents, and more are necessary to properly welcome the American Association of Museums’ members as they gather to conduct business, network, and learn.  This year’s meeting theme is “The Museum of Tomorrow.”  Where better to hold such a meeting than in the fast-paced, diverse, city-of-tomorrow – Houston, TX!

The AAM Volunteer Subcommittee released the call and Houston is answering.  Staff members and volunteers from our amazing museums as well as community and corporate citizens are all heading downtown to the George R. Brown Convention Center to ensure that this generation of museum professionals talk about all Houston has to offer for years to come.

In preparation for my job as Volunteer Coordinator for AAM Houston 2011, I attended the AAM 2010 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.  I sat near the entrance to check-in volunteers upon their arrival.  I didn’t know anyone there, so I remained at that post in the back of the room throughout the orientation.  Fortunately, with everyone’s back to me, they could not see the smirk on my face as the 2010 Volunteer Subcommittee Chair explained to the crowd the importance of doing a good job because, “next year AAM goes to Houston and no other city volunteers like Houston!”

It’s no wonder that AAM selected Houston to launch several new programs including the first ever Community Service Project and Public Session Track.  It’s no surprise that the Houston Local Host Committee created amazing new projects on its own including the Portable On Demand Arts (PODA) Project.  It’s not a stretch to imagine that local galleries, corporate partners, and other organizations want to join us in this adventure.  Why?  Because this is Houston.  And it is the hard work and dedication of volunteers that will make AAM Houston 2011 an over-the-top success.

Artist Jesse Sifuentes and student LaStarsha McGarity discuss a collection of cars in progress.

The AAM Houston Volunteer Subcommittee has found an exciting way to thank the volunteer corps registering for shifts on the Volunteer Registration website.  Houston artist Jesse Sifuentes has created an original, limited and numbered edition, ceramic art piece to celebrate AAM Houston 2011.  The art car inspired piece is a half-circle design mimicking a hub cap and features an art car on top.  Each piece is uniquely hand-painted by professional and volunteer artists from around the city.  The result will be a fun and funky, one-of-a-kind piece of art which AAM volunteers will be proud to display in their home or office.

AAM volunteers gain access to the event’s fascinating sessions and exhibit hall, providing rare insight into the great museums in Houston and around the world.  Shifts are filling quickly, so don’t miss this chance.

Registration is open for interested volunteers.  An orientation takes place on Thursday, May 19, from 4- 6 pm for volunteer positions running May 20 through May 25.  Volunteers will earn a one-day pass to the conference for each four hours of volunteer service performed between May 20 and May 25.  To review and register for available volunteer jobs, click here.

Volunteers range from museum professionals from around the country to eager Houstonians who love to brag about our amazing city.  Be a part of the action, meet fantastic people, and help build “The Museum of Tomorrow.”  Visit http://www.aamhouston.org and register today!

–Mona Fluitt, AAM 2011 Volunteer Coordinator

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