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Firehouse Arts Center holding orientation tonight for artsy volunteers

Volunteers should know about building's history, art work

The Firehouse Arts Center is holding its annual preseason Volunteer Program Orientation from 7:30-9:30 p.m. this evening for theater ushers, ticket takers, greeters and gallery attendants.

Theater volunteers must be at least 16 years old, and gallery volunteers at least 21. Previous experience is not required, but the orientation session is mandatory.

The Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., is entering its fifth season after opening in fall 2010. It includes the 227-seat Firehouse Theater, the 2,000-square-foot Harrington Gallery, classrooms and rehearsal spaces, the grand atrium lobby and upper mezzanine, and an interior glass bridge.

The complex incorporates the original Pleasanton Firehouse No. 1 built in 1928-29, which was preserved and now houses part of the Harrington Gallery and offices. Volunteers are encouraged to become informed about the art installations, some of which are part of the building itself.

The venue is currently gearing up for its 2014-15 season of theater, concert, youth and gallery programming. Three theater companies and various concert series anchor the offerings, with rock, country, bluegrass, jazz, blues, classical, folk, cabaret, holiday and retro concerts offered.

Although volunteers are able to see parts of the programs, they may not be able to see the first and last 15 minutes unless they buy a ticket, explained volunteer program coordinator Jennifer Koch.

"Volunteers serve because they love the arts, and want to give their time to the theater and the gallery," she said.

The Harrington Gallery, run by visual arts coordinator Julie Finegan, has an ambitious series of shows set for the season, with a wide variety of media, style, topics and moods on the schedule. Volunteers are needed to work the gallery desk during visiting hours and performances, and also to assist with gallery receptions and related events.

The Firehouse Arts Center Volunteer Program is a registered certifying organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award. At the close of each season, qualifying volunteers are recognized at the national level for their dedication to the arts.

For more information or to attend the volunteer orientation, contact Koch at 931-4846 or jkoch@cityofpleasantonca.gov.

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