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Volunteer at the new Firehouse Arts Center

Orientation meetings Sept. 11 for ushers, gallery docents

The new Firehouse Arts Center, which will open to the public Sept. 18, has opportunities for volunteers, including theater ushers and visual arts gallery docents for seniors and retirees, adults, youth ages 16 and over, and for community service volunteers.

The Firehouse Theater Volunteer Usher Program is integral to the Firehouse experience, according to organizers. Ushers scan tickets, help seat patrons and assist the house manager in making the theater-going experience an enjoyable one. Ushers must attend a mandatory orientation, after which they will be eligible to sign up on a monthly basis to usher at performances. The time commitment required is flexible -- a few hours a day, a week, a month or a year.

The Harrington Gallery Attendant volunteer staffs the gallery desk during the facility's open hours, greeting visitors and providing a friendly, welcoming and watchful presence. The volunteer ensures security of artwork, makes periodic rounds to monitor the gallery, answers guests' questions, etc. He or she also refers art sales and inquiries to appropriate staff, answers the phone and assists with occasional administrative tasks.

Harrington Gallery Attendant must be over 21 years of age and must attend an orientation. The time commitment is flexible.

The first orientation is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 11, with theater orientation beginning at 10 a.m. and gallery orientation at 11:30 a.m. Those interested in both areas are welcome to attend both sessions. On that day, volunteer schedules for the first four-six weeks of programming will be confirmed and additional sign-ups will be taken to fill existing open time slots. Those who wish to attend the Sept. 11 orientation must register at the volunteer site: www.helplendahand.org.

A second volunteer orientation will be held once the Firehouse Arts Center has been open for several weeks and additional volunteer needs have been identified.

The Firehouse Arts Center is located at 4444 Railroad Ave. in downtown Pleasanton. The historic firehouse at this location was built in 1929 with bricks from a local brick foundry and scheduled to be closed in the mid-2000s, when it was chosen as the future site of the arts center.

The new facility features a 227-seat flexible studio theater; 2,000 square feet of high-quality exhibit space in the Harrington Art Gallery; two large arts classrooms; and a spacious lobby for receptions and events. Learn more at www.firehousearts.org.

— Dolores Fox Ciardelli

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