Three Cheers for TMA Volunteers!
April 17-23, 2022 is National Volunteer Week!
Here at TMA, we would only be able to do a fraction of what we do without the support of hundreds of dedicated volunteers. This week we honor the members of the Contemporary Art Society, Latin American Art Patrons, TMALearn! Docent Council, TMA League, and Western Art Patrons. All of these groups have multiple activities and roles, but their primary volunteer service to the museum fits one of three categories:
Supporting Artwork Acquisition and Exhibition
The Contemporary Art Society, the Latin American Art Patrons, and the Western Art Patrons raise money to acquire new artworks for the permanent collection. They also sponsor exhibitions in TMA’s galleries.
Supporting General Museum Operations
Having artworks to exhibit is essential for TMA, but no less important is the funding necessary to pay for lights, climate control, building maintenance and other daily expenses. The TMA League organizes fundraisers to benefit the general operating budget. League members also donate time to assist with museum-organized fundraisers like TMA Gala.
Teaching About Art
Art education is a primary function of the museum, and many hours of service from each member of the Docent Council make it possible to share knowledge about art and artists with with the Tucson community. They lead tours, present lectures, lead art-making activities, answer visitor questions in the galleries, run the research library, and more.
Below, learn more about these five organizations.
Contemporary Art Society (CAS)
CAS’s mission is to foster a greater community awareness of the role contemporary art plays in the region’s cultural identity. Members further the goals of TMA by:
- Acquiring contemporary art for TMA’s permanent collection. Since 1999, CAS has raised and contributed more than $1 million in artwork value in consultation with the curatorial staff.
- Supporting exhibitions of contemporary art at the museum.
- Sponsoring lectures by locally and internationally prominent artists, curators, critics, gallerists, museum directors and other arts professionals.
- Organizing studio visits, salons, tours, workshops, and events that promote the study, discussion, and appreciation of contemporary art.
LAAP members in their booth at TMA’s 2021 Fall Artisans Market.
Latin American Art Patrons (LAAP)
LAAP is dedicated to the support and expansion of the Museum’s Latin American Art programming of exhibits, publications and educational presentations. It also provides funding to expand the permanent collection by acquiring artworks from the Ancient American, Spanish Colonial and contemporary periods, as well as folk art and Indigenous art. You’ll find a LAAP booth TMA’s Fall Artisans Market raising money for artwork purchases.
LAAP members tour the Arizona State Museum.
Docents complete a rigorous 9-month training program to prepare for service at TMA.
TMALearn! Docent Council
TMA Docents bring art education to museum visitors, students, and the local community through many different programs. They lead gallery tours, provide engaging experiences for K-12 field trip groups, bring art programs to local schools, do extensive research on artworks in the permanent collection, operate the research library, and present an annual series of very popular Art Talks. The Docent Council volunteers hundreds of hours of service every year, making many TMA programs and services possible.
Treasure House 2021 was the most successful one yet! Organizers from the TMA League, pictured in the retail space donated by Larsen Baker, share the sales total at the end of the event.
The TMA League supports TMA in multiple ways. The group organizes annual fundraising events like the Treasure House estate sale and Dinners a l’Art, with proceeds providing essential operating funds for the museum. League members also contribute hands-on help at many museum-organized events—League members volunteer many hours every year. Group members share camaraderie and their love of art on day trips and overnight travel tours to visit other museums and collections.
TMA League members provide hands-on assistance at events like the annual TMA Gala. Photo courtesy Willo + Simon.
Western Art Patrons members at the annual Cowboy Cantina lecture/fundraiser.
Western Art Patrons
The Western Art Patrons support acquisition and exhibition programs of the Art of the American West and Indigenous Arts curatorial department. The group celebrates and explores the themes, experiences, and environments unique to the art produced in, or about, the western United States –from historical to contemporary.