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by Kalamalama staff

Every first Friday of the month, Honolulu’s Chinatown-area art galleries and restaurants open their doors with late-night exhibits and free entertainment. From 5-9 p.m., downtown businesses feature Hawai‘i artists, art, culture, food, special events, and activities.

According to Janice Brown at Arts at Marks Garage, one of the main organizers of the event, volunteers are needed for every First Friday Honolulu gallery walk event, which for the past six months has consistently drawn more than 2,000 people each night.

“ Volunteers get a chance to see contemporary art and sometimes free entertainment,” said Matheson, noting that on Oct. 6, the entertainment included taiko drumming on the sidewalk, and a performance installation inside the Arts at Marks gallery.

Matheson outlined some of the details:

“ They have two shifts, 4:30-7 p.m. and 7-9:30 p.m., and rely on the first shift of volunteers to brief the second shift when they come on,” Matheson explained as she ran through the available positions.

• Greeters open the door if necessary, answer questions, and click a people counter to keep track of every body coming in.

• Garden guards stand outside the door, in the thick of the crowd, to keep people safe.

• Front desk information specialists and art sellers: two per shift are needed to count change, process charges, and write invoices.

• Gallery attendants, two or more per shift, keep an eye on the gallery, ask people to “touch with your eyes” if necessary.

• Beverage masters replenish punch or other beverages.

• Food meisters, two per shift, replenish food supplies.

Matheson warns that there may be slow times (usually earlier in the evening), so volunteers must love people watching or be able to keep themselves amused.

There is always at least one Marks’ staff person on hand to answer volunteers’ questions.

“ They also need installation volunteers about once a month,” Matheson added, “to help put up exhibits.” Installation is usually Sunday and Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in two hour shifts. Duties might include painting walls or pedestals, patching walls, drilling, assisting with hanging, moving panels, etc.

For more information regarding First Friday events, visit artsatmarks.com. To volunteer yourself or your club, e-mail janice@artsatMarks.com.



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