The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Greenway Volunteer Program - Art Ambassador

Application Process 

Recruitment for 2017 will open in January and volunteers will be interviewed starting in March. Training sessions will happen in the spring and early summer and preference is given to volunteers that can commit to these. To apply, please fill out the online Art Ambassador application available on our website.
Position Overview

The Conservancy is dedicated to bringing innovative and contemporary art to the Greenway through free, temporary exhibitions. We are committed to engaging people in meaningful experiences, interactions and dialogue with art and each other, as well as giving artists unique opportunities to exhibit bold new work that consider the possibilities of 21st century Boston.

In 2017 we will be featuring public art based the curatorial concept Playful Perspectives. The exhibition focuses on the use of forced perspective techniques to trick the mind and encourage the viewer to engage with the artwork in a playful manner. These works manipulate visual perception through the use of scaled objects and optical illusions, blurring the boundaries between art and everyday life, and between expectation and reality. By inserting these works in spaces that thousands of people pass through in the course of their daily routine, the exhibition seeks to monumentalize the mundane.

Art Ambassadors interact with visitors, providing guidance, discussion and information about our current art installations, contemporary art practices, and The Greenway. Ambassadors help the public better understand the artworks throughout the park system, helping to inspire our many visitors. We are looking for people who are passionate about public art and spaces, and are willing to work with a team to create meaningful experiences for park patrons.

  • Acting as a friendly, knowledgeable and approachable presence at our art exhibitions and events 
  • Engaging visitors with on-site activities and information 
  • Completing measureable observations and visual reporting to aid public art reports 
  • Prompt and professional communication with Conservancy staff, attendance at trainings, and understanding of the provided information about The Greenway and our art exhibitions 
  • Occasionally providing on-site support during events related to our public art program 
  • Working with Play Ambassadors and our Play Coordinator to engage young park visitors 

  • Interest in public art, art history, contemporary art, community engagement, public spaces, informal education, visitor communication, urban livability, or related fields 
  • Excellent communication skills and a willingness to engage with park visitors; experience working with children and knowledge of other languages are a plus 
  • Friendly, approachable, and professional demeanor and commitment to providing a positive experience for our park guests 
  • Ability to work outside in a variety of weather types, to move equipment including a rolling kiosk and program materials, and to stand for a period of time 
  • Ability to commit to a set schedule of shifts; longer-term commitments (3+ months) with a min. of six hours per month or shorter-term commitments (2-3 months) with a weekly commitment of hours 
  • All volunteers must complete a general orientation as well as specialized and periodic trainings on our exhibitions, and must follow our volunteer policies at all times 
  • Must have email and internet access, as this will be the primary means of scheduling and communication 

  • Further develop public presentation and education skills as part of an innovative and impactful public art program 
  • Gain knowledge and experience to support career development 
  • Be a part of a great team of Art Ambassadors and interact with Greenway staff and partners, potentially including artists, performers, and Boston arts professionals 
  • Participate in the benefits of the Greenway volunteer program, including a summer Volunteer and 
  • Member picnic, a t-shirt, and other training and event opportunities 
  • Opportunity to gain college credit and/or fulfill community service requirements, when applicable 


This position reports to Keelin Purcell, Volunteer and Education Manager, and works very closely with Lucas Cowan, our Public Art Curator and Melissa Henry, the Curatorial Assistant. We will rely primarily on set shift schedules that provide volunteer coverage during busy times of the week and allow us to consistently advertise the times when we have activities near our exhibitions. There will also be some special shifts that will support special events or performances.

Shifts are anticipated to be near a large piece in the Ft. Point Channel Parks and to also include a roaming assignment in which volunteers walk The Greenway looking to engage and answer questions on our various art pieces. Shifts are preliminary scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays from 12p-3p, Friday nights from 5:30p-7:30p and a TBD weekday from 11a-2p, though this is subject to change.

Art Ambassadors will primarily be needed from May through early September and assignments may shift throughout this season as exhibitions change and new opportunities arise. We can accommodate longer- term commitments (3+ months) with a minimum of six hours per month or shorter-term commitments (2-3 months) with a weekly commitment. We are also willing to work with volunteers who would like to take on a larger number of shifts and create a professional experience that would be suitable for college credit.

Volunteers will be provided with and asked to wear a t-shirt identifying them as an Art Ambassador. Otherwise we ask that volunteers wear casual but professional clothing appropriate for the outdoors.

About the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

The Conservancy is the designated steward of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a mile-and-a-half of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston that connect people and the city with beauty and fun. The non- profit Conservancy maintains, programs, and improves the Greenway on behalf of the public and in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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