How would you like to see top-quality plays, musicals and concerts and help people enjoy those shows?
Volunteer ushers at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami and the Kravitz Center in West Palm Beach have a chance to see concerts and shows for free in exchange for their volunteer work.
Dianne Sammons volunteered for 22 years at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and loved the experience. She worked as an usher at several locations and was a tour guide. “I love to see the Broadway shows and you get a snack at intermission. We don’t get free tickets, but you can see the show. I worked with a nice group of people, and we enjoyed the experience,” she said. “One of my favorite memories was giving backstage tours. We were able to see areas that most people don’t get to see.”
Sammons said that ushers will have to stand while working and they may have to climb stairs. Ushers are expected to commit for the whole season. They are also expected to participate in annual training sessions and are rewarded with a party.
Anita Platt, a volunteer since 2016, loves to volunteer at the Performing Arts Center and has met many interesting people over the years. “I recommend volunteering if you like theater and music. I have had many positive experiences as a volunteer and have been able to see many great shows,” she said. “You are on your feet while people are arriving but other than that it is not difficult. You make many good friends among the ushers that you work with.”
Becoming an usher at the Broward Performing Arts Center
At the Broward Performing Arts Center and its affiliates, The Parker and the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, volunteers are welcome and encouraged to serve as ushers. Students, individuals who want to be involved in performing arts and retired people are invited to volunteer. They are encouraged to watch the performances where they are serving. Carlos Goycochea of the Center said that “It is not guaranteed that volunteer ushers can see the play for free, but they usually can. A lot of the volunteers have served for many years.”
To become a volunteer at the Broward Center, you must be a full-time, year-round South Florida resident and commit to a regular or weekly shift. You must attend a formal orientation training session and comply with all standards in the Volunteer Manual. Volunteers must have the ability to escort patrons to seats in all levels of the theater including orchestra, mezzanine or balcony. Ushers are important to every performance. Those who usher welcome people and make them feel comfortable during the performance, according to the Broward Center information.
How to volunteer: Call 954-468-2684 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteering at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach
You can volunteer at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach and enjoy some of the best live performances. Most of the volunteers serve as ushers but some serve in the administrative department and the data entry department.
“We have an active volunteer program, and we are always recruiting new volunteers,” said Karole Cooney, head of the volunteers at the Kravis Center. “Most want to become ushers so they can see the shows,” .
To become an usher, you must take two, four-hour classes. There you will learn about seating and emergency exits and other skills to be a successful usher. There are about 400 volunteer ushers, including about 12 who have been with the Kravis Center since it opened 30 years ago. They can choose a day or night when they are available to usher. Some chose to usher on one or two nights a week while others work only on Saturdays.
“The ushers get to see the shows while they are working. They get an usher chair in the theater on the level where they are working. They get to see wonderful shows. We have Broadway shows, symphonies, ballet, opera, contemporary dance and well-known comedians,” said Cooney.
How to volunteer: Call 561-651-4260 and ask for Karole Cooney or fill out an online application at kravis.org/volunteer.
Volunteering at the Arsht Center in Miami
The Adrienne Arsht Center welcomes volunteer ushers. Those who serve as ushers will see the shows at which they work. The management would prefer that those who are working the shows focus on serving the customers, so they actually give volunteers tickets. If you volunteer for 72 hours, you receive four tickets to a show, according to Alwyn Milton, head of volunteers. They also offer an annual luncheon for volunteers.
The Arsht Center is always looking for friendly people to usher, lead tours, help with administrative work or be a greeter. New volunteers receive an orientation, training and supervision and respect from staff members. They are recognized for their services and feedback.
Volunteering is a positive and rewarding experience. Those who volunteer at performing arts centers receive the additional reward of seeing world class art and entertainment.
How to volunteer: Email email@example.com or call 786-468-2285.
Smaller performing arts centers in South Florida also may welcome volunteers and offer chances to see shows free in exchange. Contact those centers to offer your services.
Find other ways to volunteer your services
- Volunteer opportunities in Miami-Dade
- Volunteer opportunities in Palm Beach County
- Volunteer to clean up Broward parks and beaches
- Volunteer opportunities at Vizcaya in Miami