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Volunteer ushers get to see high-quality performances

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 volunteer@browardcenter.org.

Photo: Kravis Center, Alexander W. Dreyfoos Concert Hall

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.

Photo: Deposit Photos

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 volunteers@arshtcenter.org 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

Free and cheap entertainment this week

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Regal Theatres: Discounted movie tickets on Tuesdays

All Day | $5.00-7.00 | Regal Cinemas Multiple Locations

Food Trucks Tuesdays

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Haulover Beach Park

$5 Retro Replay Films

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $5.00 | Landmark Theatre at Merrick Park, Coral Gables

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Winnie-The-Pooh on stage at Lake Worth Playouse

11:00 am | $8.00 | Lake Worth Playhouse

CMX Classics discount film

3:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $6.00-7.00 | CMX Cinemas

Food truck gathering at Pelican Harbor Marina

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Pelican Harbor Marina

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Comedy Night at Pub 52

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Nightlife Brewing Co., Miami-Dade

Comedy Night at Exit One Taproom

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Exit One Taproom, Miami-Dade

Free Screening of "The Boy and the Heron"

9:00 pm | FREE | Bill Cosford Cinema

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Free live music in Pompano Beach

12:15 pm to 1:15 pm | FREE | Pompano Beach Cultural Center

Food Truck Thursdays at Highland Oaks Park

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Highland Oaks Park

Live music: Clematis by Night, West Palm Beach

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | West Palm Beach Waterfront

Free Third Thursdays in Surfside

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | 93 St. Collins and Harding Avenues

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Live music at Doral Yard

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Friday, April 19, 2024

Fluffy's Food Trucks in Coconut Creek

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Sabal Pines Park

Live entertainment at Plantation Walk

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Plantation Walk

Art After Dark: Live performances, tours, workshops, Fridays at The Norton, WPB

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $5.00-10.00 | Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach

Food truck gathering

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Tropical Park, South Miami

Smorgasburg Miami weekly street fair with music

5:30 pm to 10:30 pm | FREE | Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach

Sounds of the Town concert in the park

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Davie Pine Island Park

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Sounds of Little Haiti

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | Discounted | Little Haiti Cultural Center

Food In Motion food trucks & vendors in Fort Lauderdale

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Esplanade Park

Friday Night Sound Waves free concert

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Las Olas Oceanside Park

Jai-Alai, spring season, Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Magic City Fronton, Miami

Broward Women's Chorus: Sing Me Love Songs

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm | Discounted | Victory Black Box Theatre Fort Lauderdale

Friday Nights at Boulevard Heights live music

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm | FREE | Boulevard Heights community center

Jam on percussion for free

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | South Florida Center for Percussive Arts

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Free foreign film in Deerfield Beach

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Deerfield Beach Historical Society Museum

Carter Park Jamz in Fort Lauderdale

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Carter Park

Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays)

7:00 pm to 11:30 pm | FREE | Calle Ocho

Live @ Mickel free concert, Wilton Manors

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Mickel Park

Live Music at Doral Yard

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Free outdoor films in Hollywood

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood ArtsPark

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Farmers markets & vendor fairs

FREE | Broward, Dade & greater Palm Beach

Plantation Farmers Market

8:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Volunteer Park Plantation

Delray GreenMarket

9:00 am to 2:00 pm | FREE | Old School Square, Delray

Vintage Fair at Festival Marketplace

10:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Festival Marketplace, Pompano Beach

Earth Day event in Weston

10:00 am to 1:00 pm | FREE | Weston Library Park

Pompano Seafood Festival

11:00 am to 10:00 pm | $20.00 | Pompano Beach Community Park

Smoke on The Water BBQ Feast

12:00 pm to 4:00 pm | FREE | Esplanade Park

Downtown Palm Beach Gardens free outdoor music series

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Downtown at the Gardens

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

1:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Earth Day Mother Ocean Music Festival in Hollywood

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Wynwood free outdoor music series, Miami

2:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Wynwood Art District, Miami

Live entertainment at Plantation Walk

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Plantation Walk

Live Music on the Plaza

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | CityPlace Doral

Downtown Hollywood ArtWalk.

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Free outdoor concert, Boynton Beach

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Canyon Amphitheater, Boynton Beach

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Live choir at Bailey Hall in Daive

7:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Bailey Hall in Davie

Free screening of "Trolls"

8:00 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Peace Park

Live Music at Doral Yard

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Free Screening of "The Boy and the Heron"

8:00 pm | FREE | Bill Cosford Cinema

Discount late-night movies

9:00 pm to 11:30 pm | $5.00 | Coral Gables Art Cinema

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Farmers markets & vendor fairs

FREE | Broward, Dade & greater Palm Beach

Tamarac Farmers Market

9:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Veterans Park Tamarac

Pompano Seafood Festival

11:00 am to 7:00 pm | $20.00 | Pompano Beach Community Park

Symphonic Band at Broward College at Bailey Hall

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Bailey Hall in Davie

Symphonic Band in Davie

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Bailey Hall in Davie

Adventures of the Three Mess-Keteers, Sunrise

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Sunrise Civic Center

Family Sundays at Dania Pointe with entertainment & games

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | Dania Pointe

Market on the Plaza

2:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | CityPlace Doral

Live entertainment at Plantation Walk

3:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Plantation Walk

CMX Classics discount film

3:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $6.00-7.00 | CMX Cinemas

Sunday on the Waterfront: Free monthly concert & food vendors, WPB

4:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Meyer Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach

Ocean Drive Promenade Music Series

5:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Ocean Drive Promenade, Miami Beach

Tropical Sundays Live Music

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Outdoor Bingo in Sunrise

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Sunrise city park

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Salsa dance class

9:00 pm | FREE | Ball & Chain

Monday, April 22, 2024

Free Improv class every Monday in Palmetto Bay

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Palmetto Bay Library

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Regal Cinemas: Monday Mystery Movie: Rated-R

7:00 pm | $5.00 | Regal Cinemas

Comedy Night at Sandbar Sports Grill

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Sandbar Sports Grill, Miami-Dade

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