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Volunteers + Interns

We think volunteers are great. We’re enriched by your skills, talents, and viewpoints. And you’ll get something back… a terrific moment in the Art Center. Your time is valuable, and we know it. We’ll do our best to tailor your volunteer experience to fit your talents, skills, preferences, and availability.

The Art Center is loaded with opportunities. The best way to figure out what works best here for you is to visit. And the best way to visit, isn’t to just drop in (yes, we’re always busy with something)… call our volunteer coordinator Judith Zoon at 510-620-0290 to set up an appointment.

In the meantime, you might download and fill out our application and send it by email. And then read through the Volunteers Handbook.

After an orientation and training, we’ll help you get started… heck, we’ll even supervise your efforts. We’re proud of our volunteers. One of them recently received an award for his efforts. Next time, that could be you.

Here’s a brief list of what we need help with:

Studio Assistant — Provide assistance in the studio working one-on-one with clients, going on fieldtrips, helping with mobility issues and studio safety, and supporting teaching staff.  We also need canvasses stretched, paper cut, prints pulled, and finishing details added to fiber art projects.

Gallery Sitter/Gallerina — We get art lovers visiting all the time. Our galleries are open weekdays  It would be great if we were open weekends. You could help. You can also talk to visitors, explain the art, and makes some sales. You cannot sit behind the desk and ignore the gallery-goers. Seriously. That’s not kind of art experience we’re trying to share.

Gardener — Our garden and courtyard are amazing. And they need someone who loves them to take care of them, a gardener who can’t get enough.  We grow flowers, vegetables and fruit, and we have two compost bins to manage.  You can also curate the sculptures chosen for the garden.

Social Media/Blogging –  The tech savvy can help us stomp around the interwebs.  We’re all over the social media sphere, grab your camera and laptop and join in the fun.

Inventory Management – Yep, we produce a lot of art. And yes, we do our best maintaining, cataloging and photographing it. But the inventory is vast and growing all of the time, you can help us keep our arms around it.

Event Promotion — This slot is for a real go-getter. Submit our event information to various news outlets. Figure out new places to distribute postcards. Heck, if you have graphic design experience you could create exhibition fliers and put them up all over the East Bay.

Special Events — Work with our Special Event Committee to plan and execute special events benefiting NIAD Art Center. Past experience a plus, but not necessary.  Help plan the theme, food, program and promotion, as well as recruit others to work on the project. With your help, we could have a lot more benefits.

Facility Maintenance – We always have a list of minor maintenance projects like painting, staining, building artwork storage, and minor repairs.  If you enjoy any of these tasks, we are happy to supply the materials and tools.

Board of Directors — The Board of Directors sets policy, fundraises and works in the community to promote NIAD Art Center. Board members attend six meetings a year, plus time spent working on Board committees. If you are interested in becoming one of our directors, please contact Deb Dyer by email or phone at 510-620-0290 for more information.


Yes, we love to work with adult artists with disabilities.  You probably will, too. But you need to remember this when considering a internship with us. Patience may be a virtue, but here it is a necessity.

Internships for credit from sponsoring universities or colleges are available at anytime during the year and can be focused in exhibitions, marketing, graphic design or teaching. Or you can choose to create an internship that fits your skills.

Obviously, you need to visit and spend some time with us before deciding on an internship. Here are few successful internship offerings we’ve developed:

Teaching Assistant – In our studio you will work with the guidance of one of our teaching staff. Interns will assist their assigned teachers with project management and will work with individual clients or small groups of clients. Training is provided in all aspects of teaching, including preparation of materials and supplies, interpersonal communication skills, limit-setting, and facilitation of artists’ work in painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking and textiles.

Exhibitions Assistant – In the galleries, you will work with our gallery director to keep NIAD’s exhibition program rolling. Interns can gain experience organizing and installing exhibitions, writing artist bios, designing announcements, managing the NIAD gallery, preparing art for shipment, and working with art consultants. For this position it is preferred that applicants be capable of lifting 25 lbs and are accustomed to using basic tools. Strong writing and people skills, experience using Adobe Photoshop and WordPress are definitely a plus.

Still want to be an intern? As we mentioned earlier on this page, we encourage you to visit the studio prior to applying. If you’re interested in applying, start the process by sending a cover letter and resume to Oh yeah, and thanks a whole bunch for your interest. It’s people like you that help keep the Art Center a super place for all.

(featured image l-r: Volunteer Mimi Abers works with artist Jon Fukui in the NAID ceramics lab)