The Deering Estate
For my Art Service project I decided to go out of my way and contact almost every institution listed on Professor Bailly’s list. To my surprise, I had a lack of responses. Out of all the institutions/ galleries that I emailed I only received about four responses. This came as a shock to me as I had assumed that institutions would be open to having members give back to the community through voluntary work. Out of the responses that I did receive, many of them required lengthy background screenings and selection processes. One of the few exceptions to this being the Deering Estate. I received a response from them very quickly with a list of possible volunteering opportunities and they made the entire process very welcoming as a whole.
Gardening and Weeding
My first project volunteering for the Deering Estate was gardening and weeding. I was tasked with clearing the stone on the perimeter of the estate from weeds as well as walking around and cleaning up any weeds I may come across in the area surrounding the cottage. I enjoyed this work as the fruit of my labor was seen instantly as I cleared more and more of the area but it was very labor intensive and I was only able to do this for about three hours. I will be looking forward to returning to do more possible gardening at the estate in the near future.
Mistletoe & Martinis
My second project at the Deering Estate was helping with all of the preparations of their annual holiday celebration. This has to be my favorite volunteer opportunity I have participated in college and I genuinely enjoyed getting to see the event planning side of the estate. I was tasked with setting up over 200 chairs as well as tables and decorating the inside ballrooms with a large Christmas village. We worked long hours both indoors and outdoors as well as collaborated with vendors from all over that were sponsors of this event.
I also got to help in preparing the silent auction where all proceeds benefit the Deering Estate Foundation. It was a great learning experience seeing the estate be transformed into a gala night. The team that I worked with was very welcoming and included me in every step of the way on the day of the event. My opinions were highly appreciated, and I was able to make a few influential changes to the setup of the event. All in all, it was a very successful event with all tickets being sold out. Knowing I had a small part in making it all come together was a great feeling.