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MOCA volunteer helps children make art

MOCA volunteer helps children make art

May 5, 2016 // by Kiersten Barnes

Volunteering at MOCA Jacksonville is rewarding and fun. You'll learn about the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Museum and how you can be a part of it. Membership volunteers organize mailings to Museum members. Education volunteers assist guests with art activities at programs like Art Fusion. Curatorial volunteers welcome guests at public programs. These jobs provide vital support for the Museum's different departments and are essential to the success of MOCA.

Ashley Hardin is one of MOCA Jacksonville's newest volunteers. She has committed several hours towards assisting the Museum's Education Department, particularly providing aid to the Museum's tour program which serves about 16,000 students annually.

Many of MOCA's volunteers are students enrolled in local colleges and universities like Hardin, who is studying business at the Florida State College at Jacksonville. In between prepping art materials for school tours and organizing the fifth-floor classrooms, she talked to us about her experience of volunteering at MOCA.

Volunteer Ashley Hardin Prepares Collage Materials a
Volunteer Ashley Hardin helps prepare art materials for a collage activity second graders create during their tour of MOCA Jacksonville. Image courtesy of Kiersten Lampe.

Why are you volunteering?

I am taking a psychology class that requires me to complete volunteer hours. We have to connect our volunteer experience back to psychology in some way as part of an assignment.

How do you plan on relating your volunteer experience at MOCA back to psychology?

I am tying volunteering in general back to social cognition. Volunteering can help someone experience self-actualization. For example, I usually feel more motivated after I volunteer.

What made you want to volunteer with MOCA?

I came here a few weeks ago to see my friend Emily in a fashion show, and I really liked the environment. It's very inviting, and it's nice to be in a beautiful setting, so I thought MOCA would be a great place to spend my time.

How have you spent your volunteer time at MOCA so far?

So far I have committed a few hours to helping out in the classrooms on MOCA's fifth floor. I refreshed the classrooms for the tour program, which serves hundreds of kids each week. Mostly I have helped by cleaning up the tables and organizing everything so it's neat. I also helped prepare art materials for the collage activity that second graders get to do as part of their tour of the Museum. The activity seems really fun, and I kind of want to make a collage myself!

Do you have any experience with art?

I took advanced art all throughout elementary, middle, and high school. My favorite medium is painting, though.

Do you volunteer anywhere else?

I help out a lot of different charity walks including the Heart Walk and the JDRF One Walk to find a cure for diabetes.

What do you want to do after you graduate?

My plan is to be an entrepreneur. I want to open my own café, and I have an idea that would make my place a little bit different. I can't share too much though because I need to get it patented first!

Volunteer Ashley Hardin Sharpens Pencils b
Hardin says she feels more motivated after she volunteers at MOCA. Image courtesy of Kiersten Lampe.
Volunteer Ashley Hardin Cuts Paper c
Hardin volunteers MOCA as part of a psychology class she's taking at FSCJ. Image courtesy of Kiersten Lampe.

MOCA Jacksonville recognizes all its volunteers at a celebration on May 19 with refreshments, recognitions, and a tour of Shinique Smith's Project Atrium installation and Amer Kobaslija: A Sense of Place in the UNF Gallery. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, click on the “Become a Volunteer” button on the volunteers page.




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