“Being a Montalvo volunteer gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in the varied and rich cultural community that has been created from the vision and generosity of Senator Phelan. It is the most satisfying feeling to know that we are making a difference in people's lives today and keeping this jewel intact for the future.”
Whatever your skills, interest or time availability, chances are there is a volunteer opportunity just right for you at Montalvo! Montalvo hosts events and programs year-round, many on evenings and weekends. Most "behind-the-scenes" volunteer positions and Internships ask for a commitment of at least two months, and up to six months. Special events, visual arts, performing and literary programs require regular participation, with a minimum of 15 hours given each year.
Community Volunteers: Join Us
As a Montalvo volunteer, you will have the opportunity to meet new friends, build professional relationships, and have fun while contributing to a great cause. In addition, volunteers receive various awards and recognition throughout the year, as well as discounts on select concessions and merchandise purchases at events. Most importantly, however, you will have the satisfaction that comes with supporting Montalvo in its mission to bring the best of the arts to Silicon Valley.
If you are interested in joining our team of outstanding community volunteers, complete an online information form today.
For questions, please contact Volunteer Resources or phone 408-961-5828. Please provide your name, including spelling, and a phone number and email address.
Intern Candidates: See below for application and details.
Here are a few ways you can get involved:
Green Thumb Gardeners
Help make Montalvo's gardens grow! No green thumb necessary -- just a willingness to get your hands dirty and keep the park beautiful for all of our guests. Self-motivated gardeners sought every month to help weed, clip, dead-head, plant ornamentals, spread mulch and compost, and other tasks in select areas around the grounds.
- General Gardens: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays and Thursdays of each month with occasional special work days in the Italianate Garden
- Organic Kitchen Garden: By arrangement
Additional group work days are scheduled on select Saturdays or by arrangement. Minimum age: 16; 12 with as adult volunteer partner. Small- to medium-sized school and corporate groups are welcome to schedule a work day, too!
Gallery Hosts in the Project Space
Volunteers are sought to host the Project Space gallery year-round. Public open hours are Thursday through Sunday each week during exhibitions, 11 am - 3 pm. A commitment for two days a month for a minimum of three months is requested (two-hour shift each day). A gallery walk through and meeting with program staff are required, by arrangement, following the application and general training process. The gallery is a fun, easy opportunity to help introduce contemporary arts to Montalvo's guests. To read about the current gallery exhibition, click here. Background check may be required for this position. Minimum age: 16; 12 with an adult volunteer partner.
Sculptures On the Grounds
In addition to the Project Space, Montalvo commissions nature- or thematic-based, site-specific sculptures in the park. Many of these works are created with the able-bodied support and enthusiasm of volunteers working right beside world-class artists. Typically, the general training series is not required for these projects; just a love of the arts, physical ability as required for the project and a flexible schedule. For a schedule of upcoming projects, please contact Volunteer Resources or 408-961-5828. Great for small high school, college or employee groups!
“How wonderful it was for our children (and us) to be part of the creative process at the elbow of a world-class artist! The artist worked next to our children, making the brick making work fun, interesting and important. By participating in this Montalvo project, we became connected with talented artists and provocative art – art that provided a conduit to some resonating issues on the world stage. Many thanks to you and to the artist and his colleagues for the opportunity.” -Lisa M., Sculpture on the Grounds volunteer
Docent Tour Leaders & History Guides
Docents are highly knowledgeable volunteers that lead public and private tours of the historic villa. Seven weeks of training (18 hours) are required, and include detail on the life of James Phelan, the construction of Villa Montalvo and the history of the arts center. Docent tour guides are asked to commit to one year of leading tours, by arrangement (usually on weekend mornings and afternoons). The docent training class is offered annually, typically in late Winter/early Spring. You must be able to attend all sessions of the training class to become a docent. Contact Volunteer Resources for more information. Background check may be required for this position. Minimum age: 16.
Our shorter "History Guide" training is typically offered twice annually and provides all volunteers with a basic overview of the arts center's history. Includes six-hours of training and once complete, History Guide volunteers may lead outdoors-only history walks, staff information tables and more. A great way to enhance your knowledge about Montalvo in any setting!
Arts & Education Programs
Our Arts & Education programs at Montalvo offer internships and significant volunteer opportunities for individuals interested in contemporary art. You do not have to be a student to help this world-class program! Minimum commitment is one or two days a week (four-12 hours per week) for three months. Volunteers gain invaluable experience on the functioning and development of an active artist community, and share their expertise while helping the program grow and flourish. Opportunities to assist with general program development and administration, artists assistance and technology maintenance, culinary support and gardening development and maintenance, and more. Computer literacy is important. Volunteers must have their own car, have valid driver’s license and insurance. Background check and fingerprinting may be required.
Reception Desk & Behind-the-Scenes Program Support
Whether you are a student, stay-at-home parent, retiree, or anyone with some free time during office hours, we could use your organization skills to help with a variety of projects. Everything from file management to data entry to bulk mail processing to program and marketing research, and more. Most tasks require the ability to work independently following written and/or verbal instruction. Specific skills needed will vary by department and task. Schedule is by mutual agreement following a meeting with staff to ensure a good match. Regular shifts are also available greeting visitors and answering the public phone line at our front office reception desk. Minimum age: 14; 12 with an adult volunteer partner. Background check may be required.
Performing and Literary Arts (Concerts)
We welcome new volunteers to our outstanding team of guest service volunteers throughout the year. Scheduling priority is given to volunteers who are regularly active in non-theatre-based programs and events. Volunteers serve as Event Hosts and help make our guests welcome at every show. Duties vary by venue and season, but may include greeting, ticket-taking, traffic control, merchandise and concessions set-up and sales, beverage pouring, ushering, shuttle boarding assistance, and other tasks. Volunteers must be able to stand and/or remain attentive for extended periods. Minimum age: 16; 12 with an adult volunteer partner. Background check may be required.
See our Events Calendar for dates and times of upcoming events!
“We had just moved to the area, and after our first concert [as ticketed guests] at Montalvo we found out about volunteering, and signed up. Although we originally thought it was all about the concerts, we soon found it is so much more than that! Volunteering itself is just so much fun, so gratifying and it so enhanced an experience getting to be part of this positive team, meeting and greeting the guests, and generally being part of the whole Montalvo experience."
–Ariela H. & Jim B., Community Volunteers
College and high school students are invited to apply for an internship at Montalvo Arts Center. Internships for academic-credit are available, as well as for non-credit experience, depending on your interests, availability, and school guidelines. Application deadlines are as follows:
Spring (January-May): December 15
Summer (June-August): May 15
Fall (September-December): August 15