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Best Volunteer Opportunities For Art Lovers On The Peninsula

Hand Blown Glass Art (credit: Miramar Events)

Perhaps you've always wanted to work in a theater or a library. Or maybe you're gifted at working with kids, teenagers or seniors. Outdoor art fairs always attract hundreds and the organizers can certainly use the assistance of volunteers. Zero in on art-related volunteer opportunities in and around your own community and select those that are right for you. As Winston Churchill is often quoted on volunteerism, "We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give."

Half Moon Bay Art And Pumpkin Festival
1327 Miramar Ave.
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 726-3491

Plenty of planning and man power go into the event on historic Main Street in downtown Half Moon Bay when it is transformed into the World Pumpkin Capital for the weekend of October 18 and 19, 2014. Thousands will descend for the 44th Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. About 260 fine arts and crafts booths will feature plenty of pretty hand-blown glass pumpkin treasures among other art and designs. The Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee runs "Made on the Coast" local artists', musicians' and authors' blocks to highlight local talent during the festival. The Coastal Arts League runs the 8th annual amateur $1,000 prize poster competition for the festival. Get in touch to see how you can get involved as a volunteer.

86 Cañada Road
Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 364-8300

For those whose love of the arts encompasses decorative arts and gardens, Filoli offers rich volunteer opportunities in a beautiful country estate setting. A site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, volunteers join a staff dedicated to the mission of preserving this Georgian landmark with its formal garden and hundreds of acres for the public's enjoyment. "Visitors just fall in love with this place," says one volunteer from the ranks of 1,200 who are involved in every aspect of the operation. Art-related opportunities include assisting instructors with calligraphy, photography, mosaics, crafts, embroidery and botanical art. Hanging art exhibitions, flower arranging and docent tour guiding are among the dozens of other volunteer jobs.

Peninsula Library System
San Mateo Library
55 W. 3rd Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 522-7800

There's so much more to libraries these days than books. At one or more of the area's 35 public and community college libraries, you'll support a team of your own choosing. Opportunities range from computer aide to creating library posters and fliers with the library's teen council. Special events is another area to contribute your talents, working with flower arranging, origami, knitting, movie screenings, painting with kids and arts and crafts for all ages. Get in touch and visit your nearest library throughout Burlingame, Daly City, Menlo Park, San Bruno, San Mateo City and County, South San Francisco, Redwood City and the College Library groups.

San Ramon Art And Wind Festival
San Ramon Central Park
12501 Alcosta Blvd.
San Ramon, CA 94583
(925) 973-2500

Here's one for the kite-makers. The 28th annual festival is on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 to 26, 2014. Visitors mingle around 150 arts and crafts booths, 20 food vendors, four stages of live entertainment, face painting, kite-flying demonstrations and popular kite-making workshops. Sponsored by the City of San Ramon/Parks & Community Services, this is one of the events in which the city makes use of art-savvy volunteers. The City Lights Volunteer Newsletter tells more about it and is available online.

San Carlos Art And Wine Faire
1500 Laurel St., Suite B
San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 593-1068

This 24th annual event, taking place on October 11 and 12, 2014, will draw about 70,000 visitors to visit 275 art vendors showing ceramics, photography, wood working and more. The classic car show may be of special interest to some art lovers. Child-friendly activities include face painting, a magician and a Family Fun Zone stage. The other large downtown event is the Hot Harvest Nights farmers' market held on Thursdays, May to September. Both are sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, so get in touch to see how you can use your art skills when volunteering to assist with the planning, preparation and operation.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she's writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on

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