As a Photomonth volunteer, you will become an ambassador for one of the biggest photography festivals in Europe and have the opportunity to meet photography buffs, enthusiasts and world-famous artists. Volunteering for us means working with the organizers at the various stages of the festival, in such areas as exhibition set-up, accompanying events, care of guests, and work at the Festival Centre.
As shown by the results of our surveys conducted among last year’s volunteers, you will be able to further your skills in multiple areas, including technical skills in exhibition production, knowledge or art and photography, communication skills, such as openness to people, self-confidence, and perseverance, as well as organizational skills, e.g. teamwork, time management and leadership.
We want this year to be even better so we have prepared more surprises – new sections and initiatives, offering new opportunities for acquiring expertise and valuable experience. Without a doubt, both you and we will benefit by utilizing the time to learn from each other through action – collaborate, discuss, observe, and mutually develop our skills.
We know how such joint work can benefit the volunteers themselves, but also us, the organizers. It is thanks to you that we learn and get better from year to year – each time different and fresh. It is you who create the atmosphere, respond, inform and advise. None of the festival’s previous editions would have succeeded were it not for your help and commitment. It is you who jointly create an exceptional event with us. See last year’s volunteers at work!
The recruitment of volunteers for Krakow Photomonth 2016 will proceed in two stages:
– By February 28, candidates are requested to complete the questionnaire available at: http://bit.ly/20cRB8O
– Based on the questionnaires, some of you will be invited for an interview in the first half of March.
After the interviews, we will notify you by email of the final recruitment results and send a plan for further action.
A group of volunteers from previous years has already been engaged in co-organizing some sections of this year’s festival. Some of them will interview you, too. From the volunteers of the previous and this year’s editions of the festival, we will jointly select the Volunteer Leaders, who will oversee the work of the individual teams.
The coordination of volunteering on such a large scale over several months is certainly a huge challenge, given that our ambition is to deliver it to high standards of collaboration. But we do succeed, which is proven by the Volunteer Friendly Organization certificate awarded to the Foundation for Visual Arts in 2015. For us, the certificate is both a reward for our efforts and a pointer for our future activity. For more information about the certification see: dobrywolontariat.pl/idea
+48 517 056 469
Meeting with Volunteers 2015, photo by Aneta Urban
What is the timeframe for volunteering?
In March and April, we plan to begin our work in the individual volunteering sections and assign duties. Late April and May will be the exhibition set-up time. On 12 May, the festival will open and, for nearly five weeks, a GREAT deal is going to happen! The volunteering ends in mid-June with deinstallation of the exhibitions and a joint partyJ.
Please read through the section descriptions below to check the preliminary scope of tasks and responsibilities and approximate working times.
Can I obtain a volunteering certificate and references?
Yes, each volunteer may receive a volunteering certificate after the volunteering ends. Volunteers who wish to receive further feedback and who demonstrate exceptional commitment to their work may also receive references based on an evaluation of the whole team they have worked with.
Can I volunteer if I’m under 18?
Yes, you can volunteer if you’re 16 or 17, but you must provide written consent from your parent or legal guardian.
Can I complete my student internship as part of the volunteering?
Yes, you can do your internship as part of the volunteering during the festival. The number of internship hours will be taken into account when planning the schedule. If you are planning your internship during the festival, you should indicate this in the questionnaire and during the interview.
What is Culture at Work?
Culture at Work (Kultura w Robocie) is a project of the Foundation for Visual Arts organized by the volunteers in 2015. During nine meetings with the staff and coordinators of cultural organizations and projects, we learnt, among other things, what the challenges faced by culture managers are, how to obtain funds for projects from sponsors and through crowdfunding, and how to communicate and present a project visually to a wider audience.
What are the benefits of volunteering during Krakow Photomonth?
The benefits are best described by one of our volunteers:
“Volunteering during Photomonth gives you a unique opportunity to develop your skills, experience and contacts. You work with people who inspire and motivate you like nobody else.”
Read what our volunteers think about volunteering during Krakow Photomonth!
“I am keen on photography, have a lot of spare time and would like to use it in a concrete way, while developing my interests. In addition, I’ve been impressed with the previous editions of the festival and I can’t imagine missing the next one.”
“I want to be a volunteer because of my previous experience and passions, and for the learning opportunities, self-fulfillment and enjoyment.”
The first meeting of WOLO MFK 2016, photo by Kasia Korczowska
Care for guests
Volunteers mainly provide a roundtrip airport shuttle service for the invited festival guests, especially on festival weekends (driver provided by the festival). This section is for those who are punctual and have a good command of English. It will provide the chance to have an interesting conversation with curators and journalists from all over the world.
Supervising exhibitions and accompanying events
Volunteers will be asked to supervise exhibitions at the appointed hours and places throughout the festival, as well as to provide visitors with information about a given artist and their works. They will also participate in the festival evaluation by conducting visitor surveys. Volunteers in this section also help to ensure that the festival events – workshops, openings, Masters Series meetings – proceed in a smooth way. If you are an art lover and have a book ready for a more peaceful day in the gallery, this section is for you!
Volunteers take the city by storm – they are responsible for distributing the festival’s promotional materials. If you love being on your feet, know the city inside out, and feel confident when talking to the staff of restaurants and other establishments (or wish to boost your confidence), sign up here! Distribution is a cumulative effort taking place before and during the festival. Volunteers are to ensure that each of the eight city sections are supplied – on an ongoing basis – e.g. with festival programs and postcards.
Production, set-up, technical work
Volunteers help set up the exhibitions around two weeks before the festival, working physically and resolving various technical issues with the installation team. Patience and fine motor and manual skills are essential for the job. At times, you will also be needed to prepare the space for the installation team, which will require a good understanding not only of people but of things too. The work will continue throughout the festival and approximately a week thereafter, when the exhibitions are being deinstalled.
The FC is the heart and showcase of Photomonth, open on all festival days. Volunteers working at the Festival Centre are responsible for issuing accreditation to journalists, providing festival-related information and selling the publications. Clearly, this section is for people who are well-organized, independent and communicative, with a good command of English.
This section was created to document the volunteers’ work and the festival itself. You can refine your reporting skills, by taking notes and conducting interviews. Here we also need photographers and cameramen willing to experiment visually and share the results of their work with us and the public. This section starts as early as March, and its task will be to cover Photomonth on the social media channel dedicated to volunteering and contribute materials to the official festival social media channels.
In the two June weeks of the festival, we will invite schools, senior citizens’ clubs and community centers to visit the festival, entrusting the tours to our volunteers! Want to practice your communication skills, prove your worth as a guide, and do some community work for Krakow? This new section is for you!
For the Portfolio Review, volunteers are needed to give a hand to the reviewers and participating photographers, and do the necessary physical work to prepare the spaces. This section is meant for people with fluent English, especially those who can act as interpreters for the reviewers and participants.
This section is for those who want to help us learn how to be a better festival. The work lasts from April till the end of June and involves gathering feedback from visitors and volunteers. It offers opportunities in such areas as data collection, database creation and data study.