World Wide Art Resources Website



A large part of the region's support of the museum is its volunteer program. Volunteers play a variety of roles and contribute many work hours to the museums programs. The museum and its outreach program has over 1,300 volunteers on an annual basis representing all ethnic groups and walks of life in the community. Many of these contribute just a few hours each for special programs or events, with the major volunteer support resting with the Hands-On! outreach program in the community, the annual "Collage" fund-raiser, the Museum Guild and the docents.

The 953 volunteers with the Hands-On! outreach program all served in their own communities. Since 92% of the Hands-On! audience is Hispanic and 88% in 1993-94 were from low to moderate income families, the community volunteers were essential to the success of the program. Volunteer training, exhibits and programs are presented in Spanish or English as needed. Hands-On! is expanding the access of informal education to include a much greater number of families whose access to other existing cultural institutions and programs is limited by distance, lack of public transportation and/or economics.

Another major use of volunteers is in the annual "Collage" fundraising event which has been the single most profitable event organized by the museum board. With the exception of some staff involvement, the variety of auctions, entertainment, food, and drinks are organized, controlled and acquired by volunteers. Providing several necessary services for the museum, the Museum Guild is a fundraising group which manages and staffs the gift shop and assists in the hospitality for museum openings. There are about 85 active members of the Guild, involved where their special training or interests lie. The Guild functions as a major booster of the museum throughout the entire area. Many contacts are made through the Guild's coffees and other activities.

The docents are a traditional use of volunteers in the education programs. On an annual basis, the docents are responsible for over 10,000 children who come with school tours. The docents receive specific training and are scheduled to provide the programs.

The Junior League of McAllen not only founded the museum in 1967, but continues to provide ongoing programs for the museum. On a regular basis the League volunteers give puppet shows for third grade students. The scripts change on an annual basis and deal with reinforcing subjects in the various schools' curricula. The Junior League is co-sponsoring, along with the museum's Hands-On! mobile outreach program, the Hallmark Kaleidoscope exhibit held in February, 1995, at a popular local shopping mall. Other organizations, schools, and the University of Texas-Pan American have been very generous in providing a variety of services including legal, editing, translating, public programming, educational, public relations, marketing, and research services. The City of McAllen provides for maintenance of the six-acre grounds through its Parks and Recreation Department.

The state department of the government of Mexico donated transportation for the Manuel Felgudrez exhibit which opened in January, 1994. Many local businesses have made in-kind donations of items or services for the museum, including paint and materials for remodeling the art and main galleries, translations for labeling, advertising, and printing for the outreach program. Throughout its history, MIM has been the recipient of the generosity of the community. The museum's growth and stability can be attributed to the many businesses and individuals who have given so much.


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