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Visitor Guide Application

Apply Today
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Visitor Guide Overview

Essential Responsibilities:

Visitor Guides help facilitate the experiences that position Art Works Downtown as a lively and welcoming cultural center that brings together people, art, and ideas.

Upon successful completion of the initial training, Visitor Guides will be available in the main gallery to welcome visitors, answer questions, provide information, and engage visitors in impromptu conversations with artists working in their studios. Visitor Guides will also give public tours of the building's architecture and history. In addition, Visitor Guides will be available at special events to engage the public with the artists.

Besides impromptu tours, we will strive to have regularly scheduled tours on Wednesdays, and advertise on the website so that a visitor might come in specifically for a tour. This will enable studio artists to schedule some studio time around the tour time.

In the training sessions, Visitor Guides will be introduced to the artists, will gain an understanding of how art is working for the community, and will learn about the history of the building and its part in the revitalization of downtown San Rafael.


  • Curiosity and passion
  • Participation in a training session plus the ability to make a 12-month commitment of at least 8-10 hours per month. This may include being available for special events, parties, and receptions.


  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills, and a sense of fun!
  • A genuine interest in the arts
  • Experience working or volunteering in an art, cultural, or educational setting
  • Some experience facilitating conversations
  • Experience giving interactive, discussion-based tours preferred
  • Ability to positively represent Art Works Downtown and its mission
  • Volunteer appreciation events
  • New friendships
  • Smiles and thanks of visitors


As a volunteer, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you are part of a team, and that you are essential to the success of AWD and its mission. You will help AWD foster a sense of community and build connections between people through shared experiences with the arts and culture.

Additional benefits include:

  • Volunteer appreciation events
  • New friendships
  • Smiles and thanks of visitors

Compensation: Visitor Guides are volunteers 

Apply Today


Intern City Cafe

Intern helping install show at City Cafe
(photo: Cindy A. Pavlinac)

Work and learn. We are accepting applications for unpaid internship positions for the summer, semester, or full year. Interns will be exposed to a wide range of subjects and media, broadening and deepening their knowledge of art while gaining hands-on experience in many aspects of nonprofit community-based arts management, such as:

  • Administration: Including facilities, and management of our education, community, and outreach programs
  • Exhibitions: Including planning, logistics, staging, events, and promotion for shows in our three galleries
  • Development: Including fundraising events, working with donors, and aspects of the grants process
  • Promotion: Including public relations, database management, and an expanding range of social media engagement

To apply, candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and a letter of recommendation. For more information, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


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Susan Kirby Place

Susan Kirby Place garden sponsored by the Plante + Bramante families (photo: Petrina Wielgos)

Become a sponsor

Sign your name. Sponsorship lets you support our work in a very specific, tangible way. Opportunities are available to sponsor a gallery exhibition, resident artist, single or multiple events, art classes, community outreach programs –- or even part of our building. Whatever your interest or budget may be, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss the possibilities.

Get noticed: sponsor an exhibition.  Sponsoring a gallery exhibition lets you reach thousands of individuals in a unique and positive context. Your brand will benefit from the association with Marin County's premier non-profit arts center, and you'll connect with a very special audience of art lovers who are community-minded and open to new experiences. Your sponsorship will fund an essential part of our mission, and build a closer engagement between AWD, our local business community, and the public.

To learn more about making art work for your business, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

View our upcoming exhibits


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AWD's volunteers play an essential role in supporting the administration and programming of Art Works Downtown. As a volunteer, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you are part of a team, and that you are essential to the success of AWD and its mission.

Art Works Downtown's mission is to broaden our community's engagement with art.  Everything we do strengthens the creative fabric of our community and promotes art as a vital part of public life in San Rafael, Marin County, and beyond.

 Volunteer Opportunities

Gallery Receptionist

Do you enjoy fine art exhibits and engaging with visitors about art? Are you happy directing inquiries and taking messages? If yes, this may be a position for you. Art Works Downtown is an active art center serving many different groups of people while managing a large building with a very small staff. Gallery Receptionists are essential to our process because they provide a welcoming experience for our guests and regular community while allowing the staff to focus on other important work. This position greatly helps AWD maintain a positive atmosphere and productive workflow.Gallery Receptionist volunteer job description 

To apply: 
Print and mail or deliver this application: application
or contact Ellen Leo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 415.451.8119

2017 Volunteer of the Year: Chris Gomes

As we all know, the rock that nonprofits stand upon is volunteerism. Without their time and energy most nonprofits would disappear and without their belief in the mission, organizations would never exist. Art Works Downtown would like to nominate Chris Gomes for volunteer of the year because he totally rocks. Chris has become an important part of the Art Works Downtown team by being someone we can lean against. Art Works Downtown’s bustling culture can be challenging for many volunteers due to the variety of different communities we interact with such as visual artists of all ages, art patrons, curators, musicians, guests who are new to art, and the general public of downtown San Rafael. This dynamic often requires volunteers to be able to navigate many personalities while working on physical tasks at the same time. We can rely on Chris to positively interact with all community members while staying productive. Chris’s ever friendly and attentive personality stilts the welcoming atmosphere we rely on to connect art and the community. Chris is always available for any need, such as gallery hosting, bar tending at Art Walks, cleaning after events, attending to disgruntled visitors, assisting guest artists, and mentoring new volunteers. Without any expectation, Chris often volunteers beyond his committed hours just to make sure everything is resolved and everyone is taken care of. Being able to rely on Mr. Gomes not only helps accomplish various goals, but also boosts the organization’s productivity because our small staff can focus our energy on other areas with the piece-of-mind that he has it covered.

Art Works Downtown wouldn’t be able to manage low-income housing, the monthly Art Walk, a 40,000 square-foot art center in a pre-1900’s building, and over 40 exhibitions a year without the community’s help. Particularly without the deep and reliable support Chris provides. We would like to thank Chris Gomes for contributing years of his time, solid work ethic, and soaring positivity towards enriching community-connectedness through arts and culture for San Rafael and the Bay Area.


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Major Donors

Follet Collage

mixed media collage by CB Follett
(photo: Petrina Wielgos)

We thank you! The following supporters have made donations of $5,000 or more to help make our work possible:




Founders Joanne Greene + Phyllis Thelen
(photo: Cindy A. Pavlinac)


  • City of San Rafael
  • County of Marin
  • Greater Bay Bancorp
  • Tamalpais Bank NOW Union Bank
  • Wells Fargo Foundation



  • Doug Andelin
  • Larry + Brennie Brackett
  • Martin Bramante
  • Joan Capurro
  • Mel + Judy Croner
  • Nancy Curley
  • Olga Dollar

    Building donors (photo: Cindy A. Pavlinac)
  • Joanne Dunn
  • Mary Edwards
  • Bettye Ferguson
  • Dennis Fisco
  • Joanne Greene
  • Jon + Linda Gruber
  • Margaret (Peggy) Haas
  • Martha Harrison
  • Victoria Heiges
  • Charles Hoeppner
  • HC Jackson
  • William + Gretchen Kimball
  • Maia McGehee
  • Bill + Joanne Murray
  • Jerry Oken
  • Stephanie + Chris Plante
  • Bob + Becky Pringle
  • Paul Sack
  • Merritt Sher
  • Barbara Stewart
  • Phyllis + Max Thelen

Join us

If you are considering a major contribution to Art Works Downtown, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

to donate online, click HERE


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