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August 3, 2009 // UPDATED 9:01 am - August 3, 2009
By: Tom Hoch
Tom Hoch
Hennepin theaters unveil new volunteer initiatives

There’s a correlation between the kind of city you have and the kind of people who live, work and play in that city. Engaged and active people, caring about their neighbors and the vitality of the public realm make the difference between a mediocre place and a vibrant city.

In addition to expanding your skill set, professional network and friends, volunteering for an organization or cause is a great way to act on your desire to positively contribute. Every day in our community, there are hundreds of opportunities to become engaged. Websites like volunteermatch.org list a variety of cultural, educational and philanthropic organizations looking for support from Twin Cities residents like you.

Creating opportunities for our citizenry to become more involved with the State, Orpheum and Pantages theaters is a goal of Hennepin Theatre Trust. The Trust has recently introduced two new initiatives geared toward those who want to be part of the energy of Downtown Minneapolis while contributing to the Twin Cities theater community.

Opportunities in our Volunteer Program include event organization, administrative support, greeting and answering patron questions, marketing assistance and distributing materials for Trust presentations. Benefits of this initiative include opportunities to earn tickets and merchandise, receive recognition though our website and other materials plus the chance to learn more about the theater industry and the satisfaction of helping enrich the vibrant cultural atmosphere of the Twin Cities.

The Scene, Hennepin Theatre Trust’s new young professionals group geared toward ages 21–39, offers members the opportunity to network in a relaxed environment while contributing to the vitality of performing arts on Hennepin Avenue. Involvement in this initiative can take many forms including social, philanthropic, service and/or advocacy. Benefits for those who wish to join The Scene include exclusive invitations to post-show receptions and events, discounted tickets to select Hennepin Theatre Trust presentations and the opportunity to participate in a variety of theatre related service projects. To join or for more information on The Scene, please contact us at info@hennepintheatretrust.org.

The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I encourage you to take that first step and get involved in our community. You never know where a simple act of volunteerism might lead you.

Tom Hoch is president and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust, owner of the Orpheum, State and Pantages theaters, a nonprofit organization devoted to enriching the vibrant cultural atmosphere of the Twin Cities.