Volunteering at the Museum presents an excellent opportunity to interact with a diverse and curious group of guests who are looking for an experience where knowledge and value go hand in hand. The heart and soul of any organization is its people, its contributors, and nowhere is that more clearly seen than here at The Corning Museum of Glass where volunteers provide a remarkable level of service. The outgoing and generous spirit of our volunteers is showcased through their passion for communicating the Museum’s mission of “Telling the world about glass.”
When guests stop by the Welcome Center on their way to the Museum for the first time, they are often welcomed by two amazing, fun-spirited, and vivacious volunteers. Dick and Nancy Evans are a married couple with years of valuable volunteer experience. The Evans’ breadth of knowledge and energizing attitudes are a welcome sight for the weary traveler. Guests who have stopped in to ask questions, grab a brochure, and pick up a map at the Welcome Center often stop back in to thank the Evans on their way back to the parking lot. “Many times guests will smile and give me a two thumbs up when they’re returning from their visit to the Museum,” said Dick. The Evans count the diversity and goodwill of volunteer life as being indicators of an energizing environment; an environment where smiles are contagious, stories are generous, and memories are made.
Together, Dick and Nancy have offered over 20 years of service to The Corning Museum of Glass and the community as volunteers. The Evans commute from Elmira every Tuesday, one of the busiest days at the Museum, and are particularly motivated by the ever-changing and captivating dialogue that they share with guests. You can tell immediately that Dick and Nancy are truly concerned with making each and every guest’s experience memorable. They began their service at the Museum in 2001 when Nancy, who had her eyes set on the Museum for many years, decided to volunteer as a docent following her retirement from the Corning Credit Union. She called it her “mission” to join the Museum and help foster its growth, saying that the Museum’s atmosphere is enjoyable. In time, her husband Dick entertained the idea of volunteering and in 2004 both husband and wife began working together regularly as a couple. The Evans share a common love of meeting new people—a perk that they get to enjoy often as they interact with guests from countries all around the world including China, Japan, Sweden, and Israel among many others.
Dick and Nancy’s main responsibilities include manning the Welcome Center, acting as ambassadors for the Museum, and answering any questions that guests may have. They also keep careful track of the number of buses that make their way to the Museum; an understated and yet essential function in preventing overcrowding within the Museum’s bus lane. Dick and Nancy are quick to point out that they enjoy being some of the first and last faces that guests see as they ebb back and forth between the Museum and the Welcome Center. They say that it is a real treat to help someone before they enter the Museum and then watch as they return carrying their gift shop spoils.
Lately the Evans have relished talking to guests about the Museum’s newest exhibition Life on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead as well as the construction currently in progress on the Museum’s campus. They are excited about the new North Wing Addition calling it “fantastic,” and are especially looking forward to the larger size of the new Hot Glass Show stage which will provide more space and opportunities for future guests. Most importantly the Evans say that the Museum “gives people a purpose,” it is “accessible” and always “appreciates the help.”
For those who wish to volunteer all you need to do is “be patient, be generous, and always smile.” For more information contact Kala Karden at 607.438.5286 or [email protected] for exciting volunteer opportunities offered by The Corning Museum of Glass.