Volunteer at PAE


Volunteering is a great opportunity for performing artists, graduate students, new agents, managers, presenters, industry pros, neighborhood residents and students to get a taste of PAE while helping out on the front lines and behind the scenes.

Option 1) Volunteers who plan to work fewer than 16 hours may attend juried showcases and briefly walk the Marketplace floor on the day that they work.  If not assigned to duties during the hours of Professional Development Sessions, volunteers may attend Professional Development sessions.  If there is a staff meal scheduled for the day of service, volunteers can expect to be fed a meal.

Option 2) Volunteers who plan to work 16 or more dedicated hours are rewarded with a full conference registration that provides full access to conference activities outside of the hours of service.

Option 3) Students who register under our reduced rate are required to work one shift of their choice as a volunteer.


We ask that volunteers attend an orientation session prior to the start of the conference. The orientation session and bag assembly typically takes place the Sunday prior to PAE.  It is inappropriate for volunteers to engage in business activities during PAE.  Volunteers are expected to fulfill their assigned duties and merely observe the conference environment. Volunteers are not paid. We ask that volunteers remain flexible and be aware that they may be asked to switch tasks or duties on site.


Volunteer Coordinator: There is typically one person, not a South Arts staff member, that acts as Volunteer Coordinator at PAE. At times a South Arts intern has filled this role, but it could be filled by someone interested in Performing Arts administration. South Arts provides very limited support for housing/meals for this role. This person must have 2-3 hours per week in August to communicate with volunteers ahead of time and must be available for the entire PAE conference Sunday – Thursday. Please contact Leland McKeithan directly if you are interested.

Bag Assembly: Assemble goody bags for registrants after the PAE orientation meeting typically held around 2:30 pm the Sunday before PAE. The work session starts with a tour of PAE facilities and lasts 2-3 hours.

Registration:  Meet and greet. Make registrants feel welcome.  Check off attendees.  Hand out registration packets and goody bags.  Distribute maps and schedules.

Marketplace: Check name badges at the door, help registrants find their way in the marketplace, and booth-sit for exhibitors so they can take short breaks.

PD Session Assistants: Professional Development Assistants. One or two people who work with the Professional Development Coordinator and South Arts staff specifically on the Professional Development sessions. Duties include checking people into sessions, staffing the PD information table, and inputting evaluation data.

PD Session Hosts: Professional Development Hosts. Typically PD Session Hosts are attendees of the conference that are familiar with PAE. This role is brief and lasts the duration of a PD Session only. Duties include greeting PD Session attendees, acting as liaison with PD Manager for AV support or temperature control, and distributing/collecting PAE evaluations.

Juried Showcase Support: Direct artists to/from stage and support technical crew and South Arts staff as needed (Tues and/or Wed full day commitment.) Take counts of audience attendees and help attendees find their way (Tues and/or Wed 4-8 pm.)

Hospitality & Set-up: Keep count of attendees and provide assistance to special guests and sponsors.

Way-Finders:  Volunteers will be posted at various locations to help registrants find their way to buses, parking, from venue to venue, and within the hotel.

Other: South Arts may assign duties outside of the above based on specific skills.  Prior experience in volunteer management, communications, traffic flow management, logistics, database and registration work, are all valuable and appreciated.

*South Arts is not and will not be liable in action of tort, contract, or otherwise for any acts or omissions of the Volunteer, or for any injuries, complaints, liability, damages or claims of any nature by or against the Volunteer arising out of or in the course of the Volunteer’s activities. Volunteer unconditionally agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless South Arts from and against all loss, damage, claim or liability resulting from the acts or omissions of the Volunteer. Volunteers will not engage in any acts of business during service.