It has been said by many a visitor to Cleveland that a city our size should not have the myriad of attractions that our citizens enjoy. We boast the second largest theater district in the country at PlayhouseSquare. We have world class museums as well as a world class orchestra. Our park system has over 50 miles of paved walking and bike trails, a world class zoo, as well as a five-mile-long mountain bike trail. Our community arts organizations put on first-rate shows as well as educational programs. None of what Cleveland offers to the general population in the form of the arts would be possible without the army of volunteers that step up to help year after year. What follows are just a few of the organizations that offer volunteer opportunities to all ages.

The Cleveland Museum of Art Atrium (Photo By Mark Horning)

The Cleveland Museum of Art Atrium (Credit, Mark Horning)

The Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 E. Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 421-7350

With the grand reopening of the art museum after its major renovation project, volunteers are needed even more to help with the expanded museum programs. Volunteers are needed to staff the information desk, to help museum employees prepare for special exhibits and programs such as the “Parade the Circle,” serve as docents for school groups and conduct surveys as well as host the Gallery One exhibit. Volunteers for the museum include high school students, college interns, community leaders and retirees.

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The Beck Center for the Arts (Photo By Mark Horning)

The Beck Center for the Arts (Credit, Mark Horning)

The Beck Center for the Arts
17801 Detroit Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
(216) 521-2540

The Beck Center for the Arts began over 80 years ago as a neighborhood group of thespians rehearsing in their living rooms. In that time, it has grown into a huge community center that offers top-quality plays and musicals performed in its two theaters as well as various classes in art, acting and dance. Volunteers act as ushers, ticket takers, concession helpers and coat checkers for the professional theater series as well as help in fundraising, dance alliance volunteers and theater alliance volunteers, not to mention the garden group that oversees the various gardens around the complex.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History (Photo By Mark Horning)

Cleveland Museum of Natural History (Credit, Mark Horning)

Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Drive
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 231-4600

By far, one of the coolest museums in Cleveland is the Museum of Natural History. From displays of full-size dinosaurs to an outdoor live animal exhibit, volunteers are needed to help with collections, research, special events, public relations, staff support, educational programming and much more. Orientation and training are provided to all volunteers. For questions, you may contact the volunteer coordinator Donna Brant at

PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland, Ohio (Photo By Mark Horning)

PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland, Ohio (Credit, Mark Horning)

1501 Euclid Ave., Suite #100
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 771-4444

It takes 1,500 volunteers to run the second largest theater district in the country. Known as “the redcoats,” the tradition goes back to the early history of PlayhouseSquare. Many duties asked of the volunteers include being ushers, ticket takers, door directors, tour bus greeters, wheelchair assistants as well as working in the administrative offices, conducting theater tours and assisting in arts education programs for children and adults. For consideration of being a volunteer in one of the most prestigious organizations in Cleveland, fill out the form that is found at

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Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio (Photo By Mark Horning)

Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio (Credit, Mark Horning)

Severance Hall
11001 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 231-1111

Clevelanders have been volunteering to serve the Cleveland Orchestra ever since its founding in 1918. Volunteering includes membership in a host of organizations and performing groups with involvement in education, fundraising and various community projects. Over 400 volunteers provide service for the orchestra including acting as ushers, tour guides, orchestra store staffing and more.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (Photo By Mark Horning)

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (Photo By Mark Horning)

Cleveland Metroparks
3900 Wildlife Way
Cleveland, OH 44109
(440) 253-2145

Lovers of nature are usually found to be lovers of the arts as well. The Cleveland Metroparks offers wonderful opportunities for volunteering throughout the various park facilities as well as the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Applications for volunteers are available to all persons ages 16 and up (for the Park Service) and 18 and up for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. There are also opportunities for school groups, community groups, scout groups and more.

Mark Horning is a freelance writer covering all things Cleveland. His work can be found on