Find Your Ideal Volunteer Opportunity

The Heard Museum Guild volunteers actively engage in all aspects of museum life.  This dynamic and talented group leads gallery tours, promotes sales in out gift shop and bookstore, greets and assists museum visitors, conducts research in the library, designs educational programs, and plans and implements special events and projects such as the annual Indian Fair & Market and Student Art Show & Sale.

Volunteer roles and schedules are flexible to meet the demands of everyone’s busy lives.

In addition, Guild members take advantage of a robust calendar of events including lectures, training sessions, tours of local galleries and places of interest, exclusive multi-day trips and more!

Volunteer Roles May Include:

Guide, Library Research, Museum Shops, Information Desk, Special Events Indian Fair & Market, Student Art Show & Sale

Find your ideal volunteer opportunity.

One Scoop Equals 10 Cups, 50 Cups to a Pot

Connie Thornton, Hospitality Specialist

Those attending this month’s Prepare for the Fair lectures are finding large containers of hot coffee on the buffet table thanks to Hospitality volunteer Connie Thornton.

Connie comes into the kitchen the day before a meeting to start the coffee. Three years ago, when she began with Hospitality, Connie says, she needed instruction for making coffee in the large urns. “One scoop equals 10 cups, 50 cups to a pot,” she says.

Connie does the preparation, including the shopping, for all the Guild meetings and special programs. In addition to coffee, she says, “we need plates and cups and flatware” to set up a buffet table. Each occasion “is a two-day project.”

Various Guild committees are assigned responsibility for providing food. Connie sends emails to remind the members before a meeting and, she says, they always come. “They put the food on the table and arrange it. I have nothing to do with it,” she says.

Connie takes over again after a meeting to clean up. “I’ve learned a lot being in charge of Hospitality,” she says. “How to organize, what to buy and setting up the tables.”

Connie has been a member of the Heard Museum since the mid 1970s. She retired as a social worker in 2011 and started volunteering right away. In addition to Hospitality, she contributes time to many other Guild activities. “I’m almost a full-time volunteer,” she admits.

You should spend 10 minutes in front of a painting. Read it. Don’t just look at it

Guild Member Profile: Marlene Scholsohn 

“You should spend 10 minutes in front of a painting. Read it. Don’t just look at it,” said volunteer Marlene Scholsohn.

Marlene was instructing about 15 guides—the Heard Museum’s Las Guias—who will be conducting tours of the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition all summer. They had stopped in front of Rivera’s “Calla Lily vendor.”

Marlene is co-chair with Linda Hefter of New Exhibit Training. After the curator has completed the introductory tours of an exhibit, she and Linda do make-up and supplemental walk-throughs, as well as their own tours.

Being a guide is a serious commitment, says Marlene. “We are required to work two scheduled half days each month or 30 hours a year.” she says. “And we have to be able to conduct tours of everything in the museum. We can’t pick and choose.”

Marlene, a volunteer since 1999, admits to a few personal preferences, though. “I gravitate to any new exhibit that is contemporary. I have a special feeling for contemporary art,” she says. In guiding, “I look at the art from a fine-arts point of view.” The Rick Bartow exhibit, which opened over the weekend, is high on her list.

Tackling the Archiving of Pablita Velarde Collection

Pablita Velarde (1918-2006), Heard Museum Billie Jane Baguley Library & Archives

In the back of the Heard Museum, in a room all to itself, is a recreation of the working studio of Pablita Velarde, one of the country’s most famous Native American artists. Visitors can see the artist’s metate for grinding pigments along with jars of ground minerals. They can see the sewing machine she used to make tiny boots for Pueblo dolls and a photograph on her easel.

What they don’t see is what is going on in the Heard Museum Library where volunteer Marcia Mason works two days a week as the archivist for the Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts research collection. “The Velarde collection was about six boxes of materials when we got it in 2015,” Marcia says, “but it has since grown and there is more to come.”

Marcia opens each box and numbers each individual item, which includes photographs, clippings, ribbons and original correspondence. She enters the items one by one as she builds a computer data base for the resource collection. “A lot of these materials came in scrap books,” says Marcia. “I took them out and numbered each one. It was a monster of a job.”

“I’ve fallen in love with Pablita Velarde,” says Marcia. She expects to find materials on Pablita’s daughter and granddaughter as she opens additional boxes. There’s no end in sight for this project at the moment and Marcia’s fine with that.

Guild Trip to Copper Canyon was Fantastic!

An amazing trip to Copper Canyon was provided by Guild Travel Chair, Shelley Mowry and South of the Border Tours owner, Stephen Bernier and was enjoyed tremendously by each and everyone on the trip. Most enjoyable was having local & knowledgeable tour guides who provided rolling lectures throughout the trip, enhancing our knowledge of this region in Mexico, it’s people, it’s history & culture.

This trip was a exploration into the scenic beauty of the Northern Chihuahua country side & Sierra Madre mountains. Starting in the tropical climate of Alamos then climbing up 8000 feet to the colder climate of the Copper Canyon region. An in person experience of the Tarahumara people and their culture was treated with respect & admiration.

The hotel experience spanned from a two night stay at the charming & elegant Spanish colonial Hacienda de la Santos hotel in Alamos to the rustic throwback in time of kerosene lamps and pot belly stoves in the Copper Canyon region.

The train ride, Gondola ride and zip line (by the braver travelers) offered wonderful views of the scenic beauty of this region and the canyon.

As usual the busload of travelers provided a boost to the local economy by purchasing Tarahumara baskets & folk art. Each stop provided us with shopping experiences that included outdoor markets to purchasing from local Tarahumara basket weavers at the train stops.

Food, service & entertainment was excellent. A standout performance of a chorus line formed by the travelers belting out their rendition of Féliz Navidad during a Karaoke happy hour was a highlight. We enjoyed a taste of the haute cuisine in Alamos to the locally prepared food of the Tarahumara in Copper Canyon. Every meal in between was a gastronomic delight.

As a frequent traveler on the Guild trips I can tell you that I cannot pick my favorite trip as they have all been equally enriching. On every trip it is a special delight meeting up with old friends and making new friends with like-minded people.

Thanks Shelley, Stephen and to all of you on this trip for providing me with such an enjoyable, enriching experience. I have such wonderful memories to enjoy until the next time we meet.
Diane Leonte

Heard Guild Explores HuHuGam Ki Museum

huhugamThank you so much for arranging the visit to the Salt River, Maricopa, Pima reservation.  Two decades ago I drove past the buildings on Longmore road on a daily basis while commuting to work.  I never thought I would have the opportunity to participate in a small group tour of the museum and hear first hand about the history of changes impacting those very buildings and the peoples who inhabited them this past century.  It was really exciting.

Despite my love of food I was not anticipating having so much fun watching a demonstration of tortilla making and getting to make my own.  The dried cholla buds in my pantry are now calling to me.  I am going to  add them to my salads asap.  I would love to repeat this same visit next year.

You do such a great job arranging these trips.  I want you to know that I appreciate your efforts.

~ Anita

Kudos for Guild Trip to Hopi Land

“The Heard Museum Guild trip to Hopi Land exceeded our expectations to learn about Hopi Land, the culture, and the people. The trip coordinators;-Shelley Mowry from The Heard Museum Guild, Stephen Bernier from South of the Border Tours, and Mark Bahti as our guide-provided an informative and memorable experience The planned tours enriched our knowledge of the Hopi culture as artisans, farmers, and guides opened their homes and hearts to our group. The trip was organized, meaningful-and fun! We look forward to future trips and events with The Heard Museum Guild.”
~ Pat Mathios

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The Heard Guild is the Best Part of My Retirement


I joined the Heard Guild soon after I retired to satisfy a life-long interest in Indians and their culture, having been taken by my grandfather to the maple syruping done by his Seneca friends.

I particularly like working with like-minded people, be it as a guide, a shop worker, or as a chairman or worker at the Fair or other weekend events.

I particularly like guiding children and seeing their interest awaken.

The Heard trips are first-class and we get to meet and interact with many people.

I have made lasting friendships with other volunteers.

All in all, working at the Heard has proven to be the most rewarding part of my retirement.

I love the Heard Guild organization.

Marilyn Brooks

Heard Museum Guide Enjoys Sitting in the Courtyard With Good Friends

Heard_Courtyard_cafeThe Heard Museum is spectacular! Sitting in the Courtyard with good friends on a glorious fall day, basking in the peace and serenity of the place – life doesn’t get better than this. Inside the Museum, thoughtful, beautiful exhibits are arranged to teach visitors and volunteers alike the rich past and the ongoing presence of American Indian cultures in the American Southwest.

I discovered when I retired from a long and joyous career as a middle school English teacher that the Heard offered me a perfect way to remain a teacher in a completely different setting and with none of the hassles – papers to grade, faculty meetings, etc. Las Guias training was the place for me to begin my Heard adventures, and before the end of the first class, I knew I had found a new home. In the years since I completed the class in 2010, I have been continually delighted with guiding tours, including stories and humor, showing visitors the wonders of Southwestern Indian art and history, and meeting Museum visitors from all over the world. It is a very special kind of teaching that I know keeps a smile on my face and delight in each new tour group. It definitely keeps me an active teacher, and I have no doubt will keep me young forever.

Jackie Kemmer

It Started With Taking A Short Course….Which I Now Teach.


I first visited the Heard Museum while attending a few Spring Training Games in March of 1995.

I added the Heard to my annual “teacher plays hooky” itinerary in Phoenix.  In 2002, I retired to Surprise, Arizona from Chicago.  One day ten years ago while at the Heard North Shop in Scottsdale, I saw a flyer for a four-session course called “Native Peoples of the Southwest”

I took the course, and the rest, as they say is, history.

Since 2004, I have been a member of the Heard Museum Guild.  The Guild is a challenging, educational, eye-opening, and enjoyable experience. What we do is worthwhile and valuable to the Museum and to the Indian communities we serve. Membership has given me both a sense of purpose and a feeling of accomplishment.  The Guild keeps me growing and has expanded my horizons. Also, there is a camaraderie among Guild members that is stronger and more vibrant than any other organization of which I have been a member. Most of all, I’m having fun.

I remember people asking me when I was about to retire, “What are you going to do with your time?”  To which I always replied, “Whatever I want!”  Even I didn’t suspect how wonderfully that prediction would come true.

Lucille Shanahan