Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017 Volunteer Sign-up
Chicago Architecture Biennial volunteers will welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Chicago Chicago Cultural Center and community anchor sites from September 16 – January 7. Volunteers will interact with visitors from Chicago and around the world—many who have traveled specifically for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and many who are visiting the Chicago Cultural Center and have no prior knowledge of the exhibition. A variety of volunteer roles are available with varying time and training requirements. All positions required completion of some preparatory reading materials. Please fill out this form and we will be in touch with you with required training documents and a link to schedule your own shifts.

Volunteers for the Chicago Architecture Biennial will be required to:
• Spend 3-4 hour shifts on their feet (with time for occasional breaks)
• Interact with all visitors in a friendly and professional manner
• Be comfortable approaching and/or being approached by groups/individuals of all backgrounds
• Have strong communication skills and the ability to talk to large groups
• Be flexible and willing to assist in a variety of roles and adapt to change
• Be 18 or older

It is also helpful (but not required) if volunteers have:
• Some background knowledge of architecture, design and art
• Strong knowledge of Chicago (geography, history, architecture)
• Experience as a tour guide
• Fluency in languages other than English

Email volunteers@chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org with any additional questions.

Your Information
Fill out one form per volunteer. Couples or teams should sign up separately.
Last Name
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First Name
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Email Address
Important communications will be sent by email, including volunteer assignments and other announcements
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Phone Number
The best number to reach you at, preferably a mobile phone (ex. 000-000-0000)
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Zip Code
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Did you volunteer for the Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015?
If yes, briefly describe what you did in 2015.
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T-shirt size
Unisex sizes
Volunteer Roles
Please read the descriptions for the 3 volunteer roles and select which role you are most interested in below.
Option 1: Greeter
Greeters will be stationed at strategic entry points and informational areas within the Chicago Cultural Center and act as ambassadors of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Prepared as logistical/geographic experts, Greeters will welcome locals and tourists to the building and introduce them to the Biennial. The primary objective of this role is to ensure that visitors entering the building understand a) what the event is, b) how the event functions, c) how to guide their own experience, and d) understand what/where community anchor sites are. Greeters will orient visitors, assist with wayfinding, and answer general questions about the exhibition. Greeters are not expected to be interpretational experts or give tours of the installations in the Chicago Cultural Center. Volunteers in this position will rotate between assigned areas such as the Biennial Welcome Center, Information Kiosk, and Book Store. Each area will have its own operational procedures and volunteers will be trained to operate in each area to maximize flexibility.

Shift length: 3 hours to 3.5 hours (arrive 15 minutes before your shift)

Shift times: Mon-Fri: 10am-1pm, 1pm-4pm, 4pm-7pm
Sat-Sun: 10am-1:30pm, 1:30-5pm

Option 2: Exhibition Guide
Exhibition Guides will be the “interpretive” experts available at the Chicago Cultural Center to guide visitors through the hundreds of 2-dimmensional and 3-dimmensional design installations that are the primary focus of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Guides will be available as a) floating expert docents in popular exhibition halls to interact with guests who have questions, or b) as tour guides for daily public tours lasting 45-60 minutes or for scheduled private tours. Guides will be prepared with informational materials created by Biennial curators and the designers of the installations to provide informed responses to questions or to deliver a practiced tour.

Shift Length: Tours: 1-hour tour (arrive 30 minutes before your tour)
Floating Docent: 3 hours to 3.5 hours (arrive 15 minutes before your shift)

Shift times: Daily Public Tours: 11am, 2:30am, and 5:30pm + varying private tours
Floating Docent: Mon-Fri: 10am-1pm, 1pm-4pm, 4pm-7pm
Sat-Sun: 10am-1:30pm, 1:30pm-5pm

Option 3: Program/Event Host
Program Hosts and Event Hosts will provide essential support to Chicago Architecture Biennial staff at a series of programs and events (lectures, press conferences, VIP events, screenings, etc.) located at the Chicago Cultural Center and a series of community anchor sites. Program Hosts and Event Hosts will generally be stationed at a check-in table to assist with access control, collect visitor information, answer basic questions, and ensure smooth operation of programs and events—but may also help with wayfinding and orientation at some events. Program Hosts are not expected to be interpretation guides or content experts but will be prepared with some general logistical knowledge about the Biennial. Shifts for this position will be scheduled based on the Biennial’s schedule of programs and events, most of which take place in afternoons or evenings. Program and Event Hosts will be expected to arrive an hour before a program begins and stay until 30 minutes after a program ends, exact times will vary based on the event calendar. Please note that there will be a series of preview events and press conferences the week before the opening of the Biennial (September 14-17) which Program/Event Hosts where more help is needed.

Shift Length: Varies, usually 2-4 hours

Shift times: Varies, typically afternoons, evenings and weekends

Which Volunteer Role would you be interested in serving in?
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