Publisher’s Note: Volunteer Missoula is partnering with Make It Missoula to help the community learn more about the great work of local nonprofits as well as spread the word about exciting volunteer opportunities available to Missoulians. Every month we will feature a blog about an “Organization of the Month” chosen from our list of website users.
In my first Make it Matter blog, I mentioned that I resolved to make 2015 matter by volunteering my time to worthwhile nonprofits. So this month, in keeping with my resolution, I scanned the contents of the Volunteer Missoula website looking for an organization which both piqued my interest and met our criteria (the nonprofit organization had signed-up and filled out a profile on the Volunteer Missoula website). Before long, I found the perfect one.
MCT is the umbrella organization of Missoula Children’s Theater and the Missoula Community Theater. Simply put, it is an arts organization which provides local productions, children’s musicals, revues, showcases, and operas for communities. People across the globe recognize MCT for giving children and adults the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts. And it all started here in Missoula.
Following a frustrating attempt at navigating the one-way streets of downtown Missoula, I finally made it to MCT. I hadn’t been inside since I was about 7 and I went to see a play my cousin was in. I did, however, spend a lot of time in my youth volunteering and acting at a small theater in my hometown. MCT definitely brought me back to my theater days. There is nothing like a theater on performance night; you can feel the excitement, anxiety and passion in the air.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the friendly volunteer staff coordinator Matt and the house manager Julie. They gave me a very stylish vest to wear, and soon after the rest of the ushers arrived.
Matt took me backstage to meet with some of MCT’s most faithful volunteers, Alassandra and Melanie. The two have volunteered at MCT for a number of years and both plan on making theater a part of their future. Amid the laughter and screeching of many children in alien costumes, I talked to them about what MCT has to offer for volunteers interested in the arts. They assured me that MCT provides them with significant opportunities in the arts such as auditioning for movies and scoring original works. When I asked them how they managed to find time for MCT in their busy lives, they said they couldn’t imagine leaving the organization.
If you want to volunteer for MCT, you don’t have to commit as much time as Melanie and Alassandra. Volunteer opportunities as ushers or concessions workers take just a few hours. And that’s only if you include the time you spend being entertained by the wonderful actors at no cost.
Volunteering at MCT was much more than I expected. I thought that it would be an interesting opportunity to spend a night at the theater and see an adorable children’s production. It was all of that, and much more. Matt joked to me that he snatched Julie for volunteer work after she made the mistake of passing by the theater one day, and he never let her leave. My time at MCT showed me that it is definitely the kind of place that sucks you in. It’s a hard experience to forget.
When you volunteer for a children’s show, you are helping kids learn important lessons. As I talked with some of the other volunteers who had children in the program, they assured me that MCT was a unique experience for their child. MCT teaches children confidence and creativity; a lesson in embracing your true self even if it means being a little silly.
Of course, you can also volunteer for adult productions. The Missoula Community Theater serves a different but similarly significant purpose. It helps preserve the arts as an important part of Missoula’s identity.
Volunteering at MCT is certainly a special experience, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to get more involved. I was thrilled to be part of the theater and the premiere performance of “Gulliver’s Travels…in Space” which, by the way, was very cute.
If you are interested in volunteering with MCT you can access their volunteer profile at Volunteer Missoula, or contact Dylan Wright at email@example.com. MCT assured me Volunteer Missoula has already provided them with many fantastic volunteers but they are always looking for new people to experience the magic that is MCT. Plus, you get to wear a cool vest.
You can also always support MCT by attending one of their many wonderful productions. They are currently promoting their spring musical, “Shrek: The Musical,” an adaptation of the family favorite film which will arrive to MCT’s stage in May.
MCT Mission Statement:
The mission of MCT is to create an environment for personal success by providing acces to personal quality art experiences to children and adults throughout the world.
Volunteer Missoula is a complete, streamlined volunteer management service for volunteers, nonprofits and businesses in Missoula County. We are web-based nonprofit organization operating under the fiscal sponsorship of United Way of Missoula County. Volunteer Missoula was created and is currently operated by Missoula community members dedicated to promoting volunteerism as a solution to meeting community needs. Volunteer Missoula is partnering with Make It Missoula to help the community learn more about the great work of local nonprofits as well as spread the word about exciting volunteer opportunities available to Missoulians.
Every month we will feature a blog about an “Organization of the Month” chosen from our list of website users. Our mission is to promote and expand volunteerism as a viable means to fill service gaps in Missoula by connecting volunteers, nonprofits, businesses and individuals in need of service through an interactive and comprehensive website. Volunteer Missoula’s website connects volunteers with Missoula-based nonprofit organizations. We make volunteering easy. For more information about our program or how to become an Organization of the Month, please visit VolunteerMissoula.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Step Up. Help Out.
Jennifer Pepprock is a junior at the University of Montana studying history and political science. She is from the small Bitterroot Valley town of Stevensville where she attended school and participated in debate and student government. During college, Jennifer volunteers for the American Legion, coached debate at her old high school and also works as a waitress at a local Mexican restaurant. In her spare time she likes to camp, fish and kayak in and around Montana. Because weather doesn’t always permit these things, she also enjoys archival research and reading. Her passions include education reform and children’s issues. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and become a lobbyist or family lawyer. She is very excited to continue working for Volunteer Missoula and appreciates the opportunity to help make volunteering in Missoula easier and more fulfilling!