Date: January 22, 2007
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, IL, January 22, 2007 – The Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park on the campus of Governors State University has long been a place to discover great modern sculpture in a uniquely beautiful outdoor setting. Programs and tours centered on the sculpture park are expanding and the need for willing volunteers has grown.
“We are eager to begin our docent program, where we provide volunteers with the information they need to conduct tours of the sculpture park,” explains park director Geoffrey Bates. “This is a great way to get involved, to learn about modern art, particularly modern sculpture, and meet lots of interesting people.”
Docents participate in a six-week orientation course to learn art history, park history, and how to conduct the tour. They attend a morning-long tour of the park lead by the director. Training sessions are held in the evening, informal tests are given, and participants graduate with a working knowledge of the park and its artists.
“Docents are asked to conduct at least one scheduled tour of the park during our May to October tour season and may also be asked to provide tours for school groups and community organizations,” said Bates. “Docent volunteers should also be in good health and able to walk at least a mile and a half on our paths in two hours. We send our docents out in pairs to enhance everyone’s comfort level.”
In addition to docent volunteers, the park is also looking for volunteer Park Rangers to assist on special park clean up and maintenance days and volunteers to serve on committees, which focus on increasing membership; conserving, maintaining, and expanding the collection; organizing off site tours; and planning for the park’s future. General volunteers who are interested in assisting with special events and light office work are also needed.
The Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park has 26 sculptures, many by internationally recognized artists. They are placed in and around the university, in the prairie, by the ponds, and in the woods. Pathways connect the sculptures and the university.
Docent training sessions begin on February 21, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., at GSU, 1 University Parkway, University Park, Illinois. Refreshments and materials are provided. Advance registration and a $25 fee is required. For more information park docent and volunteer opportunities, call (708) 534-4486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.