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April 2020 Volunteer Committee Spotlight

Our Volunteer Committee is made up of some of the strongest leaders within our volunteer program. This committee helps the volunteer staff make decisions, bring feedback about events, and create new ways of making procedure better for the future. We’d love for you to get to know these leaders before the next Musikfest, so each month we’ll spotlight a few members for you!

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Keith Simon

Q: What inspired you to begin volunteering?
A: Back in 1996 and 1997, while attending the Kunstplatz location (Moravian band shell), where the headline entertainment was presented, I would talk to the volunteers who worked as ushers. After making some good suggestions to them, and their finding out that I had several years of experience as an attendant at large conventions, I was urged to volunteer. So, starting in 1998, I helped with the ushering, and so many other positions since.

Q: What’s your favorite event to volunteer for?
A: While I enjoy several of our events, Musikfest still has to be number one.

Q: When you’re not volunteering for ArtsQuest, what do you like to do in your spare time?
A: As some of my fellow volunteers know, I am quite involved with another nationally known music event in my home town area, serving as a lead House Manager for the 10 day Berks Jazz Fest, and in the last two years, also doing so for the 3 day Reading Blues Fest. A good bit of my volunteer time is involved with being an ordained minister. I help teach Bible Study lessons and at times help counsel those going through trying times in their lives. (Like COVID-19 concerns.) Also, I enjoy sports, watching and occasionally still participating.

Q: If you could bring any artist to Musikfest, who would it be and why?
A: Elton John, he puts on one of the best shows and I have always enjoyed his music. However, I realize he is “retired”, plus it would most likely be cost prohibited.

Q: What do you enjoy most about serving on the Volunteer Committee?
A: Being on the forefront of planning for events and trying to take care of concerns for our volunteers.
 

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Gary Persa

Q: What inspired you to begin volunteering?
A: I’ve been attending and enjoying Musikfest since 1984, I thought let me volunteer for a change and see what it’s like on the other side, haha. My first ‘fest I signed up for many different roles because I wanted to see what’s involved in running the festival. I did set-up, ticket selling, beer pouring, supply, and staging. I also spent time getting to know the staff and had lots and lots of questions….I was hooked and never looked back.

Q: What’s your favorite event to volunteer for?
A: Musikfest, of course. Like many others, I take a vacation during that week, volunteer all ten days, with some doubles thrown in for good measure. I’m a glutton for fun, what can I say? I’m down there nearly open to close every day if you count my ‘Festing time after my shifts.

Q: When you’re not volunteering for ArtsQuest, what do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I absolutely enjoy hiking and being outside. I haven’t made enough time for that lately so there’s one thing I can change for the better.

Q: If you could bring any artist to Musikfest, who would it be and why?
A: Buddy Guy! He’s an absolute American treasure!

Q: What do you enjoy most about serving on the Volunteer Committee?
A: I have only the highest respect for the volunteers on the committee and I am honored to be a part of that. I talk with a lot of volunteers and I LISTEN to what they say. When I hear suggestions and opportunities from them I make sure to give that a voice.