Volunteer for the Arts Abroad

Browse Programs

Volunteers who have always used art to express themselves may want to consider taking their passion for art abroad to help others pursue or discover their love for art. With opportunities in photography, the performing arts, community projects, and other areas, volunteers for the arts abroad can choose to participate in a program specific to their art experience and interests.

Some communities abroad lack the resources necessary to incorporate the arts into the school curriculum, while others are home to women who may need to learn a craft that can be translated into sustainable income. Activities include teaching the arts to disabled women and promoting intercultural understanding through photography projects abroad. Wherever you’re headed, as a volunteer for the arts you’ll have the opportunity to inspire others and practice your art skills in a totally different setting.

Photo Credit: Gina Rogari

Teaching Art in Schools

After school programs, summer camps, and schools around the world need volunteers to help organize arts and crafts activities. Volunteers for the arts can also encourage new ways of expression by teaching different types of dances, musical instruments, and songs.

Programs in this area are ideal for those who love working with youngsters and want to bring some light to the lives of poverty stricken children.

For more information specifically on working as a volunteer teacher, read our guide to volunteer teaching abroad. It includes a listing of volunteer teaching programs as well.

Photography

Whether you’re studying photography in school or photography's just one of your hobbies, volunteering abroad through a photography program can be an enriching experience. Some programs offer photography classes that teach volunteers about photography composition and how to use Photoshop. These classes are often supplemented by community service projects and outdoor treks that allow plenty of opportunities for volunteers to get practice snapping photos.

Others may include a photography project for more experienced photographers that focuses on expressing a certain country topic such as peace or the environment through photos and then putting up a photo exhibition.

Volunteers participating in such projects will also perform additional volunteer work in their respective cities, such as tidying up public places or even painting over graffiti.

Performing Arts

As an arts volunteer with a focus on performing arts, you work with students or the mentally and physically disabled to coach drama groups and lead acting workshops. Some volunteers will even get the chance to help put on a play by assisting students with their particular roles and supporting set design and construction.

Volunteers in the performing arts can help students build self-confidence and inspire children to explore their imaginations. Opportunities to take drama classes and perform in plays are limited in disadvantaged global communities, but volunteers can use their enthusiasm for drama to bring the performing arts abroad.

Empowering Women Through Art

Help women find employment by teaching them useful skills in arts and crafts. Many women face the responsibility of providing for their family and are struggling to find ways to earn sufficient income. Female unemployment rates are often higher than the male unemployment rate, and the majority of jobs available to women are low-status and low paying or outside of labor regulations.

Arts volunteers can help volunteer with women's empowerment by teaching them the skills necessary to make products they can sell and earn income from. For disabled women who may be land mine or polio victims, finding a job may be even more difficult, and volunteers can find specific programs tailored to teaching art skills to these women.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Many schools and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa experience an absence of instructors in areas like music. Music oriented volunteers can teach musical instruments to primary and secondary students or conduct rehearsals with the school choir.

Arts volunteers working in African schools with a focus on music must be passionate about music because they will have to teach large classes with limited resources and inadequate classroom space.

Music can be essential in aiding children’s development, and some of the school music projects are aimed at using music to enhance students’ abilities in other subject areas such as math.

Asia

In parts of Asia, volunteer projects in the art can range from cultural preservation, to education, to a means of helping with women's empowerment.

Volunteers can use their creative art skills in Southeast Asia to empower young Cambodian girls by teaching them photography, jewelry design, and t-shirt making. This is a great way to combine a knack for the arts with an interest in international development and human rights.

There are also opportunities in Asia to teach arts at Montessori schools and volunteer with the Cambodian Children’s Painting Project (CCPP).

Latin America

Many Latin American schools and community centers are extremely basic or have been neglected due to an absence of extensive resources. Thus, volunteers with an aesthetic eye are needed to bring color into communities by painting classrooms and other structures.

Revive an old building in a Latin American community with the stroke of a brush, and put your design skills to work by painting inspiring murals. Painting projects can often times be community events, allowing an arts volunteer to work alongside locals and bond over community revitalization.

  • UNESCO: The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture stresses the importance of “culture and art, the sciences, education, and communication and knowledge” as core values of humanity. You can visit their site to learn more about what they’re doing to achieve such goals as “fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace.”
  • InSEA: A non-governmental organization of UNESCO, The International Society for Education Through Art seeks to integrate art into multicultural and international dialogue.
Contributed by Jasmine Foruzani

Showing 30 Programs

Morocco

Chantiers Sociaux Marocains
The aim of this project is to offer children and young people the opportunity to learn languages during their school/universi...

France

Studio M
For students looking to study art in some of France's best student cities, Studio M offers a wide variety of programs in Engl...

Europe

Volunteers For Peace (VFP)
Volunteers For Peace is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982, that offers placement in over 3000 voluntary service proj...

Russia

International Youth Center, Russia
Our summer youth camps hold daily arts and crafts workshops. Instructors spend their time organizing and leading art projects...

Peru

Default Program Teaser Image
SKIP - Supporting Kids in Peru
SKIP is located in Trujillo, Peru, an urbanised area in the coast of Peru. We work with families in a poor neighborhood of th...

Colombia

A Broader View Volunteers Corp
Child Care Center This is a public facility that provides daily child care services, pre-school and kindergarten classes to s...

Fiji

Lattitude Global Volunteering
EDUCATION Volunteers will provide support in schools in various ways in more rural communities where help is needed. Voluntee...

Nicaragua

Proyecto Mosaico e.V.
Working together and making a difference! We want to create environmental awareness and reduce environmental problems in Nica...

Morocco

Moroccan Center for Arabic Studies
The Moroccan Center for Arabic Studies is an active community organization throughout the Medina and greater Rabat-Sale area....

Kenya

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Every year, hundreds of volunteers join IVHQ's highly affordable volunteer projects in Kenya. Based in Nairobi, Kibera, Nakur...

Bolivia

World Unite!
Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Nevertheless, it fascinates the majority of its visitors. In Bolivi...

Panama

Proyecto Mosaico e.V.
You can become a part of our work! Share your time, experiences and ideas with our partner projects and their participants. Y...

Philippines

Hands On Manila
Here at Hands On Manila, we provide a wide variety of projects for our volunteers. We want each individual to truly work for...

Peru

Light and Leadership Initiative
Our volunteer program is a tight-knit family, made up of volunteers from all over the world. Our common goal is the Light and...

Ecuador

Vivientes
Rurrana community program is a amazing way for artist to love volunteer and help through art. We made interdisciplinary art a...