GLOWING WITH THE LIGHT OF HUNDREDS OF SMILES!
2020 Festival Volunteer Welcome Letter
Our 2020 festival volunteer applications are now open!
Since the Portland Winter Light Festival is a free, all-ages, non-profit event, and open to all, volunteers are a crucial part of our success. We can’t do this without you!
Much of our groundwork begins in spring, takes shape in the summer, and explodes into full color with the leaves of autumn, setting us all ablaze for the lights of winter.
MANY VIBRANT WAYS TO BE INVOLVED
Here are several ways you can choose to contribute:
Work the Festival
The festival returns in February 2020. The #1 thing that makes us a success is you.
Please complete this short Volunteer Application form and be first to hear when 2020 shifts have been announced. If you’ve volunteered in the past but never filled out this application, please do so as well.
Look for our shift enrollment announcement later as winter approaches for specific shifts and roles.
BRING +1 Friend
Our joy wins people over when we talk about the festival. If each of us inspires just +1 other person to become a volunteer, we win. It can be as simple as saying, “This is a great time, let’s make a fun evening of it together!” People can enroll in just seconds:
LEAD a Team
Running a festival in multiple locations around town takes a talented group of passionate team, responsible for training and organizing our hundreds of volunteers. In 2019 we had roles for 30+ team leaders for installation, art support, information and merchandise, crowd-counting, educational programs, hospitality, volunteer check-in, and more. We don’t get too formal with each other, but we all have a passion for excellence, fun, and caring for our volunteers and guests!
HELP Us Fundraise
We work very hard to keep this festival free to the public. It takes creativity and persistence to grow our sponsor support and help small donors connect with our message. If you like this challenge, we could sure use your energy! Let us know on your application or email us directly at
SPREAD Our Outreach
One of our greatest priorities is reaching out to new audiences, expanding access to our event, and drawing more people into the creative and volunteer opportunities that are our heart and soul. Can you help us connect to your communities? Are you part of a company, association, or organization that would like to hear our message? Can you hand out flyers, write an article for a small publication, or share our announcements on social media? Okay, let’s talk!
JOIN our People Team
A small group of us take on the work of helping to recruit, organize, train, and deploy a very large group of volunteers and staff. We are few, but we are mighty! Come aboard and help us nourish and inform this big community of volunteers, mobilize our existing supporters, attract new ones, and coordinate their festival volunteer experience.
What started as a small gathering of friends has grown into a community of hundreds of volunteers and supporters. As a festival organization we seek to connect and celebrate, listen and learn from each other, and expand opportunities to help out throughout the year fostering connections of creativity or service! Here’s what we are up to:
Thank You For Warming Our Hearts
This is my fourth year working with the festival. After falling in love as an attendee the first year, a friend asked me to volunteer and I was charmed by the amazingly kind and talented people trying to bring a bit more art and brightness into the lives of others.
The best part is getting to work with you: see you come back again, or arrive full of wonder for the first time, maybe to go on and become an artist, or an emerging leader.
Your service warms my heart and many others. This is our simplest of magic: inviting people, sharing our joy and warmth. I hope you will join me in these new and fun ways to keep doing just that and making more magic together!
Jeremy Reynolds, People Director
Riddle: What do Disneyland and the Portland Winter Light Festival have in common?
Answer: On an average day in 2017 Disneyland hosted 50,000 guests. On Saturday night January 3rd, 2018, PDXWLF welcomed 70,000 people out to our art exhibitions all over Portland and 142,000 total over all three festival nights. This year we return to locations near Eastbank Esplanade and Salmon Springs Fountain and are excited to expand along the Esplanade on both banks of the river as well as new locations in the downtown park blocks. Stay tuned for more announcements on this!
BIGGER THAN MICKEY MOUSE?
Now in our fourth year we are bringing back terrific art and adding even more ways to enjoy the night with food, drink, music, and more of our smiling volunteers helping guests to get around and have fun safely. What started as a small gathering of family and friends has grown into a community of hundreds of volunteers and supporters. As a festival organization we are growing into these new shoes and thinking about how we connect and celebrate, listen and learn from each other, and expand opportunities to help out throughout the year! Here’s what we are up to:
*NEW* WAYS TO BE INVOLVED
More than a few supporters have encouraged us to ask them how we can involve them more or engage more of their talents. Well, since you asked...
We each have many facets like a prism, and “volunteering” can show up in a lot of different ways when given the opportunity. Here are several new ways you can really help us to have a successful 2019 festival. Please feel fee to join in any that fit how you would like to be involved.
WORK THE FESTIVAL FEBRUARY 7 - 9
The festival returns on February 7-9, 2019. The #1 thing that makes us a success is you. We would love to have you renew your registration to work the festival and make new memories with us. Please complete this short 2019 Volunteer Application form.
Please apply even if you have volunteered before. Look for our shift enrollment announcement later this winter for specific work shifts and roles. In the meantime, please save the date on your calendars for February 7-9!
SHARE US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Last year we reached 50% of attendees with social media postings from just a few accounts. What would happen if one thousand of us spread important festival announcements with the simple push of a button? How many new potential volunteers or supporters could we reach? We will be sending out notices when those big moments post to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds and asking you to voluntarily LIKE + SHARE + RETWEET those messages.
ENROLL +1 FRIEND
Our joy wins people over when we talk about the festival. If each of us inspires just +1 other person to become a volunteer, we win. It can be as simple as saying, “This is a great time, let’s make a fun evening of it together!” People can enroll in just seconds at volunteer form at the bottom of this page.
REGISTER YOUR COMPANY
Many companies and organizations support community volunteering and will also match your volunteer time with a small cash donation to non-profit entities like this festival. That’s right, we are a not-for-profit! Adding us to your company’s volunteer list only takes a minute and is a great way of spreading the word to many more people. Let us know on your 2019 Application if you’d like to do this and you can You can always reach out to us at any time to start the conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BECOME A LEADER
It takes many hands to help serve the public, to help organize, and to shape the future of our festival. Interested in hearing about leadership opportunities? You can let us know on your 2019 Application. We have immediate openings for:
> FUNDRAISING LEAD
> DIY WORKSHOPS LEAD
> LIGHT/SCIENCE TALK LEAD
> FUNDRAISING LEAD
> VOLUNTEER HOSPITALITY LEAD
> …AND MANY MORE ROLES!
ATTEND A VOLUNTEER SOCIAL
We always have a great time when we come together, so let’s do that more! Come join us for one of these first two no-host social hours around Portland where we can reconnect in an informal setting and share any new news. Future dates will follow.
Wednesday, November 7 5:30pm - 7:30pm
@ Extracto Coffee
2921 NE Killingsworth St. in Portland
Tuesday, November 27 5:30pm - 7:30pm
@ White Eagle Saloon
836 N Russell St. in Portland
OUR FAMILY IS GROWING!
This is an exciting year for the festival and for me personally as I take the reins of People Director to put together an amazing volunteer organization and continue to grow this community. This is my third year working with you all after falling completely in love with the lights as a first year guest when a friend asked me to “come along for the fun.” The next year another friend shared a Facebook post asking for volunteers and I happened to see it at a time when I was looking to build community and make new friends. You all warmed my heart and many others. That is our simplest of magic: inviting people and sharing the joy. I hope you will join me in these new and fun ways to keep doing just that and making more magic together!
Jeremy Reynolds, People Director
As ever, you may invite others to sign up as a volunteer below.
Want to help our city shine? Become a volunteer with the Portland Winter Light Festival and help us transform and animate our city’s nighttime urban landscape through a series of light, fire, and art installations, projections, and performances. This is a free, citywide event and we need your help!
* Indicates Required
Any questions? Contact Volunteer Coordinator:
THANK YOU FOR WARMING OUR HEARTS