Volunteer coordination and volunteers (2017–2023) in Valley of Arts Festival
The Valley of Arts Festival is a decades-old popular arts festival that attracted 148,000 visitors in 2023. Beyond the value contributed by the paid staff, the event would not be possible without the time donated by a large number of volunteers. The paper presents the history and life cycle of the festival, showing how it has grown from a local/commuity initiative into a professional festival. It reviews the emergence and evolution of volunteer recruitment since the 2010s, while also taking stock of recruitment, selection, training, and actual volunteer coordination during the festival. Since 2016, recruitment and selection has been conducted on a national level each year, and an average of 150 volunteers have been employed on contract. Volunteers represent a diverse group, both demographically and in terms of age, which is one of the challenges of volunteer coordination. Although the application, selection and training process largely takes place online and by telephone, the actual volunteering process is clearly determined by the active personal presence, professional background, social and emotional competence, flexibility and (pro)activism of the team leaders and the coordinator. The study highlights the need to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the volunteering programme from year to year.
Keywords: arts valley, Kapolcs, volunteering, volunteer coordination, recruitment, selection