content top

Heard Museum Guild

Our Purpose

The Heard Museum Guild supports the mission and goals of the Heard Museum through volunteerism in:

  • Education
  • Support of American Indian artists and their communities
  • Enhancement of the visitor experience
  • Public outreach
  • Fund-raising.

Our Members

Coming from diverse work, education, cultural, and geographical backgrounds, our members are passionate about the Heard Museum and are dedicated to life-long learning about the arts, heritage, and life ways of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Guild volunteers are an integral part of the daily life of the Museum. Whether contributing time to a single event or “living” at the Museum pursuing multiple projects and assignments, our members are actively engaged throughout the Museum campus. Many opt to apply their existing skills and talents to the needs of the Guild and Museum, while others choose to explore new avenues. For example, while speaking with a Shop volunteer, you may discover that he or she is a software programmer and had never sold a thing in their life before working in the Heard Shop!

Being a Guild volunteer is not all work! Our varied calendar of events and programs, offers our members opportunities to learn and share while enjoying abiding friendships. Ask any Guild member and they will happily tell you about the fun, challenges, and rewards of volunteering at the Heard. We hope you will join us!

Our Impact

Collectively, our 450 Guild members contributed a record 67,283 volunteer hours during the 2013-14 year!! Additionally, our fundraising efforts provided $130,000 to support Museum operations and activities.

Our History

In 1956, 30 women formed an Auxiliary to the Heard Museum with the goals of supporting the mission of the Museum, providing financial assistance, and conducting guided tours of the Museum’s collection. Founding President Helen Shackelford said of the role of Heard Guild volunteers: “Much needed doing, and we did it.”

The Guild grew exponentially in its first years, adding many new members, projects, and responsibilities. Volunteers opened a Gift Shop in 1958 “pledging to sell only the good, the authentic.” Also in that year, the first Indian Fair was held, and in 1968 the Heard Guild Arts & Crafts Exhibit was created as a juried competition. These two events were the basis of the current Indian Fair & Market, the Guild’s main fund-raising event. Men, including Senator Barry Goldwater, joined the Guild in 1972. Over the years, programs including Speakers Bureau, Information Desk, Student Art Sale, Library Book Sale, Scholarships and Grants, Trips, Lecture Series, and more were conceived, planned, and implemented by the vast talents of Guild volunteers.

Now almost 60 years old, the Guild continues its original goals of supporting the mission and programs of Heard Museum.

Our Organization

The Heard Museum Guild is structured under the umbrella of the Heard Museum. It is governed by its own Bylaws and Policies as well as the Bylaws and Policies of the Heard Museum. The Museum is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization incorporated in the State of Arizona.

The Guild is managed by a Board of Directors, which works closely with Museum leadership to develop, organize, and promote all volunteer programs and activities. Monthly Guild meetings provide members the opportunity to learn about the Guild and to provide feedback and input into Guild operations.