Estonian Print and Paper Museum was founded as a volunteer effort to preserve cultural heritage and so volunteers have always been at the core of the organization. In addition to our grass-roots beginnings, we have participated in various international volunteering programs since 2011. Whether you’ve come to study in Estonia and want to reach out to the local community or you are searching for that perfect cause to spend a gap year — our museum can be that place.
Every year Tartu hosts thousands of students from all around the world. In an international crowd it can be a bit difficult to really get to know the people and the culture behind the cosmopolitan Erasmus facade. By volunteering at our museum for a few hours every week, you will be able to take a step farther and find new meaningful connections locally. Of course we will teach you new skills and you’ll discover plenty about history and cultural heritage in general, but we believe the community is a key reason why volunteers seek us out.
So, I first came to the museum as a regular visitor and happened to meet a very chatty and enthusiastic tour guide who told me about the possibility of becoming a volunteer. It was easy to see that the whole place was filled with positive energy, people really liked what they were doing there, atmosphere was nice. I thought that it must be cool to be part of this team. Also, I really liked the aestetics of the Tartuensis products, so I got interested in the making process. Volunteering was a perfect opportunity and a great experience. Asia Bartonowicz, volunteer from 2018 – 2019.
Searching for somewhere to volunteer at to fill in my Sunday afternoons, I found the Estonian Paper and Printing Museum interesting because of the weird specificity of the name. Where else would you find a specialty museum with such a strange niche? By my first visit, however, I was sold. Almost hidden behind the daunting industrial jumble of Filosoofi Lane/Street, the museum is a beautifully curated space of handiworks, experiments, art, intricate nineteenth century machinery, not to mention the dedicated team, amongst whom I am glad to have the opportunity to contribute to this particular field of European heritage.
What we offer
a community of smart motivated people, possibility to learn different printmaking techniques, perfect setting for arts & crafts projects, loads of culture and history;
What are some of your tasks
- assisting with tours and workshops;
- printing small jobs, such as cards, tickets;
- helping prepare exhibitions or other major events;
- cleaning and sorting letters and tools;
- whatever else you’re good at.
There is no formal application procedure. Just get in touch with us and tell us a little bit about yourself. We are quite flexible, but it is good to know roughly how many hours you want to spend with us every week or if you have any special interests that made you seek us out. We are, in any case, looking forward to meeting wonderful volunteers to join our team.
European Solidarity Corps
European Solidarity Corps is a program initiated by the European Commission to help young people from different countries contribute to projects and goals that promote shared values in the society. As part of the various initiatives, ESC supports long-term volunteering projects that are fully funded for the participant. If you are between 18 and 30 years and would like to challenge yourself, contribute to our goals and spend a year abroad, then this can be the opportunity for you.
What are the requirements
- We are looking for volunteers who will spend with us a total of 12 months. As a long-term volunteer, you will learn many things in-depth and it can take months to become fully proficient and productive in our environment. We do consider exceptions, but our initial expectation is a full year commitment.
- You are motivated to work in stressful environment, where rhythm of work is sometimes dictated by our visitors and flexibility, excellent communication skills and good old sense of humor are required to survive. Yet other days are eerily quiet and you must be able to set your own goals and follow in your own pace.
- You are passionate about design, history and heritage and this passion is something you want to share with everyone you meet. Skills and knowledge we can teach you, but as a working museum and studio, you must possess the curiosity to know more about the way words and images are printed and how they convey and generate meaning.
- You share our values. You work with us to preserve and promote this piece of history. You are open to people and ideas different than you and can still work with them. You believe that working together is better than saying no to partnerships — in a museum, in a country, in Europe…
- Last but not least you must be able to communicate fluently in English, there is no way around this.
What are some of your tasks
- We do not have departments and hierarchies. You will be treated as an equal team member with a similar set of responsibilities and rights. Every volunteer has a set of activities that are her responsibility and a whole lot of tasks shared with others, all this will be agreed on and scheduled on a monthly and weekly basis.
- Everything listed for the short term volunteers is expected from you and also we expect you to be able to teach and guide the other short-term volunteers in doing these things. In a sense the short-term volunteering community will circle around you.
- Reaching out to other ESC volunteers and their host organizations, spreading information about our activities in your home country or city, cooperating in other ways outside the museum.
- When we host international artists in residence, they will need some practical and social introduction to the museum, to the city and the people around. You are in a perfect position to do this.
How to apply?
Please send us your CV and a cover letter. Who are you and why do you want to work with us?
European Solidarity Corps is also open for international internships. We offer this possibility on a case by case scenario, please get in touch to discuss details.
European Partnerships for Solidarity
In 2019 we started with a multi-year volunteering program European Partnerships for Solidarity that is based on cooperation with key partners from Tartu. These include the Tartu Art School, Tartu Nature House, Tartu 2024 team and Aparaaditehas. As the goal of project ESP, we want to establish regular cooperation between these organizations. In order to do this, each organization will host one volunteer who will work together on brainstorming and facilitating shared events.
As coordinator for project ESP, we are also looking for volunteers to these organizations as follows:
- Tartu Art School: active open call, read more.
- Tartu Nature House: active open call, read more.
- Tartu 20204 team: possibly looking for volunteers from early 2020. Contact us and we will update you when call is announced.
- Aparaaditehas: possibly looking for volunteers from fall 2019. Contact us and we will update you when call is announced.