Volunteer with the MDA

MDA Success Depends on Volunteer Efforts

The driving force behind the success of the Museum District Association is the willingness of neighbors and community supporters to give of their time and resources.  These volunteer efforts are organized around committees chaired by MDA Board members and other volunteers.  Some of the efforts currently undertaken by MDA committee volunteers are described below including the contact information for each committee.

Please consider contributing the gift of your volunteer time and effort to the MDA.  We look forward to working with you.

Contact Each Volunteer Chair via email or call 804-410-1632.

Beautification and Cleanup  – MDAEnvironment@MuseumDistrict.org
The focus of the Beautification Committee is to preserve and enhance the beauty of our community and neighborhood. Volunteers will be asked to participate in events organized to maintain planting areas and green spaces within the neighborhood, and to participate in semi-annual clean up events that are designed to promote a healthy and safe environment for residents and businesses. Volunteers participating in neighborhood beautification projects are working with other caring neighbors as a team to help promote positive change and foster a sense of community responsibility, pride and respect.

Board and Committee Service – MDAPresident@MuseumDistrict.org

Through the recruitment of MDA members interested in Committees and service on the Board, the Museum District Board of Directors strives to maintain a full compliment of dedicated volunteers interested in coordinating the service efforts of the MDA. Volunteers must be interested in serving the Association by chairing one of a wide variety of standing committees during their three year term on the Board of Directors.

Based on the input from citizens of Richmond’s neighborhoods, CAPS (“Community Assisted Public Safety”) investigates code violations of reported properties by undertaking a comprehensive approach that involves numerous City departments. CAPS teams consist of representatives from the City’s Code Enforcement, Fire, Tax Enforcement, Health, Zoning, Police and Social Services agencies who meet with citizens to identify properties having the greatest negative impact on Richmond’s neighborhoods. By using a multi-agency approach, CAPS maximizes the City’s response to properties that degrade Richmond neighborhoods.

Court Watch – MDAEnvironment@MuseumDistrict.org
The Court Watch Program emphasizes community participation in the legal process by identifying and tracking the court dispositions of offenders in criminal and quality of life crimes. Cases are closely monitored in collaboration with the Richmond Police Department and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Volunteers receive updates and follow cases that are scheduled to appear in court. In many instances, they may be asked to attend  court hearings as reinforcement that blighted properties and criminal activity are not welcome within the boundaries of our neighborhood.

House Tour  – MDAHouseTour@MuseumDistrict.org
The House Tour Committee oversees all aspects of the annual Mother’s Day House & Garden Tour, the Museum District Association’s largest fundraiser.  The committee helps identify potential homes for the tour, coordinates  House Captains and volunteers, secures sponsors, coordinates publicity and ticket sales, and plans all logistical aspects for the  tour.

Membership – MDAMembership@MuseumDistrict.org
The purpose of the Membership Committee is to coordinate the membership process for the Museum District Association and facilitate recruitment for MDA volunteer opportunities.  This committee is responsible for coordinating resource and volunteer opportunity tables at all MDA functions, quarterly distribution of out of district and New Neighbor newsletter mailings, and distribution of annual membership packets.

Newsletter Advertising – MDANewsletterAds@MuseumDistrict.org
The MDA is able to deliver roughly 5,000 newsletters quarterly to the residents of the Museum District free of charge because of the revenue brought in by paid advertising in the MDA’s newsletter, The Columns. Volunteers are responsible for all aspects of MDA newsletter advertising including contract sales and management, customer service for advertisers, and coordinating advertisements with the newsletter editor.

Newsletter Distribution
MDA volunteers, including a Newsletter Distribution Coordinator and route captains, most of whom are board members, distribute about 5,000 newsletters quarterly in 20 routes within the MDA boundaries.  The route captains are responsible for picking up their newsletters and managing their delivery as soon as possible to their assigned route.  Some route captains rely on additional neighborhood volunteers to help with delivery.

Newsletter Photography – MDANewsletter@MuseumDistrict.org
If you have a digital camera and want to have some fun meeting your fellow Museum District residents, the MDA could use your talents. You don’t have to be Ansel Adams you just have to know how to click some pics. Share your neighborhood with your neighbors and get credit with your by line in The Columns as you shoot MDA activities and neighborhood happenings, such as the annual meeting, the Mother’s Day House & Garden Tour, National Night Out and incidental neighborhood interest items.

Newsletter Publication – MDANewsletter@MuseumDistrict.org
Articles in the MDA newsletter, The Columns, come from city sources, board members and community volunteers.  Can you turn a phrase? You don’t have to be William Shakespeare, just write about what is happening in your area of the neighborhood. Do you have a story about one of your neighbors or family members? Did someone get an award? Is someone having a neighborhood party?  The newsletter is published four times a year, so you have plenty of time to find your muse.

Programs and Events – MDAPrograms@MuseumDistrict.org
The MDA depends on volunteers to coordinate many member events throughout the year.  The Spring Fling, Town Hall Meeting, the Annual Meeting and Candidate Forums are among the regular activities sponsored by the MDA and managed by the Programs and Events Chairperson.  This involves site location and scheduling, member invitations, and coordinating sponsors, contributors and special guests.

Public Relations – MDAPR@MuseumDistrict.org
The Public Relations Committee updates the phone line with current information on upcoming events and checks for messages left by members on a regular basis. Additional responsibilities include sending out press releases necessary for events occurring in the neighborhood,, and working closely with the other committees to ensure that necessary media releases of any type are performed.

Public Safety – MDASafety@MuseumDistrict.org
The Public Safety Committee acts as a liaison between the Board, the City of Richmond Police Department and block captain volunteers on matters related to public safety, primarily crime issues.   Incident updates are provided via email and are posted on the MDA website.  The Public Safety Chair also works to increase awareness of public safety issues by encouraging participation in National Night Out, providingnewsletter articles and through the recruitment of Block Captains.

Zoning and Land Use – MDAZoning@MuseumDistrict.org
The MDA’s Zoning & Land Use Committee meets monthly to review citizen’s proposals for zoning variances, Special Use Permits, and Conditional Use permits. A typical request may entail one or more presentations given by the applicant, visits to the property, meetings with potentially affected neighbors, and research of appropriate zoning ordinances. Committee members attend hearings and interact with various city boards and commissions such as the Board of Zoning Appeals, Urban Design Committee, Commission of Architectural Review, and Planning Commission. The committee recommendation is passed to the MDA Board of Directors for a vote and a final recommendation is then issued to both the applicant and the appropriate city board or commission.