Volunteer with Us

As a non-profit organization, volunteer ushers play a crucial role in the success of the Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Our volunteers are committed to seeing the Film Center thrive with quality customer service and assisting our daily operations. Volunteering at the Film Center is a wonderful way to engage with our mission and enjoy film, and requires a commitment to assist Film Center patrons and staff to the best of your ability. 

Volunteer Perks

In return for their time and talent, volunteers can earn perks like free admission to films, complimentary concessions and merchandise, and memberships to the Gene Siskel Film Center.

  • Watch films for free: for every shift you volunteer, receive a free admission pass
  • Receive free popcorn and coffee during your shift
  • Get complimentary merchandise (after volunteering 20+ hours)
  • Earn a complimentary membership (after volunteering 40+ hours)
  • Get a shout out in our Volunteer Spotlight in newsletters, on social media, and on our website

Interested in joining our volunteer team? Fill out the interest form below!

Volunteer Interest Form

Volunteer Info Sessions 

Attend one of our volunteer orientation sessions to learn more. Held approximately once a month. 

  • Wednesday, March 13, 7:00 p.m. RSVP here. (Registration full)
  • Wednesday, March 20, 7:00 p.m. RSVP here. (Registration full)
  • Tuesday, April 2, 7:00 p.m. RSVP here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are my responsibilities as a volunteer?

Volunteers help us scan tickets, greet patrons, clean theaters between screenings, hand out marketing materials, and may assist the front of house staff with additional needs which can arise during screenings or special events. 

What is the time commitment to volunteer?

One volunteer shift is typically 40 minutes long––arrival is 30 minutes before a film starts, and we ask that volunteers assist up to 10 minutes after a film begins (during previews). We ask our volunteers to complete at least one volunteer shift per month to maintain an active volunteer status.

What if I volunteer and do not attend the film(s) I assisted with?

If you do not wish to attend the film(s) being presented during your volunteer shift, the Film Center staff can provide you with a volunteer admission pass to come back for another film.

How do I get started?

The first step is to fill out an interest form and commit to attending one of our monthly orientation sessions. 

Are there any age or physical restrictions to volunteering?

We ask that volunteers be at least 18 years of age by the time of their first shift. Volunteers may have to stand for long periods of time during their shifts.

How do I volunteer for a festival hosted at the Film Center?

Festivals held at at our venue are often organized by partner organizations, who use volunteers in a wide range of areas, including planning their festival. Below is a list of festivals and where to find more information on signing up with their organization to volunteer: