Western Art Week: Helping Hands Make Art Week Move - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Western Art Week: Helping Hands Make Art Week Move

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Western Art Week is a big undertaking, from the big art auctions all the way down to cutting Charlie Russell's Birthday Cake, but first, we need one crucial thing; volunteers.

"It's been months of planning, you know, starting in about September and talking a lot with Duane Braaten, our art coordinator, about all of the art, the amazing art he's been able to bring in for the exhibition and hundreds of volunteers," said Sydne George, Special Projects Coordinator.

Having the extra helping hands is crucial and they come from all over the area.

"I will say that there's no way we could have done it without all of the volunteers.  We have hundreds of volunteers, both from our community and from Malmstrom Air Force Base, who are really making this happen," said George.

One of those volunteers is a young lady in her eighties, who was a docent at the Russell Museum the very first year it opened.

"Well, I'm used to volunteering here, that's right, and everybody pitches in, and this is a big event.  The biggest event we have in Great Falls is celebrating Charlie's birthday every year," said J.D. McKay, long-time Russell Museum Docent.

The huge event for the Electric City started 45 years ago, though not everyone was sure it was going to be a success.

"Norma Ashby suggested this as a fundraiser for the museum and someone on the board said "why would we want to have anything for a dead artist?" and look how it has blossomed," said McKay.

If you missed out on volunteering this year, Miss McKay has some advice for you when it comes to next year.

"Everybody should do volunteer work somewhere and this is the best volunteer work in Great Falls," said McKay.

A lot of big events happening tomorrow with the quick draw, the auction, a lot of great stuff and we're going to have it for you right here.  For ABC Fox Montana News, I'm Micah Rumsey.

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