Spotlight on Ocean Ko and Cammie Matsumoto, HoMA volunteers

Community volunteers play a huge part in the work of the museum—even in a year like 2020, when service opportunities took on new forms or were put on hold due to safety reasons. We are so grateful for the dedication of our team of HoMA volunteers who continue to show support despite the obstacles this year has presented. 

Museum volunteers contribute their time to special museum events, creating the show-stopping floral arrangements found around the museum, assisting the Visitor Services team, helping at in the museum library, lending collection, Art School and Doris Duke Theatre, supporting different parts of HoMA’s Curatorial department, and more. Their work is indispensable to the regular operation of the museum. HoMA’s Volunteer Program/HR Coordinator Michelle Dolan works closely with each and every museum volunteer to understand their interests and schedule, and to find an appropriate opening. Michelle interviewed two longtime HoMA volunteers, Ocean Ko and Camilla Matsumoto, to find out more about their experience volunteering at HoMA and the impact it’s had on other aspects of their lives.

HoMA Youth Volunteer Ocean Ko

Ocean Ko

Ocean Ko

Ocean has been a Youth Volunteer since May 2018, assisting with HoMA’s Family Sunday event by assisting the museum’s Learning and Engagement team with project and craft preparation and assisting families with hands-on art making activities during events. Ocean is currently a McKinley High School student, and Michelle Dolan describes him as “one of our most active Youth Volunteers.” She says “his leadership skills were evident from the first time that I met him, and he’s been inspirational for other Youth Volunteers: whenever we have new students coming on board, he takes them under his wing and familiarizes them with the activities and facilities. He’s outgoing and willing to help, not only with fellow volunteers, but supporting Teaching Artists and connecting with families at the event.”

Michelle: What brought you to volunteer at the museum?

Ocean: As a high school student, I had so much time that I wanted to put into use, so I started looking for an organization to volunteer at. I found that HoMA has a volunteer program. I joined HoMA alone first, and after enjoying volunteering, I asked more of my own friends to join and volunteer.

How has your experience as a volunteer impacted your life?

After starting to volunteer at HoMA, I gained a new appreciation for the art and the importance of creativity and expression. Being surrounded by the amazing pieces of art really helps me take a step back from the busy life and think about how diverse art is and how so many different mediums are/can be used to create a personal or social impact.

What do you look forward to most as a volunteer? 

I always look forward to interacting with the guests and creating connections with them. As a Family Sunday volunteer, I interact with a diverse range of different guests. Some are six-year old children, and some are sixty-year old seniors. Making that personal connection and being able to help them create art is what makes me very delighted that I am a HoMA volunteer. I also look forward to coming back to HoMA in 2021 and introducing new student volunteers!

 

HoMA Volunteer Cammie Matsumoto

Cammie

Cammie Matsumoto

Cammie has been volunteering with the museum since September 2019. She worked closely with the Visitor Services department on their pilot project for Gallery Guides: an initiative to place museum representatives in the galleries to interact with guests, help with wayfinding, and ensure a great experience for all visitors. Michelle Dolan describes Cammie as “an incredibly dedicated volunteer, with a strong sense of community, involved with our front desk staff as a supporter and a friend, and truly invested in what the museum visitor experience can be.”

Michelle: What brought you to volunteer at the museum? 

Cammie: When I retired and moved back to Oahu, I so wanted to share my abilities to serve…and HOMA was the place on this island.  

How has your experience as a volunteer impacted your life? 

[This selfie was] taken in NYC, another of my most favorite places to volunteer. I help Adi Tarantino and his life partner Evangel and others feed food to the hungry. It’s three times a week at Thompkins Corner where in between we buy food, pick it up and cook it. The menu is the same and delicious: lentil stew tossed salad with tons of veggies including avocados and this awesome cake. The hungry line up and they get to eat and take home leftovers for their next meal. It’s a totally humbling experience as the folks are so grateful.  

What do you look forward to most as a volunteer? 

I love the art, the people who visit the museum, and all of you there. I feel that we are like-minded. 

Thank you Camilla, Ocean, and everyone who has lent their time and talent to the museum—your commitment to HoMA is invaluable.

 

For information on future volunteer opportunities or how to get involved, contact Michelle at volunteer@honolulumuseum.org.

*Our physical Family Sunday event is still on hold due to Covid-19. HoMA and Bank of Hawaii Foundation continue to partner to offer a virtual version with at-home artmaking activities on the third Sunday of every month.