Getty staff, interns, and visiting scholars participated in the first annual Getty Day of Service this past Monday. From crawfish-trapping in Malibu to mural-painting at Hooper Avenue Elementary, we picked up shovels, brooms, and paintbrushes and got to work at five different projects across the city…in matching T-shirts.

Here’s what we did at each of the Day of Service sites, as told by the volunteers themselves.

Inner City Arts
Team Getty helped replenish supplies in the animation and art studios, organize the props closet in the theater, and clean and weed the garden. We learned about the different ways that Inner City Arts provides hands-on, cumulative arts education to thousands of local school children – many of them from L.A.’s poorest neighborhoods. I was surprised to learn that many of the arts lessons incorporate math and engineering principles as well. The highlight of the day was an impromptu performance from a 1st-grade music class! And I got some great photos of the beautiful, Michael Maltzan-designed campus—bonus!

Amy Hood, Senior Communications Specialist, Getty Trust

Hooper Avenue Elementary
Our Getty group visited LAUSD Elementary School Hooper Avenue. We did a variety of different tasks, from sweeping and raking to trash pickup. With the help of two fantastic staff from the grounds department, we also planted two beautiful beds of plants and flowers, and even created a mural on the wall of the play yard! We’ve partnered with Hooper Avenue for the past two years on the Art Together program, and it was great to work with the school in a whole new way.  My favorite part was meeting new colleagues from all across the Getty campus. Everyone worked extremely hard, and we’re so proud of the result!

Kelly Williams, Project Specialist in the Education Department, Getty Museum

Tapia Park, Mountains Restoration Trust
We went to Tapia Park at Malibu Creek and spent the day removing invasive, non-native plants, which can choke out the native species and disrupt the ecosystem for wildlife. We learned to recognize the native and non-native varieties, and after spending the morning clearing a large area, we went back after lunch and planted cuttings of native willow and cottonwood trees. It was a beautiful day and rewarding to see the new cuttings go in. We planted about 30 trees!

Robin McCarthy, Exhibitions Coordinator, Getty Museum

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
I was one of a large group of Getty staff who volunteered at the L.A. Regional Food Bank. The Food Bank sorts and distributes donated food to a huge number of people in need throughout our city. We showed up Monday morning, pulled on our rubber gloves, and got to work. It was fun being on a spontaneous assembly line, and watching how well everyone teamed up on tasks, like lifting heavy boxes of rice. Together, we sorted almost 20,000 pounds of donated food.

Catherine Bell, Senior User Experience Designer, Getty Museum

Ocean Park Community Center
Our group volunteered at the Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC) Access Center and Samoshel shelter. We began the day making sandwiches and putting together sack lunches. We handed those out later, along with clothing donations, and ended the day serving a hot meal to some of the shelter’s residents. It was amazing to see all of the services provided by OPCC, including medical care, counseling, job placement assistance, and connections to many other services. Interacting directly with the homeless population is something we will not soon forget, and hopefully something we will repeat. Getting to know colleagues from other parts of the Getty was also something that made the day special.

Kim Sadler, Writer/Editor, Getty Trust

A huge thank you to these wonderful organizations for hosting us!