Society of the Arts (SOTA)

A dynamic group volunteering time and spirit to the Allentown Art Museum.





SOTA offers a wide variety of fun and fulfilling volunteer opportunities to fit an array of talents, schedules and interests. 

Whether you want to learn more about art or simply enjoy interacting with others in a dynamic organization, there is something for everyone.

SOTA members lead gallery tours, assist with children’s programs, work behind the scenes with Museum staff, help man the Museum Store, and provide extra hands for Museum events, to name just a few of our many volunteer roles.

” When I step into the Allentown Art Museum my everyday world falls away because I am surrounded by beautiful art from around the world and I get to work with really talented volunteers & staff.  For me it is refreshing to be part of a group which is made up of highly educated, kind-hearted women who have no other agenda other than to help make a difference in the operations of the Art Museum.”

~ Diana Hodgson, SOTA Member

Download our SOTA brochure to learn more about our organization.



2018-2019 Volunteer of the Year

  Mary Jo Gonsiorowski

The naming of the Volunteer of the Year is one of the biggest highlights for the May luncheon and of the SOTA year. It’s rewarding for all of us when the organization recognizes one of our own who deserves to be thanked for her dedication.

It is not an easy decision to name just one person to receive this honor since we have so many dedicated volunteers. There were several nominations, made by fellow members, but one seemed to stand out above the others.

The woman we recognize this year has only been a SOTA member for a few years but she has made an impact in that short time. As a retired teacher, working with children was a good fit and she gives a lot of Discover Art Tours.  She also found Art Can, a new program for people with memory loss and dementia to be a rewarding place to volunteer. Docent Chair, Priti Merchant said “Whenever I send her a request for a Docent Led Tour, she helps out. She did some great team tours with fellow docents. She is an enthusiastic learner and is always willing to help and participate in activities whether it’s a Sunday tour or a Special Event such as MKL Day.”

This SOTA member also graciously led a group of docents to plan the museum’s annual event, Art Comes Alive, which is held each year in February. This event surprises, amazes and amuses visitors.  She wrote scripts for the docents who participated in the event and guided them with their costumes as well.

In addition to all of her work on the Docent Committee she is also a volunteer in the Museum Store, covering her usual shift as well as filling in when she is available.

This may all sound familiar to those of you who were at the March General Meeting as this woman was named one of the SOTA Stars at that meeting. Since then this member has accepted a position on the Admissions Committee and has agreed to support Chris Forsthoefel going forward in being co-chair of Luncheon With the Authors 2019.

Please join me in congratulating the 2019 Volunteer of the Year, Mary Jo Gonsiorowski.

Allentown Art Museum Affiliation

For more than 75 years, the Allentown Art Museum has been a place where inspiration is born and lifelong memories are made.

Our mission is to enrich the lives of the widest possible audience of visitors by engaging, informing, and inspiring them through the activities of collecting, preserving, studying, exhibiting, and interpreting important works of visual art.