Foundation seeks volunteers from the Bay Area

General Comments
Foundation seeks volunteers from the Bay Area

If you’ve ever wanted to know even more about the man behind the camera, the Bob Mizer Foundation has a place for you among its cadre of staff.

The Foundation is currently seeking volunteers to help usher the organization through an unprecedented period of growth and change, according to Dennis Bell, founder and president. 

“Specifically, we’re really going to need on-site volunteers who live in the Bay Area and help as we move into our new location in downtown San Francisco,” he says. 

On the move

The Foundation recently acquired the building that houses The Magazine, at 920 Larkin St., and will eventually move its entire operation to the building. The building was a gift from Bob Mainardi and Trent Dunphy, the longtime owners of The Magazine. 

Late last year, the Magazine’s iconic orange awning was replaced with a bright red awning bearing the Foundation’s logo, as well as a character analysis symbol for Mizer himself. Bell and Keith Foote, the Foundation’s archivist, began clearing a third-floor room in the building on Jan. 23. The clearing of other spaces in the building will take an undetermined period of time, and the Foundation does not yet have a target move-in date. 

Eventually, the Foundation’s goal is to feature a museum/exhibition space on the first floor of the building, and dedicate the second and third floors to housing Mizer’s slides, still images, films, negatives, costumes, film props, and any archival materials. Part of those floors also will include a space where students and scholars may study the archive’s collection themselves. 

“Anyone who wants to access part of our archives would have to file an application in which the purpose of his or her visit is clearly stated,” Bell says, adding that applicants would need to be ready to discuss their project, paper or study to Foundation administrators. 

Help needed in all areas

In addition to volunteers who would help archive and manage requests for Mizer’s physical effects, Bell says the need will be great for other areas of the Foundation’s operation. 

“We’ll need volunteers to help staff our gift shop, where we will offer all of the items we sell on our online store,” he notes. “We’ll also need more help monitoring and managing our social media pages, our ongoing fundraising efforts, writing articles for our blog, coordinating on-site events … the list goes on.”

“Even before the gallery and research spaces are ready, we’ll need help getting the facilities in order – fixing anything that needs to be repaired, painting, renovating,” he adds. “And, of course, we’ll need a team of folks to help move the archive materials from the current headquarters in El Cerrito to the building in downtown San Francisco. It’s going to be a mammoth job.”

Bell says the Foundation will plan membership drives in the coming months, but for now, those who wish to help out will begin by learning the organization’s basic structure and operations. 

“New volunteers will be paired with some of our existing project teams, depending on the area in which they’d like to help,” Bell says. 

Again, though there are not yet concrete deadlines in place, Bell says the sooner new volunteers come forward, the better. 

“None of this is going to be possible without the help of generous people who are able to give of their time and their talents,” Bell says. “So much of what we do depends on people who share Mizer’s vision, who share his interests and his passions. We’re fortunate to be at a place in our history where our growth requires more of those people to become involved with the Foundation.”

Read more about volunteering for The Foundation on our ‘volunteer’ page at If you’re interested in volunteering, please fill out the form near the bottom of that page and our Volunteer Recruiter will contact you.