Get Involved

DIA Volunteer at Rivera Court
DIA Volunteer

Volunteer Award Winner:
Mike Chall

DFT Usher - August 2009

Mike Chall, who was born and raised in Detroit, has been a volunteer usher for the Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) for a year and a half, and a DIA volunteer for nine years, He has served on the Gallery Service Committee, and as vice chairman of Volunteer Placement, a committee of the Volunteer Council responsible for volunteer recruitment and retention. Service at the DIA and DFT provides Chall a chance to see and learn more about great art and film, meet many interesting people, and contribute to the success of one of Detroit's great assets. His most rewarding experience was recently helping a blind visitor with the PDA describing Diego Rivera‚Äôs Detroit Industry  murals. It was a great feeling to watch this guest understand and appreciate this work of art.  Also gratifying to him is seeing people truly excited with the new ways the DIA is connecting with the public, as with the Halloween tour of the American galleries last October. 

DFT House Manager Margaret Thomas is confident assigning Chall to the gamut of usher responsibilities, from ticket-taking to mentoring to caring for DFT guests. His enthusiasm and dedication leaves the ushers he mentors, such as Natalie Conti, most recently, happy with their experience and excited in their new role.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Math, an MA in Business Management, and 30 years of computer programmer/systems analyst experience, Chall admits to having formal background in neither art nor film. Volunteering at the DFT provides him this change of pace from his professional life and the opportunity to learn more about, and enjoy, great film.

Chall currently lives in Livonia where he has resided for the past 17 years. In addition to volunteering at the DIA and DFT, Chall is an adult literacy tutor at the Siena Literacy Center in Detroit. The center improves the reading and writing skills of adults in preparation for entering a GED program