Meet our Volunteers: Andy Tautges

A Jack-of-All-Trades

            Whenever the word ‘charming’ is used, it’s likely describing Andy Tautges, an usher and Guild member at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.

Andy and his wife, Mary, who are originally from Wisconsin, moved to Santa Rosa in October 2009—the same year he began volunteering at the Center. As an usher, his main goal is making sure patrons have a “once in a lifetime experience” while at the Center. “Most patrons only attend one event here a year, so it’s critical to make sure they know how important they are to the Center and to the future of the Arts here,” Andy said. As a Guild member he’s responsible for helping run the concessions operation.

Andy volunteers at the Center because he enjoys the arts and he wants to help support the arts in his community. “For those who are not as fortunate and may not get to enjoy the arts, I believe it should be a part of everyone’s life. It’s my small way of giving back to our wonderful community,” Andy said. His enjoyment comes from interacting with people—both patrons and volunteers—and finds that there’s an energy at the Center, which makes volunteering fun. According to Andy, “Every time I volunteer, I have an opportunity to see old friends and welcome new patrons, who may turn into friends.”

Candice Day, Volunteer Manager, notes that Andy really understands the Center’s mission. “He’s always smiling, he’s a people person—interacting with patrons—and a hard worker. He personifies and has what we desire in a volunteer.”

Volunteering during the holidays is something Andy always looks forward to. “I’m always looking to create a wonderful memory for the patron. I love to see families coming to the Center and enjoying performances like the Nutcracker and Posada Navideña,” Andy said. “It’s wonderful to see all the little children dressed up and excited about seeing their first show. Their energy is infectious and I just enjoy this time of year.”

When Andy isn’t volunteering at the Center, he can be found cycling or taking courses at Santa Rosa Junior College, where he’s working towards obtaining a Culinary Certificate. His future plans: to cook and cycle around the world.

Although Andy has many interests and pursuits, he’s confident he’ll be volunteering at the Center for a very long time. “I believe the staff at the Center are the best and I greatly appreciate all the wonderful things they provide the volunteers.”