Docent Program

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Docent tour in the sculpture garden

What is a Docent?

Docents are trained Museum volunteers who interact with visitors by providing tours of works of art. These “gallery teachers” facilitate visitor discovery and enjoyment of the arts, and they come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions.

Who makes a good Docent?

Qualities which make for a good Docent are enthusiasm, patience, flexibility, and the ability to take a visitor-centered approach to touring. Successful Docents are interpersonal, skilled at interacting with visitors of all ages and interested in working as a member of an energetic team. Docents are committed to learning ways of engaging visitors, and are willing to make the necessary commitments to both training and touring. Trainees must be computer literate and knowledgeable in the use of email and the internet.

What does training involve?

A new Docent class will begin in 2014. Participants will attend classroom and gallery training sessions to become familiar with the TMA collection and how visitors interact with the art. The training program includes approximately 6 hours of class time per week plus at-home assignments, visual literacy touring technique, group activities, mentoring by active Docents, and a series of touring presentations. The training program lasts approximately 18 months.