What is a museum docent?
Docents at the Burchfield Penney are museum volunteers trained as teaching guides. They bridge the viewer and the artwork, igniting conversation and curiosity. Our tour program uses an inquiry-based education model. Tours of all kinds are conducted at the museum, including those for school groups, adults, seniors, and social organizations. More than 15,000 people join us annually for docent-led tours.
Being a docent provides many opportunities for fun and friendship while learning and growing through the arts. Docents have been an integral part of developing initiatives such as our Docent Library, Burchfield Penney Book Club, and an array of specialty tour programs.
Do you love art and people? Are you enthusiastic, have the ability to think creatively and possess a true passion for learning? Are you interested in sparking conversation, have a desire to connect museum visitors to art and ideas, and are committed to creating a unique and meaningful experience for all? If so, you will make an excellent docent!
What is required of a Burchfield Penney Art Center Docent?
Docents are asked to become Burchfield Penney Art Center members and, as such, will enjoy numerous member’s benefits. Docents-in-training must attend 13 two-and-a-half-hour weekly sessions on Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to Noon. Docents are expected to commit to the program for one full year after completing training, providing a minimum of two tours monthly. Docents also are encouraged to attend lectures and other educational programming presented by the Burchfield Penney Art Center and other area museums.
What does docent training entail?
Docent training is a multi-layered program with sessions addressing each of the following strands:
- Strand 1 is designed to familiarize docents with the history of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the artistic contributions of Charles E. Burchfield, the legacy of Charles Rand Penney, the extensive collection of regional work, special exhibitions and our outstanding sustainable building.
- Strand 2 focuses on interpretive techniques and questioning strategies. Docents will be trained to develop tours that guarantee visitors learn through an interactive engaging experience.
- Strand 3 prepares docents to work with a full range of audiences.
- Strand 4 provides opportunities for shadowing and practice tours designed to ensure that docents reach a comfort level that allows them to confidently lead their own independent tours.
Email Mary Kozub at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716-878-3156 for information.