Become a Docent

The word “docent” is derived from the Latin word docere, meaning “to teach.” The term is used by many museums to describe the trained volunteers who provide educational services for museum visitors. Docents are enthusiastic people who facilitate art-viewing discussions with visitors.

Qualifications, Training, and Duties

The Daum Museum is always looking for friendly, outgoing people with excellent communication skills and an ability and desire to work with diverse audiences. All docents receive free training by museum staff, so an art background is not necessary.

The role of a docent is three-fold:

  1. Serve as hosts, to provide a welcoming atmosphere.
  2. Serve as interpreters of the museum’s exhibitions, helping to give the visitor a deeper understanding and appreciation of the artwork.
  3. Assist in preserving the collections by providing auxiliary security in exhibition areas and attend monthly meetings covering upcoming events, scheduled tours, and exhibition information.

The educational role of the docent is the most important and challenging aspect of the job. A docent should help visitors attain a personal relationship with the art and enable them to include art in their own lives. In addition, a docent must be sensitive to visitors’ differences – learning style, cultural backgrounds, age level, and special needs. Today’s audience is as varied as the artwork on the wall and requires open-mindedness, flexibility, and respect.

Benefits of Becoming a Docent

Docents participate in satisfying experiences working with children, college students, and community members while they expand their understanding of art and are challenged by new ideas.

Docents receive:

  • Guided previews of each exhibition from the museum director
  • Field trips and other special educational activities
  • Invitations to openings and special docent appreciation events
  • Tax deductible mileage to and from the museum
  • Access to the museum library
  • Free copies of selected museum publications

Whether you are a college student, retiree, or someone interested in giving back to the community, consider becoming a docent today!

Other volunteer opportunities include helping at children’s workshops and Daum sponsored community events.

Become a Docent Inquiry Form

Interested in becoming a docent? Complete this form and a staff member will contact you soon.

Membership in the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art provides unique opportunities and sustains a lasting artistic legacy for future generations. Members receive exclusive invitations to exhibition previews and social events with featured artists to learn firsthand about their art and discuss art-making processes. Special discounts on museum publications and participation fees are also a benefit for members.

Join & Give

Carol Fleming, United Forest, 2001