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Love Art and Talking to People?

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Due to overwhelming demand, the application process for the September 2016 Docent Class is now closed.

We thank everyone who has applied so far. It wasn't the quantity of applications that led us to close enrollment early. It was the quantity mixed with exceptional quality. It just wouldn't be fair to current applicants to accept any more. This is an outstanding field of candidates, and all applicants should be proud.

Here, in brief, is what makes this program work. People like you.

What do docents do?

Docents are volunteer teachers, or tour guides. They are specially trained to educate and interact with Museum visitors of all ages about art in the Museum's exhibitions and collections. The Chrysler Museum of Art seeks volunteers to join its team of docents, who form an essential part of the Museum's Education Department.

Being a docent has had a great impact on my life. I've learned not only from the wealth of training that I've had over the years, but from each and every student and adult I've toured. If you can commit the time, you'll find the docent program incredibly rewarding.
—Chris Rowland
—CMA Docent Class of 1979

Through facilitating discussion and learning, docents enhance the visitor experience and provide a vital link between the art and our audiences. In addition to leading tours, assisting with programs, docents meet regularly for ongoing training and meetings.

Who can apply to the docent program?

Everyone who is interested is encouraged to apply. The ideal docent is a person with a passion for art and education and who enjoys having conversations with people from all walks of life. Prior teaching experience and knowledge of art history is helpful, but not required. While docents give tours to visitors of all ages, the majority of their tours are given to school groups ranging from pre-school through high school. Docent candidates need to be available weekdays, most often in the morning.

What are the qualifications?

  • An engaging personality and excellent communication skills.
  • Strong interest in the visual arts and culture and a genuine interest in teaching others.
  • Professional attitude toward fellow docents, Museum staff, and the public.
  • Dependability and promptness in attending all training sessions, meetings, and tours.

What are the requirements for becoming a docent?

Prospective docents undergo an extensive nine-month training course. The curriculum includes learning about the Chrysler's encyclopedic collection, its wider art-historical context, visual thinking strategies, and effective tour techniques. Classes meet once a week from September through May and are taught by Museum staff, guest speakers, and seasoned docents. Upon successful completion of training, new docents are required to commit to leading tours at the museum for a minimum of two years.

What are the requirements once I become a docent?

  • Must be a Chrysler Museum Member.
  • Must make an initial commitment of two years. After the first two years, docents may continue year by year.
  • Must attend all scheduled-docent training sessions and meetings.
  • Must attend training sessions, research and prepare tours, and attend continuing education classes as offered.
  • Must give 24 tours per year.
  • Must participate in an evaluation process so that the Museum can maintain standards of excellence for all docents.

Candidates for the docent program will be selected after a review of applications and brief interviews with members of the Education Department. Interviews for qualified applicants will occur by appointment during May and June 2016.