Volunteer Docents

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Volunteer Docent talking with students from Champaign Park District, 2013
A volunteer docent talks about sculpture by Lorado Taft with children from the Champaign Park District in the Kinkead Pavilion, 2013.

Krannert Art Museum volunteer docents, or tour guides, lead tours of the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions for groups of preschool and elementary-aged school children, student groups, and adult visitors. 

If you are interested in joining the museum's team of volunteer docents, please let us know. We recruit and start a new class every 2–3 years, typically starting in the fall. 

To become a docent, knowledge of art and teaching experience is helpful, but not required. Candidates should have a strong interest in learning about art and enjoy interacting with groups of all ages. During docent training sessions (usually held approximately twice a month), volunteers become familiar with art in the museum collection and learn about special exhibitions. They also have the ability to learn, develop, and practice teaching techniques in the galleries. 

If you have foreign language skills, especially Spanish fluency, we encourage you to join us! To participate in the volunteer docent program, you must have available time weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm to give tours and attend training sessions.

What docents are saying...

"When I tell people about working at KAM, I think I invariably end up smiling and saying something like, 'You never know what people are gonna say about art!' And that is always what I'm working toward on a tour. I enjoy the training and preparation because it helps me to discover how I feel about art and what I might have to say about it. 

"The docent training program provides the information, materials, and support necessary for me to craft a plan to engage visitors with selected works of art. I like the challenge and excitement that comes from inviting people to look closely at works I have chosen and then helping them to feel comfortable enough to describe for the group what it is they think and feel. That is the role and reward for a docent.

"It's always interesting. And when it's really working, and the group reaches kind of a steady rhythm of participation, and you can see people feeding off the responses of others, and you can feel the momentum of discovery... then it can be thrilling."

Rich Howard, KAM docent

 

Useful Links

Online Docent Calendar
Online Course Site