For visitors to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, docents are the institution’s welcoming face and informed voice.
A volunteer corps made up of about 65 men and women from all backgrounds, docents support the arts by giving gallery tours to both adults and students. The museum is currently looking for volunteers to participate in a training program that begins in September.
Those interested in becoming a docent are encouraged to attend a Recruitment Reception and Tea at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 11 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St..
Docents at SBMA are also essential in integrating the art experience into the local student community, as many visit area classrooms to prepare students for upcoming museum visits. Depending on individual interest, docents research and develop their own tours and can opt to be on teams specializing in the museum’s permanent collection or various themes or special exhibitions.
Benefits of being a docent include attending bimonthly lectures by museum curators and noted visiting scholars, participating in off-site activities such as visiting other museums or other social events, and meeting others with a passion for art.
The training course for provisional docents includes a full general course in Art History, and skill development in public speaking, research and effective techniques for touring. Applications are accepted year-round with classes beginning in September and continuing through early June.
The museum is a privately funded, nonprofit institution with internationally recognized collections and exhibitions and a broad array of cultural, educational and travel opportunities around the world. It is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, click here or call 805.963.4364.
— Mary Elliott is the public relations coordinator for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.