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Docents are valuable members of the Gallery’s education department. We rely on our docents to create a memorable and enlightening experience for visitors of all ages.
What is a docent?
A Docent is a volunteer tour guide or gallery teacher. The word derives from the Latin word docere, meaning “to teach.” Docents serve as a vital link between the public and the art in our galleries. Docents engage visitors in interactive experiences that give them a new appreciation of the visual arts.
Successful candidates for all docent categories:
- Appreciate art and the creative process
- Communicate effectively with both children and adults in group situations
- Exhibit strong interpersonal and organizational skills
- Demonstrate enthusiasm, a positive attitude, good judgment, and flexibility
- Enjoy conducting and applying research
- Work well independently and in teams
- Agree to a minimum three-year commitment to the program
What are the training requirements?
Docents-in-training are expected to attend the entire training course. Continuing education for all docents is once a week on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon. Training includes lectures by museum educators, curators, visiting scholars, and artists. These sessions provide information on the arts and the cultural context in which they were created; the Corcoran’s history and collection; educational theory; and touring techniques.
Candidates are accepted on the basis of:
- A cover letter defining a particular interest in the Corcoran Gallery of Art docent program
- A completed docent application form
Download in PDF format
- Personal interviews conducted by members of the Public Education department staff and/or the docent recruitment committee
- Expert training in art and cultural history, communication skills, tour techniques, interpretation, and visitor services
- Membership to the Corcoran Gallery of Art
- Organized enrichment field trips
- 10% discount in the Corcoran Shop and Todd Gray's Muse at the Corcoran
- After completing one full year of service to the museum, docents are eligible, on a space available basis, for a free course each semester at the Corcoran College of Art + Design.
Header photo credit: Denny Henry