The Dayton Art Institute is seeking dedicated volunteers for its new class of Museum Guides (formerly known as Docents). Museum Guides are lively, lifelong learners whose passion for art prompts their desire to support the community and the museum by providing engaging experiences in the galleries. Managed by the education department to support its aims, this is a volunteer customer service role with specialized training to actively involve youth and adults with the museum collection and special exhibitions. Museum Guides represent a variety of interests that reflect those of our guests, including business, medicine, teaching, community volunteers, and art, among others. Volunteers are needed on weekdays, weekends, and evenings.
Cumulative nine-month training period. During the initial six months (September – February), museum education and curatorial staff lead meetings to teach art history, its application to the museum collection, and gallery engagement strategies approximately once a week. Trainees will be introduced to pre-existing gallery experience outlines, then follow and assess eight guided visits over two months (mid-January through mid-March), including at least one each for schools, special exhibitions, drop-in visits and Saturday Sound Bites. During the period of mid-March to mid-April, trainees will partner with mentor museum guides to lead two gallery visits. To complete training, each candidate will successfully provide a guided visitor experience between mid-April and mid-May for staff and mentor museum guides that includes at least one original gallery engagement strategy.
During the training period, candidates will fulfill the role of a museum Ask Me Ambassador volunteer, committing two hours per month to assist visitors with way-finding and basic information in the galleries, and participate as assigned in the galleries for large museum events such as Oktoberfest and Passport to Kindergarten. When training is successfully completed, a signed 1-year commitment to the museum is required.
An ongoing training schedule follows completion of the initial training period and occurs monthly in large group sessions (generally 1st Thursday evenings and 3rd Wednesday mornings from August – April). Small group training sessions also take place each year: three for special exhibitions and one for The Lange Family Experiencenter, as well as those for revised or other new gallery experiences and engagement strategies. Museum Guides provide a minimum of 10-15 guided visits per year, which can be met by signing up for opportunities, taking substitute requests, and accepting requests on short notice. Each year, every Museum Guide participates in at least two large events supported by the education department, including Passport to Kindergarten, Oktoberfest, large school visits, or similar programs.
How to Apply:
First, carefully read the 2017 Museum Guide Overview and Guidelines. Next, complete the Museum Guide Application and background check form and return to The Dayton Art Institute, Attn: Susan Martis, Ph.D., Curator of Education at [email protected]. Email is the preferred method for applying, with all attachments in .pdf format only. The subject line of your email should include your full name and title of volunteer position (for example: Susan Martis, Museum Guide). Please do not submit other materials such as cover letter and/or resume.
Submission deadline: July 28