Become a Docent!
Interpretation Docents are trained volunteers who serve as guides and educators who engage visitors in an active discussion about works of art in the Museum. The English word itself is derived from the Latin word docēre, to teach.
We accept docent applications on a rolling basis.
- Extensive training on museum tour techniques using current museum education methods.
- Private talks and tours with the Director of Learning & Engagement, Learning & Engagement Associate, Museum Director, curators and artists.
- Special previews and additional information for new exhibitions.
- Free admission to all Museum lectures and presentations with RSVP and docent ID.
- 20% off all Museum bus trips.
- 10% off all Museum gift shop purchases.
- Camaraderie with fellow docents and Museum staff.
*All benefits are for active docents and only apply to the individual themselves.
- Ability to speak publicly.
- A comfort working with audiences of different ages, experiences, backgrounds, and interests.
- Enthusiasm for art, art history, and community.
- Interest in incorporating different styles of interpretation (historical, interdisciplinary, hands-on, sensory, inquiry based, etc).
- Interest in learning with and from audiences, not just “fact sharing,” to encourage mutual engagement in the Museum.
- Creative thinking, imagination, and flexibility.
Your Guide to Becoming an Interpretation Docent
Interpretation Docents at the Lyman Allyn are trained volunteers who serve as guides and educators who engage visitors in an active discussion about works of art in the museum. The English word itself is derived from the Latin word docēre, to teach.
Any adult who is interested in the Lyman Allyn, and has an enthusiasm for art, history and working with the public. Prior art, history and teaching experience are not required.
Interpretation Docents assist with: leading tours for various group audiences, including children, schools, adults, and seniors; providing informal gallery conversations during events or specially coordinated times; and otherwise assist guests within the galleries. Interpretation docents are ambassadors for the Museum both inside and outside its walls.
Docents receive extensive training in New London, regional, and the Museum’s history, our permanent and special exhibitions, as well as a foundation for leading tours for all ages. To ensure that both the Museum and docents make the most of the training, we ask for a two (2) year commitment, attendance in bi-monthly meetings from September through June, and a minimum of 12 hours of service each year. All active docents will be eligible for Docent Benefits. Bi-lingual, especially Spanish, is a plus but is not required. A history with art, children and/or the public is a bonus.