Everson Museum seeks docents for expanded education and public programs

This article was originally published on August 21, 2019 by syracuse.com. Read the full article HERE.

If you are an art lover who enjoys sharing knowledge with others, then the Everson Museum of Art is looking for you! With upwards of 20 changing exhibitions every year and an increasing demand for interpretative experiences, the museum is recruiting volunteer docents who can help audiences get the most out of their visits. A docent is a combination of a trained museum guide, informal teacher, and enthusiastic volunteer that acts as a link between the Everson Museum and the community, engaging visitors of all ages.

“The Everson docent program provides quality educational experiences that increase understanding and appreciation of the arts and promote lifelong learning.” Said Kimberly Griffiths, Everson Curator of Education.

The Everson Museum of Art Docent program began in 1916, and is considered the first of its kind, predating that of even the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was established by Blanche Weaver Baxter, the Museum’s first docent, who believed that school children could have a more meaningful experience viewing art with guidance. Today, Everson docents provide tours to more than 5,000 individuals annually. Last year, docents served students from 10 counties and 12 school districts, as well as visitors from around the world. Currently, tours are also given in French and Mandarin.

This fall, docents will have special opportunity to learn about the work of the groundbreaking conceptual artist, Yoko Ono in the forthcoming exhibition “Yoko Ono: Remembering the Future on view Aug. 31 to Oct. 27. This highly anticipated exhibition has led to an increase in tour requests, and the Everson is seeking additional docent candidates to help meet the growing demand. Spanish-speaking and other multi-lingual docents, in particular, are sought to serve Syracuse’s diverse community.

Everson docents not only interact with visitors in the Museum, they also engage the community in many other ways. The Everson’s Outreach Programincreases access to the visual arts for those who otherwise may be unable to visit the Museum. Specially trained docents visit senior centers, hospitals, libraries, K-12 schools and other community organizations throughout the area, bringing the joy of creativity to more than 1,000 individuals annually.

Additional volunteer opportunities at the museum include joining Members Council – an energetic group of volunteers who are active ambassadors of the Everson. Planning special fundraising events such as the Festival of Trees and volunteering to support the Museum’s many programs are just a few of the ways the Members’ Council works behind the scenes to advance the work of the Museum.

To learn more or inquire about becoming a docent, visit everson.org/learn/docents