Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art is actively recruiting new and diverse members for the CMA Docent Corps. Integral to the museum’s education program, docents are specialized volunteers who lead interactive tours and studio programs for all ages. Applications for the 2018 docent class are due by January 31, 2018.

“Being a docent at the CMA can fulfill lots of different needs, desires, and ambitions,” says David Renton, current Docent Corps president. “If you love art, it can fulfill a need to communicate that passion and expose others to what inspires you. If it is for a desire to volunteer and give back to the community, the mission of the CMA to be a community resource open and available to all can deliver that opportunity. If it is an ambition to know more about art and to be an active part of a community of like-minded learners, then being a CMA docent can offer fellow travelers.” 

Docents engage visitors in structured experiences in the galleries, offering opportunities for close looking, thinking deeply about works of art, and learning about cultures around the world. Facilitated by the museum’s education and curatorial staff, docents receive extensive training in art history, sociocultural history, and gallery teaching. The Docent Corps is made up of inquisitive, open-minded people who share a love of art and a desire to give back to the community.

The CMA is currently undergoing a transformative renovation that will create more galleries and studios. Once the new spaces are unveiled in late 2018, the museum will be more exciting than ever, making this the perfect time to join the talented and dedicated Docent Corps.

“We have a great group of docents here at the museum,” says Glenna Barlow, CMA manager of education, “people who are not only interested in learning but in connecting directly with members of our community of all ages. We’re looking forward to expanding this group and finding even more people who are passionate about education and sharing their love of art, culture, and history.”

In addition to the benefits of general CMA membership, docents enjoy exclusive luncheons, trips to other cultural institutions, and opportunities to interact with artists and visiting scholars, as well as a built-in network of more than 50 professionals devoted to engaging the public through art.

“As a docent, I most appreciate the sharing of ideas and perspectives, whether with visitors, staff members, artists and lecturers, or beloved fellow docents,” says Jean Prothro. “I behold art through many eyes, and that sharing is the greatest pleasure of all.”

Admittance into the Docent Corps requires completion of docent training, to be held in early spring 2018.

To apply or to access more information on the CMA Docent Corps, visitwww.columbiamuseum.org/docents.

Sharon Sanders
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