Teen Docent Program
A docent is a volunteer guide who talks to people in the art gallery and helps them learn more about the artwork on display. As a Teen Docent, you will work with gallery visitors of all ages – including adults, children and family groups – helping them engage with and understand some amazing works of art. Our exhibitions change every few months, so there is always something new to talk about. Through tours, directed dialogues, and casual conversations, you can make everyone’s experience at the Carnegie Arts Center more exciting!
Teen Docents will first participate in 24 hours of training at the Arts Center to learn art history & appreciation, public speaking, tour development, and how to have fun in the art gallery. Training helps you prepare questions, learn how to think on your feet in front of an audience, and encourage multiple interpretations of a work of art.
At the end of the training, Teen Docents are expected to be in the gallery twice a month to practice, observe other docents, interact with visitors, and lead tours. Teens who wish to continue with the program can sign up to receive training for all new exhibitions and lead tours throughout the year.
Public tours may take place on Friday evenings (6-8 p.m.), Saturday or Sunday afternoons (12-2 p.m.). Other tour groups may be scheduled by appointment.
The Teen Docent program is open to students currently enrolled in 8th-12th grade in Stanislaus County. Teen Docents should be mature, enjoy working with the public, have enthusiasm for creative learning, and be willing to work as a member of a team. No previous knowledge of art or art history is required; training should teach you everything you need to know!
Teen Docents will be participating in valuable and enjoyable learning opportunities in the museum setting and benefitting from experiences applicable to their future personal and professional goals. The community at large benefits from this opportunity to engage with motivated and knowledgeable young people while experiencing the Arts Center’s galleries with fresh perspectives.
You must be available for 3-hour trainings at the Carnegie Arts Center Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. (snacks provided) for 8 weeks, from September 17 – November 5.
We understand that precautions need to be taken during the current public health situation, but attendance at the Arts Center is important. Leading gallery tours requires that docents are comfortable in that setting and are prepared to talk about the works that are on display.
All trainings will be held in our auditorium space or our large main gallery. The program will be limited to fewer than 10 participants, will be conducted under strict physical distancing rules, and will require everyone to wear a face covering when in the group setting.
Additional participation in meetings and other scheduled events may be required. Bus passes may be provided to students who need transportation to the arts center for both training and weekly tours.
As a Teen Docent you will:
receive a one-year Family membership to the Arts Center ($75 value).
develop leadership and public speaking skills.
gain experience and possible letters of recommendation.
earn community service hours for school credit or college applications.
Have fun with Arts Center staff learning what happens “behind the scenes” in planning an exhibition.
For more information or questions, please contact:
Lisa McDermott, Director
(209) 632-5761, x101
To find out more or to sign-up as a Teen Docent, please complete the application below, visit or call us at (209)-632-5761.
We hope you will join us and share your talents!
The Teen Docent Program is sponsored by the Make Dreams Real Endowment Fund.