• Nelson Atkins Docents at Symposium
  • KC skyline
  • Nelson Atkins reflection
  • KC Station Night View
  • KC Shuttlecock
  • KC fountain

In the next several months leading up to the opening of registration for NDS2022 you will find regular and timely information about deadlines and opportunities that you will not want to miss. If you are one of the 1200+ who have, in the past year, joined our Facebook Forum and have appreciated our vibrant and supportive community you may be looking for ways to get more involved. Here are a few timely items for September...

  • NDS2022 Breakout Proposals -- The call for proposals closed on September 1 and the Kansas City team is now reviewing the submissions. There were 70+ submissions so you know that will be a daunting task. They intend to notify all accepted proposals by October 15. Thank you to those who submitted proposals!
  • NDSC Docent Handbook 2 SALE Extended! — Last chance to get this respected handbook at 20% discount through October 15! Order here.
  • NDSC2022 Education Grants — We are accepting applications for Education Grants to cover the cost of the registration fee for NDS2022. Read about the NDSC Education Grants here.  These grants are intended to encourage those who may not have attended in the past, especially those who are docents or guides at museums, galleries and cultural institutions reaching out to diverse communities. It is a simple process to apply. Fill out the online application by December 15. The NDSC selection committee will notify those to receive scholarships by January 24 and send a discount code to be used when they register for the symposium. (Registration for NDS2022 will open in early February.)  

We will alert you to several more opportunities to actively participate in our initiatives throughout this fall and into the coming year. Stay tuned and watch this space!

Gin Wachter SM NDSC Cheryl Palmer  Renee Franklin  Wadsworth Atheneum 1

We are proud to recognize our supporters by profiling the individuals and institutions that inspire them.  From left to right, Gin Wachter (Saint Louis Art Museum); Cheryl Palmer (The Mint Museum); Renée Brummel Franklin (Saint Louis Art Museum); and Wadsworth Atheneum Docent Council 50th Anniversary.  

Building Docent Community in Our Virtual World

Read here how the docents at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco stayed connected not only with one another, but with docents in museums all over our country. 

Hint:  The recipe for this prize-winning cocktail is included!  



Fostering personal connection among 210 active docents and 107 supporting docents was the goal of the digital magazine started by the docents of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.  The magazine was conceived at the start of the pandemic as a way to share information and replace some of the things docents missed:  the social aspect of lunches in the cafes after lectures, in-person parties, and travel to other museums.  In shifting gears seamlessly, these adaptable and resourceful docents have demonstrated the docent creed:  Be Flexible.  Read more about it here.  

Virtual docenting 2

From the moment the pandemic led to the shutdown of all Smithsonian Institution facilities in March 2020, docents at the National Air and Space Museum began looking forward to the day when they could return to doing what docents do best: engaging with visitors.  Thanks to innovative thinking and a lot of hard work by museum staff and the docents themselves, Air and Space docents were able to resume their docent duties in September with the initiation of the museum’s Virtual Volunteer Artifact Station Program.  Read more about this exciting and innovative program here!

Getty Museum Docent Lee Rubinstein didn't let the pandemic slow her down! Active in the National Docents Forum Facebook group, she decided to combine her art history, touring, and organizing skills to bring together over 40 fellow docents and guides for a virtual art curatorial program. This labor of love has been a great way for docents across the U.S. and Canada to collaborate and learn. Read more about Lee's experience here


TucsonMuseumof Art1

Since the landmark exhibition, 30 Americans, was on view over two years ago, the Tucson Museum of Art has embarked on a journey to rethink all aspects of docent touring and training. From a successful breakout session at NDS 2019 based on the exhibition, to an indepth exploration of what DEAI means to the Museum's and docent corps' mission, new approaches and programs are being developed to usher the TMA into the future. Read more here.

The Docent Handbook 2 

Now available in two versions, digital and print.

For more information and ordering instructions, click this LINK.

Find PowerPoint Presentations and Handouts from the Washington D.C. Symposium and several past symposia at the Symposia menu tab above or  click here

Be a Resource!  We welcome articles for publication on the NDSC website. 


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