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40th anniv graphic for video

Thank you to those who tuned in to the “first ever” NDSC webinar event. You learned that this special event represents the launching of a year of celebration -- the 40th anniversary of the National Docent Symposium. One of our Council colleagues shared an article that appeared in the Harvard Business review entitled “Anniversaries Are Not to Be Wasted”. The author, Judith Rodin, asserts that, “It’s an ideal time to ask people to think together about why their work matters and how it should move forward.”

Our intent is to reflect on the past 40 years and the trends that have impacted our work as docent and guides. The webinar will set in motion a series of interactive regional roundtables in the coming months to “think together” about our mission and values -- to recognize and celebrate our achievements, to discuss current challenges and to consider how to best negotiate the future. We hope you will join these discussions. We want to hear from you about lessons learned and the most intriguing and innovative projections for the future.

The past year has been a challenge for us all in many ways and I think we would agree that the people-to-people connections have been as valuable as the sharing of information. We are most grateful for your past financial support which has enabled us to maintain and increase our outreach and make these rewarding opportunities viable!

We ask that you will help us promote this year of introspection and celebrate with us in in Kansas City in September of 2022!

For 40 years the National Docent Symposium Council (NDSC) has provided a forum for learning and the exchange of ideas for docents and guides in North America. We recognize and value the dedication and skill that docents bring to their role as volunteer educators. The NDSC celebrates and honors docents’ contributions to their institutions. Our biennial symposium is host to a wide range of cultural institutions and will come together in Kansas City in September 2022 to participate in an ongoing dialogue about the role and mission of docents. Through the National Docent Symposium and multiple online platforms, docents, guides and museum educators will continue working together to craft best practices in leadership, learning and public engagement. 

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!  

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.  



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.  

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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