As a litigation attorney, I realized the power of storytelling to persuade and enlighten. I have also loved visiting great museums, including the Walters, for many years, and listening to the stories behind the objects and the collections. Now as a docent, I can combine my love of the art and objects in the Walters Art Museum with my enjoyment of telling stories and providing context for students and adult visitors. I particularly enjoy researching and developing new tours and new themes to energize the permanent collection and entice visitors to return again and again to the Museum.
My Connection with the NDSC
I attended my first Symposium in 2017 as a presenter in one of the breakout sessions, highlighting a new school tour, Ancient Engineers to Modern Innovations. In the course of preparing for the presentation, I learned more about the work of the Council and became very eager to attend the symposium in Montreal. I was not disappointed, returning from the symposium full of new ideas and energy. As a Director-at-Large, concentrating on increasing the visibility of the NDSC via its website, I am excited to share my enthusiasm with as many other docents as possible.
I graduated from Boston College many years ago, and in some ways never really left. I have always been interested in the arts and had a career as a professional photographer. That led to my becoming a Docent at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a Patron of the McMullen Museum at Boston College. When the opportunity arose to become a museum guide at the McMullen, I immediately jumped at the chance and never looked back. It has been a dream come true. Being a guide at a teaching museum in a research university is one of the best experiences I could have hoped for. To make the art come alive, and have meaning both to the students as well as the public, is inspirational. The word “inspire” means “impart a truth or idea to someone”, which aptly describes what I believe being a museum guide is all about .
My connection with the NDSC
I attended my first Symposium in Washington DC in 2019. My connection with NDSC furthers my love of art and my passion for passing on that love and what I have learned to others. When you have a love of art, it naturally translates to want to learn more skills to improve one’s role in being a museum guide. I am thankful to have found this wonderful organization to better my knowledge and my skills as a guide. The information we receive, the workshops we attend, and the symposiums which are held, all help us to become better guides and share with others the knowledge that we have obtained.
I am a docent at Rancho Los Alamitos, an Historic Ranch and Gardens in Long Beach, California. I hold an MBA with a concentration in Accounting. My career was in accounting and finance, where I managed the finances for a community college. I grew up in Egypt, land of the Pharaohs, and my first memories were visiting the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the old temples and the Egyptian Museum. The love and appreciation of history and art is in my genes. I enjoy being a docent at Rancho Los Alamitos as I am able to bring old California history alive to our guests by taking them through the Ranch House, barns and gardens, telling the story of the families that lived there. I love being a volunteer and giving our guests a memorable experience whether they are adults, students or young children. It takes all of us to make the world a better place.
My Connection with the NDSC
I attended my first symposium in Washington D.C. in 2019. I became aware of this organization when colleagues attended Montreal 2017. I applied for the NDSC education grant and I was honored and humbled to receive it. Many members of the Council leadership reached out to me. They were absolutely kind, welcoming and considerate individuals. They encouraged me to apply for a position on the Council, and I was honored to be appointed to a position that will allow me to best serve the NDSC by ensuring the continued financial sustainability of the Council. I totally enjoyed the symposium as I gained knowledge and expertise that I will be able to share with Rancho docents and guests.
My family was relocated from Boston to Bentonville, Arkansas in late 1999. At the time it was a very small town, home office to Walmart, one the country’s largest retailers soon to become the world’s largest. The small town is now triple in size assisted in part by the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on November 11, 2011, which transformed our community into an international host and destination spot. I became a Gallery Guide after the museum opened and have been rewarded ever since bringing the stories of Crystal Bridges’ art, architecture and nature to life for our guests. It has been an incredible opportunity to be a part of a growing community and museum where the prospects seem limitless.
My connection with the NDSC
I was introduced to the NDSC after a fellow guide had returned from the 2015 symposium in Cincinnati. She spoke highly of the experience of meeting other docent/guides and how informative it was for her. I attended the Montreal Symposium and was “wowed” by the enthusiasm, the exchange of ideas and the session information. I returned to Crystal Bridges inspired and enthusiastic. I attended the Washington DC symposium this year as a presenter as well. I decided to become involved with the council to introduce more guides to NDSC, share the valuable associations it brings and hopefully enlist more guides and their museums in support of NDSC’s mission.