Officers

About Michelle

I am fortunate to be able to share the universal language of art with people of every age. If visitors I am touring make connections with the art and want to come back for more, I have done my job well. As docents, we help our visitors explore themselves through the art, and make learning a relevant and enriching experience.

My Connection with the NDSC

As a member of the steering committee for our docent organization's successful bid to host the 2007 National Docent Symposium, I attended my first symposium in 2005. It was a reconnaissance mission to observe and learn and bring back to Phoenix Art Museum the best practices for creating a multi-faceted conference. As co-chair of hotel lodging and meeting logistics, I was thrilled to collaborate with hundreds of regional docents as we prepared to welcome colleagues from across North America. The seeds for understanding the power of docent community were planted during that time. In serving on our docent governing board for the past 14 years, a highlight has been participation at five symposia. The peer connections and incredible learning opportunities led me to seek a position on the Council. It's my turn to help build and nurture a strong and vibrant docent/guide community so that we can make an even greater impact on people's lives.

Additional Info

  • Title President
  • Docent Since 2000
  • Elected 2017
  • Museum Name Phoenix Art Museum
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

About Joanne

Being a docent provides a unique opportunity to share art with the public in an interactive way. No matter how much time I've spent with an object, I seem to always see that work of art a little differently after each tour. I especially love touring with high school students when a certain "spark" is ignited as the student finds a connection between something on the tour and their life experience. And I can't say enough about the high quality of our docent training at the Wadsworth Atheneum. It's like a graduate level course in art history, exhibition planning, trends in museum practice and knowledge of emerging artists.

My Connection with the NDSC

My first National Docent Symposium was 2017 in Montreal. As vice president of our Docent Council I was invited to attend the symposium, but had no idea what to expect. The range of touring options, new and useful techniques, and different ways to engage our audiences were thrilling to learn. And the excitement of being a docent was palpable. I left invigorated and excited to apply my learnings with our entire Docent Corp. This initial reaction was reinforced with attendance in both DC and Kansas City, and I'm sure will be heightened with the 2024 Atlanta Symposium.

My work with the NDSC began in 2019 when a fellow Wadsworth Atheneum docent encouraged me to apply for the NE Regional Director position. When accepted as a director, I expanded our digital reach and took on the assignment of leading a new NDSC Strategic Planning committee. After accepting the vice president position in 2022, I spearheaded our new Program Committee that has has delivered useful and well-attended webinars over the past two years. I'm looking forward to finding new ways to learn, share and connect with fellow docents and guides as we consider our future role in visitor engagement.

Additional Info

  • Title Vice President
  • Docent Since 2005
  • Elected 2019
  • Museum Name Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

About Sharon

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.

Additional Info

  • Title Secretary
  • Elected 2019
  • Museum Name Boston College McMullen Museum
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

About Ellen

Becoming a docent gave me the chance to be part of a friendly, curious, enthusiastic group who wanted to learn all they could about art and to engage a wide variety of audiences. I look forward to meeting docents from all over the US and Canada with the NDSC.

My Connection with the NDSC

The first symposium I attend was in San Francisco 2013, I was amazed at the variety of people and the richness of the workshops offered. Next I attended the symposium in 2017 in Montreal and felt the thrill of being with over 400 volunteers from all over the US and Canada. Everyone was so friendly and had something unique and helpful to say about being a docent. At that symposium, I was able to join the Board as a Regional Director and begin telling nearby museums about these remarkable meetings!

Additional Info

  • Title Treasurer
  • Docent Since 2010
  • Elected 2017
  • Museum Name Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo
 
 

About Madelyn

I am a docent at the Des Moines Art Center and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Iowa. My career as an educator and my experience as a volunteer docent have convinced me that we are all here to help each other—to guide each other in our investigation of the way the world works and what this life can be about... to discover what is real ...to find meaning in life.  Docents and guides empower  people in that process of discovery and self-discovery. This is important work... for anyone!  Whether in a museum, a botanical garden, a zoo or a historical site we seek to spark connections between people and the meanings that emerge from an encounter with cultural and natural resources. We enrich the experience... building emotional and intellectual bonds in the process.

My Connection with the NDSC

In 2009 I became aware of the National Docent Symposium, attended my first symposium in Toronto and have attended every Symposium since. I have found great benefit in gathering with like-minded folks who are passionate about what they do and are serious about wanting to continually up their game. The NDSC is very much a working board of directors. I am grateful for my NDSC colleagues who not only volunteer in their home institutions but also generously commit their time and talents to provide an ever-growing range of networking and educational opportunities for docents and guides around the world. Our biennial symposia have always enabled face-to-face collaborating, connecting and exchanging ideas. Recently, our virtual platforms have also become vibrant settings for community building.

 

 

 

Additional Info

  • Title Immediate Past President
  • Docent Since 2003
  • Elected 2017
  • Museum Name Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

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