Embracing Change Together!

Madelyn Mayberry, NDSC President; Docent, Des Moines Art Center and Pappajohn Sculpture Park (November 2020)

The National Docent Symposium Council convened by Zoom on October 27 and 28 to conduct our annual business meeting. Usually, in the off-year between symposia, we would have been planning for next year - "all hands on deck in support of the upcoming symposium." As you all know, this has not been the usual year, and the Kansas City symposium has been postponed until 2022.

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But the NDSC is still working for you! All of that energy, effort and excitement has been transferred to our digital outreach platforms. We really are working at the intersection of the traditional and the visionary. And we are doing it together. I’m confident that even more "learn, share and connect" initiatives will emerge from our incredibly resourceful community. As an all-volunteer organization we are strengthened by your engagement. We listen to your ideas as expressed on the Facebook Forum and anticipate that you will continue to let us know how we can best serve you and how you wish to be part of our path forward.

Our institutions are recognizing how valuable docents and guides can be in creating virtual experiences. By doing so we are reaching further into our communities and into rural and disadvantaged areas. We are reaching out to those who cannot physically visit our institutions. We are using new platforms for docent continuing education, making participation more accessible and thus potentially creating a more diverse docent body. It’s all good!

By building new skills as “digital docents” we become more valuable to the institutions we serve. The resources shared on the Facebook Forum and on our website can help build those skills. We’d love to do more! Council members have begun their own contributions in support of the Council’s mission. We hope you will join us! Our goal is to raise $15,000 by the end of this year. This would extend our capacity to respond to pandemic related realities and to provide more resources for all who wish to attend, either in person or virtually, the NDS in 2022.

For a summary of the Annual Meeting, please click here.

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