Washington D.C. welcomes you to our next National Docent Symposium, October 24 to 27, 2019.

Join us as we Capitalize on Experience, coming together to share our collective expertise so that we all may grow and improve in our craft and offer our visitors our very best. At about 400 volunteers strong, representing art, history and science institutions this year’s event will brim with new discoveries. Outside the conference rooms, you’ll find much to discover as well. From its rich heritage, unmatched cultural, historical and political institutions to the beauty of its architecture, gardens and green spaces you’ll leave D.C. feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to capitalize on your own experiences.


The 2019 National Docent Symposium is rapidly approaching. We know you have questions about the Symposium, please go to our “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) tab for your most commonly asked questions. Additional information may be obtained by contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


You may now view details of our upcoming Symposium by clicking on the Registration tab.  Descriptions of Pre-Tours, Afternoon Out tours, and Breakout sessions are detailed there.  You will use this tab to register for these various activities when official registration begins on 13 May.


Hotel registration for this year’s Symposium is now available at a discounted rate.  Please go to the Hotel tab and use the link there to make your hotel reservation.


The National Docent Symposium announces that Kaywin Feldman will be their Guest Speaker at the Symposium’s concluding Sunday brunch on October 27th.  Ms. Feldman has recently been selected as next director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the fifth director in the Gallery’s 77-year history.  Ms. Feldman was previously the Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  Frederick Beinecke, President of the National Gallery of Art, notes, “Kaywin Feldman is a dynamic and highly principled leader, a gracious collaborator, and an innovator with the skills and vision to lead the National Gallery of Art in the 21st century.”  

We are pleased that Ms. Feldman has agreed to address the Symposium in what we know will be an informative and inspiring address. 

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What's New

Keynote Speaker:
NDS2019 has selected Augustus Casely-Hayford, the director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art as the keynote speaker for our opening dinner on 24 October 2019.
[Read More]

Symposium Speakers:
We’re pleased to announce that Karleen Gardner, Director, Learning and Innovation at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), will be our Luncheon Speaker on 26 October.
[Read More]


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