CAM Docent Candidate Application
Training Program: September 2023-August 2024
Application Deadline: Monday, May 15, 2023

Docents are volunteer educators trained to facilitate tours and programs for Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) visitors. They share their knowledge of the museum and its collection with a broad range of audiences, in the museum, online through our various digital platforms, and out in the community, to encourage a life-long love of the visual arts. All who are interested in bringing people and art together are encouraged to apply. In addition to the general candidate specifications listed below, we are interested in candidates that bring new perspectives and experiences that would strengthen our ability to serve our visitors, are available to volunteer during spring and summer months, or are fluent in one or more languages other than English.

No previous knowledge or experience in art, art history, or Pre K-University education is required to become a docent. Docent candidates, individuals preparing to become docents, participate in a training program led by the museum’s Learning & Interpretation (L&I) staff that lasts 11 months (9 months of training presentations and two months of "shadowing" an experienced Docent Mentor - there is no training in December 2023). Training focuses on gallery teaching techniques for touring various audiences through the museum’s collection as well as general art history. L&I staff will lead these training sessions on Tuesday mornings from 10:00 am-12:00 pm and Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:00 pm. Candidates are required to attend only one of the two sessions each week. All docent candidates will be required to undergo background checks before beginning the training program. Following successful completion of the training program, candidates graduate to Active Docent status.

The museum is devoted to establishing an environment that is welcoming and inclusive for everyone. We do not condone or tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

Candidates must be at least 16 years old to apply.
  • Docent Candidate Training Commitments and Requirements

    Candidate Requirements
    • Attend weekly trainings from September 2023 through August 2024 (excluding holidays- no training in December)
    • Work with a docent mentor and shadow docent-led tours
    • Complete assignments related to the training program
    • Be subject to periodic review by the museum’s L&I staff
    • Commit to two years of active touring upon completion of the training program
    • Become a Member of the Cincinnati Art Museum*
    • Sign a Cincinnati Art Museum Code of Ethics Policy

    Candidate Specifications
    • Accepts and respects all people regardless of their abilities, age, ethnicity, culture, gender, religion, or sexual orientation
    • Open to learning new concepts and ideas
    • Maintains a vested interest and enthusiasm for helping others learn
    • Has access to the internet and able to check email and program website regularly
    • Enjoys working with and learning from peers of all abilities, ages and cultures
    • Able to effectively communicate and facilitate learning with audiences of all abilities, ages, and cultures
    • Flexible with ever-changing circumstances
    • Comfortable leading and participating in dialogue and group discussions
    • Able to travel to and from the museum on a weekly basis

    After successful completion of the training program, active docents continue their education of touring techniques as well as the collection and special exhibitions. On-going training consists of two meetings a month: an in-gallery workshop during museum hours and a lecture on a Monday afternoon or evening. In addition, there are optional workshops, day-trips, and other events for docents to further develop their skills and relationships with each other. In addition to becoming a member of the Art Museum, Docents pay annual dues of $30* to fund the needs of the Docent Advisory Council, which is the self-organized leadership group of the Docent Corps.

    *All Docents must be members of the Cincinnati Art Museum and are required to pay dues to the Docent Advisory Council. Upon graduation to the docent program, docent candidates can receive 20% off an Individual membership for the first two years in the program.
  • - -
  • Availability

    Tours may happen as early as 9:00 am or occur in the evening as well as during open museum hours:

    Weekday: Docents give a minimum of 24 tours a year, designating one weekday (Tuesday-Friday) as a primary tour day for scheduling.

    Weekend/Evenings: Docents give a minimum of 12 tours a year, designating one weekend a month as a primary touring weekend.
  • / /
  • After a review of the applications, you may be contacted for an interview. Not all applicants will be selected. Remember that this does not mean that you are not qualified, but rather that we have limited spots available.

    Acceptance into the docent candidate training program does not guarantee admission as an active docent. A candidate must successfully complete the training program to become an active docent.