Join the 2023 NBMAA New Docent Program!

Hello! The NBMAA Education Staff are delighted that you are interested in the New Docent Program. Do you appreciate art, like to learn new things, and enjoy sharing them with others? Then the docent program may be for you.

Who are the NBMAA Docents?

Docents are volunteers who serve the Museum and the community as tour guides to 10,000 schoolchildren, as well as 50,000 visitors each year.

Docents are dedicated to developing a dialogue with visitors to create an engaging experience with art. They reflect the NBMAA’s welcoming approach and invite persons of all backgrounds and languages to join them.

You will find that being a docent is its own reward as you guide others to experience art for themselves, benefit from being part of a thriving community of learners, and enjoy ongoing education in the field of art.

Docent Requirements

The most important qualities in becoming an NBMAA Docent are enthusiasm, curiosity, flexibility, and a joy in learning with others. You do not need to have art or art history experience—we will teach you what you need to know as part of your docent training course. It is an exciting review of the latest art scholarship and art education ideas—a graduate course without the tests!

The primary focus of the new class of NBMAA Docents (2023-2024) is to learn how to provide a variety of school tours to children, tweens, and teens in an interactive, engaging manner. Tours generally take place on week-day mornings and docents typically give two tours each month. Each tour has a defined focus and features the NBMAA permanent collection. Every tour helps school-age children discover their own interpretations of art.

The training program meets on Monday afternoons from September through May. Museum staff, docents, and guest lecturers lead the trainees in the study of the Museum’s permanent collection, in an understanding of the variety of school tours, and in the most effective techniques for touring with school-age students. Docents-in-training shadow experienced docents, do guided practice in developing their touring skills, and serve as touring interns during late spring. They graduate in May to join the many active docents serving the NBMAA.

The NBMAA cares deeply about the education of our docents and makes a substantial investment in preparing them. In exchange, docents who are accepted into the program are expected to join the Museum at the Friend’s Circle Level Membership ($100) for the first year. In addition, there is a $50 fee to cover materials. Scholarship opportunities are available. After completing the program successfully, docents may renew their required membership at any level.

Thank you for your interest in becoming an NBMAA Docent. We invite you to attend an information meeting at the Museum.

Required Information Meeting for Prospective Docents

Monday, May 1, at 2 p.m. or Monday, May 15, at 2 p.m.

Please RSVP to: [email protected]

(If you cannot attend either date, but are strongly interested, let us know.)


After attending the required information meeting, please complete our online application if you would like to join the NBMAA Docent Program. Applications are due no later than Monday, May 22, 2023.

Our new docent classes are deliberately limited to 15 people to ensure a high-quality learning experience, to promote a sense of community, and to provide guided practice with feedback. Selected applicants will be contacted for an in-person interview by email by June 1. If you are not selected for an interview, you will receive an email by June 1.

Thank you for your interest in the NBMAA Docent Program. We can’t wait to meet you!

NBMAA Docent Application

Please Provide Two Professional References:

List advanced degrees, certificates, or training you have completed.
School/OrganizationDescribe the degree, certificate, or trainingDate of Completion 
List your most recent and/or most significant employment.
OrganizationDates of AffiliationPosition/Brief Description 
Please describe any additional relevant experience. This may include current or previous employment, professional projects, volunteer work, public speaking, sales, working with children's and/or adult groups, educational and teaching experiences, or other endeavors related to art.
I certify that all statements made by me on this application are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and that I have withheld nothing that would, if disclosed, affect this application unfavorably. In the event I am selected as a docent candidate at the New Britain Museum of American Art, I am willing to receive a criminal background check and will comply with all policies and practices established by the program and the Museum.