Docent Program

Volunteer docents are invaluable to the Honolulu Museum of Art. They play an important role in implementing the museum’s education mission by guiding groups of all ages on a variety of tours of the Honolulu Museum of Art's collections and exhibitions. Professionals from all walks of life—doctors, businesspeople, professors, teachers, and artists, to name a few—are Honolulu Museum of Art docents. Prior knowledge of art is not required—you just have to have a passion to help others enjoy art.

Join our next Docent-Training Course!

School Tour Docent Training Course 2015

The 2015 docent-training program focuses on student tours. Our docent corps now serves more than 21,000 schoolchildren in the museum and up at Spalding House, and we aim to increase that number over the next few years to expand our educational reach, especially students who do not have art programing in their schools. This special docent training course runs from January through April and for the month of September. Classes are held Mondays from 9am to 3pm. Courses of study include gallery discussions providing a general overview of art history; an experiential approach to learning works of art used in student tours; specific tour demonstrations, and workshops on media/technique, learning styles, and teaching techniques. The Curator of Education and experienced docents conduct the course.

Course topics: The World through Art, Elements of Art, Art and Life in Early America, Let's Sketch, Asian Masterpieces, European and American Masterpieces, Symbols of Identity, Animals in Art, Literature through Art, Math through Art, Science through Art, STEAM, The Holiday Tour, Kamishibai: Japanese Storytelling, Pacific Voyages, Picturing Hawai‘i, Tales from the Philippines, Art of the Ancient World, and World Religions.

Class requirements: Docent trainees are required to complete reading assignments, follow ongoing school tours, present mini-practice tours to fellow trainees, participate in the evaluation process, prepare verbal sample tours, and before the completion of the course, lead school groups on their own. Membership in the Honolulu Museum of Art is optional, but highly recommended.

Tuition: Tuition is $175 plus the cost of textbooks (approximately $175).

Service: During the course, upon satisfactory completion of each practice tour, trainees will conduct tours on the themes they have studied to date. At the end of the course, docents will receive a diploma and agree to a minimum five-year service commitment, giving a weekly tour during the school year.

How to apply

We invite you to apply for the Honolulu Museum of Art Docent Council by completing the online application.
After we receive your application, we will call you to make an appointment for your interview. 
If you have questions, please call Betsy Forrest Robb, Curator of Education, at 532-6075.