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Docent giving a tour to a group of children.

In partnership with the Museum’s Learning and Community Partnerships department, the Docent Council is a group of dedicated volunteers who facilitate creative and engaging experiences in the Museum’s galleries for K-12 students, families, and visitors of all ages. Docents engage in creative, dynamic conversations with learners of all ages, and help make art come alive for our Museum visitors. They are also a vital part of building connections between the Museum and our local community.

The Mission of the Docent Council is to:

  • Create a welcoming community for learning about art
  • Provide training to docents in museum learning, art and art history, and touring strategies
  • Deliver high quality art experiences to people of all ages

When groups come to the Museum to experience art, we want them to enjoy doing so, to leave feeling that the experience was interesting and worthwhile, and to think that the Museum is a meaningful place to visit.  The docent’s function is to “open the doors” for visitors to have an experience with art, and to bring each visitor to a personal sense of discovery – it is not to teach a lesson or to deliver a series of facts.

Currently, there are more than 175 docents in the Docent Council at the Portland Art Museum, including docents-in-training, active docents, sustainer docents, and education affiliate docents.

Docent Council Membership

Level Annual Fee
Active (individual) $50

How can I become a Docent at the Portland Art Museum?
We are currently not accepting applications for the Docent Council.  However, we bring on new classes of docents on a regular basis, usually accepting applications in early summer.  We’ll keep this webpage updated with application information as it becomes available.

In addition to the Docent Council, there are several other Art Councils that welcome your involvement, especially if you have interest in a particular area of art.

For other volunteer positions (i.e. Guest Services, Rental Sales Gallery, etc.) please visit the Museum’s volunteer page.