What is a docent?

Birmingham Museum of Art docents play a key role in fulfilling the Museum’s commitment to the community. Docents are trained to facilitate tours of Museum galleries that provide art experiences for visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. About 80% of docent-led tours at the BMA are for children and students. Docents share their deep passion for art, culture, and learning to help all Museum visitors connect with objects and experience the magic of art.

What do docents get from the experience?

Docents derive personal satisfaction from helping Museum visitors to understand and to appreciate art and its importance to culture and values. Docents benefit by learning from top curators, educators, scholars, and other docents. They gain access to special docent-only gallery talks, Museum programs, and behind-the-scenes tours. Docents meet interesting people, make new friends, contribute to the education of children, and become part of the docent community.

Docent Program Mission Statement

To advance the mission of the Museum by facilitating tours that engage visitors and provide a positive, meaningful, and relevant experience with art.

Docent Program Vision Statement

To create meaningful experiences for each Museum visitor that allow them to become positively transformed by the power of art.

Docent Program Values

  • Collaboration: We work in partnership to support each other and the docent program.
  • Enjoyment: We facilitate fun and positive experiences with art.
  • Flexibility: We are open to new ideas and the possibility of seeing things in new ways.
  • Learning: We invest continuously in our own learning and development. We help our visitors learn about life through the Museum’s works of art.
  • Professionalism: We present ourselves in a positive manner and act with integrity.
  • Respect: We treat each other, our visitors, and our diverse constituency with respect.

Interested in becoming a docent?

Applications have closed for the 2016 training class. To get information about the next training class when it is available, please email Angela May, Assistant Curator of Education, at