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Release Date: December 8, 2008

National Gallery of Art Seeks School Docents for Student Tours

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art is recruiting school docents to conduct student-centered thematic tours for thousands of children of all ages from all over the country, providing rich and memorable experiences with works of art in the Gallery's collection. Docents engage students in conversations and activities that develop careful looking skills as well as personal interpretations of art.

Docent candidates receive extensive ongoing training in museum teaching, understanding Gallery audiences, and art history. Various formats are used to advance docent learning during the initial training: workshops that cover many educational topics and model the best practices in teaching and applied educational theory, in-gallery discussions, lectures, pre- and post-session readings, and independent research. New docents are expected to make a five-year commitment to the program, which includes two years of initial training. School tours are conducted over a period of 30 weeks from October to May. During this period, docents must be available to provide up to two tours per day on 25 days.

Applications for the school docent program are currently available on the National Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov/education/docent_app.shtm. The Web site explains the selection criteria and process. Completed applications are due by February 28, 2009. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an informational meeting to meet staff and current docents and to learn more about the program and the selection process. The meetings will take place in the East Building Small Auditorium on February 19, February 24, and March 9. All programs begin at 10:15 a.m. and will last approximately one hour. Candidates should send their name and selected date via e-mail to docentcandidate@nga.gov.

More information about the school docent program and the many other volunteer opportunities at the National Gallery of Art is available at www.nga.gov/education/volunteer.htm.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. The galleries in the East Building will reopen on September 30, 2016. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
 
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: pressinfo@nga.gov
 
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications – Converged Media
(202) 842-6804
a-guthrie@nga.gov

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