The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) is currently recruiting new volunteer tour guides, or docents, to apply for a free, eight-week (16 total classes) training class starting on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Applicants must apply for the program by January 31 by filling out an interest form that can be emailed or downloaded from http://www.mmam.org/Support/Be-a-Volunteer.
Docents are specially trained volunteers who facilitate tour experiences for visiting groups of all ages and backgrounds and bring the museum’s mission to life. MMAM needs more dedicated docents to meet the needs of an increasing number of school tours.
Current MMAM docent Barbara Strohm stated, “I love learning about and being around beautiful paintings while working with pleasant people in this setting. Art watching beats bird watching because the paintings stay put and let you look at them! Being a docent brings out the artist in me.” Docent Pauline Christensen explained, “Becoming a docent at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum when I retired was among the best decisions I made as to how I wanted to spend my time. It was not without some anxiety and trepidation since I am not an artist and had very little art education in my background. What I did have, however, was an interest in lifelong learning, and the desire to get involved in a wonderful organization right here in Winona. Being a docent has more than fulfilled my expectations. I have learned about the artworks and the artists, made many new and wonderful friends, and have been made to feel a valued partner in the work of the museum.”
Interested applicants will be asked to shadow a tour before the training begins as well as complete a short interview process. The class will meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to noon throughout February and March.
A background in art or museums or previous teaching experience may be helpful but no previous or special experience is required to begin the training class. New docents will be given background on museums, the MMAM’s art collections, and various touring strategies to use with different audiences. Applicants must possess an eagerness to learn and a willingness to explore and support differing points of view. Docents are asked to give at least six tours a year and attend an ongoing monthly docent training class. To find out more information, or to download the docent interest form, please visit the museum’s website at www.mmam.org, or contact Heather Casper at 507-474-6626.
There is always something new to experience at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, a nonprofit art museum that engages visitors in meaningful visual art experiences through education and exhibitions that explore the ongoing and historic human relationship with water. It is located at 800 Riverview Drive in Winona and is surrounded by acres of native prairie gardens along the Mississippi River. Gallery and MMAM Store hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information about the museum is available at www.mmam.org.