• A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 10 people are interested

San José Museum of Art (SJMA) | Touring Docent

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ORGANIZATION: San José Museum of Art | SJMA

  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 10 people are interested

The primary link between the San José Museum of Art and the public, touring docents help the Museum fulfill its mission of fostering awareness, appreciation, and understanding of contemporary art. With their open, inquiring minds, and a desire to learn from others, SJMA’s docents engage the public imagination by encouraging new ways of seeing and thinking about art. Each docent crafts their own tours, tailoring them to the interests and experiences of their visitors, ensuring a personalized and memorable visit for all.

Docents engage approximately 7,500 visitors each year. They walk visitors through the galleries and lead lively, participatory discussions about selected works on view.

As a docent apprentice, you will undergo a five-month training course before giving tours. You will learn to facilitate an authentic viewing experience for adult and family visitors. The program includes seminars on the history of contemporary art, learning theories, art interpretation strategies, and touring techniques; selected readings, in-gallery training; and tour observations. Active docents participate in exhibition briefing sessions in preparation for their tours and enjoy opportunities for personal enrichment through informative lectures and day trips to other museums.

The next docent training course begins in January 2025.

Please fill out an application form to be added to the contact list for the next docent training program. Prospective volunteer docents should want to learn about contemporary art and how to provide positive museum experiences for visitors. A background in art is not required; a passion for lifelong learning is.

If you need more information about volunteering as an SJMA docent before applying, please e-mail education@sjmusart.org or call 408.291.5393.

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About San José Museum of Art | SJMA


110 South Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113, US

Mission Statement

The San José Museum of Art nurtures empathy and connection by engaging communities with socially relevant contemporary art.


The San José Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought provoking, the Museum delights visitors with it’s surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time.

SJMA is a leading showcase in the Bay Area for modern and contemporary art. The Museum has earned a reputation for its fresh, distinctive exhibitions, which are conceived to engage Museum visitors of various ages and cultural backgrounds. Through its exhibitions and programs, SJMA addresses major trends in international contemporary art, architecture, and design, with an ongoing commitment to also place the work of California artists in national and international context. The Museum strives to make significant contributions to art‑historical scholarship; address prescient issues of interest to the general public; and offer programs that reflect the rich diversity of its communities.


Arts & Culture
Education & Literacy
Arts & Culture, Community, Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.


110 South Market StreetSan Jose, CA 95113



  • Visual Arts
  • American Sign Language
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
  • People Skills
  • Public Speaking


  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Must be at least 21
  • Orientation or Training
  • **Please note: Initial requirement is completion and graduation of 5-month new Docent Training program. Training is 2 days/week approximately 2.5 hours/day. Active Touring Docents work approximately 4-6 hours/month.
  • 3-year fulfillment of Docent shift/s TBD upon completion of new Docent Training program.

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