San José Museum of Art (SJMA) | Docent

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San José Museum of Art | SJMA

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

The primary link between the San José Museum of Art and the public, 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. They stimulate visitors to learn for themselves-to find at the Museum something they may not have discovered alone.

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 you begin giving tours. You will learn to facilitate an authentic viewing experience for all 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 January 2020.

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 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 prior to submitting an application, please send an e-mail to 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 is dedicated to fostering the awareness, appreciation, and understanding of twentieth- and twenty-first-century art in diverse audiences of the Bay Area. The Museum achieves its mission through exhibitions, education programs, collections, and publications, all of which are designed to serve, engage, and enrich the individual and the community. In carrying out its mission, the San José Museum of Art will sustain and cultivate the importance and value of the visual arts in our society.


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.


We'll work with your schedule.


110 South Market StreetSan José Museum of Art (SJMA)San Jose, CA 95113



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


  • Group


  • Must be at least 21
  • **Please note: Initial requirement is completion and graduation of 5-month new Docent Training program. Individual Docent shift/s TBD upon completion of new Docent Training program.
  • 3-year fulfillment of Docent shift/s TBD upon completion of new Docent Training program.

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