The Carnegie Arts Center launched a new program for teens to participate at the arts center this fall. Funded with a grant from the Make Dreams Real Endowment Fund, the Teen Docent program is a first step in getting to know more about art, history, museums and public engagement for young people who are interested in the arts.
“Teen docents will work with gallery visitors of all ages – including adults, children and family groups – helping them engage with and understand some amazing works of art. Our exhibitions change every few months, so there is always something new to talk about. Through tours, directed dialogues, and casual conversations, our young docents can make everyone’s experience at the Carnegie Arts Center more exciting!” said Carnegie Director Lisa McDermott.
Teen Docents will participate in 24 hours of training at the arts center to learn art history and appreciation, public speaking, tour development and how to have fun in the art gallery. Training helps prepare docents to think on their feet in front of an audience and to encourage multiple interpretations of a work of art. At the end of the training, Teen Docents will be in the gallery twice a month to practice, observe other docents, interact with visitors and lead tours.
The Teen Docent program is open to students currently enrolled in 8th-12th grade in Stanislaus County. Teen Docents should be mature, enjoy working with the public, have enthusiasm for creative learning, and be willing to work as a member of a team. No previous knowledge of art or art history is required.
Training begins on Sept. 17 at the Carnegie Arts Center.
McDermott acknowledged that now is a difficult time to start a new program.
“Precautions will definitely be taken during the current public health situation,” she said. “Participation in the program is limited to just 10 students and training will be done under strict rules for physical distancing and mask wearing. Eventually our young docents will be speaking to visitors, leading group conversations and they need to develop confidence in that role by practicing with their peers.”
Teen Docents will be able to use this experience toward community service hours and will receive a one-year Family membership to the arts center ($75 value).
“The community benefits from this opportunity to engage with motivated young volunteers while experiencing the Arts Center’s galleries with fresh perspectives. The Teen Docents should have a great experience as they engage with our visitors; I think we will all have fun learning from each other,” McDermott added.
To get more information about the Teen Docent program, call 632-5761 or email email@example.com.