Docents are a vital part of the educational mission of the Palmer Museum of Art. They are volunteer educators who lead guided discussion programs about museum collections and exhibitions for a diverse public audience. Docents participate in a rigorous ongoing training program that prepares them to lead a variety of teaching strategies in a number of museum programs.

Qualities that make a great docent are:

  • A sincere interest in people of all ages
  • An ability to communicate clearly with individuals and groups
  • A sense of flexibility and cooperation
  • An interest in art and enthusiasm for lifelong learning
  • An outlook of tolerance and respect for all people’s point of view

Serving as a museum docent requires a high level of commitment and dedication. Because of this, interested applicants should consider their ability to participate in the program for at least the next three years. Requirements to serve as a docent include:

  • Attend 1-2 training sessions monthly (scheduled on Monday mornings, 10 a.m. to noon)
  • Provide at least twenty tours/programs per academic year
  • Accept periodic evaluation by staff
  • Join the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art membership organization
  • Adhere to all museum and Penn State policies

New Docent Training Program

To join the Palmer Museum Docent Program, individuals must submit an application, provide positive results of required background clearances, and successfully complete the New Docent Training Program. 

The next opportunities to participate in New Docent Training will be offered in October 2019 and Summer/Fall 2022. For more information or to request an application, contact museum educator, Brandi Breslin, at bgb56@psu.edu or attend a scheduled Informational Meeting.

New Docent Training Informational Meeting: Wednesday, September 4, 11:00 a.m., Palmer Lipcon Auditorium



The Palmer Museum of Art seeks Penn State student volunteers to work with us to create and present engaging programs that encourage visitors to explore world-class art and exhibitions. Palmer Student Ambassadors (PSAs) will represent student interests and work with the museum’s Education Department to develop creative and innovative events for a variety of audiences. No previous art experience is required, and we encourage participation by students from all academic areas of Penn State.

Interested students must be comfortable and professional with public interaction and must be able and willing to make a one-semester commitment of 5-10 hours per week, with some weekend and evening shifts scheduled throughout the semester. Availability to attend at least one training session per week is required – either Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or Thursdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m. For more information, attend a scheduled Informational Meeting or email the museum educator, Brandi Breslin, at bgb56@psu.edu.

Palmer Student Ambassador Informational Meetings

Students interested in becoming a Palmer Student Ambassador should plan to attend an informational meeting for the semester in which they would like to apply. All meetings are held in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium. Upcoming 2019-2020 Informational Sessions:

  • Fall 2019: Thursday, September 5, 2:00 p.m.
  • Spring 2020: Thursday, January 23, 2:00 p.m



The Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art, the museum's membership organization, continually volunteer their time to further the educational and public service interests of the museum. In doing so, they strive to raise funds that are used to support more than 100 annual museum programs and events, offered to all visitors, admission free. For more information, please email Amber Krieg, Associate Director of Membership and Donor Relations, at adk5@psu.edu.