Work with us as a volunteer at the Palmer Museum of Art, and enjoy sparking curiosity, creativity, and inspiration in your community.

Docent Program

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 three years. Requirements to serve as a docent include: 

  • Attending 12 training sessions monthly (scheduled on Monday mornings, 10 a.m. to noon) 
  • Leading at least twenty tours/programs per academic year 
  • Accepting periodic evaluation by staff 
  • Joining the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art membership organization 
  • Adherence to all program, 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 opportunity to participate in New Docent Training will be offered in Summer/Fall 2023. Applications are not currently being accepted, but for more information, contact Museum Educator Brandi Breslin at bgb56@psu.edu. 

Docent-led tour in the Snowiss Galleries

Experience the docents in action! Learn about Tours at the Palmer Museum.

Other Ways to Volunteer

Interns and grad students at the Palmer


Are you a student looking to get credit or payment through an internship at the Palmer Museum?
Visit our Internships page
Members of the Friends Leadership Council at their membership table during a Community Day event 

Friends Leadership Council

Interested in having a leadership role that impacts and influences all aspects of the Palmer Museum of Art? . . . Learn about council membership.
Learn about the Friends Leadership Council