Community of Learners
"We live in a time where it is more important than ever to explore difference and find the similarities we all share in the human condition."
When the Hood opens its doors next year, we expect our docents to be in high demand. In preparation for the anticipated uptick in tour requests, we are expanding our docent program this spring. Docents have long been integral to our work with public audiences. Annually, when the Hood is open, docents provide free tours to about four thousand museum visitors of all ages and stages of life. The strong ties the Hood enjoys with the Upper Valley community are in no small part due to their dedication and skill.
Docents receive weekly training in content for the permanent collection and all special exhibitions, as well as training in teaching strategies—that is, not just what to teach but how to help audiences access complicated ideas embodied in works of art through active engagement. Being a docent is a demanding but fulfilling commitment, and many of our current docents have been with us for years. Several have been with us long enough to have seen the arc from lecture-based tours to the current model, in which a tour is more like a facilitated exchange of ideas. It is that exchange with our audiences that we greatly value, especially now. To quote a current docent, “We live in a time where it is more important than ever to explore difference and find the similarities we all share in the human condition.”