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Become a Docent


RAFFMA's Docent Council was created to provide visitors with insightful and exciting experiences. The museum's docents are especially unique, as they not only lead tours but they also volunteer in special educational events, and attend field-trips with museum staff to public art sites, museums, galleries, and private art collections throughout Southern California.

Docents are trained on the permanent collection and then required to attend monthly meetings to remain updated on temporary exhibitions. Docents obtain knowledge about various aspects of art, art theory, and art history. Areas of emphasis include ancient art, origins and trends of contemporary art, and the history of ceramics.

For more information on how to join the Docent Council contact us via email.

Submit an Application Online

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Docent?

Docents are volunteer educators who engage adult and school groups in an active exploration of art.

The position of docent is essential to museum education. Docents connect visitors with the museum’s exhibits, providing an understanding of the cultural and artistic relevance of artwork and ancient artifacts.

What does a docent do?

Docents conduct guided tours of RAFFMA's ancient Egyptian collection and temporary exhibitions utilizing the techniques of dialogue, inquiry, and storytelling. Docents also have the opportunity to assist in additional educational programs and activities at the museum and in the community. 

What are the benefits of becoming a RAFFMA docent?

  • Being part of a group of dedicated people who share a strong sense of camaraderie.
  • Receiving training on various art and historical topics presented by museum staff.
  • Enjoying opportunities to meet exclusively with exhibition curators, artists and scholars.
  • Participating in field trips and special docent-only events.

Do I need an art background or special qualification to join the program?

No. Experience in art, art history, education, and public speaking is helpful, but not required. An applicant should enjoy learning new things, have an enthusiasm for art and culture, and enjoy facilitating conversations with museum guests in the galleries.

What is the commitment?

To become a docent at RAFFMA, volunteer candidates must commit to a five-week training program. After the training program is completed, participants make a minimum one-year service commitment as an active docent and need to be available some weekday mornings and afternoons. Meetings for active docents are held once a month on the second Tuesday at 9:00 am.

How is the training program conducted?

Docent training sessions are held once a year, in the winter semester. Training sessions take place once a week, for five weeks. Docents learn about the museum’s collection, special exhibition topics, tour development, and tour techniques. Training culminates in leading a practice tour of an exhibition to other docents.

How may I join the RAFFMA docents or get more information?

For more information or an application, please e-mail us or call (909) 537-7783.

Applications are accepted on a rolling bases. Interested persons are encouraged to visit the museum and speak with the Education and Collections Coordinator for more information about the program and the opportunity to meet other docents.

Submit an Application Online