State Museum seeks new docents, holds training workshops

Posted: Sunday, March 28, 2010

JUNEAU - If you have you ever thought about volunteering in a museum and would like to help show off the state's extraordinary collection of historic treasures, the Alaska State Museum needs you.

The State Museum is recruiting new docents - volunteers who specialize in giving tours in the galleries. Training sessions started March 25 and will be held on five consecutive Thursday afternoons from 2 to 5 p.m., through April.

Workshops will include workshops on public speaking, the history of the museum, cultures of Alaska, and Russian America - all of which will highlight specific objects on display. Docents will also receive training on how to use the Wii controls to operate the museum's new "Science on a Sphere" to help visitors appreciate Alaska's place in the world, and give a more holistic view of the geographic and environmental influences on Alaska cultures and shape our sense of place.

The Alaska State Museum Docent Program is a volunteer activity in which volunteers are trained in the fundamentals of museum education. They then conduct individually designed tours for visitors of all ages. Tours are typically forty-five minutes long, and schedules are arranged to fit the docent's availability. Docents are particularly needed Monday to Thursday during the height of the visitor season. Docent tours foster visitor appreciation and an understanding of the, history, art, cultures and nature of Alaska.

Docents recommit to the program on a yearly basis. Each spring the Alaska State Museum hosts a series of training workshops in which docents, both returning and new, hone their skills at interpreting exhibitions, interpersonal communication, and creating an atmosphere of excitement and engagement at the State Museum. To register for docent training, contact Mary Irvine at 465-2901 or mary.irvine@alaska.gov.



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