Posts Tagged 'Teen Docents'

Teen Ambassadors: Coolest Kids in Town

We know all too well that this summer’s going to be a scorcher, so the Museum is bringing back our free Summer Family Fun programs to offer families some seriously cool activities. Each day this summer will feature different experiences for families and visitors of all ages, from Story Times to Art-to-Go Family Tote Bags. We’re not alone in our efforts, though – we have a secret weapon to help families beat the heat. Introducing the next generation of museum educators…the DMA Teen Ambassadors!

Formerly the Teen Docent Program, Teen Ambassadors will lead Community Tours, Family Story Times, and visitor experiences at the Pop-up Art Spot and C3 Gallery this summer. These enthusiastic, art-loving teens attended a two day orientation where they learned how to engage with visitors (especially young ones!) to prepare for their volunteer shifts.


The 2016 Class of Teen Ambassadors

This year’s class of Ambassadors is pretty impressive, so make sure to catch them in action!

Jennifer Sheppard
Teaching Specialist

Take a Summer Safari at the DMA

teen docents 2015 2

This year’s class of teen docents.

This summer, bring your summer school students and summer campers to the Dallas Museum of Art for a tour led by one of our teen docents! Our docent-guided tours allow students to form meaningful connections with works of art through close looking and interactive gallery experiences, including sketching, writing, group discussion, and more. Teen docents conduct summer tours for young visitors (ages 5-12) all summer long, during which they encourage critical and creative thinking while addressing all learning styles. If you are interested in scheduling a guided tour with one of our teen docents, the process is easy!

Step 1: Visit This page includes information about fees–FREE if you are an educational organization and scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance!

Step 2: Click on Docent-Guided Tour Request Form, making sure you already have a few dates approved for a visit.

Step 3: Choose whether you would like the “Animal Safari” tour or the “Summer Vacation” tour.

  • On the “Animal Safari” tour, students will set off on a safari to search for animals in works of art. They will think about how animals look and what they might mean and symbolize in works of art from all over the world.
  • On the “Summer Vacation” tour, students will travel the world without ever leaving the Museum! They will think about how they spend their summer vacation and make connections between their favorite summer activities and those they see in works of art.

Step 4: Choose a date and time. Docent-guided tours are only available in the summer on Wednesday and Friday between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. We can only tour 30 students every hour, but feel free to split them between a few hours! For example, half the students can tour at 11:00 a.m. while the other half explore our collection in small groups or eat lunch in our Sculpture Garden.

Step 5: Once the form is submitted, you will be added to our schedule in the first available time and day.

We have lots of room left in our schedule, and our teens are ready to show your students their favorite pieces! We hope you join us for a Safari or a Vacation soon!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Friday Photos: Lights Out

This summer, we were fortunate to have 52 fabulous Teen Docents helping us with tours, story time, Late Nights, and Summer Art Camps.  From mid-June to mid-August, our Teen Docents volunteered 751 hours of their time at the DMA!  We truly couldn’t present our summer programs without them!

We celebrated the end of the Teen Docent season last Friday with an ice cream social and a little light graffiti.  Some of their excellent light designs are below.

Thank you to all of our Teen Docents for a great summer!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Friday Photos: Terrific Teen Docents

Our Teen Docents were back in action this week as they spent two days at the Museum for training. We led mock tours, ate lots of pizza, and created 3D sculptures inspired by 2D artworks. Here are some photos from our time together.

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This summer, we have 52 Teen Docents from high schools around the Metroplex. They are creative, funny, and caring students who love art and the DMA. I feel so lucky to get to work with this inspiring group of students every year!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Friday Photos: Creative Teens

Armed with tissue paper, construction paper, wire, and art straws, our Teen Docents were asked to complete a Creativity Challenge during their training last month.  Their challenge was to create a 3-D response to a 2-D work of art using only the materials provided to them.  They were not given any scissors, glue, or tape, and they had a time limit of forty minutes.  Their creations were quite impressive, and I hope you enjoy this peek at their finished products.

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Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

Wanted: Teen Docents

Each summer, we recruit and train a group of dedicated volunteers known as Teen Docents.  Initiated in the summer of 2001, the DMA Teen Docent program provides opportunities for high school students to deepen their relationship with the Museum.  Our Teen Docents not only lead tours for young visitors, but also volunteer to help with First Tuesdays and Late Nights.  They really are an integral part of summer programming at the DMA.

Teen Docents Leah and Abby lead a tour during last year's BooksmART Festival

One of the perks of being a Teen Docent is learning more about the DMA’s collection and our summer exhibitions.  Teen Docent training will occur in early June, and shortly after that the teens will begin leading tours in our galleries.  Our tours this summer include Animal Safari, which allows students to search for animals in works of art, and Summer Vacation, which asks students to make connections between their favorite summer activities and those they see in works of art.

The 2011 DMA Teen Docents

We will begin accepting applications for the Teen Docent program next week.  If you have any students who love art, teaching, or might even be thinking about a career in a Museum, have them email me at  We would love to have them spend their summer with us as a Teen Docent at the DMA!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

Teen Docent Program: Loads of Fun

Every summer something special happens at the DMA.  High school students from around the DFW area lend us their free time to participate in our annual Teen Docent program.  Celebrating ten years of summer fun, the Teen Docent Program offers an invaluable experience for teenagers, ages 14-18, to learn about art, sharpen their speaking skills, and interact with younger students in the galleries.

Teen docent Jennifer Mayen discussing Miguel Covarrubias's "Genesis: The Gift of Life"

This summer we have eleven returning students and thirteen fresh faces, and it’s easy to spot all of them in their official “uniform,” which includes a gray Dallas Museum of Art t-shirt and a Teen Docent badge. 

Most often you’ll find them around the Museum carrying a docent bag full of fun supplies and guiding a group of students on an Animal Safari or A Looking Journey tour.  Other times, you may see them helping out on weekends with Family Experiences programming like Studio Creations and Collections Connections, or pitching in with program hits like First Tuesday or Late Nights.

Teen docent Tennessee Bonner handing out supplies

I asked one our new teen docents, Tennessee Bonner, why he wanted to join the program. “The reason I joined the docent program was the fact that I would be able to help the museum and I would have fun doing it.”

What a great answer!  Teen docents are not only summer tour lifesavers, but they help create a fun, learning environment for younger audiences.  It is the teenagers’ willingness to learn about the Museum and share their enthusiasm with younger students that makes this program work.   

2011 Teen Docents

For the past ten years, the Teen Docent Program has become an integral part of our summer programming.  I commend all the volunteers that have donated hours of their cherished summer time, and I hope to see many of them next summer.

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits

Teen Docents: It's a Family Affair

This summer, we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the DMA Teen Docent program!  Over the course of the last ten years, we have noticed that a lot of our new applicants have older siblings who were also teen docents.  There are even a few teen docents whose moms are DMA docents during the school year.  I’m going to turn the spotlight on two teen docents who are sisters, and who also happen to be my cousins.  For us, the teen docent program really is a family affair.

Leah is currently a junior, and this will be her third summer as a teen docent. 

Leah, what was your best tour experience from last summer?
My best teen docent experience from last summer was a tour for a group of girls who were in second, third, and fourth grade.  They really got into the tour, and we had a great time talking, sketching, and playing games inspired by works of art in the galleries.

What are the benefits (in your opinion) of being a teen docent?
Being a teen docent, you get service hours in a fun way.  You get to talk with kids, teach them about art, and meet other teens who have the same interests as you. It is also a great way to build up confidence in leadership and public speaking, as there will never be anyone quite as opinionated as a group of 20 little kids…

Abby will be a freshman in the fall, and this will be her first summer as a teen docent.

Abby, why do you want to join the teen docent program?
I was inspired to become a teen docent after going on a tour of the DMA with Shannon.  I also want to serve the community by educating young children about art.  I want to keep art alive in this community.

What are you most looking forward to when you become a teen docent?
I am looking forward to talking with kids about artworks at the DMA. I also look forward to giving tours with my older sister. I enjoy art, so getting to instill the same love for art into young visitors will be very rewarding for me.

Abby, Shannon, and Leah--three Karols with a connection to the teen docent program

This will be my second year leading the teen docent program.  I’m so excited to reconnect with our great volunteers and to welcome a new class of docents to the program.  Teachers, if you have students (grades 9-12) who you think would make great teen docents, we would love for them to apply.  Please email me ( to request an application.

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

Friday Photos: African Masks

I am so excited for our upcoming special exhibition African Masks: The Art of Disguise, opening August 22nd.  We will offer Museum Visits and programs for teachers related to African Masks this fall.  We will also have a brand new African Masks themed Go van Gogh program

Some of our Teen Docents helped to create sample masks that volunteers can use during the African Masks Go van Gogh program.  I was so impressed with their creativity that I wanted to share their masks with you.  My favorite is the ferocious lion.

We’re currently accepting requests for the African Masks teacher workshop, as well as Museum visits and Go van Gogh –submit your request form today!

Shannon Karol
Coordinator of Museum Visits


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