Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Docent News

Hello Docents!


Sorry for the long email, but I wanted to update everyone on docent business and some education department news.


First, our new Education Director, Samantha Kelly, is visiting us this week. She officially starts Tuesday, August 19. Please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to Samantha if you see her around the museum tomorrow or Friday. You will all have a chance to meet Samantha when she attends our docent training and meeting in September. Here is an excerpt about Samantha from the Museum’s Director, Stephanie Stebich:


“I am delighted to share with you that Samantha Kelly has accepted our offer to join the team as our new Director of Education. She is highly qualified for the position with her almost seven years of notable achievements at the Birmingham Museum of Art as Curator of Education, a comparable title to ours. There she and her team developed and launched their nationally acclaimed new family galleries as well as created dynamic programming including the introduction in 2008 of “Bart the Art Bat” campaign to brand museum educational programming for families.  Through these efforts and others, family attendance increase dramatically by 850% over four years there, significant new grant funding was secured and revenue enhanced for paid programming.  Samantha is well regarded by her peers as demonstrated by her selection as “Southeastern Region Art Museum Educator of the Year” by the National Art Education Association in March 2014 and “Alabama Art Museum Educator of the Year” by the Alabama Education Association in October 2013.


Prior to the Birmingham Museum of Art, she worked at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts from July 2003 to July 2007 as Assistant Curator of Education for Adult Programs, at the Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University from January 2000 to June 2003, and at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH as School and Community Outreach Assistant from July 1996 to May 1998.  She is a graduate of Emory University with a BA in Art History and minor in Anthropology and earned an MA in Art History from Tulane University.”


Second, I know I said that your new volunteer docents shifts would start in August, but I haven’t received responses from everyone about signing up for volunteer shifts. Your new shifts will start in September. If you’ve already made plans to come in for your new shift in August, please feel free to do so. We’ve had some great visitors in the summer afternoons, plus there’s always time to do more research on the current exhibitions in the Gates Art Resource Center. Please give me a call or email me if you have any concerns about this change.


Next, the back room in the Gates Art Resource Center has gone through a little renovation. I think I emailed photos of the changes last week – please let me know if you didn’t receive them! The docent binders and resources have not moved, but I wanted you to be aware of the changes so you’re not completely shocked when you see it.


Also, the next docent training is next Wednesday, August 6 at 10:30 am. This training will be a gallery walkthrough with Rock going over the new setup for Dale Chihuly at Tacoma Art Museum. This is the only training schedule for August. Please spend at least one docent shift on a job shadowing opportunity with your trainee or mentor. Let me know if you don’t know what should happen during this job shadow.


Last but not least, this is a reminder that I will be out of town starting next Thursday and won’t be back in the office until Thursday, August 28. I will be answering emails and voicemails during my absence and can manage the volunteer schedule through Volgistics.


Please feel free to call me or email me if you have any questions or concerns about volunteering or docent-ing at the museum.





Public Programs and Volunteer Coordinator


T: 253.272.4258 x 3030

1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402




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