PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Museum of Art is looking for volunteers to participate in its docent program beginning with the Spring 2000 semester.

Docents lead tours through museum exhibitions and are an integral part of the museum’s education program. More than 14,000 WSU and public school students, as well as other community groups, receive these free tours each year.

“For many, these tours represent their first experience in a museum and the volunteer docents play a crucial role in shaping their attitudes about art,” said museum director Dyana Curreri-Ermatinger. Docents embody the goals and values of the Museum of Art, and help make it a valuable education resource for not only WSU, but for all of eastern Washington and northern Idaho.

Docent requirements include a passion for art, an interest in learning about art, a desire to work with young people, and a schedule that allows for committing as little as three hours a week to being a docent. Formal training sessions for new docents are planned for the spring, but recruitment for interested parties is ongoing.

Persons interested in becoming docents will have an opportunity to learn about art and artists from the museum’s permanent collection and from the traveling exhibitions presented at the museum on a regular basis. Docents will attend study groups, enjoy private artist-led tours of new exhibitions, participate in conversations with artists, and have opportunities to visit artists’ studios. “Another benefit of being a docent is having the chance to share your knowledge, love and enthusiasm about art with other individuals who are also interested in art and art education, particularly students from the WSU College of Education Teacher Training program and area school teachers,” said Curreri-Ermatinger.

Docent training will be provided by the museum’s docent program liaison, Anna Maria Shannon, and Roger H. D. Rowley, the museum’s newly appointed curator of exhibitions/collections manager. Those interested in becoming docents should contact the Museum of Art office at 509/335-1910 for more information.

Funding for museum exhibitions and programs is provided by Washington State University, the Friends of the Museum of Art and private donors. Additional support has been provided by Bank of America; Papa John’s Pizza; the Pullman Community Foundation/Foundation Northwest; the Pullman Kiwanis Club; Pullman Transit; Tri-State Distributors; the US West Foundation; the Washington Mutual Foundation; the WSU Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Committee; the Washington State Arts Commission; and private donors.