• a4
  • a3
  • a5
  • a1

Personal Development: NDSC, 2017 NDS Montreal and YOU

My theme for the spring of 2017 is personal development and YOU.

Personal development is the process of achieving and expanding your full potential. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you have the power to experience and expand your personal development. Whether you are improving your strengths, reducing your liabilities, or expanding what you are capable of, personal development is a path.

NDSC (the Council) Mission and YOU:

The mission of the National Docent Symposium Council is to promote continuous improvement in docent practice by facilitating communication and collaborative interaction among U.S. and Canadian volunteer docents/guides. This is accomplished through biennial symposia, sales of The Docent Handbook and with our interactive website www.nationadocents.org.

The NDSC consists of 30+ volunteer docents/guides from across the US and Canada who represent docents/guides from a wide variety of cultural institutions and museums. Our members are dedicated team players, who actively support our mission statement and the NDS. Our strong suit is the broad base of leadership, experience and knowledge that 30+ people bring to the table.

Become a National Docent Symposium Council (NDSC) Regional Director or Director-at-Large

A dynamic leadership opportunity to expand your docent experience beyond the symposium.

You can continue your symposium and docent experience by applying to be an NDSC director. The NDSC's mission is to support an ongoing forum for docent education and exchange of ideas through the biennial National Docent Symposium (NDS.) The NDS is organized by volunteer docents/guides for volunteer docents/guides and is held in the United States and Canada. The application will be available soon. For more information, click this LINK

Congratulations Grant Recipients!

For more information about Kramer/NDSC Grants, follow this LINK

NDS Montreal 2017 is fast approaching, October 12-15, 2017, so now is a great time to check the expiration date on your passport. Please keep the following information in mind as you make your travel plans for Montreal!

• All passport expiration dates must be valid for at least six months after you return home.
• All passports should have two or more blank pages.
• Allow six weeks for processing.
• U.S. Postal Services, you can visit your local post office to apply for and/or renew your passport:
https://www.usps.com/international/passports.html
• U. S. Passport & International Travel, U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Consular Affair can answer any questions: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html


• Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): exemptions include U.S. citizens, travelers with a valid Canadian visa and Canadian citizens.
• Please refer to the Government of Canada site for more information www.cic.gc.ca

See you in Montreal!!

A recommendation, some make, for those who are nervous to speak publically, is to imagine everyone in the audience is nude. However, few of us actually ever find out how this really feels. Last fall, one of the docents on the National Docent Symposium Council (NDSC) had the opportunity to do just this when The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presented the exhibition Focus: Perfection Robert Mapplethrope.

The exhibit notes describe him as "One of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century, Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) gained renown for his masterful compositions and subjects that have compelled new reflection on questions of gender, race and sexuality." There were close to 300 of his photographs in the exhibition and it was very popular with the public. The exhibit concentrated on the genres of portraiture, the nude and still life.

Peer review has been an integral part of the Phoenix Art Museum Docent program for over 50 years. Today, with more than 250 active touring and outreach docents, we continue to evaluate and update our review process to ensure full participation and foster best practices. Our interactive coaching style prompted one recently reviewed docent to say, "We always learn from each other. That's what makes the process so rewarding."

From the training of a new docent, to ongoing education and development, docents adhere to a set of standards that allows us to successfully support Phoenix Art Museum's mission to connect people with art. These standards, articulated on a review form along with supporting criteria, serve as a preparation tool for docents as they create and present their tours and community talks. The form is used again as a reference during the docent review, with strengths and areas for refinement noted in writing for the docent's future use. The original practice of numerical "grading" has given way to a system that allows for more discussion and positive reinforcement.

Edith Wharton meets John Singer Sargent. More precisely, aspects of the society that Edith Wharton describes in The Age of Innocence can be seen reflected in portraits by John Singer Sargent of his wealthy and privileged sitters. Edith Wharton and John Singer Sargent, both American artists, were at the peak of their creative energies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period known as the Gilded Age for the tremendous number of fortunes that were amassed during this time, and the lavish lifestyles those fortunes supported. What relationships do you see between the culture Edith Wharton describes and the culture of John Singer Sargent's sitter—Wharton's illuminated in words, and Sargent's illuminated in oil paints? How are they similar? How are they different?

If the above paragraph sounds like the beginning of a discussion, it is intended to be. It is a sample setting for a 'Book-Meets-Art Tour' as we have been conducting these at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). First, let me explain the philosophy that drives a Book-Meets-Art Tour, why we're calling it a 'creative visitor experience, and how we're implementing it.

A gentleman adjusted his glasses to read, one more time, the clue in his booklet that described a work of art in the Taft Museum of Art. With his hands tied behind his back, he cannot see what is happening around him. Who is he?

"By golly, I think I finally found it," he said to himself as he studied the 16th century Italian Majolica plate in the Renaissance Treasury of the museum. He wrote "a blindfolded cupid" on his answer sheet.

This gentleman was a guest attending the annual Docent Fall Social at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio and was participating in a Treasure Hunt as part of the evening festivities.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) Docent Council celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2016 with many events and accolades. Our organization would like to share our experience with other docent organizations who may want to collaborate with their institution to celebrate a significant milestone.

Docents formed a 50th Anniversary committee and planned special events to acknowledge and publicize this historic event.

* A Golden Jubilee Handbook that included the history of the Docent Council, important Milestones over the years, docent pictures, and images of art works that docents contributed to.

If you are looking for an art related read for your book club, you'll find book reviews by clicking this LINK Movie suggestions are here too. 

Recommended websites and blogs are found under Resources, click this LINK to learn more.

Share your book and movie recommendations and online favorites by email to Kristen Keirsey: kkeirsey@gmail.com They'll be posted on the site. 

Sign Up to Stay Informed
Keep up to date about the exciting plans for the next docent symposium.

Join our mailing list!

2017-logo-300

 October 12 - 15, 2017
Already less than one year away!

Coming to Montreal?  Find out what you need. 

1.  Valid passport expiring more than 6 months after the travel date
2.  Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): exemptions include U.S. citizens, travellers with a valid Canadian visa and Canadian citizens.  Please refer to the Government of Canada site for more information www.cic.gc.ca

Dear Fellow Docents,
In less than one year, the Montreal  docents will welcome you  to their  beautiful  city and into their loved museums.  Please consult our website often as information will be posted regularly, www.nds2017.com.