OCMA Docent Council

Mission & Purpose  


The Camille and Eric Durand Docent Council is a volunteer organization that works with OCMA’s education department to provide meaningful educational experiences that engage diverse audiences in observation and discovery of works of art exhibited by the museum.

Docents teach the public about modern and contemporary art and serve as the link between art and the visitor. Docents provide tours to nearly 7,000 visitors each year at OCMA, which has one of the most dynamic contemporary exhibition programs in Southern California. Docents—an essential part of the museum’s mission— are enthusiastic about working with the public, dedicated to lifelong learning, and committed to enriching others through art.


becomE a docent


The Docent Council is currently full. Periodically, the museum seeks new docents, so if you’re dedicated to lifelong learning and committed to enriching others’ lives through art, consider joining OCMA’s Docent Council. No prior experience is required, but applicants should enjoy working with people and have an interest in art. The training includes art history lectures over an eight-week period.

Content of the training focuses on art history and museum education. Trainees will learn directly from leaders in the fields of art history and museum education. By end the of the course, docent trainees will have received the most up-to-date and time-honored practices in regards to museum education, and a solid foundational knowledge of 20th and 21st century art and art history. Additionally, docent trainees will have had the opportunity to sharpen their public speaking skills and will walk away with a better sense of how to communicate and interact with museum visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

OCMA is always looking for diverse, friendly, articulate, and flexible individuals to share their enthusiasm for art with museum visitors. Applicants must be willing to make a 2-year commitment to the Docent Council. Commitment includes OCMA membership, Docent Council dues, once-monthly Docent Council meetings, actively touring schedule, and plenty of opportunity for personal and professional development. Docent Council members will be invited to exclusive behind-the-scenes events that allow you to meet with artists and curators from around the world.

Fees are as follows:

Docent training course: $100 (this is a one-time fee)

There may be additional, small expenses for research materials

Upon completion of the course, trainees are required to purchase an OCMA membership and pay the annual Docent Council dues at $60 and $50, respectively.

Watch for upcoming opportunities to join the OCMA Docent Council.  




Docents serve as ambassadors of the museum and engage students and the general public in dialogue about works on view. Members of the Docent Council enjoy many opportunities not available to the general public including gallery talks with curators, artists, scholars and behind-the-scenes tours of cultural institutions and private collections.

Participation at once-monthly Docent Council meetings is encouraged, and Active Docents will provide public or school tours for a two-year period. Any and all Docents are eligible to run for Docent Board positions. Attendance at Continuing Education programs and field trips are great opportunities to serve the goal of lifelong learning. Weekly Docent email updates and a regularly updated Docent website will ensure that all Docents have the most up-to-date information in regards to meetings, events, and field trips. If you are not presently on the email list, and wish to be, contact tours@ocma.net.

Annual Docent dues are as follows:

OCMA membership of $60 plus Docent Council dues of $50.

Development Department 

Kelly Smith