Children sitting on the floor in an art gallery raising their hands in response to a question by the docent speaking in front of them.

Become a Docent

A “docent” is a knowledgeable guide that leads tours of the museum and the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Volunteer docents share their love of art with others in a purposeful way. As part of the ongoing conversations surrounding contemporary art, they help bring art to life for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. With a spirit of openness and collaboration, docents promote curiosity, critical observation, and empathetic thinking through dialogue and shared meaning-making experiences.

This highly rewarding opportunity is open to all education levels and backgrounds. Prior art experience is not required, and the Des Moines Art Center provides all training. In keeping with our mission to be a welcoming and equitable resource, there are no associated costs or fees with becoming a docent. There are numerous benefits including: free Des Moines Art Center membership, printed catalogs, opportunities to meet artists, sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes events with curators and staff, field trip possibilities, access to special resources, and more! College credit may also be possible through your institution.

To express your interest in becoming an Art Center docent, fill out the form below. Please direct questions to Docent Educator, Amenda Tate at