On May 14, the Museum’s senior, curatorial, and education staff gathered to honor the BMA Docents. The event not only helped wrap up the Museum’s year-long slate of 60th anniversary programs but also paid tribute to the long and dedicated service of this special group of volunteers.
There are 57 Touring Docents, 19 Senior Docents, and 4 Life Docents. The Class of 2011 included 13 new docent trainees. Combined, these 93 docents have contributed 1,088 years of service to the Museum.
Virginia Hillhouse, Class of 1972, is the longest-serving docent at 40 years. Bonnie Church and Marilyn Smith, Class of 1982, each has 30 years of service. Jim Stapleton, Class of 1992, marks 20 years of service in 2012.
This year, the docents also committed to establish an endowment that underwrites the cost of using school buses for field trips to the Museum—a program that may contribute to reversing the long-term declines in school visits to cultural institutions. “I am most proud of the docents for raising almost half of the total commitment this year,” said Cathye McDonald, 2011-12 docent chair. “It is a legacy docents leave to area school children that reflects our commitment to the docent program and its value to the community.”
Mary Hubbard, Class of 2011, looks forward to setting new milestones with her fellow docent trainees. “Art has been the essential starting point of our learning enterprise, but we’ve learned that without people, works of art are simply inert objects displayed in a handsome building. With persistence, we can learn how to be co-adventurers with the museum’s visitors, trading roles as both students and teachers along the way.”
For more information about the docent program and our next training class, click here.