Docent Program

The South Bend Museum of Art and the Snite Museum of Art’s combined Docent Program has served the community since 1975. The word “docent” comes from the Latin word docere which means “to teach.” Docents function in museums of all kinds all over the world and serve as the “face” of a museum for many of its visitors.

A new class of docents is currently being recruited by SBMA and the Snite, and will receive training in art history and touring techniques for members of the community. Our current crew of 29 docents have contributed over 600 hours a year in exhibition tours, meeting and class training.

If you have an interest in art and in learning and sharing your knowledge with others, consider this opportunity. You’ll benefit with behind-the-scenes access to two outstanding museums via private talks, exhibition previews, and presentations from educators, scholars and artists.

Who can be a docent?

You can! Do you have…
An interest in being part of something larger than yourself?
A sincere interest in people of differing ages, backgrounds, life experiences, and points of view?
A general interest in art?
A desire to stretch yourself, learn new things, and grow from new experiences?
An interest in creating opportunities for people of all ages to experience art in exciting and fun ways?
The ability to work as part of a team?
If you responded with an energetic “Yes!” to the above questions, you have the potential to make a great docent!

What are the benefits of being a docent?


Serving the community by providing access—through tours and other education programs—to the rich collections of the Snite and the SBMA to people of all ages.
Behind-the-scenes access to two outstanding museums via private talks, exhibition previews, and presentations from educators, scholars, and artists.
Increasing your knowledge and appreciation of art, history, and culture.
Meeting new people who share your interests.
Access to hot-off-the-press (and free!) publications from both the Snite and the SBMA. Listen to docents Angie Faccenda and Rod Spear talk about the rewarding experiences they have had as docents:

What are the requirements for becoming a docent?

Attendance at all initial training sessions.
A two-year commitment to the program upon completion of training.
Devoting at least five tour days to each museum each year.
Upon completion of the initial training, attendance at ongoing training meetings two times/month.

For more information contact
Sarah Martin at the Snite,  574.631.4435
or Casey Smallwood at the SBMA, 574.235.9102