In keeping with its mission of educating, promoting art and serving as a community resource, the Triton Museum of Art is giving back to Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) high school students through its pilot Teen Docent Scholarship Program.
The program, developed through a grant provided by the California Arts Council, gives SCUSD 9-12th graders the opportunity to serve as docents throughout the school year by learning about current exhibitions and how to frame questions that promote critical thinking and allow visitors to see the art on display in a new way. They will then share that knowledge and engage with community members at “walk-and-talk stations” located throughout the museum’s galleries.
“We wanted to make a more fruitful experience for those visitors who want more information to be coupled with more engagement,” said Triton Marketing and Program Coordinator Jennifer Dao. “Thinking more and more about it, we wanted to work with teens in a new way. We do have teen volunteers, but with the docent program, they would not only get more involved and invested, but the learning outcomes from public speaking, visual thinking strategies, art history and art appreciation are valuable life skills they can take away to further their education and beyond.”
Dao said all SCUSD high school students, whether they attend Santa Clara, Wilcox or New Valley high schools, are eligible to participate, provided the student obtains a nomination from a teacher stating they would benefit from participating. In addition to providing the name, phone number and email for a teacher willing to speak on behalf of the student, the application asks students to answer a few basic questions about why they would like to participate in the program, how the program will benefit their future career and educational goals, as well ask asking about any special skills relevant to the role and the student’s availability throughout the duration of the program.
The Teen Docent Scholarship Program will accept a maximum of 12 students, and the deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 27. Participants receive a minimum $450 scholarship for completing the nine hours of training and 20 hours of scheduled docent time. Docent hours can be scheduled on weekends, after school during the weekdays and at museum events. According to Dao, however, participants are not eligible to receive the community service hours required for graduation in addition to receiving the scholarship. Visit https://forms.gle/eKKsvvpLejyP5G3V6 to apply or email Dao at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In addition to seeking Teen Docent Scholarship Program participants, the Triton is actively recruiting volunteers, particularly those aged 21 and over although all interested persons are invited to apply, to assist with museum events and programs. Learn more at http://tritonmuseum.org/volunteer.php.