If you have spent any time at the DMA this summer, you may have noticed teenagers in gray DMA T-shirts leading groups through the galleries. These aren’t just any teenagers, though—they are our dedicated DMA Teen Docents. The Teen Docent program has been going strong since 2001, and this summer we have our largest group ever. Thirty-one high school students are spending their summer vacation at the Museum, and we are thrilled to have them with us.
Our Teen Docents come from across the Metroplex, attending school at TAG Townview Magnet, Episcopal School of Dallas, Ursuline Academy, Greenhill School, Fulton School, Plano West, Plano Senior High, Cedar Hill Collegiate High, Jasper High, Vines High, Lovejoy High, Mesquite High, and Lake Highlands High. We even have one volunteer who lives in Bryant, Texas, but is spending the summer in Dallas so she can be a Teen Docent. Talk about dedication!
The requirements to be a Teen Docent are simple: you have to be in high school, you must be available to volunteer for a total of twelve hours over the summer, and you have to love talking about art with kids. Our Teen Docent application asks what our applicants hope to gain from their experience volunteering at the Museum. Their answers always astound me because their passion and excitement shine through. Here are just a few of their responses:
- “I have always loved the DMA since the very first time I went in third grade, and I am SUPER excited to be a Teen Docent!”—Grace
- “I want to be a Teen Docent so I can be the catalyst for learning in the Museum. I can rise to the challenge of engaging diverse audiences in creative ways. I can be the bridge between visitors and the Museum.”—Sahil
- “I have grown up surrounding myself with art, with my first art class at age five. Ever since, I have gained a passion for art and to share this with other people would be great!”—Vickie
- “I love having the opportunity to be at the DMA and get kids interested not just in art but simply looking at things in a different way and thinking about the world around them.”—Becky
- “I really have a great time volunteering at the DMA. It’s one of my favorite places in Dallas and I love learning about the art and sharing that knowledge with future art enthusiasts!”—Sarah
Not only are the Teen Docents passionate, but they’re also really creative. Just look at what they made during a Creativity Challenge in June.
As the summer comes to a close, I want to publicly thank our Teen Docents for their hours of service to the DMA this year. Between leading tours, volunteering at Late Nights, and assisting in a myriad of roles on First Tuesdays, these teenagers go above and beyond when it comes to volunteering at the DMA.
Shannon Karol is Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching.