Docents as Educators with Stephanie Samera


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Docents play a vital role in museums across the country. As museum education departments change and evolve, tensions have surfaced on what the role of docents should be as teaching in museums becomes more specialized. Stephanie Samera, Lead for Gallery Learning at the Columbus Museum of Art, joins me to discuss all things docent. She shares how building genuine relationships with docents has allowed her program to flourish and how her museum’s unique vision for learning and visitor experience has spurred docents to take ownership over their teaching and professional development. We touch on the role of museum leadership in creating successful docent programs, including the areas where there is room for growth, such as being intentional in diversity and inclusion efforts across the museum.

In the afterlife post-medical sciences, Stephanie Samera first discovered her passion for museums as a volunteer for the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville and has since worked at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. Stephanie oversees the Docent Program as Lead for Gallery Learning at the Columbus Museum of Art after serving as Manager of Group Services at the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to her extensive work in the visitor experience field, Stephanie completed her M.S.Ed. in Leadership in Museum Education at Bank Street College of Education.

Conversations Notes

Why Creativity? Articulating and Championing a Museum's Social Mission by Cindy Meyers Foley

Center for Art and Social Engagement Debuts by Jen Lehe

The Visitors' Bill of Rights by Judy Rand

Nightmare at the Phoenix Art Museum

Twitter @sv18 or Instagram @stephsame

21 episodes