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Museum Guide Description

Volunteers in the Museum Guide Program provide learning experiences in the permanent and changing exhibitions, sculpture garden and online. Guided experiences are offered to visitors from varied backgrounds, age levels and abilities.

Who Should Volunteer?

We encourage people from different backgrounds and life experiences to apply to our Museum Guide program.  We strive to create a volunteer corp that reflects the diversity of Albuquerque.   Prospective Museum Guides (historically  referred to as docents) should have an interest in learning about art and history, working with audiences of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, and sharing their passion for art and history with the community.  No prior experience is required. We invite anyone with enthusiasm for the power of storytelling to provide this unique form of service to Museum visitors.

We are looking for people with specific knowledge and skills to engage our diverse school population

  • Spanish-speaking guides are invited to enrich the experiences of ESL and Spanish-language students.
  • Guides who are skilled in working with different developmental abilities are encouraged to connect with students who have special needs.
  • Guides who are from diverse communities are needed to enhance student experiences by sharing their culture and heritage as it relates to the exhibitions on view.


Learn from experts across the Museum in a weekly, behind-the-scenes program. Training sessions introduce the Museum’s collection, provide techniques for engaging visitors, and prepare you to develop and lead introductory tours for adults and school groups.   Training sessions take place from September to May.

Guided School Tours

Museum Guide Image

School tours instill passion for learning about art, history and community. 

School tours instill passion for learning about art, history and community, help students understand the world around them and their place within it and enhance the school curriculum through first hand experiences with objects of historic and artistic value. Students from area schools are the primary audience and the most diverse population we serve.  Pre-scheduled groups visit throughout the year including some summer visits.  Our largest school audiences are elementary aged  but we do have a growing audience of middle and high school visitors.

Tours of up to 60 students are typically scheduled Tuesday – Friday,  between 9:30 a.m. – noon.  Guides give tours as part of a team of five to seven volunteers. As part of the team, they share responsibility in the planning and logistics of the tour.

Guided Public Tours

Museum Guides provide scheduled and drop in tours for the general public on the Museum’s permanent and changing exhibition. One hour guided tours of the permanent collection or changing exhibitions are currently offered without reservations on Tuesday – Sunday at 2 p.m. Special tours are also arranged by request and during some special events.

Time Commitment for Museum Guide Program

Volunteers in the Museum Guide Program typically commit to a minimum of two-hours of service every two weeks throughout the year, Tuesday-Sunday. Guides also participate in ongoing training. These training sessions are scheduled on Monday mornings.

Requirements for the 2023-2024 Museum Guide Program

Successful completion of training required. Training takes place on Monday afternoons from September-May  and is supplemented by observation and active learning with guide teams on additional days.   After successful completion of the preliminary training, guides will be placed on teams to begin conducting tours.

Guides must have the ability to stand, walk or move around the Museum and its grounds for up to two hours. Albuquerque Museum requires all volunteers to pass a background check.

The  Museum Guide Program is managed and operated by the Museum’s Education Division, which includes the curator of education, associate curator of education, and education assistant.  Head and assistant coordinators are volunteer leaders who work with Museum staff in support of the  Museum Guide program.

Other Special Programs for Gallery Guides

Art Start

Art Start is a program introducing 4 and 5 years old visitors to the Museum.  Art Start Guides provide engaging experiences in the museum’s galleries that include movement, storytelling and hands-on activities designed for young learners. Up to 20 students are accommodated for these 45 minute tours.

Guides must complete the Museum Guide training program before becoming an Art Start Guide, and completion of additional training is also required.

Virtual Programming

The Museum offers virtual programming to school groups which include recorded lessons and interactive virtual presentations.  Current virtual programming for adult audiences includes bi monthly online presentations and group presentations scheduled upon request.