Museum Guides serve as a vital source of information, conducting daily tours of both the collections and selected special exhibitions. These tours are provided to diverse audiences, including people with accessible needs and school groups. Admission to the Weekday Guide Program requires a two-year training commitment.
The Application Process
A limited number of applicants are accepted for each training period. Previous experience with art, art history, or public speaking is desirable but not required. In addition to the written application and cover letter an interview with the Executive Board members of the Museum Guides is required of all applicants.
Museum Guide candidates attend weekly training sessions for two years on art appreciation, art history, the Museum's collection, and the skills associated with guiding. These sessions are conducted by the Division of Education, the Museum's curatorial staff, and experienced guides. After completing one year of training, candidates serve as intern Museum Guides for one year, completing additional training, honing their tours, and staffing the Museum's information desks.
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to adapt to changes and work well with the public
- Keen interest in learning and ability to conduct independent research
- Ability to work in a dynamic environment with visitors of all age and abilities as well as Museum staff and volunteers from diverse backgrounds
- Well-prepared, dependable, and punctual
- Serve a minimum number of hours each year by both conducting tours and staffing the Museum's information desks
- Participate in continuing education programs each year
- Possess basic computer skills
- Have a valid email address with reliable access to the Internet
- Agree to become a member of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and keep that membership current during tenure as a volunteer
- Successfully complete a criminal background check
- Be able to conduct one-hour tours and navigate a large building with multiple floors
- Conduct a one-hour tour without using notes