How did the docent program at STMA come about?
The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art Docent Program was initiated in 2002 by STMA Board of Directors member, Laquita Pimm. Laquita was a former educator and was trained as a docent at the Georgia Museum of Art. She lived part of her life in England and traveled extensively, visiting many of the great museums in Europe while on her travels. She brought back photographs and stories of the art she saw, which she often shared with the STMA docents.
Laquita and Museum Director Lisa Conner compiled the original STMA Docent Handbook, which was based on handbooks used by other art museums. Using this handbook, Laquitta and Lisa trained the first group of docents at the Steffen Thomas Museum in the fall of 2002. These first docents bonded quickly and formed a core support group for the museum’s programs. They were always eager to give guided tours for visiting groups and often helped with the museum’s outreach programs.
Since this initial group was trained, STMA staff and senior docents updated the Board Handbook in 2008 and have taught several more courses, continuing to prepare new docents, who serve as volunteers and invaluable adjunct staff for the museum. STMA offers docents training courses every few years for new candidates.