Volunteer / Docent

Become a Volunteer or Docent!

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USC PAM Docents facilitate learning experiences for school children and adults in the museum’s galleries and are active ambassadors of the museum’s mission to further intercultural understanding through the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The ideal candidates will have a curiosity about Asian art, culture and history. They will have good communication skills, an enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with others, and time to dedicate to docent activities. They will enjoy being part of a vibrant community of art lovers, educators, and museum supporters.

Docents lead tours two to four times a month on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday mornings, and occasionally on weekends. Weekday tours are generally reserved for schools while weekends are for families and adult groups. USC PAM’s school tour program is unique in that it includes a hands-on artmaking workshop led by a professional artist. As part of their touring shift, docents may choose to assist the artist in a workshop, which takes place in the museum’s auditorium.

The Docent Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month from September through June. The meetings consist of general updates and a lecture or presentation by a guest speaker, typically on topics related to Asian art and culture. Members are also asked to participate in one committee each school year and to volunteer at museum events a few times a year.

The initial docent training involves a commitment to weekly Tuesday sessions (10am – 2pm) from September through February as well as additional study at home. Training includes lectures from experts in Asian art, culture and history, learning to work with students of various ages, practice tours, discussion groups, and visits to other museums.

Important Dates:

Docent Book and Treasure Sale: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | 11:00AM – 1:00PM
Stop by to meet the docent community and learn more about the training program while shopping for unique books and gifts!

Applications Due: Sunday, June 30, 2018
Training Start Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | 10:00AM

To apply for the docent training program, please complete the application form here (insert hyperlink: https://goo.gl/forms/4zU89gqovrzdbaKu2)

For questions regarding the program, contact Susan Sides jssides@gmail.com or tours@pam.usc.edu


Volunteering at USC Pacific Asia Museum is a great way to learn about art and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands, meet people with similar interests, and share your knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors. Volunteers are a vital and valued part of the museum. Enjoy the camaraderie of fellow volunteers, the rewards of helping others, and the opportunity to make a difference.

There are many ways for volunteers to support USC Pacific Asia Museum including: 

  • Fulfill essential visitor services, including welcoming and directing guests to galleries and around the museum, and supplying information about USC PAM’s array of offerings.
  • Assist in art-making workshops
  • Assist at festivals, evening events, and other public programs.
  • Provide logistical support for performances and events.


  • Delight in working with the public.
  • Become familiar with the exhibitions, collections, and programming in order to answer visitor questions confidently.
  • Attend in-service trainings.

How to Apply: 

Please fill out this online form and a museum staff member will contact you regarding upcoming volunteer opportunities: https://goo.gl/forms/wVRuMDBdkWRiONH22