Art Docent Program

Student drawing a heart with pastels

The Art Docent Program began in 1969 with equal contributions from Instructional Materials and elementary principals' budgets and an unequal amount of volunteer hours. The program has flourished and continues to be a quality arts literacy enrichment program provided by volunteers for nearly all of Northshore elementary schools.

Volunteers are an important and consistent part of the elementary arts education program. Volunteers introduce children to the wonders of art appreciation by being an approving, challenging, guiding, questioning, and prompting visitor to the classroom each month. 

No two interpretations or dialogues of a shared experience by children are the same. Students soon learn that their creative ideas are valued and that there are no "right" or "wrong" answers. Everyone appreciates art for different reasons. 

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What is an Art Docent?

An art docent in the Northshore School District is a volunteer who leads art appreciation discussions and activities monthly in our elementary classrooms across the District. These dedicated volunteers provide an opportunity for our students to experience the process of creating art through a variety of mediums.


Our Goals

For the Program

  • To emphasize that art discussions and activities are a springboard for creative exploration 
  • To provide a resource for teachers
  • To establish the legitimacy of art as a critical part of the basic curriculum

For Students

  • To expand children's ability to form definitions of their visual world
  • To familiarize elementary school children with artists in history
  • To acquaint the children with varied media as a means of expression.
  • To examine elements of art that the children can apply to their own creative endeavors.

For Volunteers

  • To provide opportunities for volunteer docents from the Northshore community to be meaningful facilitators 
  • To provide opportunity for volunteer docents to be an approving, suggesting, challenging, guiding, questioning, and prompting visitor to the classroom.


Become an Art Docent

Volunteers attending an Art Docent training, learning how to create pinch pots

Learn about the program, expectations for art docents and how to get started.

Get Started!

What do Art Docents Teach?

Elementary student creating a dream catcher out of yarn and paper

Learn about the artists, artworks and activities your student will enjoying.

Learn More

Docent Portal

"Village Market" painting by Miguel Vivancos

Access frameworks, artwork, artist photos, training resources and more.

Please be sure to use all lowercase letters when entering the passkey.


School Coordinators

Art Docent trainer teaching weaving

Access materials, training and other helpful resources for your program.

Learn More


50th Anniversary Updates

As the Art Docent Program enters its 50th year, it continues to grow and evolve. It is imperative that we find new ways to engage, train and retain Art Docent volunteers who will be equipped to ignite a passion for art and prepare the District’s elementary students for art in the middle schools and beyond. Additionally, the District’s educational standards have changed over the past 50 years and so has the population this program serves and engages. In an effort to reflect our community and the students we serve, there is was need to refresh and realign the Art Docent Program.

Learn More




Thank you to our partners who have made the 50th Anniversary updates possible!

Northshore Schools Foundation
Seattle Art Museum