Art Docent Program

What is the Art Docent Program?

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. 

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.

Program Goals


  • 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



  • 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.


  • 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.


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.


Thank you to our partners who have made the updates possible. 
Northshore Schools Foundation logo that includes both the icon and the %22Northshore Schools Foundation%22 text.

Get Involved

Become An Art Docent
Learn more about the program, expectations and how to get started. 


I Am An Art DocentAccess frameworks, artwork, artist photos, training resources and more.

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


Northshore Families
Learn more about the artist and artwork your student is discussing. 


2018-19 Art Docent Manual

With the launch of the new art docent frameworks, our 2018-19 Art Docent Program materials have moved, but can still be accessed. Below you will find the Google drive with for the art docent frameworks and prints.



Partnerships Coordinator
Natalie Campbell