2017 Rhode Island Docent Symposium

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Monday, May 8, 2017

New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Mass.

??$25 registration fee at

Daylong Conference for Docents, by Docents, to Focus on ???Creating Welcoming Spaces???

2017 RI Docent Symposium Receives Funding from RI Foundation, RI Council for Humanities

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) ??? The Rhode Island Historical Society has received grants from the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities to support the 2017 Rhode Island Docent Symposium, a daylong professional development conference taking place on May 8 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

This year???s conference theme, ???Creating Welcoming Spaces,??? is a timely topic offering various sessions aimed to help docents interact with and provide the best experiences possible for museum visitors of any demographic.

The keynote speaker for the 2017 Rhode Island Docent Symposium is Katherine Ott, Curator, Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian???s National Museum of American History. Her keynote presentation ???How to Stay Uncomfortable in Your Comfort Zone??? will discuss some of the benefits of welcoming change, which every docent has experienced when encountering visitors looking for new interpretations of longstanding exhibitions or fresh takes on familiar objects.

The symposium will include several breakout sessions, including: ???The Whats, Whys & Hows of Telling a Story???; ???Tips for Successful Storytelling???; ???Dreamnight at the Zoo???; ???Body Language: How Much Are You Saying Without Moving Your Lips????; ???Race in Museums???; ???Getting Ready for the Spike in Older Visitors???; ???SensAbilities: Creating Access for Visitors With Autism???; and the New Bedford Whaling Museum High School Apprenticeship Program.

Sessions are filling up quickly, so those interested in attending are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Registration includes lunch and parking. Attendees can find more information about the 2017 Rhode Island Docent Symposium and register online at