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Mansion Docent

Title: Mansion Docent 
Reports to: Interpretation Volunteer Manager/Head of Interpretation 
Employment Status: Volunteer 
Time Commitment: A minimum of two, regularly scheduled four-hour shifts per month equating to approximately 100 service hours annually.  

Primary Functions:

Mansion Docents serve several important roles:

  • Conducting Mansion tours
  • Serving on-station in the Mansion, Dacha and/or Adirondack Building
  • Assisting with public programming and special events
  • Assure a positive, enjoyable visitor experience

Key Job Elements:


Mansion Docents conduct regularly scheduled Mansion tours throughout the year.  They also conduct specially scheduled VIP, focus, special access, and/or group tours in the Mansion.

On-Station Service:

Mansion Docents serve on-station in the Mansion, where they provide directions to visitors, answer specific questions about the Mansion and objects in the collection, explain Acoustiguide use, and facilitate the collection of tickets and movement of visitors for the docent-led tours.  Mansion Docents may also greet and orient visitors and answer questions while serving on-station in the Dacha/Adirondack Building.

Public Programming and Special Events Service: 

Mansion Docents assist with special evening and weekend events, serving in various locations throughout the estate: in the Visitor Center, Mansion, and in the auxiliary buildings, performing specific visitor service duties and assisting with public programming.


  • Submit a monthly availability form to the Volunteer Manager in a timely fashion to facilitate the preparation of the monthly Interpretation Volunteer Schedule.
  • Attend regular volunteer continuing education sessions and any scheduled mandatory volunteer training sessions.
  • Participate in periodic reviews.
  • Honor the time commitment requested of docents 


  • Interested in the decorative arts.
  • Interested in teaching and/or curriculum delivery.
  • Experience in customer service. 
  • Fluency in foreign languages are greatly appreciated.


  • Demonstrate a commitment to the spirit of Hillwood’s mission, vision, and interpretive messages and to keep them at the forefront of all endeavors.
  • A dynamic and engaging teaching presence.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Computer access skills are essential. 
  • Work well with a diverse group of colleagues and an international clientele. 
  • Enthusiasm for working with the public.
  • Detail orientation.

Work Environment:  

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a docent encounters while performing the essential functions of the volunteer role.  While volunteering a docent is regularly required to communicate professionally in person, over the telephone, through email and other electronic means, stand for extended periods of time, ascend/descend stairs, move about their volunteer area, between buildings, and the campus grounds, and visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess.   


The preceding volunteer description has been designed to indicate the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by a Museum Docent. It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of volunteers to do this role.

To Apply:

We are a progressive, equal opportunity organization and all interested parties are encouraged to apply.  So, volunteer “Where Fabulous Lives!”   For prompt consideration, please send your completed docent application to: noting “Mansion Docent Application” in the subject line.