Art Docent

Art Docent volunteers promote Governors Island Arts, the public art and cultural program presented by the Trust for Governors Island and its efforts to create transformative encounters with art for all New Yorkers.


Position Description:

Art Docents:

  • Share information to the public about art initiatives on Governors Island
  • Greet Island visitors to art commissions, sharing information about the artist, their work, and its relationship to Governors Island
  • Support cultural events on Governors Island such as House Fest, Ice Sculpture Show, and Third Saturdays as greeters, setup crews, and sound technicians
  • Help the Organizations in Residence with programming, house staffing, and more (as needed)
  • Serve as a friend­ly, help­ful and infor­ma­tive resource for visitors

This is an on-Island position. Art Docent shifts take place on weekends year-round. Shifts are approximately 3.25 hours long. Volunteer projects take place throughout the Island, based on the needs of Governors Island Arts. 

Governors Island hosts dynamic longterm and temporary works, a growing community of artist residencies, and engaging cultural events. This role is a great opportunity for someone who loves art and wants to contribute to a growing arts community in one of the city's most dynamic public spaces.


Volunteer Expectations

Art Docents are expected to commit to at least 40 volunteer hours each season. This is equivalent to about 2 volunteer shifts each month. Unlike other volunteer positions, Art Docent shift are scheduled more flexibly to match the needs of Governors Island Arts.


Successful Art Docent volunteers:

  • Understand the value of art and its power to connect communities, activate public space, and raise important conversations
  • Enjoy learning about an artist's vision and engaging others in conversation about art
  • Adapt to changing needs and responsibilities
  • Arrive to shifts as scheduled

While experience with art is helpful, it is not necessary to volunteer! Volunteers will receive instruction from the Governors Island Arts team to better understand the mission of Governors Island Arts and the art it presents. To learn more, visit

Prior to your first shift, volunteers are required to schedule a call with the Island's volunteer team to review expectations. Additional training materials and coaching will be provided during on-Island shifts.

All Art Docent volunteers receive a free volunteer T-shirt and name tag at their first volunteer shift. This shift not only acts as your uniform, it allows you to board the Governors Island ferry for free. This applies to Trust for Governors Island-operated ferries and is not applicable to New York City Ferry.

If you have any questions about this position, please reach out to