Docent Training


What do Explore Buffalo docents do?

  • Volunteer docents lead all of Explore Buffalo’s walking tours, including regularly scheduled and private group tours for the general public, and school tours for thousands of students from elementary to high school. With hundreds of tours given each year, there are many opportunities to participate!

Why become a docent for Explore Buffalo?

  • Being a docent for Explore Buffalo is FUN! What could be more thrilling than showing Buffalo’s incredible architecture and history to people from around the world?
  • Being a docent is a great way to meet new people within Explore Buffalo or among our many community partners. Explore Buffalo organizes regular social events for docents and volunteers.

Who can become a docent for Explore Buffalo?

  • Anyone can become a docent! All that is required is an interest in and passion for Buffalo’s history and architecture.
  • You are supplied with thorough background information and reading materials, not a script to be memorized. We encourage you to develop your knowledge of Buffalo and your unique voice as a storyteller that will convey the growing and changing story of our city.

Spring 2021 Docent Training Class

Class Overview: 

  • The Spring 2021 Docent Training Class will take place in two parts. This class has been planned with COVID-19 safety as a top priority.
  • Part 1 will be an interactive virtual class via Zoom that will provide the foundation of Buffalo history necessary for new docents. Topics in Part 1 will include historical events, notable people, and significant architecture, along with tour skills and techniques. New docents will be expected to actively participate in these classes, as well as complete readings and prepare short presentations between classes.
  • Part 2 will be training for a specific Explore Buffalo tour, selected by the new docent from several options. This part of the training will include walking through and practicing the tour multiple times with an experienced Master Docent.
  • To complete the class and begin to lead tours for Explore Buffalo, new docents must complete a successful Graduation Tour for an experienced Master Docent.

Class dates & times – Part 1: 

  • Part 1 of the Spring 2021 Docent Training Class will take place via Zoom. 
  • Saturdays, 9am-11am: March 6, March 20, April 3
  • Wednesdays, 5pm-7pm: March 10, March 24, April 7 
  • New docents are expected to attend all class dates (both Saturdays and Wednesdays). 

Class dates & times – Part 2: 

  • Part 2 of the Spring 2021 Docent Training Class will take place in person in small groups outdoors.
  • Part 2 is planned for April 2021. Final dates will be set and announced to new docents in March 2021.
  • We currently expect our COVID-19 safety procedures to remain in place during this time, including required masks during all tour training.

Information Session: 

  • An optional Information Session about the Spring 2021 Docent Training Class will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, February 9 at 6pm.
  • Please register for the Information Session here. Note that registration for the Information Session is not the same as the Docent Training Class Application (below). 

Application Process: 

  • Anyone interested in joining the Docent Training Class should fill out the online application form available below as the first step of the application process. The application deadline for the Spring 2021 Class is Tuesday, February 23, 2021. 
  • Explore Buffalo will notify all applicants regarding acceptance into the Spring 2021 Docent Training Class via email. Space is limited in the Docent Training Class.
  • Upon acceptance, a class fee of $95 will be required from participants by Monday, March 1, 2021 . This class fee covers the cost of materials for the class, and includes a portable microphone, Explore Buffalo messenger bag, and other tour supplies. Scholarships are available for the Docent Training Class – please contact Brad Hahn at for more information. 

Docent Training Applications For Spring 2021 Are Closed

Questions? Please contact Brad Hahn at