What is the Virginia Docent Exchange?

Questions about Virginia Docent Exchange Registration

Questions about lodging, parking, and meals during the VDE Conference

Questions about Virginia Docent Exchange Session Proposals

Questions about Museum Membership

Virginia Docent Exchange 

1. What is the Virginia Docent Exchange?

The Virginia Docent Exchange is a conference held every two years planned by museum/art center volunteers and Staff to exchange ideas and innovations in museum practices. The Exchange is hosted at a member museum on a rotating basis every two years.

2. When is the next Exchange?

Exchanges are held every two years for two days in the Spring. The 2019 Docent Exchange will be hosted by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday, April 14th and Monday, April 15th.

3. Who can attend the Exchange?

Anyone! If you are a docent, volunteer, or staff member at a VDE member museum, you get to attend at a discounted price. If you are not not associated with a member museum, you can still attend by paying a slightly higher registration fee.


1. What are the registration fees?

Your registration fee will depend on your status as a Member Museum or Non Member Museum Docent or Staff member and if you are registering for the two day conference or one day conference. Please check our registration page to find your registration fee.   VDE Member museums include:   Chrysler, Fralin,  Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, Maier, Muscarelle, VMOCA, VMFA.

2. What is the difference between one-day registration and two-day registration?

Sunday activities include tours at the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art.   A Welcome Reception and Dinner conclude the day’s activities.  Monday begins with a breakfast buffet and keynote speaker.  There are three blocks of educational sessions (starting on the hour at 10:00, 11:00, and 1:00), with a box lunch served at noon.  A closing speaker finishes the day.  For more details, please check Sunday Activities  and Education Sessions.

3. How can I register for the exchange?

Registration will begin on February 6, 2019.  All registration and payment is done online.  You can find the registration form here.  Please remember that once you have submitted, you cannot go back to make changes.  Payment is made either by credit card or PayPal account.  

4. Oops! I’ve made a mistake on my registration form! What do I do?

Please contact either Mary Frediani at 804-484-0910 or fredianilondon@aol.com or Anne Walker at 804-339-3206 or aowalk@gmail.com.

5. When is the deadline to register for the exchange?

Registration ends on March 22, 2019.

6.  What do I do if I forgot to pay and I already submitted my form?

Please contact us and we will be glad to send you payment information.


Lodging, Parking, Meals 

  1. Where can I stay while attending the VDE Conference?                                                                                                                                                                                                        A block of rooms has been set aside for attendees at the Graduate hotel in Richmond.  You can find a link on the Accommodations page on this website to make your reservation online with the reduced rate.  Rooms must be reserved by March 22, 2019 to receive the special rate.  The Graduate is 2.2 miles from the VMFA.
  2. Do I have to pay for parking?

                                                                                                                                                  VMFA--VDE attendees will receive a parking pass via email for the VMFA parking deck.

    ICA– Metered parking, by the hour (2 hour limit), is available in the VCU QQ Lot located at 612 W. Grace Street, directly adjacent to the ICA.  There is also street parking available.  Please observe all posted signs.


    Virginia Museum of History and Culture-The VMHC is located at the corner of Kensington Avenue and Boulevard in Richmond’s Museum District. The entrance to our parking lot is off of Kensington Avenue. Parking is free.   The VMFA is next door to the the VMHC and you can easily park in the VMFA deck and walk to the VMHC,


    Graduate Hotel–There is a $12 valet parking fee (reduced from their usual rate) with in/out privileges.

  3. What meals are included in my fees for the Conference?                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sunday concludes with a Welcome Reception and Dinner at the VMFA.  Monday includes a continental breakfast buffet and a choice of a box lunch.  Please let us know of any dietary concerns or restrictions when you register online using the registration form.


Education Session Proposals

1. Who can present a session at an Exchange?

Typically, docents and/or staff from member museums present at an Exchange. However, exceptions can be made for presenters from non-member museums (such as docents and staff), or professional guest speakers from other organizations. The host museum makes the final determination on which proposals will be accepted as sessions at the Exchange. 

2. How do I submit a session proposal?

The deadline to submit a proposal has passed.  Thank you to all who submitted proposals.  To see the education sessions, click here.

Member Museum

1. What are the requirements of Member Museums?

Please read our bylaws to review requirements of Member Museums. You can review our Bylaws here!

2. How can my museum become a Member Museum?

Please submit a membership application on our website by visiting our Join the Exchange page.

3. My museum is already a member and we need to pay our dues. How do we pay our dues?

Please visit the Pay Your Dues page to submit your payment.