Gallery Docent Orientation

Welcome to you, our new valued docents

This document provides valuable information about how to be a Docent with the CCA Gallery. Once you get into the gallery, you will find a binder in the desk drawer called "Big Gallery Binder". All the information covered in the following contents can also be found in this binder. The binder outlines steps in bulleted or numbered lists that can be easy to follow when you need a review. Please have this binder available while you’re working. And you may want to print out these instructions to use when working, as this is the most updated information resource.

As a docent, we ask that you provide information to Gallery visitors about the following:

  • Artists in the current show - found in the front of the "Current Show" binder.  
  • Upcoming Theatre and Film events (found on our website). At this time, any tickets for events are being purchased online through our website and are not available at the art center.
  • Making Gallery sales using the Square device and paper receipts
  • Membership renewal if someone comes in to pay their dues. This can also be done online, as well.

Please be willing to discuss the information from the Current Show Binder with patrons and perhaps offer some interesting information about the artists and/or event. However, do not give out contact information of artists to Patrons. Be interested in their take on the art.

And Thank You for not reading, eating, or going to your personal devices in front of our valued patrons.

How do I sign up to be a Docent?

We all use an online sign-up application called Sign-Up Genius to select the day and time we are able to be a docent. The link to this sign-up can be found on our Gallery Docents web page, linked below. It will also be emailed to you once you are in our system. The sign-up is updated for each exhibit, which usually lasts 8 - 9 weeks.

We are so very grateful to all of our volunteers and could not have a Gallery without you. Thank you for your willingness to learn and become a docent!

Member Artists

As a regular Member Artist in the current show, you are requested to fill 2 time slots during the show. Members who volunteer their time on a Gallery Committee or CCA Gallery Event get $5 off their entry fee, and many other perks! Your participation in being a docent makes it so that your art will be seen and perhaps purchased, but our doors must be open! 

If you have special circumstances and are unable to docent, we will gladly except donations of $20 to help support our Gallery for each show. This will be taken as a donation. Please fill out a “Docent Decline” form and have it on file.

Featured Artists

As a featured artist, you are expected to sign-up for 6 time slots during your show. This is a huge benefit to the featured artist, since they can be there to speak directly to their patrons, which generates more interest


Maybe you love art and just want to volunteer with us. That's great! Come onboard. We so appreciate you!!

Consider bringing a friend if the job seems overwhelming. 

You can also sign up for back-to-back time slots (5 hours) to get your commitment met more quickly.

There is a Docent Thank You Celebration every summer which you will be invited to! Please come meet one another, share your stories and make connections for improvement and enjoyment in being Docents at CCA.

There is an opportunity to become a member of our governing Gallery Committee, which has many benefits. Come help with the set up of our Gallery!

We have Wi-Fi connection information on the wall in the kitchen; we have a Video Screen on the wall behind the Welcome Desk, for advertising and orientation to the Art Center; and we’ve installed a speaker with “Alexa” to play music (from the top of the Cabinet across from the Desk). Both the Video Screen and Alexa are on a timer and should run all day. Instructions for both are in the Big Gallery Binder. Please let us know if it is not working.

We also now have a Security camera in each of the halls of the Gallery, the front door, the Studio/Office and the Theater. If someone comes in when not expected, someone will be alerted. So, know that we are being protected. 

Our Gallery Phone: We have a phone #805-927-8190, which is on the shelf under the Safe, in the kitchen. It is set up to answer all calls. However occasionally we or your family need to contact you at the Gallery and that can be achieved by pressing “1” for Gallery then “3” when prompted to enter a selection for a branch, and they will be able to ring through to the Gallery kitchen. So, if you hear the phone ringing in the kitchen…. ANSWER IT! Someone might be trying to get in touch with important information for you.

We have a Doorbell at the front door that is soft and able to alert us if someone needs to enter. It is to the right of the entry door, in the middle of the camera.

Our CCA has a new Studio to the left of the entry, which will be used for classes for our community. In the Studio you will see Art being hung on the walls or on the tables by various artists. Prices are in a black frame on the table in the Studio. Also, further back from the teaching area is the CCA Office and bathroom. This is for administrative use only. Docents are discouraged from using the space. Thank you.

Please open the studio and make this room available to Patrons. Please lock it at the end of the day, by simply pushing in the handle lock. 

We have Fire Extinguishers in our Gallery. Please make yourself aware of these devices and where they are located. If you feel able, read the available information found in the Big Gallery Binder. Please call 911 if an emergency occurs. We have never had an occurrence…. But it is good to know these things, if you feel you can learn, please become informed. But please never place yourself in danger! Call 911 from outside, and away from the fire.

What about training?

Once you've signed up, contact the Volunteer Coordinator to make an appointment for an Orientation Walkthrough. Our new Trainer is Hank Friedman. He will be available by appointment only on Saturday at 9:00am, and at special times, if he is available. He can be contacted for questions at, Home phone: 805-203-5395 (most often) and Cell: 760-422-4479 (less often).

You will be meeting at the front of the building for the appointment. It is a 30-minute walkthrough. The “Outside” key lockbox (Duration Code) that you will get, will open to the key that is chained to the inside of the box, to let yourself into the building. This Duration Code will be given to you a few days before your docent time. This lockbox can be found at the door to the Green Room at the right of the front walkway.

Note: Now you can enter the Green Room and get the small “Welcome Desk” key to open the Welcome desk drawers, out in the hall Atrium.

Opening & Closing

Opening the Gallery is pretty straight forward, but there are several steps to the process. Each docent is provided with a "Checklist"(Daily Sheet) that outlines all the steps in the order that they should be performed.

This Checklist is found in the "Daily Sheet Binder" which is located in the Welcome desk middle drawers. The Art Cabinets (2 small keys), and the Safe (odd key) can be found in this binder. And lastly the “Door” key (labeled), can be found in this binder. The “Door” key can open all doors: Front Doors, Studio, Kitchen, Green Room and Theater. Be sure to lock any door that are opened at the end of the day.

Sometimes there will be a theatre performance and they will need the use of the Welcome Desk on Sunday afternoons.  When this happens, we need to get a table from the Green Room and push it into a hall away from the front entrance and set up our Square and books and cash box there. Be sure to use a location that is near an electrical outlet.

By the way… The Theater will only lock the front door and turn out the big lights, so please turn out and lock everything as you go, except the main lights. And don’t forget to bring in the Art Easel, Sidewalk stand and the flags!

Don’t forget to lock all the doors before you go! Test the door frame from inside!

Quick Notes about Opening

Please arrive 15 min early to the Gallery. Go into the kitchen and get the hidden keys in the hidden area. Use the Welcome Desk key to open the desk to access the notebooks and the Daily Sheets in the 2nd drawer. You will be told where the hiding place is before your shift begins.

  1. In the Kitchen: Open the kitchen door from the inside and prop it open. Leave this door unlocked during Gallery hours, but don’t leave the door wide open. Later, you can unlock this door from the hall with the door key so that if it closes accidentally , you won’t be locked out from the kitchen.
  2. Volunteer Pins: These pins can be found on the tall kitchen cabinet board. Please also use the CCA apron found there, if you want to wear one. Wear one of these during your shift and remember to put it back before you leave, please!
  3. In the Daily Sheet Binder pull a fresh Daily checklist sheet to use on your shift. If there is only one left, be sure to let Sheri know to make copies soon! Each sheet is two-sided.
  4. Safe: The Safe key can go in 4 different ways, but only works with one of them. There is a notch/indentation on the upper part of the key handle when in the correct position. Open the safe and get out the Gallery Money Box. Count the money and enter all the information on the back of your Daily Sheet. Be sure to include your name, date and time, as well as the number of Guests and any sales made at the end of your shift. The Gallery money box can be placed in the lowest drawer in the Welcome desk now. The drawers should be locked if you need to leave the area. When taking in money/checks, please attach with a paper clip, the cash to the sales receipt and put them into the cash box under the change drawer. The Bookkeeper wants us to keep change separate from sales.
  5. Opening Checklist: Use this checklist to help you navigate all the tasks.
  6. Lights in Cabinets: There are 2 keys for the 4 cabinets. Open each and turn on the lights using the switch at the right wall of each second cabinet. Close the lock, but do not completely lock it - easier to show patrons into the items close at hand. The inner glass sliding door is blocked with a dowel in the slide groove. If you need access, simply remove the dowel from the other opening and then it will slide open. Be sure to replace it when done. (Packing materials and boxes for small items can be found in the lower cabinet storage or under the Welcome Desk chair.) Place the keys back in the binder. For wrapping larger works use the packing materials in the kitchen box at the right under the counter. 
  7. Lights in the hallways: You learn where these 4 light switches are during the docent orientation (each of the halls and next to the Studio entry). The Gallery lighting is the track lights, not the fluorescent lights. The track lights need to be turned on and off. The fluorescents are automatic and come on when they sense movement. The Desk track light is by the Studio entry wall.
  8. First turn on the twinkle lights (2) that surround the Art for Sale sign, and push the Art Easel out through the opened doors to become visible to drivers on the street. It can be left on the right side of the entryway.
  9. Then get the Sidewalk Sign and Flags out. Take the sandwich board sign outside to the area between the sidewalk and the street to attract passersby. You can find them all in the atrium closet opposite the front door.
  10. There is a Big TV Video Screen behind the welcome desk. This screen is on a timer, which will turn on at 10:45 and off at 4:15 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 
  11. We have music in the Gallery! The “Alexa” device is on top of the left built-in cabinet. This device is also on a timer, but can be turned on at other times by standing close to the area and saying: “Alexa, please play (your choice of the type) music. You can also say: “Alexa, turn the volume up (or down)” and “Alexa, off.” Alexa may turn off at the end of her playlist, so just ask her to play something else or replay the same playlist.
  12. Answer the phone if it rings for a long time: Please answer calls with “CCA Gallery.” If someone wants to leave a message, there is a message pad next to the phone under the safe. Fill one out and place the top copy into the mail slot of the Branch in the Office on the wall. Usually, this phone will have an automatic answer to the computer, so just leave it alone if it only rings 2-3 times, otherwise someone may be trying to contact you, there, so please answer.
  13. In the welcome desk you will find, the Big Gallery Binder to review and use as reference for making a sale and using the Square Device. All of these instructions are available in this binder.
  14. There you will also find the Artists Current Show Binder and will need to review it. All the artwork and artist bios will be in here along with the red dot stickers used on the art labels to indicate that an item is sold, if the Patron cannot take it home. This binder will also have artist contact information. This is not to be given out - ever! It is only to be used by the docent to contact the artist about a sale. This notebook is where the pink sales slips are kept - in the back folder.
  15. Patron/visitor counter: Get the little round clicker out of the top drawer to the welcome desk and use it to help you remember how many people came into the gallery during your shift. This information will be added to the back of your Daily Sheet at the end of your shift. We use this to see how many Patrons are coming in and if we need to change our open hours.
  16. Be sure the Guest Book is out for visitors on the counter to sign for our newsletter or messages to the gallery. Let Sheri  or Judy Levine know when we are running low on pages to sign! They will be added to our Newsletter.
  17. Wake up (touch the round home button on the Square Device). You will be on the "Items" page. This is your sales page. If on another screen simply select the library icon or square icon. Credit card goes into slot on right side, or taps.
  18. Have the Paper Receipts ready to use for ALL SALES, including Donations and Membership Fees. Have the Patron fill out the top completely, and you fill in the art/membership and costs. Please write your name at the bottom. All cash sales should be attached to the sales receipt and put into the lower part of the cash box for the Bookkeeper. Please do not mix income cash with the cash drawer currency.
  19. We have a heater that can be used when you’re working. It should be located behind the welcome desk. Please remember to turn this heater off! It was found left on after shift was over!! It is a fire hazard!!
  20. FINALLY, now you can turn on the Neon “Open” sign in our front window. Leave the door open if it's warm enough (best to bring a coat just in case!). 

Quick Notes about Closing

If you are the last docent for the day, close at 4:00pm (or 2:00 or later as you want, if no one is coming in after you) by following the provided daily checklist, as done previously. If no one is coming in after your shift, you might be opening and closing.

  1. The first thing to do is bring in the Art Easel, Open Flags, and Sidewalk Sign and and then LOCK THE FRONT DOOR. You don't need anyone else wandering in while you're closing up. Turn off the neon open sign as well. Turn off the twinkle lights (2) by pushing to last light option.
  2. The Square Device: There’s no need to sign out of the square device. It will sleep when there’s no activity.
  3. Turn off the heater (if it's on).
  4. Enter the items sold, any membership and any donations, to the back of your Daily Sheet, the amount of money in the cashbox, recounted, and visitor count, as well. Put the cash box back into the safe. Lock the Safe. Make sure the Safe key, and Cabinet keys are placed back into the notebook when done with them. Put these binders all back into the second drawer of the welcome desk.
  5. Please email our technology coordinator, Janet Rooney, to let her know to update the website with any wall or pedestal art sales, as we also have a Virtual Gallery that will need to be updated. Her email address is Please email her asap.
    Please make a personal note so you can remember: Who bought what, what was sold, payment and type, disposition of the art, and date. It will help you remember in case of financial questions that sometimes come up, later on.
  6. Check/lock all doors and restroom windows by pushing on them from the inside to be sure they're locked. Turn off all the cabinet and gallery lights.
  7. Lock the Kitchen door, and kick stand it open until you are all done. 
  8. Grab the door key and use it for getting back into the building after the trash is taken out. The Trash key is hanging on the wall of the kitchen. PLEASE TAKE OUT THE TRASH if it is more than half full to the trash cans over across the parking lot by the Pickleball courts! We know that this is not an easy task. Thank you so much!
  9. Make sure all notebooks are in the drawers. Lock the Welcome desk, and return the Desk key to its hiding place.
  10. Be sure to put the door key back in its place in the Daily sheet Notebook after you are done, and the Trash key up on the wall. All done!!


Sales may seem daunting at first, but with a little orientation, you will get through it.

There are 4 parts to a sale:

  1. The Square Device (The Banks record for all sales)
  2. The Paper Receipt (for Bookkeeper’s record and additional information the Square does not provide)
  3. The Labeling of Sold Items.
  4. Contacting the artist with the information of the sale.
    • If the artwork is not by a featured artist, that buyer can take the work on the spot. The artist then has the option to bring in another work of art to replace it. If they don't have any, the Gallery Director can decide how to fill that spot.
    • If the artwork is by a featured artist, the artist can choose to keep all of the artwork up through the length of the show. If the buyer is from out of town, the artist has the option to either ship it to the buyer after the show or allow them to take it early. Not all featured artists are concerned with keeping the whole show up until the end. Check the Current Show Binder for up-to-date information in their artist agreement.
  5. Contacting the Technology Coordinator to make sure the item is marked “sold” on the Virtual Gallery website exhibit.

Startup Square: If just plugging in the Square Device, the round home button to turn it on is on the screen. You'll have a chance to try this during your walkthrough with Hank, if you need it.


Square device

You should be at the “Items” page on the Square Device. (If not, use Square icon or Libraries)

  1. Select Artist's name or search for the artist using the search field at the top of the screen. 
  2. Type in the amount of the item (tax and total is automatic). 
  3. Be sure to make note of tax and total for the paper receipt. If there are additional items, simply repeat 1 and 2.
  4. When ready to accept payment:
    • Cash: go to Charge and add cash amount
    • Credit Card: You can swipe the card into the right-side slot, or tap on right front. 
    • Check: More / Check. Write the name and check number then Record. All checks are to be made out to “Allied Arts”.

Please place cash and checks attached to the white receipt in the cash box under the money tray (not in the blue bag) and include the information on your Daily Sheet.

Paper Receipt

  • Have the Patron fill out their name and phone at the top of the paper receipt.
  • Write the artist's name and the item sold (i.e., the name of the painting), the amount of the item, tax and total in the middle of the receipt.
  • Include your name at the bottom and the date at the top.
  • Pull out the three sales slips by sliding forward the pages (while pushing down on the metal button at the top left with an eraser, or fingertip)
    • White: Goes in the cash box under the money tray, but not in the blue bag.
    • Yellow: Goes to the patron as their receipt
    • Pink: Tape to the back of the item if the patron is not taking the piece right away. If they take the piece, put the pink slip in the pink folder in the Current Show Binder.
    • If more than one item is sold to a patron, make copies or write up a note to tape to the back of the art work with name, phone and when sold and when to pick up, if it is staying in the Gallery.


  • Write the patron's name in the Current Show Binder next to the picture or description of the item purchased.
  • If the item is remaining in the gallery, use one of the red dot stickers. Write the patron's initials on the sold sticker and place it on the art label next to the artwork. Place the pink sales receipt on the back of the work with blue tape (found in the lower part of the far-right art cabinet). If more than one item is sold, make copies of the receipt to attach to each item.

Contacting the artist about the Sale - Phone list in the Current Show binder

  • Call the artist to let them know of the sale. If the artwork was a member artist and the patron took the piece, that artist can bring in another work of art to replace it. If the artwork is a featured artist and they want the exhibit to remain intact for the whole show, they just might like the good news. If the patron is from out of town and has to take the piece, the artist needs to be informed prior to this happening.
  • Email the technology coordinator about any wall or pedestal sale at

Payment for new or returning MEMBERSHIP

People who come into the Gallery when it's open often ask about becoming a member or renewing their membership. Docents can take care of these transactions as well.

Be sure to let members and perspective members that they have many benefits, such as:

In the Gallery:

  • Discounts on exhibiting in our Gallery for walls/cabinets/and pedestals
  • Gifts and training for volunteering as a Gallery Docent 
  • Further discounts by working with the Gallery and the Gallery Committee!
  • Drawing Studio admission for minimal fee
  • Plein Air Painting group admission for free
  • Critique Gathering monthly for free

At the Theatre:

  • Free Theatre tickets for Volunteers who work the event

During our annual Film Festival:

  • Discounts on and early access to Film Passes
  • Free Film tickets for Volunteers who work the events

For Community Learning:

  • Discounts and early access on Classes and Workshops!

Throughout the year:

  • Regular email updates about upcoming events and news
  • Invitations to special events and receptions

Always have the individual fill out the Membership form located in the display unit next to the kitchen door and on the clip board at the Welcome Desk glass counter. Our information brochure is also located there if anyone would like to know more about CCA and becoming a member.

The New Membership or Membership Renewal is entered into the Square Device in the same way that a gallery sale is. Donations can also be entered into the Square. These items are located at the top of the “All-Items” list and include options for type of membership and if a donation, which branch the donation will be given to. The credit card/check/cash can be handled as above. Create a paper receipt. Please place the paper-clipped membership form with the check or cash payment into the Blue File Bag of our Bookkeeper: Kim Zabel

To review about Sales: 

  1. Call Artist to replace it. 
  2. Place sales info on back of Daily Sheet. 
  3. Email to Janet at 
  4. White Receipt into Cash box with money attached
  5. Pink into Current Show Binder- in back 
  6. Sign on Artist’s inventory sheet by picture, who bought and when
  7. Place sale on back of your Daily Sheet

So, this is our sales system. It is easily managed with a little practice and hopefully this orientation will help. Please take in what you can, and arrive to your Docent orientation to learn more. Many of us were overwhelmed at first, but now feel quite comfortable about the process. Just use the Big Gallery Binder as your Gallery Docent Bible!

And Finally

Please try to simply grasp the main concepts. All of the information you need is in the “Big Gallery Binder.” So, don’t worry about the details. It’s all there for you in the Gallery.

As you finish up, just as a review, please be sure to:

  1. Replace the keys to their designated home
  2. Return your volunteer’s name tag and apron to the kitchen pin board and hook. 
  3. Check all the doors, that they are locked on your way out.
  4. And don’t forget to email the tech coordinator about any sales at 

You can text the Volunteer Coordinator, Sheri at 805-434-7060 or Hank Friedman at 760-422-4479, if you need support.

Please check out the "Big Gallery Binder" first to see if it might be helpful. 

If you feel like you cannot meet your docent commitment, please contact Sheri and she may be able to make special arrangements for you… and may be able to find a replacement if you become ill.

Thank you for being our valued Docent, and for keeping the Gallery doors open for our artists and our community! It means so much to us.

Hope your experience will be wonderful!

Please let us know how it went!

Updated 1/1/23