The Las Guias training course begins each fall in October under the sponsorship of the Heard Museum Guild working closely with the professional staff of the museum’s Education Department. There is no prerequisite beyond interest, but a fee is charged. A commitment is required of at least two years of guide service with a minimum of 30 tours per year.
Requirements for All Las Guias
In order for all Las Guias members to maintain the high standard of touring which our visitors have come to expect, there are requirements for each member to meet each year in order to continue guiding. The requirements are mandatory and no exceptions are allowed unless specifically indicated in the following.
- 30 Tours per year
A commitment of at least two years of guided service with a minimum of 30 tours per year is required. There is no provision for break or vacation other than a Leave of Absence (LOA).
The tour year begins June 1 and ends May 31.
The need for guides is greatest from September through May. Guides have three options for meeting their commitment of 30 tours per tour year:
- Two half-day guiding assignments per month September through May;
- Guides who have completed 60 tours following graduation may request a Combination Schedule of one half-day per month September through May and accept tours when called, and for touring during the summer months;
- Senior Guides who have regularly met their commitment over several years (at least three) may request “On Call” status. “On Call” guides are required to do a minimum of five scheduled public tours per year.
The first two years after graduation, Las Guias will automatically be given half-day assignments with at least one half-day weekday morning, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Exceptions must be approved by the Heard Guild Education Coordinator.
Half-day service is 3 ½ hours of contact with museum visitors. Two touring assignments will be made in a half-day, which, in most cases, include two tours or a tour and a gallery talk combination. The time remaining is to be spent roving.
To receive credit for the tour shift the guide must record his/her name, date, name of tour(s) and or talk and the number of people attending each on the Las Guias Online Tour Sign-Out paget on the Guild Room Computer. Roving is also indicated on the Sign-Out Sheet and should be recorded. One tour credit is given for Roving. Each guide therefore receives three tour credits per half-day shift.
Guides having health or personal problems can arrange to limit their touring commitment by discussing the situation with the Guild Education Coordinator and Museum Tour Scheduler. Individual plans can be negotiated so that these guides remain active Las Guias members.
- Las Guias Education Tune-Up
The Education Tune-Up is usually scheduled for October. Attending the Tune-up is mandatory for all Las Guias who are in town and not on LOA. This event is held for the purpose of refreshing the guide’s knowledge of exhibits on display at the Heard, introducing up-coming exhibits and reviewing Museum and Las Guias policies. Tune-up is also an excellent opportunity to meet and greet other members of Las Guias. An attendance sheet will be available for Las Guias to sign.
Those unable to attend should notify the Guild Education Coordinator prior to Tune-Up.
- New Exhibit Walk-Throughs
Walk-throughs for new exhibits are provided by museum curators and are mandatory for all guides. Guides must sign the Attendance Sheet provided by the Attendance Record Keeper. If a guide is unable to attend the walk-through for the opening of a new exhibit, he/she will need to take a subsequent walkthrough of the newly opened exhibit provided by a member of the New Exhibit Committee. A sign-in sheet will also be provided at the New Exhibit Committee walk-throughs.
Guides are expected to include new exhibits in their Highlights tours starting the day after the exhibit opens to the public. Guides are expected to complete their training for the new exhibit within one month of its opening. Twenty minute Gallery talks in the new exhibit will be assigned one month after the opening.
If a guide is on LOA and is physically unable to attend a walk-through or is out of town during the exhibit opening, then it is the guide’s responsibility to contact a member of the New Exhibit Committee to arrange a walk-through upon your return.
- Following Another Guide
All Guides are required to follow at least one other Guide’s tour per tour year. After following another guide, enter the activity on the Las Guias Online Tour Sign-Out Sheet on the Guild Room Computer.
Ask the scheduled Guide if you can follow his/her tour in advance.
Remove your name badge and ask admissions for a visitor’s sticker to wear while you are following a guide so that visitors will not be concerned or confused.
It is highly recommended that guides follow an additional tour for a total of 2 per tours year. We can always learn from each other and sharpen out touring skills.
One tour credit is given for following another guide.
- Continuing Education Requirements
Completion of the basic Las Guias Training course is considered to be the beginning step in a continuing process of self-education concerning Native Peoples and their arts. In order to provide optimum service to the public attending Tours, Gallery Talks and Speakers Bureau presentations, Las Guias are expected to continually expand their knowledge in these areas.
To maintain active Las Guias status, each guide is require to complete three credits of Continuing Education Credits during each tour year. (June 1-May 31).
Continuing Education credits are limited to 1 credit per activity and may include:
- Attendance at Museum and/or Guild Education Programs held on the Heard Campus;
- Guild Meeting Lectures/Presentations;
- Heard Guild Explores Day trips (one credit per trip);
- Heard Guild Travel Tours (one credit per trip);
- Heard Guild Short Courses (one credit per session) (A short course with three weekly sessions equals three)
- Book Club Discussions
- Off-Campus Educational Programs with subject matter pertaining to museum exhibits;
- Individual attendance at American Indian exhibits, sites, museums and/or lectures.
Required Continuing Education Credits for a tour year must be recorded on the Heard Guild Website between June 1 and May 31 of each year. Although most of us will have many more than three credits of Continuing Education, only three need be recorded to be in compliance. Go to the Guild Web site (www.heardguild.org); sign in on the Las Guias page and click on “Report Continuing Education.” For off-campus and individual excursions, please record a brief (twenty-five words or less) description of the experience.
Failure to meet Las Guias Requirements will result in the guide being put on automatic LOA beginning on June 1.