Who Are the People in the Pink Aprons?


By Kimora Lewis
SAM TAC 2023-24

The Importance of VEA’s

Often in museums there are what you call docents. A docent acts as a guide for visitors in museums, art galleries, and zoos. Here at the Sarasota Art Museum (SAM) we have VEA’s. What exactly is a VEA? ‘VEA’ stands for visitor experience associate, at SAM, the role of these associates is in both customer service and security. They aren’t hard to spot, as they stand out in their hot pink aprons.


What are the responsibilities of VEA’s? Similarly to docents, VEA’s act as soft security. The art is protected from harm in silent and unobtrusive ways. Visitors are kept from touching the art, carrying large bags, food, and drink into the art exhibitions. VEA’s also operate the reception desk and are in charge of greeting and guiding guests.


The difference between a docent and a VEA is their level of visitor interaction. VEAs at the Sarasota Art Museum are tasked with doing intensive curatorial research about every incoming exhibition. This prepares them for museum tours and questions asked by visitors. The research includes the artist’s background and art journey, the themes and contexts of the artist’s exhibit, the process and materials used, as well as the symbolism of the artworks.          

Stella (Visitor Services Manager), Jenny (VEA) and Jason (Assistant Manager of Visitor Services)

Look for the Pink Aprons!

Now it’s time to start planning your next trip to the Sarasota Art Museum! We are open every day of the week, and the exhibitions are constantly changing. Anyone 17 and under gets in for free. When you’re in the galleries, make sure to look for the people wearing the pink aprons, and be sure to ask them about the art on display. https://www.sarasotaartmuseum.org/visit/

Soraya (VEA) and Jennifer (VEA)

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