The Museo Reina Sofía’s cultural volunteer work is a far-reaching and long-lasting project based on exchange between various social agents. It is run by a group of individuals belonging to CEATE (the Spanish Confederation of Third Age Classrooms), a not-for-profit organisation which, as with all the national museums it works with, provides a link between the Museum and one of the sectors of its public; school groups and Senior Citizen groups.
Their principal aim is to carry out guided visits that can put over the contents and the discourses of the Collection, offering a didactic, participative approach to contemporary art. This work increases the public service offered by the Museo Reina Sofía exponentially, as well as creating intergenerational links, because of the contact that is made between the older volunteer worker and the children and teenagers who come to the Museum.
The senior cultural volunteers have been doing guided visits of the Museum for nearly twenty years. They were brought in in 1993 when CEATE (the Spanish Confederation of Third Age Classrooms) launched the Senior Cultural Volunteer programme, specifically designed to show the Museum to children, young people and the retired. Over this period, the work done by the volunteer force has become more and more important, not only in terms of the ever-growing number of visitors (15,000 people in the year 2011-2012), but also in their increasingly detailed adaptation to the various kinds of public. For this to continue, ongoing training of the volunteer workers is crucial, and is unquestionably one of the cornerstones of the project.