Group Tours

Personalized tours are a wonderful way to get the most out of your museum visit. The CMA is a great place for group trips and is fully accessible.

The CMA incorporates an approach called Visual Thinking Strategies, an inquiry-based method of discussing art, in all of its tours. With VTS, rather than simply being told about a work of art, you explore it as a group. You form ideas about the piece naturally, informed by what you see in the artwork while also building on the interpretations of your peers. Tour guides help facilitate this fun way to explore the exhibitions and galleries. 

Choose From

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection
June 2 - August 27, 2017
That '70s Show: Cool Art from the Collection
June 23 - August 27, 2017
Face Value: Artists' Portraits by Alphonse van Woerkom
October 6, 2017  - November 26, 2017
Matisse: Jazz & Poetry on Paper
September 15, 2017  - January 7, 2018

see all exhibitions

How to Schedule a Group Tour

  1. Review the museum's programs for adults and school groups and write down any questions you may have.
  2. Determine at least two dates and times when you may be able to schedule your visit. Please be sure to contact us at least three weeks prior to the dates you choose.
  3. Check on the availability of your transportation for these dates.
  4. Call the museum reservation line at 803-343-2163, or email and provide the following information:
  • Name of contact person
  • School or organization and address
  • Telephone number with area code
  • Age or grade level for school tours
  • Size of group
  • Title of program requested
  • Two possible dates and times for the tour
  • Any special needs your group might have

Group Tour Policies

Arrival Time: Please arrange for your group to arrive fifteen minutes before your scheduled program.

Late Arrival: Flat tire? Bad weather? Sick child? Please call us if you know that you are running late! We will make every effort to accommodate you or to reschedule the program. Remember that tours are tightly scheduled. Groups that fail to arrive within fifteen minutes of the scheduled time without prior approval will forfeit their reservation. No exceptions.

Group Size: A minimum of ten students (school groups) or adults (adult groups) constitute a group.

Payment: A non-refundable reservation deposit of $35 (school groups) or $80 (adult groups) will be charged for every reservation. Admission fees are due upon the time of arrival and are requested to be paid in one payment form.

Cancellations, Rescheduling, and Other Changes: The museum will work with you to select another date if needed; however, rescheduled dates are subject to availability.  Call Sherrie at 803-343-2163 or email if you need to cancel or reschedule your reservation. Also, please let us know if the size of your group varies significantly from that listed on your confirmation. If your group decreases to fewer than ten participants, you are still required to pay the minimum group rate.

Special Needs: Please inform us of any special needs that your group members may have when you book your reservation. This allows our staff adequate time to insure that these needs are met. For those with physical disabilities, the museum offers full accessibility.

Identification: Identification tags with a child’s name clearly printed are requested and enable our Volunteer Educators to personalize your program.

College Instructors

Instructors interested in a specific exhibition or area of the museum's collection should contact the group tour coordinator at at least two weeks in advance and inform about any special objectives your group might have. The more we know, the better your group's experience will be! Programs described for high school students can also be adapted for college students.

Home School Parents and Leaders of Multi-Age Groups

The CMA is an excellent resource for home-schooled students. You may schedule a tour program. Communicate any special needs or requests well in advance and we will make every effort to work with you in providing the most effective program for your group. We recommend that children are grouped by age and grade level whenever possible. If you are planning a self-directed visit, we recommend that group leaders visit the museum prior to the group visit.

Renovations are Underway, But the CMA is Open

The CMA is undergoing extensive renovations to provide more galleries, more studios, more spaces for programs, and a new entrance on Main Street. To protect the art from construction, the upstairs collection galleries are closed through fall 2018. In the meantime, we will remain open throughout the entire process with a full schedule of exhibitions and programs on the first floor. Have questions? Give us a call at 803-799-2810.