Artist in Residence (SUMMER 2018)

Wiregrass Museum of Art, in partnership with The City of Dothan, is looking for an artist, or group of artists, that will be engaged in community outreach, and the gathering of feedback as it relates to transportation needs along the 84 E corridor.

The artist(s) selected will focus their outreach efforts in the historically African American, low-income neighborhoods along the north and south sides of the Hwy 84 E Corridor, working directly with residents and business owners in the area. The artist will possess experience and interest in art as a means for social development and community building, and be able to gain trust and buy-in from a community that may hold long-standing mistrust of governmental institutions.

The ideal candidate will have interest in assisting citizens in minority communities by providing thoughts, ideas, and recommendations regarding the impact of the Hwy 84 East corridor upon the quality of their daily lives, and encourage their active participation in the City-sponsored public process.

This project is supported in part by an award from Transportation for America and Smart Growth America.

Artist in Residence (SUMMER 2018)

Wiregrass Museum of Art, in partnership with The City of Dothan, announces a Call for Artists for Hwy 84 E Corridor Project.

Wiregrass Museum of Art, in partnership with The City of Dothan, seeks an artist (or artist collective) with experience and/or interest in social practice as part of the cultural planning process for Hwy 84 E Corridor Project. Artists with a history of socially engaged work, especially those with experience working on a neighborhood scale, are invited to apply.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE: The primary project objective is to provide the City of Dothan with a corridor development plan that reflects the needs and wants of local citizens and businesses toward the realization of a livable, vibrant and financially sustainable urban corridor. The project scope proposes to develop physical, economic, and social cohesion among and between the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, Southeast Alabama Medical Center, and Downtown Dothan. The project will advance the City of Dothan’s preparedness and capabilities for implementation of leading edge development principles, policies, and practices. A renaissance of the built environment and place-making will result in attracting and sustaining new populations to Dothan’s reemerging city core.

BACKGROUND:  Highway 84 is a key transportation corridor impacting all segments of Dothan. The Corridor bisects the City, serving to accommodate east-west travel across the metropolitan area. The historic Downtown Commercial District, the campus of Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC) and the Campus of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) are anchor institutions and established activity centers that will serve as key drivers in the development of a comprehensive corridor plan.

Prime for Development:  The proposed project boundaries begin downtown, at the intersection of Highway 84 and Oates Street moving easterly to Cowarts Road then northeasterly along Cowarts Road and terminating at Drew Road, the easterly extent of the ACOM campus. Significant opportunities and challenges exist for the City of Dothan within those project boundaries. There are multiple opportunities for both development of open land as well as redevelopment of existing properties, which are not serving a best and highest purpose. The Corridor Plan will define a high potential urban design and development strategy with outcomes that can change the character and direction of Dothan’s future development.

Traditional and Mixed-Use Neighborhood Development: The ACOM campus is largely surrounded by undeveloped land including large tracts of woodlands and farmlands. Development interest will likely increase as the ACOM and SAMC campuses continue to grow and develop.  The City of Dothan has a prime opportunity to control both the quality and character of development in that area through the inclusion of an overlay district with specific regulations for neighborhood development. This provides an opportunity for incorporation of Traditional Neighborhood Development policies in certain areas and Mixed-Use Development policies in other areas. The combined impact of such a plan has the potential for creating a highly desirable community within the City.  A primary residential target market exists in those who work in or near the medical campuses, or those who work in the Historic Downtown Commercial and Government District.

Knitting Together Downtown Dothan and Medical Centers: A key objective for the plan is the obvious need to better connect Downtown Dothan with the campuses of Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC) and ACOM. Good urban design and leading edge transportation infrastructure that accommodates pedestrian and bicycle modes of movement are key elements in promoting that objective. Like it or not, increasingly larger segments of citizen populations are rejecting the suburbia lifestyle and the predominance of the automobile as the only method of transportation. Even here in Dothan, brave people are asserting their right to the roadway for bicycle movement. In particular, this mode of transportation is growing in preference among the “Generation X” segment.

This highlights a great opportunity in the City’s planning strategy; that of creating a connected community that will feed needed development, activity, and city center residential housing opportunities for those who desire a city center lifestyle. Well planned and designed development extending from Dothan’s downtown toward the medical college, and vice versa, will set the stage for adding downtown residential options that appeal to young professionals and empty nesters.  Demand for downtown lifestyles is growing. “The younger generation, as well as some older generation, the empty nesters, are moving back into the city because they want more of that city community lifestyle.”, (David Fleming, REV Birmingham, Business Alabama, June, 2015). In 2003, Birmingham had approximately 1,200 downtown residents (source: Operation New Birmingham, 2003). Careful planning and development strategies have created the opportunity for a current downtown population estimated at over 9,500 with approximately 1,000 additional units under development (A Return to Downtown Birmingham, NY Times, Aug. 6, 2015).  While Birmingham and Dothan represent different scales, the trends and desires of various population segments are believed to be relatively constant. Dothan has significant opportunity for City Center and mixed use housing development with appeal to medical professionals and others as a component of the Highway 84 Corridor Plan.

The New Economic Development and Corridor Planning: Many companies from Fortune 500 titans to lean startups to independent manufacturers are moving to places that offer great quality of life for their employees. As Smart Growth America detailed in its 2015 report Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown, these companies want vibrant neighborhoods with affordable housing options, restaurants, nightlife, and other amenities in walking distance, and a range of transportation options for their employees, among other things. This trend is already playing out in small cities and towns like Greenville, SC. (source: Amazing Place, SmartGrowthAmerica.org, June, 2016)

Through the Highway 84 corridor Plan, Dothan has a tremendous opportunity to develop and apply a customized version of the above referenced new economic development strategy. The current status of the general project area is a place that is unappealing and unattractive. Careful development of vision, plan, design, and development policies can transform that condition. Through the incorporation of smart growth strategies, zoning, complete streets, green streets, and other leading edge development practices, Dothan can create a corridor of great places where people and companies will want to locate and live.

To see notes from previous public workshops click here:  http://www.dothan.org/index.aspx?nid=557

The residency provides a flexible timeline over a two-month period, beginning June 1st and ending August 31st. The program aims to bring together social practice artists, residents, and local artists. The goal of this project is to build relationships between artists and neighbors as a form of social engagement that empowers residents as agents of change in the city’s planning process.

During their residency, visiting artists will work alongside WMA and other cultural organizations, neighborhood leaders, volunteers and students, the City of Dothan, and local artists to engage the neighborhoods in creative projects and place-making initiatives that will allow for citizen feedback and brainstorming to take place. The means in which this takes place will be determined by the artist(s) selected alongside key stakeholders, but could be in the form of community dinners and gatherings, pop up events and forums, storytelling exercises and oral histories, and methods that use art as a tool to share ideas. We encourage the gathering of oral histories in the neighborhood and activities that allow individuals to share their stories. While this program serves to compliment the City’s transportation planning, emphasis should be placed on getting to know the everyday needs of our citizens.

Submissions for the artist residency program are open to all US-based artists with a history and interest in socially engaged work, and consideration will be given to visual artists, performers, musicians, writers, among others. This project will be grassroots, and focused on DYI initiatives, with a $500 budget available for supplies, community gatherings, and pop-up events. The artist will be paid a minimum of $4,500, to include housing, for which museum personnel will help in making arrangements.

A payment of $2,500 will be paid at the beginning of the project, and the remainder at the close of the program on August 31. While the timeline is flexible as to when the artist can be in Dothan over the three-month period, the work must be complete by August 31, 2018 and should culminate in the presentation of their findings with recommendations for implementation. Consideration should be given to short-term interventions, with the expectation that the City of Dothan will use the information to plan for permanent change.

The deadline to apply is May 20, 2018. Finalists will be notified by May 22, 2018. Interested artists should apply to Dana-Marie Lemmer, Director and Curator at Wiregrass Museum of Art.

Please send CV, samples of work, and a statement of interest to dlemmer@wiregrassmuseum.org

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.

Terms and Conditions

The Wiregrass Museum of Art reserves the right to photograph and reproduce chosen works publication, publicity, and educational purposes. Participation in this exhibition shall be an agreement on the part of the artist to these conditions. The museum reserves the right to exclude works submitted without appropriate preparation (documentation, mounting hardware, suitable frame/mat, etc.), or which are damaged or incomplete. The museum is not responsible for the safekeeping of any works left in its care ninety (90) days after the close of the exhibition.

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