Dear Friends and Members,
As I write this letter to you, we find ourselves in uncertain times. The COVID-19 pandemic has been in the news for several months now, and like our art and museum colleagues around the world, we have been following the news closely.
The arts are often an outlet during times of crisis, providing inspiration and both physical and psychological well being. Museums offer opportunities to gather with our neighbors and promote social cohesion. So it is especially difficult, the times we find ourselves in. WMA is currently in the process of making difficult decisions about how to go about our daily business, communicate with our visitors and membership, all while keeping the safety and security of our community in mind. It is possible that by the time you receive your Spring Newsletter from us, that we will have already taken decisive action to help in the call for social distancing. Please check our website often for updates to our operating hours and calendar of events: www.wiregrassmuseum.org.
What I can say for certain, is that we will continue to prioritize your needs and are committed to transparency during this time. While we reassess how to go about our daily business, and how to best provide access to the art, artists, and ideas of our time, I hope that you will continue to support the museum, as you always have.
I’m interested in exploring what it means to elevate the arts in a way that continues to address critical problems in our community – whether it’s by promoting conversations around social impact, prioritizing inclusion and equity, or connecting artists directly with our residents to explore what matters most to our community. This quarter we will feature a number of artist projects that do just that. Path of Entry highlights a global perspective on the environment, the process of reflection, and remembering. The exhibition, which features six artists from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations, highlights the reach that exists in the Wiregrass region and exemplifies the museum’s commitment to sharing diverse stories.
We are also hosting two artists in residence this Spring – Sydney Foster and Lily Reeves. Lily will launch Spirit Kin, a new project that will travel nationwide, right here in the Wiregrass. And Sydney, who had her first solo museum exhibition at WMA last year, will capture our region through a photographic project unique only to us. What makes WMA unique from other organizations is our ability to bring new and innovative ideas to our community, with the goal of connecting art and artists directly with our audience.
I suspect that when we meet on the other side of this, nonprofits will need to reflect on best practices that respond to changing dynamics and the evolving needs of the communities we serve. WMA is fortunate to have a board and staff that value people above all else. As our plans and strategies have changed over the years, that has remained constant. These unprecedented times are an opportunity for us to explore our own creativity in providing new platforms for access and to promote innovation among our many community partners. We also need to consider our relationships with funders and have a conversation about how philanthropy can also adapt to the needs of nonprofits in the 21st century.
We thank you again for your support, and look forward to seeing you at the museum soon.
All the best,
Executive Director and Curator