Letter from the Director – Spring

Dear Friends and Members,

WMA has seen tremendous growth in the past year, including a 13% increase in quarterly attendance from this time last year, a 72% increase in student artwork submissions for Youth Art Month, and a 24% increase in member households and 126% increase in corporate membership.

These are exciting times at your museum, and we are celebrating the growing support in the Wiregrass for a strong presence from the arts. Regardless of the type – visual, performing, musical, craft, etc. – the arts have a transformative power for people and their communities every day. WMA is a community anchor that serves the public and educates students of all ages; we are an economic engine, and most importantly, we are for everyone.

While education and strong artist-centric programming is at our core, WMA is an important place for our community to gather together and to share our stories with one another. Our exhibitions include works by some of the most talented artists in our region, and their work can stand on its own. But the artwork we show can also serve as a tool for problem solving and for civic dialogue. According to Americans for the Arts, “Considering art means considering our history, our heritage, our politics, the way we learn—in short, the arts are part of everything, and play a role in all aspects of the human experience.”1

The arts are a powerful force for community engagement and constructive dialogue.

You’ve heard us talking about Alabama’s Bicentennial since 2017, and this year at WMA, we are celebrating stories from across the Wiregrass region. Last quarter, we looked at the stories of some of our most vulnerable community members with an exhibition titled Home: Where I Live. This quarter, we are collaborating with partners across the Wiregrass to explore themes related to war and violence in conjunction with Continuum: 1808 to 2017/Goya to Erdreich; later in the year we’ll be exploring Native American stories from the region and the culture of travel. And, of course, we’ll continue to collect your stories throughout 2019 at StoriesOfTheWiregrass.com.

The presence of the arts in any community manifests in a strong feeling of civic pride, offers innovative ways of problem solving, and, ultimately, catalyzes change. WMA is fortunate to be one of many stellar arts organizations in Dothan, and we appreciate your continued support in helping us to succeed and grow. I hope that each of you will take the time to join us this quarter, and throughout the year, in discovering the unique stories here in the Wiregrass!

 

Dana-Marie Lemmer
Director and Curator

1americansforthearts.org/socialimpact

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.

Throughout the year, WMA will host “Meet the Educator” days where parents and their children can come to the classroom to meet the instructor before beginning classes and camps. 2019’s schedule is as follows: January 30 from 4pm-6pm, May 29 from 4pm-6pm, and August 28 from 4pm-6pm.

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.