The arts play a critical role in the well-being of our communities by driving economic growth, tourism, and quality of life for our residents. As the Executive Director and Curator at the Wiregrass Museum of Art, I believe that the arts are the great connector of people, places, and ideas, and my role is an opportunity to build connections across our local community in Dothan, as well as the State and region.
I see firsthand the positive impact that the arts have on the daily lives of our visitors, students, and community partners. Alongside the 20,000 visitors each year that enjoy contemporary art exhibitions, programs, and events, over 5,000 students visit annually through school tours. I’ve seen artists on exhibit show up to these tours, connect with students, and instill in them the drive to be creative in their own lives. Students return after their school visits and often become the tour guides with their families. They know this museum belongs to them, and they feel pride in the art and culture they are exposed to because of WMA.
The work I do with artists living and working in our State is some of the most rewarding, and the creative and financial support we provide to artists is returned ten-fold back into our Alabama communities. The arts are often viewed as a “nice to have” rather than a “need to have”, but I believe art is for everyone. It provides a sense of identity for our cities and towns, and provides a sense of place. Coupled with the strong and diverse body of artists living and working among us, Alabama can, and should, be a destination and resource for our economy to thrive.
Executive Director and Curator
Published as a Guest Voice column for This is Alabama on Sunday, December 12, 2021 in the Birmingham News, Huntsville Times and Mobile Press-Register.
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