The Wiregrass Museum of Art is moving forward with work on a facility and operational needs assessment, and with support from the City of Dothan, has contracted with M. Goodwin Museum Planning (MGMP), an industry leader in museum planning with more than 35 years of experience planning over 150 art museums and civic organizations.
Over the next several months, MGMP will be working with the Museum’s Board of Trustees, staff, and community stakeholders to develop an assessment of WMA’s current space use, and a statement of its future space needs. The assessment will provide the museum with valuable tools for future planning and decision-making, by identifying long-term programmatic and operational objectives. Additionally, this work will assess the operational, staffing, and financial impacts of potential facility changes.
WMA is approaching its 35th year anniversary, and is taking steps to improve and ensure the continued pursuit of lifelong learning, community-building, and cultural sharing by working toward national accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), a mark of distinction in the museum field. Last year, WMA participated in the nationally recognized Museum Assessment Program (MAP) to see where possible organizational gaps existed. The MAP Report now serves as a roadmap to its next steps towards the pursuit of national accreditation, and recommendations are being incorporated into WMA’s new strategic plan, which will be completed this fall.
“WMA’s bold vision for the future is exciting and attainable. Once achieved, accreditation opens doors of opportunity for WMA to access art and artists from major institutions across the country, expand educational initiatives, and strategic partnerships, and will elevate the Wiregrass as a national destination for the arts. As we work towards these goals, WMA’s history of success positions the museum as a bold leader in Dothan’s transformation through the arts,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, the museum’s executive director.
With funding support from the City of Dothan for WMA’s needs assessment, the museum will evaluate its role in future downtown redevelopment. WMA and the City of Dothan are collaborating to assess the requirements in reaching shared community goals, including museum accreditation to support quality of life initiatives for residents and visitors to the Wiregrass region.
“The City of Dothan has set into motion a re-birth of our City-Center. The local arts initiative and the renaissance of downtown Dothan are inextricably linked. Dothan believes that the arts will help drive and sustain Downtown Dothan’s momentum. Dothan wants to provide a place where art, music, and culture lovingly intertwine with the fabric of our city’s core spaces. In our opinion, one cannot live and thrive without the other,” said Mark Saliba, mayor of Dothan.
Director of Advancement, WMA