Wiregrass Museum of Art awarded Wiregrass Foundation grant for summer outreach programs

DOTHAN, AL – May 12, 2021 – The Wiregrass Museum of Art recently received a grant award totaling $19,296 from Dothan’s Wiregrass Foundation to be used in support of the museum’s long-running First Saturday Family Day program and Wiregrass-area summer outreach programs, which will begin in June.

WMA will dedicate $9,296 of the award to First Saturday Family Day, which museum staff have adapted over the last year to continue to serve children and families in the Wiregrass community. During the closure of the museum due to COVID health precautions, each month education staff provided video instruction of an art project that could be completed with supplies commonly found around the house. The videos were posted on social media and WMA’s YouTube channel.

In an effort to reach more children and families who might not have regular access to the internet, in February of this year the program transitioned to free art kits that participants could pick up at the museum’s reception desk every first Saturday of the month. Each kit contains instructions for an art project suitable for children of all ages, as well as all supplies needed to complete the project.

The distribution of First Saturday Family Day art kits will continue through the end of the year, and WMA will open its studio to full capacity for in-person gatherings in January of 2022. At that time, the museum will launch a new art supply library. The library will provide free, high-quality supplies, takeaway kits, and mystery bags for anyone visiting the museum to take home. It will also incorporate a ‘take one, leave one’ approach to cultivate a communal sense of giving and participation.

“Everyone in our community deserves access to art, and WMA is a resource for all Wiregrass residents. We continue to innovate and adapt in order to provide the best-quality service to our neighbors and partners across the region,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, WMA’s executive director. “Art education is a core value of WMA’s mission and we appreciate the Wiregrass Foundation’s partnership in increasing access to arts and in creating more equitable disbursement of these valuable, educational resources.”

The remaining $10,000 of the Wiregrass Foundation award will help fund summer outreach programs with several local partners. WMA staff will teach in-person camps at the Hawk-Houston Youth Enrichment Center, as well as provide “camp-in-a-kit” art kits for summer camps and other programs hosted by Dothan City Schools, the City of Dothan Leisure Services, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Wiregrass, the Ozark Boys & Girls Club, the Fort Rucker School Age Center, and the Eufaula City Schools’ 21st Century Summer Learning Program. In total, the museum aims to distribute 2,000 art kits by the end of the summer.

Camp offerings, both in person and through “camp-in-a-kit,” will offer lessons and activities in oil pastels, watercolors, weaving, mixed media collage, and other mediums. The investment from the Wiregrass Foundation will provide opportunities for students to receive much-need resources for learning during the summer months, giving them advanced preparation to begin the 2021-22 school year.

“The Wiregrass Foundation recognizes the importance of art to our community, culture, and quality of life for our area. The work WMA is doing to provide creative opportunities for the people of the Wiregrass through summer outreach programs and First Saturday Family Day is important to our community. The Wiregrass Foundation is proud to support these efforts,” said Troy Fountain, the Foundation’s president.

WMA continues to seek new ways to provide access to the visual arts to all people in the Wiregrass community and beyond. With the financial support of organizations like the Wiregrass Foundation, the museum hopes to continue to improve the quality of life of those living in our community through the arts.

About the Wiregrass Foundation

The mission of the Wiregrass Foundation is “to energize the spirit and potential of our local community through charitable investments that will have significant, measurable impact on our health, education and quality of life.”

About the Wiregrass Museum of Art

Wiregrass Museum of Art inspires a lifelong appreciation for the visual arts by providing innovative educational programs that engage diverse audiences through the collection and exhibition of quality works. Since its inception in 1987, WMA has offered educational programs, nationally-acclaimed art exhibitions and community events throughout the year. Its Board of Trustees guides the long-term vision and strategic goals, while its membership, City and County support, and grant funding provide the resources needed to fulfill its mission.
WMA’s galleries are open to the public every Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. General admission is always free.

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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Mask Policy

WMA asks that all campers ages 5 and up wear a mask during their museum visit, including classes and camps. If you don’t have a mask, we can provide one for you. Exceptions can be made for those with documented respiratory or sensory issues. We thank you for protecting your fellow visitors and our staff!

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