DOTHAN, Alabama – May 14, 2020 – The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce it has received $35,000 from The Daniel Foundation of Alabama. The award for operations funding is the second installment of a three-year grant agreement with the museum totaling $105,000. During the museum’s temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, the unrestricted operations funding allows WMA the flexibility to respond to the needs of the community and the artists it works with.
This year’s award supports WMA’s continued efforts to engage audiences through digital content and community outreach, and will help staff prepare for an eventual safe reopening. The museum will work to reimagine what the in-gallery experience will look like for visitors, while following best safety practices. WMA will also continue to prioritize its work with contemporary artists, imagining new ways to present their work and support their artistic practice.
“The commitment the museum has received from The Daniel Foundation has enabled the museum to respond to changing circumstances and community needs in real time. WMA, like many of the world’s museums, is anticipating disruptions to our budget through the next fiscal year, but multi-year operational support like this gives us some predictability making it easier to adapt. We’re grateful for the partnership of the Foundation, especially in these challenging times,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, WMA’s executive director.
During the temporary closure, WMA has used its social media channels, website, and free museum app to provide access to digital content, including a weekly series of art lessons designed for home instruction, virtual tours of exhibitions, artist interviews and social media takeovers. The wide range of offerings, from standards-based lesson plans to posts meant to inspire creativity or entertain, are intended to engage a broad audience.
WMA is also exploring ideas for summer programming to replace regularly scheduled camps and workshops, including outreach programs and partnerships with organizations that serve low-income populations, art supply kits, and take-home activities to coincide with the in-person visit.
“The Daniel Foundation of Alabama remains committed to funding the arts in Alabama. Now, more than ever, we believe that the arts provide a place for creative expression which is important as we face adversity. The arts serve to inspire creativity which enhances the everyday lives of the community. We are excited to be a small part of the work and programs of the Wiregrass Museum of Art,” said Executive Director Maria Kennedy.
As WMA’s staff plans for an eventual reopening, the museum will continue to provide programming intended to educate and inspire the community, all while taking steps to ensure recommended safety measures are in place to protect staff and guests during in-person visits. It is important that the museum remain a safe gathering place for the community, whether that is through digital content or in the galleries.
About the Wiregrass Museum of Art
The 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 founding in 1988, 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.
About The Daniel Foundation of Alabama
The Daniel Foundation of Alabama’s mission is to strengthen communities within Alabama and improve the quality of life for citizens from all regions of Alabama. We believe this can be achieved through support of effective organizations that are focused on building a healthy and well-educated population, living in a vibrant community.View More Stories