WMA awarded $50,000 from Wiregrass Foundation for tech improvements 

DOTHAN, Alabama – May 10, 2019 – The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce it has received a capital project grant award exceeding $50,000 from Wiregrass Foundation to upgrade technological capabilities to better serve the broad needs of the public and daily museum visitors. The award will be used to purchase devices, improve wireless Internet connectivity, and enhance the in-gallery learning experience.

“Wiregrass Foundation believes that WMA’s tech project will invite all of us to experience art in new and exciting ways,” said Barbara Alford, president of Wiregrass Foundation.

While WMA is a venue for guests to have personal and “unplugged” experiences with the art on display, technology applications are an increasingly popular tool for museums around the world to offer visitors different opportunities for interpretation, interaction, and perspectives. WMA is happy to receive the award from Wiregrass Foundation and to have the chance to engage digital natives and learners of all ages in novel ways.

“We are always looking for ways to make our work more accessible, and we’re looking forward to providing guests an elevated experience at the museum through expanded content in the galleries that will better connect them to the art and artists we work with,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, WMA’s director and curator.

WMA will use a portion of the grant award to purchase touch-screen devices for in-gallery learning and extended interpretation of works on display; improve WiFi capabilities for visitors, especially low-income residents from neighborhoods surrounding the museum; improve creative content for WMA’s annual schedule of programs through the development of in-house design software; and expand the availability of devices for artists, K-12 students, and interns. The museum will also develop expanded interpretive components of exhibitions, including elements such as artist interviews, videos, interactive feedback mechanisms, and and links to other museum collections.

“In addition to providing needed infrastructure to better manage day-to-day operations, this project will allow us to incorporate technology in the museum’s programs in new and innovative ways,” said Lemmer.

Tech improvements at WMA will also include new ways to capture visitor information used for outreach and evaluation of existing programs; the implementation of a technology system to better sustain and secure data, including visitor and donor information; and more adaptive tools for special learning groups.
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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

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.

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. Private tours with guided art activities in the studio can be arranged by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays. For tour information, visit wiregrassmuseum.org/museum-tours.

Contact:
Lara Kosolapoff-Wright
Communications Manager, WMA
334.794.3871, Ext. 27
lara@wiregrassmuseum.org

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.