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

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

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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.
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.

Lara Kosolapoff-Wright
Communications Manager, WMA
334.794.3871, Ext. 27
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