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WMA receives $10,000 grant to support summer outreach programs

The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant from the Wiregrass Foundation to support summer outreach programs in June and July.

“Summer outreach programs reflect the museum’s core mission to inspire lifelong learning at all ages. WMA’s programs are part of a comprehensive educational plan to provide access to the arts for our youngest residents, seniors, and families, and we’re grateful for support from Wiregrass Foundation to extend access to quality art experiences through outreach and scholarship opportunities across the Wiregrass,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, the museum’s executive director and curator.

Wiregrass Foundation awarded WMA $10,000 for its summer outreach programs, which will help fund art camp experiences and field trips with Hawk-Houston Youth Enrichment Center and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Wiregrass.

“The Wiregrass Foundation is proud to support WMA’s summer outreach programs because we believe in the power of the arts to enrich the lives of Wiregrass residents and contribute to the cultural vibrancy of our community. This grant to WMA reflects the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting programs and initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all Wiregrass residents. We believe that access to the arts is essential for personal growth, community development, and economic prosperity,” said Troy Fountain, president of Wiregrass Foundation.

Up to 300 students from partnering organizations will visit WMA over the summer months through this funding opportunity. Students will experience guided tours through the museum’s galleries, exploring art from WMA’s collections and temporary exhibitions; these tours focus on inquiry-based learning and multiple disciplines, including STEAM, visual art, Alabama history, and creative writing. Each group will spend time creating artwork with high-quality supplies in the museum’s studio as a part of their trip, and will take home supply kits to continue to explore self-expression and creativity after their camp experience.

WMA will also provide students at the Hawk Houston Youth Enrichment Center with an on-site camp at their location, structured to fit the needs of the center’s daily schedule over six weeks. The camp experience will conclude with a field trip to WMA, to experience newly opened exhibitions and studio artmaking in late July.

Additionally, this grant creates an opportunity for 14 scholarship seats for the museum’s paid, in-house summer camps, 2 at each of its 7 camps in June and July. Museum staff will provide these spots to students from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds by working with partners at Dothan City Schools, Dothan Housing Authority, Dothan Leisure Services, and the museum’s Community Advisory Committee, to identify students who would benefit from this opportunity. Scholarship applications are available at wiregrassmuseum.org/camps, and in person at the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

Summer outreach efforts will primarily serve students from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds, who statistically have less access to experiential learning during the summer like their peers; special camps, travel, and enriching cultural activities are often inaccessible to them. WMA’s commitment to providing access to the arts is exemplified in this outreach project, and in its approach to partnership with area organizations. Of particular importance to this long-term partnership between WMA and area organizations is the long-term impact that is created for students who are participating in them on a multi-year basis. Outreach with WMA provides participating students with the opportunity to build their technical, artistic, and social skills, and open up the visual arts as a viable avenue for self-expression and creativity.

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