WMA receives funding for summer outreach and educational programming

DOTHAN, Alabama – June 9, 2020 – The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce it has received grant funding from the Southeast Alabama Community Foundation (SACF) and Wiregrass Foundation for education and outreach programs. SACF has awarded the museum $2,500 in support of WMA’s First Saturday Family Day and transitional virtual offerings during social distancing. Wiregrass Foundation has given WMA a $9,420 micro-grant to fund summer outreach programs that address inequality in access to the arts.

WMA’s long-standing First Saturday Family Day program connects our community through art and intergenerational learning. While the museum has been closed temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was adapted to a virtual format accessible through WMA’s Facebook page with video tutorials, interviews with artists and instructors, family scavenger hunts to do at home, and social media art challenges. The SACF grant will be used to support digital content creation and promotion alongside community partners.

The micro-grant from Wiregrass Foundation, originally intended for in-person summer outreach camps, will be refocused to create art kits for partnering organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Wiregrass, the Hawk Houston Youth Enrichment Center, and the Dothan Housing Authority, among others. In the interest of protecting the safety and well-being of students and staff, the kits will allow for remote instruction in adaptable learning environments.

“Wiregrass Foundation is pleased to assist with the summer art camp again this year. WMA stepped up to the challenge and revised the camp’s format so the children in the community would have access to the arts. We are proud to work with WMA and the local nonprofits to impact the quality of life in our community,” said Cindy Bedsole, Wiregrass Foundation’s vice president of administration and grant management.

Approximately 600 kits will be created for distribution. Each will include high-quality materials and supplies, as well as printed, step-by-step art lessons that build students’ vocabulary, comprehension and critical thinking skills, and provide crucially needed learning enrichment at home or as small in-person gatherings allow. The kits will also include supplemental video instruction through thumb drives provided by the museum. If project partners are able to have small group gatherings during the course of the summer, WMA will provide projectors or other methods of group video interaction.

“WMA is grateful for the continued partnership from Wiregrass Foundation and SACF for these programs that make an immediate, positive impact in the lives of area students and residents. Summer outreach and First Saturday Family Day will operate differently this year because we are carefully considering the health and wellness of our community, and the support that we receive from these grants helps WMA continue to provide more access to art and creative inspiration for our Wiregrass neighbors,” said Melissa Rea, WMA’s director of development.

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 Southeast Alabama Community Foundation

Southeast Alabama Community Foundation (SACF) is an affiliate of the Central Alabama Community Foundation and offers citizens in the Wiregrass region the opportunity to build long-term support for their community. Individuals may establish new funds to support specific purposes or organizations, or they may contribute to existing funds.

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.”

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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