WMA receives technology award at Southeastern Museums Conference
DOTHAN, Alabama – November 5, 2019 – The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce it was awarded a bronze medal in the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Technology Competition for digital marketing. Award winners were recognized at the organization’s annual conference, held this year from October 20-23 in Charleston, South Carolina.
“The Southeastern Museum Conference Technology Competition features the top digital projects in the field, and recipients of these awards represent the leading museum institutions in technological accessibility and innovation,” said Anna Tucker, SEMC Technology Competition chair and curator at the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience.
The award was given to WMA for its Stories of the Wiregrass website and digital archive. The project was created with support from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission in celebration of Alabama’s 200th anniversary of statehood. Recognizing the year’s theme, “Sharing Our Stories,” the website invites current and former residents of the Wiregrass to submit stories about their everyday lives in the form of prose or poetry, a simple memory, photographs, video, or audio files.
“Our staff and board recognizes that technology is an important tool for the museum to connect with new audiences, and we’re committed to providing innovative experiences for our visitors. ‘Stories of the Wiregrass’ was created to provide a platform for members of our community to contribute stories and memories that provide a living history of our region, in their own words, or photographs, or video work. This digital archive is one example of how WMA is using technology to tell stories and to connect with our neighbors,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, WMA’s executive director and curator.
Each story submitted will be archived on the website, and area residents will be able to contribute to the website even after the bicentennial year has ended. Participants can choose to provide their name or submit their story to the site anonymously, but everyone is asked to include the county they live in and their age.
“This year’s award pool was notably competitive, and Wiregrass Museum of Art’s project impressed the SEMC Technology Jury due to their effective use of technology to address community involvement,” said Tucker.
Other winners in the digital marketing category were Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, which won a gold medal for its #ArtistAtCB series of artist interviews, and an honorable mention recognition for its Art in Space program. The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia was awarded a silver for a redesign of its website.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be represented with such a great group of colleagues in this award category. We hope that our ability to compete with our peers at larger institutions is a sign of WMA’s commitment to excellence and professionalism in the work we do,” said Lemmer.
During the 2018 conference, WMA won several awards including a gold medal in the publishing competition for the 2017 Yard Party for Art poster, which was designed by local design firm PushCrankPress and hand-screen printed by Green Pea Press in Huntsville, Ala; a bronze award for its 2016-2017 annual report design; and an honorable mention in the technology competition in recognition of the museum’s newly launched online educator resources.
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.
>The Southeastern Museums Conference is a networking organization that serves to foster professionalism, mutual support, and communication. A non-profit membership association, SEMC strives to increase educational and professional development opportunities and improve the interchange of ideas, information, and cooperation.
The organization focuses on the Southeastern United States including: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands.