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.

About SEMC

>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.

Contact:

Lara Kosolapoff-Wright
Communications Manager, WMA
334.794.3871 x 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.