WMA’s Impact: Art + Access to Education
Did you know that the arts provide an open door to significant educational benefits and valuable life skills for students?
Students who have arts-rich experiences are more likely to graduate high school and college, vote and be highly engaged in the community, and have a stronger development of fuller and more empathetic perspectives on other cultures, other viewpoints, and civic identity.1
What happens if students don’t have access to the arts? And how do we ensure that students in the Wiregrass area have arts-rich experiences?
This month, with support from Wiregrass Foundation, WMA will continue its work to address inequality in access to the arts for area students through summer outreach programs. In an effort to follow health regulations and social distancing requirements, WMA is partnering with community organizations around the Wiregrass to provide high quality art supply kits and virtual instruction. This program will be provided to over 600 participating students, in continued partnership with organizations, like Boys & Girls Clubs of the Wiregrass, Hawk Houston Youth Enrichment Center, and the Dothan Housing Authority, among others. Kits provide printed art activities, lessons and plentiful supplies for students to keep, and are intended to stimulate creative learning at home over the summer months.
Community outreach — through virtual and kit equivalents for this year — is only a part of the work the museum does each year to provide greater access to the arts and eliminate barriers to arts participation. WMA gives students the opportunity to learn needed creative skills, experience cultural sharing, and have a more comprehensive educational experience year-round through workforce development programs like Out of the (Art) Box, as well as in person and virtual field trips, and creative digital resources.
The arts emphasize creativity and innovation, and especially in challenging times, arts organizations use these necessary skills to adapt, provide resources, and continue to address the important work of building equity.
Want to learn how arts and cultural organizations are adapting during this time? Read more about how museums and the arts sector are weathering the crisis and growing through it here.
Executive Director and Curator
¹ “Lifelong Learning” and “Education and Youth Development”. https://www.americansforthearts.org/socialimpact