WMA’s Impact: Art + Tourism

Did you know that 68% of all tourism in the U.S. is driven by art, cultural heritage, and history?¹

Tourism drives economic growth, strengthens regional identity, and increases human connection. Importantly, cultural tourists spend nearly twice as much as other travelers, creating greater impact in the areas they visit!

Last month, WMA opened two new exhibitions, including Telling on Myself, with recent works by Beverly Leach and Synchronized Swimmers, an immersive and engaging art experience from artist Jenny Fine. During the exhibition opening at Art After Hours, WMA saw nearly 300 visitors from across the region — from Huntsville to Mobile, Birmingham to the Gulf Coast, Atlanta to Jacksonville, FL — many of whom dined at local restaurants, stayed in local hotels, and made purchases in area shops.

Last year, WMA reached 28,937 in-person visitors and digital users, creating a steady flow of arts tourism to the Wiregrass from 40 states in the U.S. and Europe, as well as increased interest and engagement with contemporary art in the Southeast. At WMA, we’re dedicated to elevating our region’s visibility effectively and creatively through the arts.

Want to see for yourself why visitors are coming to WMA? Come visit Synchronized Swimmers, on display now until February 22.


Dana-Marie Lemmer

Executive Director

1Americans for the Arts. Percentage of Foreign Visitors Participating in Arts Culture While Visiting the US 2005–2015. Americans for the Arts. Retrieved11 February 2018 from http://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/11.%20Foreign%20Visitors%203.pdf

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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