WMA’s Impact: Art + Well-being

“The arts benefit patients, their caregivers, and the systems that provide the care—saving money, reducing pain medication needs and the length of hospital stays, strengthening immune levels, decreasing depression, increasing memory and cognitive function, and improving communication and behavioral skills.”

While ongoing research supports the role of the arts in medical environments, we at WMA see that human connection through the arts also deeply impacts mental health and well-being in times of disruption.

At WMA, we’re doing our part to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in practical ways and by providing meaningful connections through the arts:

  • Staff members are sewing cloth face masks, and have donated them to local health clinics to keep front-line medical staff safe.
  • WMA’s partnership with Dothan City Schools continues through take-home art supply kits as part of the Meal Distribution Program. Kits include lessons and all of the supplies needed for over 1,200 preK-6 students, which will provide enriched learning activities for students who may not have access to plentiful supplies or Internet-based learning.
  • By working with artists and educators, WMA is continually creating and publishing digital content to inspire, educate, and connect people online. Whether our Wiregrass neighbors are embracing creativity and sharing it online through the Community Curated project, or needing to take some time away from the news cycle and tuning in to programs like Brunch and Learn at WMA’s virtual First Saturday Family Day, your museum is actively filling the shared need for connection.

Additionally, WMA is considering the future impact of the arts sector, and our museum, on the health and well-being of our communities. Our temporary closure and eventual safe re-opening strategies will reflect our values: integrity, excellence, and leadership in professionalism. We are grateful for your support as we creatively imagine and implement protective health measures for our visitors and new ways to connect in the future, and as we continue to be a flagship for the visual arts in the rural Southeast.

Want to know more about the intersections of art, health, and well-being? Explore impact points and examples of practice here from our partners at Americans for the Arts.

Best,

Dana-Marie Lemmer
Executive Director and Curator

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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