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WMA receives funding for summer outreach and educational programming

The Wiregrass Museum of Art (Source: WTVY)
The Wiregrass Museum of Art (Source: WTVY)(WTVY)
Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 1:33 PM CDT
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The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce it has received grant funding from the Southeast Alabama Community Foundation (SACF) and Wiregrass Foundation for education and outreach programs. SACF has awarded the museum $2,500 in support of WMA’s First Saturday Family Day and transitional virtual offerings during social distancing. Wiregrass Foundation has given WMA a $9,420 micro-grant to fund summer outreach programs that address inequality in access to the arts.

WMA’s long-standing First Saturday Family Day program connects our community through art and intergenerational learning. While the museum has been closed temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was adapted to a virtual format accessible through WMA’s Facebook page with video tutorials, interviews with artists and instructors, family scavenger hunts to do at home, and social media art challenges. The SACF grant will be used to support digital content creation and promotion alongside community partners.

The micro-grant from Wiregrass Foundation, originally intended for in-person summer outreach camps, will be refocused to create art kits for partnering organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Wiregrass, the Hawk Houston Youth Enrichment Center, and the Dothan Housing Authority, among others. In the interest of protecting the safety and well-being of students and staff, the kits will allow for remote instruction in adaptable learning environments.

"Wiregrass Foundation is pleased to assist with the summer art camp again this year. WMA stepped up to the challenge and revised the camp’s format so the children in the community would have access to the arts. We are proud to work with WMA and the local nonprofits to impact the quality of life in our community," said Cindy Bedsole, Wiregrass Foundation's vice president of administration and grant management.

Approximately 600 kits will be created for distribution. Each will include high-quality materials and supplies, as well as printed, step-by-step art lessons that build students’ vocabulary, comprehension and critical thinking skills, and provide crucially needed learning enrichment at home or as small in-person gatherings allow. The kits will also include supplemental video instruction through thumb drives provided by the museum. If project partners are able to have small group gatherings during the course of the summer, WMA will provide projectors or other methods of group video interaction.

“WMA is grateful for the continued partnership from Wiregrass Foundation and SACF for these programs that make an immediate, positive impact in the lives of area students and residents. Summer outreach and First Saturday Family Day will operate differently this year because we are carefully considering the health and wellness of our community, and the support that we receive from these grants helps WMA continue to provide more access to art and creative inspiration for our Wiregrass neighbors,” said Melissa Rea, WMA's director of development.

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