WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NWMA)—the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts—announces the return of the popular, award-winning #5WomenArtists social media campaign. Since 2016, the campaign has launched each March for Women’s History Month. To date, NMWA has galvanized more than 1,000 cultural institutions from seven continents and nearly 50 countries with the campaign.
#5WomenArtists increases the awareness of gender inequity in the art world by asking cultural organizations and individual social media users the question, “Can you name five women artists?” This year, the campaign is moving from raising awareness to inspiring action. NMWA is asking museums, galleries and other cultural institutions to publicly commit to actions that will help advance gender equity in the arts.
“The #5WomenArtists initiative is moving the needle forward when it comes to gender equity in the arts,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “I am thrilled that so many organizations around the world are taking pledges to prioritize women artists all year long—not just during Women’s History Month.”
Institutional Pledge Highlights
- The Jewish Museum pledges to organize a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon to improve the representation of women artists on Wikipedia, highlight women artists on its social media channels and Medium stories, and highlight products by women artists in the Jewish Museum shop.
- The Museo Guggenheim Bilbao pledges to acquire a new work by a woman artist for its collection.
- The National Gallery, London, pledges to highlight the work of Artemisia Gentileschi with a major exhibition on the artist in 2020, the first ever in the United Kingdom.
- The New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History pledges to explore the vital role of women in shaping the American story through four exhibitions of work by women artists in 2019. It will also host programs, blog posts and initiatives at the NYHistory Store showcasing women artists, designers and makers.
- The North Carolina Museum of Art pledges to feature programming about women artists and add women artists to the museum’s permanent collection as part of its Matrons of the Arts initiative.
- The Tate pledges that 95% of the work featured on its social channels during Women’s History Month will be by women artists.
- Le Gallerie degli Uffizi pledges to highlight more women artists on its social media channels, create dedicated Instagram posts throughout the year and publish articles on its website about women artists. In addition, it is dedicating special exhibitions this spring to women artists and feminists around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and a monographic exhibition of Kiki Smith.
#5WomenArtists Social Media Campaign
Using the hashtag #5WomenArtists, the campaign will launch on March 1 on the museum’s website and blog, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Throughout the month, the museum will share information about women artists—including biographies, videos, graphics, quotes and statistics—using the hashtag. To create an inclusive campaign and share a wide range of work by women artists, NMWA invites other cultural institutions to use #5WomenArtists on social media, and will amplify and reshare their content on the museum’s platforms. To reach the widest possible audience, the museum’s posts will encourage the public to comment, share their favorite artists and take their own pledges.
Last year, participating institutions included the Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Gallery, London; National Museum of African American History and Culture; Smithsonian Latino Center; Institute of American Indian Arts; Asian Art Museum; Arab American National Museum; Le Gallerie degli Uffizi; Guggenheim Bilbao; Migration Museum; Museo Frida Kahlo; and more than 600 other organizations from 36 countries.
Recent statistics about gender inequality in the arts can be found on NMWA’s website.
TATE x NMWA Collaboration
This year NMWA has teamed up with Tate to expand the reach of #5WomenArtists as part of Tate’s ongoing commitment to increase the representation of women across the arts sector and within its galleries. In addition to hosting dedicated events during March and sharing the campaign across its digital channels, Tate staff members will meet colleagues at NMWA to collaborate on leveraging digital engagement for social change.
Women’s History Month Events at NMWA
Free Community Day
Sunday, March 3, 12–5 p.m.
The first Sunday of every month is Community Day, with free admission to the public. Take this opportunity to explore current exhibitions as well as the museum’s newly reinstalled collection.
Drop-In Tour: Fierce Women 2.0
Sunday, March 3, 1–2 p.m.
Discover a diverse cast of fierce women artists who refused to let men define their place; pushed back on the limited roles society accorded them; and blazed trails as artists, activists and innovators.
Lunchtime Gallery Talks
Wednesdays, March 6, 13, 20 and 27, 12–12:30 p.m.
Express lunchtime talks—30 minutes or less—are offered most Wednesdays. Facilitated by museum staff members, these conversational thematic talks highlight #5WomenArtists.
International Women’s Day 2019
Friday, March 8, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
In honor of International Women’s Day, the museum and shop will extended their hours until 8 p.m. Tours of the newly reinstalled collection will be offer every hour starting at 11 a.m. with the last tour at 7 p.m. March is also Membership Month. On International Women’s Day all members are welcome to bring a guest for free, and enjoy 20% off in the Museum Shop. Join in person on March 8 for a discount on your membership and 20% off in the shop. Reservations not required. Admission is $10 general; $8 members, seniors, students.
Cultural Capital program: PEN/Faulkner Foundation presents “Fantastic Women”
Sunday, March 10, 7–9 p.m.
Part of PEN/Faulkner’s Literary Conversations series, “Fantastic Women” celebrates the work of women writers who use elements of the fantastic in their fiction to explore power and gender.
Exhibition Opening Party: Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling
Thursday, March 21, 7:30–9:30 p.m.
Join us to celebrate the opening of our newest exhibition, Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling. Guests will enjoy early access to the exhibition and an open bar featuring Ketel One vodka and Johnnie Walker Black cocktails.
Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center hosts its sixth Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon.
Cultural Capital: Environmental Film Festival
Saturday, March 23, 1–3 p.m.
The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films. NMWA showcases films highlighting women directors and writers.
Exhibitions at NMWA
Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling
March 22–July 28, 2019
Ambreen Butt—Mark My Words
On view through April 14, 2019
York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero
On view through September 20, 2020
Full Bleed: A Decade of Photobooks and Photo Zines by Women
On view through March 29, 2019, in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center
National Museum of Women in the Arts
The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs and online content, the museum seeks to inspire dynamic exchanges about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement and social change. NMWA addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today. The collections highlight painting, sculpture, photography and video by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Shirin Neshat, Faith Ringgold, Pipilotti Rist and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun.
NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C. It is open Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sun., noon–5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youth 18 and under. Admission is free the first Sunday of each month. For information, call 202-783-5000, visit nmwa.org, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.