WASHINGTON, D.C.—With sold-out curated conversations, communal dinners and dynamic events, Women, Arts, and Social Change (WASC), the celebrated public programming initiative at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), returns for its fourth season in September 2018. Key events this fall include a two-day MakeHER Summit to empower and celebrate creative women entrepreneurs and a conversation with bestselling author, curator and Harvard professor Sarah Lewis.
“I am proud of the cause-driven community we’ve been building since the launch of the Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative in 2015,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “These programs unveil the threads of connection between women artists and leaders from other cultural, social and economic sectors, highlighting the idea that solutions to current challenges are possible when we innovate and work together.”
The museum’s signature WASC program, Fresh Talk, features women from a range of disciplines whose socially conscious ideas are reshaping lives, economies and communities. Each Fresh Talk is followed by cocktails or dinner, fostering conversations and connections among participants and speakers that plant the seeds for change. With the hashtag #FreshTalk4Change, the museum encourages social media engagement before, during and after programs, and each Fresh Talk is live-streamed. In addition to Fresh Talk programs, the WASC initiative includes Cultural Capital sessions—public program partnerships with leading Washington, D.C.-based organizations.
Fresh Talk attendees have been consistently enthusiastic, citing the “extraordinary experience,” “sense of community” and “engaging and frank conversation.” A recent participant said, “Both times that I have attended a Fresh Talk event I have come away inspired, enlightened, and affirmed.” Another attendee noted, “It’s exactly the kind of programming that museums need, especially those that get us out of comfort zones, challenge our perceptions, and expose us to new ways of thinking.”
Signature Fresh Talk Programs
At each Fresh Talk, the museum invites participants to join the conversation during Sunday Supper, a communal meal served family-style, or at Catalyst, a cocktail hour with a topic and a twist. These social experiments in conversation-building create community by sharing ideas for change. Admission to Fresh Talk programs is $25 for general admission; $15 for members, seniors and students, and includes museum admission and complimentary cocktails or dinner. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The two-day MakeHER Summit will empower and celebrate creative women entrepreneurs in a dynamic mashup of the museum’s annual Maker’s Mart and the renowned Fresh Talk public programs series. The MakeHER Summit will provide space and opportunity for connection and community building, as well as programming and workshops to help creative women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and thrive.
Fresh Talk: Women in the Creative Economy
Sunday, Sept. 23, 4:30–6 p.m., Followed by Catalyst, a cocktail hour with a topic and a twist, 6–8 p.m., MakeHER Mart will reopen at 6 p.m. for event attendees
From art to apothecary, jewelry to furniture, and apparel to accessories, women makers are stepping into entrepreneurship and growing small, creative businesses. Join four creative women entrepreneurs to explore pressing questions such as: is the creative economy a true path to artistic and financial freedom? As more women turn passion into enterprise and define their own trajectories, what challenges do they face? What role does a robust woman-powered network play in the journey? The conversation features Virginia Blanca Arrisueño, founder, DeNada Design and owner/lead designer, Steadfast Supply; Grace Bonney, founder, Design*Sponge, and author of New York Times bestseller In the Company of Women (2016); Dionna Dorsey, creative director and founder, District of Clothing; and Rakia Reynolds, founder and CEO, Skai Blue Media. After the Fresh Talk, continue the conversation with the speakers and other participants over cocktails and light bites while shopping the MakeHER Mart. Ticket includes MakeHER Mart admission, access to galleries and Catalyst cocktail hour.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Featuring the hand-crafted arts and merchandise of local women artists and artisans, the MakeHER Mart is a unique opportunity for the public to meet and interact with local women artists while supporting small businesses. $10 general, $8 seniors and students, free for members and children under 18. Tickets include museum admission. No reservations required. MakeHER Mart admission is included in the price of a Fresh Talk ticket.
MakeHER Workshop Series
Monday, Sept. 24, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
A day of meaningful connection and deep-dive workshops will offer practical tips and resource sharing for creative entrepreneurs at all levels. Includes a branding workshop facilitated by Rakia Reynolds (Skai Blue Media), a workshop on growth with Virginia Blanca Arrisueño, a legal clinic with representatives from Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, a self-care-for-makers session and more. Full schedule and ticketing to open on September 1.
The MakeHER Summit is generously supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Fresh Talk: Sarah Lewis—Vision & Justice
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, 4:30–6 p.m., followed by Sunday Supper
In 2016, bestselling author, curator and Harvard professor Sarah Lewis was the first guest editor in Aperture magazine’s 64-year history. In her landmark “Vision & Justice” issue, Lewis defined the relationship between what we see (vision) and what we fix (justice). By turning the pages of the magazine into a primary source necessary to understanding visual literacy, citizenship and representational justice, Lewis positions photography as a catalyst for social change. In our image-driven society, is visual literacy a necessary tool for citizenship? Does photography have the power to correct age-old narratives used to justify injustice? What is the role of the photojournalist or fine art photographer today?
Cultural Capital Sessions
With outreach to new audiences, NMWA’s Cultural Capital partnerships increase the museum’s visibility in the region. Admission and reservation requirements for Cultural Capital sessions vary.
Cultural Capital: Mujeres de Cine/Films Across Borders
Screening: Most Beautiful Island
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, 6:30–9 p.m.
Director Ana Asensio’s award-winning debut feature (80 min.) is a chilling portrait of an undocumented young woman who struggles to begin a new life in New York City. After being offered a great opportunity, she discovers she has been lured into a dangerous game. A 2017 New York Times critic pick, the film tackles the “dark corners of the immigrant experience in New York City, especially for women.” Free. Reservations required. Reserve online.
This Cultural Capital program partnership is presented by the museum’s Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative in collaboration with SPAIN arts & culture’s Mujeres de Cine: Traveling Spanish Film Showcase Made by Women and Films Across Borders: Stories of Women, a multicultural film series.
Cultural Capital: DC Alliance of Youth Advocates
Screening & Conversation: Inocente
Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, 3–5:30 p.m.
The Academy Award-winning film Inocente (42 min.) is an inspiring coming-of-age story of a 15-year-old girl in California. Though homeless and undocumented, she refuses to give up on her dreams to become an artist, proving that the hand she has been dealt does not define her—her dreams do. The screening will kick off National Homeless Youth Awareness Month and be followed by a panel discussion on the efforts and policy being enacted to end youth homelessness in the District of Columbia. Film followed by a reception. Free. Reservations required.
This Cultural Capital program partnership is presented by the museum’s Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative in collaboration with the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA), a coalition of over 100 youth-serving organizations working to ensure that all children and youth in District of Columbia have access to high-quality and affordable developmental opportunities.
Spring/Summer 2019 Season
Can we achieve gender equity by rewriting history’s dominant narratives? Is there power in the ritual of adornment? Who are the women using magical realism to explore themes of power, sexuality, identity and loss in popular literature? Next year, these questions and more will be answered in a new series of Fresh Talks and Culture Capital partnerships.
The Women, Arts, and Social Change public programs initiative is made possible through leadership gifts from Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Dauray/Davis Family Fund, and the Susan and Jim Swartz Public Programs Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Women, Arts, and Social Change
Women, Arts, and Social Change (WASC) is an acclaimed platform at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., composed of programs highlighting the power of women and the arts as catalysts for change. Debuting in 2015, these programs convene women from a range of disciplines whose socially conscious ideas are reshaping lives and economies, engaging communities and empowering women. WASC is a unique forum for innovators and thought leaders to engage audiences in creative conversations on art, design, gender, equity, the environment, identity, education, health, social and economic opportunity, and more. #FreshTalk4Change
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.