Urgent Museum Notice

National Museum of Women in the Arts receives Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to expand digital accessibility

A dark-skinned woman wearing glasses shows a child something on the screen of her phone. In the background is a colorful work of art.

WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) has received a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as part of their nationwide initiative to support museums improving services to their communities. The IMLS grant will fund NMWA’s digital accessibility initiative to expand online access for people with disabilities, removing barriers to access and engagement.

During the pandemic and the temporary closure of the museum building for a major renovation project, NMWA has embraced a digital-first approach, developing vibrant initiatives to engage online visitors. Thanks to the IMLS grant, NMWA can expand this work by collaborating with expert accessibility partners to integrate the use of universal design into digitally-based activities and materials. The project team will conduct accessibility audits on a selection of existing digital spaces as well as create new accessible content. The grant also will support onsite digital accessibility needs that are core to plans for the museum’s renovated space when it reopens in fall 2023.

“We are excited to work collaboratively to build the museum’s capacity to create accessible digital content to meet the needs of all users,” said NMWA’s Director of Digital Engagement Laura Hoffman. “As the first major museum devoted to the creative work of women, NMWA was founded on the principles of inclusion and accessibility. Achieving broad digital accessibility will demonstrate those principles more than ever. We are grateful to IMLS for their support.”

Museums for America, IMLS’s largest competitive grant program, supports projects that strengthen the ability of individual museums to benefit the public by providing high-quality, inclusive learning experiences, maximizing resources to address community needs through partnerships and collaborations and by preserving and providing access to the collections entrusted to their care. NMWA was among 120 projects funded through this year’s Museums for America program.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the National Museum of Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs and online content, the museum inspires 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, Judy Chicago, Frida Kahlo, Shirin Neshat, Faith Ringgold, Pipilotti Rist, Amy Sherald and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun.

The museum building is closed for a major renovation, with plans to reopen in fall 2023. Visit nmwa.org/renovation for more information. During the building closure, NMWA continues its mission-based work and engages supporters and friends through a dynamic slate of online programs and events, off-site and virtual exhibitions, and digital content. For information, call 202-783-5000, visit nmwa.org, Broad Strokes blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Media Contacts

Amy Mannarino, 202-783-7373, amannarino@nmwa.org
Emma Filar, 202-783-7377, efilar@nmwa.org