Urgent Museum Notice

NMWA Kicks Off Second Season of Acclaimed Women, Arts, and Social Change Initiative

A color photograph of a brightly lit auditorium. Smiling women take up almost every seat. Some are taking photos of the stage with their phone; others lean together in conversation.
2016–17 Programs and Partnerships Announced

Washington, D.C.Women, Arts and Social Change (WASC), the groundbreaking initiative elevating museum programing to a new standard and inspiring a model for other institutions, will return to the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) for its second season beginning in fall 2016. Key speakers include Ann Hamilton, Liz Ogbu, Emily Pilloton, Emma Sulkowicz and Swoon. This valuable public forum focuses on women and the arts as catalysts for change. A champion for women in the arts, NMWA is the only United States museum presenting an ongoing platform for women to advance ideas and solutions to society’s most pressing issues.

“The first year of Women, Arts and Social Change exceeded expectations. Based on all the positive feedback, it is becoming a model in the museum world for empowering women, sparking community involvement and engaging new audiences,” said Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “We know that our second year will continue to inspire participants through real engagements with outstanding leaders in the arts and a diverse array of other fields.”

The museum’s signature WASC program, Fresh Talk, features curated conversations by women from a range of disciplines—people whose socially conscious ideas are reshaping lives, economies and communities. Each Fresh Talk is followed by cocktails or dinner, fostering continuing conversations and connections that are catalysts for change. With the hashtag #FreshTalk4Change, the museum encourages social media dialogue before, during and after programs, and live-streams each Fresh Talk here. In addition to Fresh Talk programs, the WASC initiative includes Cultural Capital sessions—public program partnerships with leading Washington, D.C.-based organizations.

“With Fresh Talk, we are exploring new ways to curate and choreograph connectivity between audiences and the museum,” said Director of Public Programs Lorie Mertes. “By experimenting with activities designed to invite meaningful engagement and feedback, attendees become active participants by adding their ideas and strategies for social change. We hear from participants that our events are inspirational and unique experiences, so we are doing everything we can to keep the momentum going.”

Fresh Talk program attendees have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, citing the “excellent speakers” and “very inspiring” topics. One participant said, “I’ve never encountered such a welcoming space at an art museum.” A teacher remarked, “Fresh Talk inspired me to bring social justice and art education into my classroom…” Another attendee said, “The need for more female role models…is important because you cannot be what you cannot see.”   

Fresh Talk Programs

Liz Ogbu and Swoon—How do we build to better?

Wed., Oct. 26, 2016, 7–8:30 p.m., followed by Catalyst, a cocktail hour with a topic and a twist, 8:30–9:30 p.m. Exhibition galleries open to attendees 5–6:45 p.m.

Liz Ogbu, a designer, urbanist and social innovator, participates in a conversation with artist Caledonia Curry (a.k.a. Swoon) about solving social problems through creative transformations of places, systems and communities. Moderated by Kriston Capps, The Atlantic’s CityLab. Reservations required online.

Righting the Balance—How can the arts advance body politics?

Sun., Nov. 13, 2016, 4:30–6 p.m., followed by Sunday Supper, 6–8 p.m. Exhibition galleries open to attendees before program.

Inspired by the museum’s presentation of NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, the second annual “Righting the Balance” Fresh Talk focuses on the intersections of art and public discourse related to body politics. The conversation explores how artists address issues of discrimination, sexism and sexual violence to effect change. Joining the conversation are Katie Cappiello,writer and director of SLUT: The Play and Now That We’re Men;Aishah Shahidah Simmons, award-winning documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer; Emma Sulkowicz,artist/activist; andmoderatorTanya Selvaratnam, Emmy-nominated producer. Reservations required online.

Ann Hamilton and Emily Pilloton—How can makers change the world?

Wed., March 29, 2017, 7–8:30 p.m., followed by Catalyst, a cocktail hour with a topic and a twist, 8:30–9:30 p.m. Exhibition galleries open to attendees 5–6:45 p.m.

How do hands-on experiences with making things inspire a new generation of makers and technological innovators who contribute to solving pressing problems? Ann Hamilton, visual artist and self-described maker, joins Emily Pilloton, designer, builder, educator, author and founder of the nonprofit design agency Project H Design, which creates programs like Girls Garage, to talk about the relevance of hands-on learning and the power of design and building to excite the next generation of creative change makers. Reservations required online.

How can the arts inspire environmental advocacy?

Sun., May 21, 2017, 4:30–6 p.m., followed by Sunday Supper, 6–8 p.m. Exhibition galleries open to attendees before program.

Artists across disciplines and around the globe are creating works in response to climate change and other environmental issues. Can the arts communicate scientific evidence in ways that inspire advocacy or change attitudes and behaviors? Joining the conversation are Ruth Little, associate director, Cape Farewell, Miranda Massie, director of the Climate Museum, New York, Jacqui Patterson, director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP, Laura Turner Seydel, chairperson, Captain Planet Foundation, and a member of Free Range Studios’ creative team. Moderated by Kari Fulton, award-winning environmental justice advocate and new media journalist based in Washington, D.C. Reservations required online.

Who are the new superwomen of the universe?

Wed., June 14, 2017, 7–8:30 p.m., followed by Catalyst, a cocktail hour with a topic and a twist, 8:30–9:30 p.m. Exhibition galleries open to attendees 5–6:45 p.m.

At the height of the golden age of comic books, women characters were treated primarily as plot devices for leading male characters with disheartening regularity. A new wave of superheroines is entering the comic universe, leading the fight for justice and dispelling traditional stereotypes in fiction and beyond. Speakers include Janelle Asselin, former writer for Comic Alliance and founder of Rosy Press; Carolyn Cocca, author of Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation; Ashley Woods, illustrator and graphic novelist, and artist for the Stranger Comic’s series “NIOBE: She is Life;” and others to be announced. Reservations required online.

Admission to Fresh Talk programs is $25 for general admission; $15 for members, seniors and students. Includes museum admission and complimentary cocktails or dinner. For more information, contact freshtalk@nmwa.org.

Cultural Capital Sessions

With outreach to new audiences, NMWA’s Cultural Capital partnerships increase the museum’s visibility in the region. This second season places an emphasis on women in film.

Women in Film/Mujeres de Cine—Screening and Conversation

Sun., Sept. 25, 2016, 3–5:30 p.m.

This program is presented in partnership with SPAIN arts & culture, which is organized by the Embassy of Spain’s Cultural Office and features cutting-edge work by internationally renowned Spanish artists.

ArtTable Presents State of Art 3/DC: A Conversation

Mon., Oct. 24, 2016, 5:30–8:30 p.m.

This session is presented in partnership with ArtTable, the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing women’s professional leadership in the visual arts. 

New Venues and Vehicles for Women in Film

Wed., Jan. 25, 2017

This event is presented in partnership with Women in Film and Video, an organization dedicated to supporting women in the film industry in the Washington, D.C., region.

Behind the Scenes with the Washington National Opera

Sun., Feb. 5, 2017

Presented in partnership with the Washington National Opera, one of the nation’s leading opera companies, whichplays to standing-room audiences at the Kennedy Center.

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

Sun., March 19, and Wed., March 22, 2017

Presented in partnership with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films.

March on Washington Film Festival

Wed., July 19, and Wed., July 26, 2017

Presented in partnership with the March on Washington Film Festival, which strives to increase awareness of the events and heroes of the Civil Rights Era and inspire renewed passion for activism.

The Women, Arts and Social Change public program initiative is made possible through leadership gifts from Denise Littlefield Sobel, Lorna Meyer Calas and Dennis Calas, the MLDauray Arts Initiative, and the Swartz Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation, Marcia and Frank Carlucci, Deborah G. Carstens, the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, and The Reva and David Logan Foundation.

Women, Arts and Social Change

Women, Arts and Social Change (WASC) is a bold new 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, which debuted in 2015. Programs convene women from a range of disciplines—people 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 world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women. The museum champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. NMWA highlights remarkable women artists of the past while also promoting the best women artists working today. The museum’s collection includes over 4,700 works by more than 1,000 women artists from the 16th century to the present, including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Chakaia Booker and Nan Goldin.

NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., in a landmark building near the White House. It is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. For information, call 202-783-5000 or visit nmwa.org. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youths 18 and under. Free Community Days take place on the first Sunday of each month. For more information about NMWA, visit nmwa.org, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.