Spring 2021 Programs

A flock of sheep rest on a green hill by the sea. In the center, two adults and a lamb lie in a group. Flat rocks are visible through the grass. The sky has rolling clouds, and a breeze is suggested by the waves crashing on rocks in the sea, which stretches to the horizon.

WASHINGTON—This spring the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents a lineup of innovative online experiences designed to give participants meaningful moments with art. Celebrate the birthdays of women artists with interactive virtual happy hours, or help right the gender imbalance on Wikipedia at a virtual edit-a-thon. The first and third Sundays of the month are free for visitors who wish to see art in person.

The information below is current as of January 2021. For more information, visit the museum’s online calendar.

#5WomenArtists Programs

Monthly throughout 2021
Can you name five women artists? Many people cannot. Join us for this year’s award-winning social media campaign created to increase gender equity in the arts. The campaign calls attention to the unequal treatment of women in the art world and their continued underrepresentation in museums, galleries and auction houses. Use #5WomenArtists on Instagram and Twitter and tag @WomenInTheArts to share important contributions by women artists—all year long.

Art Chats @ 5
Fridays, March 5–June 25, 5–5:45 p.m.
Jump-start your weekend with art! Join NMWA educators online every Friday for informal 45-minute art chats about selected artworks in the collection. Discuss a new sampling of art each week. You can even enjoy your favorite happy hour drink or snack during the sessions. Free. Registration required and limited. Register online. Registration for each month’s Art Chats opens by the 20th of the previous month. Art Chats in March will be related to the #5WomenArtists campaign.

Wikipedia Art+Feminism Virtual Edit-a-thon
Saturday, March 6, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

To mark Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary, NMWA will join with its partner Wikimedia DC for the museum’s eighth Art+Feminism edit-a-thon, focused on improving Wikipedia entries related to notable women artists and art world figures. We will work to enrich the representation of women artists of color, with an emphasis on women of African descent whose work is included in NMWA’s collection. This event is part of a global initiative to help right Wikipedia’s gender imbalance. Free. Reserve online. No experience necessary; you need a computer, motivation to combat gender bias and a belief in equal access to quality resources. People of all gender identities and expressions are invited. Use the hashtags #ArtAndFeminism and #NowEditingAF to share about the event.

Virtual Happy Hours
Join NMWA staff and special guests to celebrate the birthdays of women artists. Make specialty cocktails in their honor as we share artworks and stories and explore the museum’s collection and archives. Free; registration required. To support these programs and others like it, please consider making a donation.

Art Talks

BMA x NMWA Monthly Talk Show
Tuesdays, March 9, April 13, May 11 and June 8, 12–12:45 p.m.
What do you get when two art museums committed to celebrating women artists collaborate? BMA x NMWA! This monthly online talk show puts women artists and their artworks in conversation with each other, across two museums. Join educators from The Baltimore Museum of Art and NMWA as they talk about art, organized around a central topic or theme, and sometimes with artists and special guests. Free. No reservations required. Stream live here.


FRESH TALK: Sonya Clark
Sunday, April 18, 5–6 p.m.

Join renowned textile and social practice artist Sonya Clark as she reflects on works in her new exhibition at NWMA, Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend, the first survey of her 25-year career. Through her art, Clark transforms simple materials, including hair, combs, and found objects, into powerful revelations on injustice and stirring tributes to her ancestors. Clark joins NMWA Deputy Director/Chief Curator Kathryn Wat in conversation to share how she weaves, stitches, snips, braids, and beads to draw out momentous narratives on race, visibility, and the urgent need to redress history.

FRESH TALK: The Art of Healing
Sunday, June 6, 4:30–6 p.m.

Throughout history, the kitchen has existed as a place for bodily nourishment, a laboratory for healing and a site for restorative justice. This conversation will explore the ways that female caretakers have contributed to traditional medicine, how mental and physical pain is connected and whether systemic racism and cultural repression create a specific need for marginalized groups to engage in acts of wellness and healing. Speakers include Navina Khanna, executive director of HEAL Food Alliance, Violet King, co-founder of Mutual Aid Apothecary and Tsedaye Makonnen, interdisciplinary artist, featured in the exhibition RECLAMATION: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals. The conversation will be livestreamed on the museum’s Facebook page and nmwa.org/livestream. Free. To support these programs and others like it, please consider making a donation.

Cultural Capital Programs

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
Sunday, March 20, time to be announced
NMWA and The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital host an online viewing of a film highlighting women and the environment. Title to be announced. Free. No reservations required. Sign up beginning in Spring 2021.

This Cultural Capital program is presented by the museum’s Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative in partnership with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

Special Events

Collection Highlights Tours
Wednesday, March 10, 5:30–6:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 27, 1–2 p.m.; Wednesday, April 14, 5:30–6:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 24, 1–2 p.m.; Wednesday, May 12, 5:30–6:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 22, 1–2 p.m.; Wednesday, June 9, 5:30–6:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 26, 1–2 p.m.
Unable to visit the museum in person? Check out one of our drop-in virtual “tours.” During each interactive, docent-led presentation, participants will look closely at and discuss artworks from the museum’s collection. Join in as often as you like—docents select the artworks, so tour content will vary. Free. To support these programs and others like it, please consider making a donation.

Slow Art Week
Friday, April 2–Saturday, April 10
Slow Art Conversation
Saturday, April 10, 1–2 p.m.
Join a movement! Slow Art Week is an international event encouraging people of all ages to visit community art spaces—virtually or in person—and to look at art slowly. To participate, invest time looking closely at a limited number of artworks. NMWA will provide a small selection of art to consider along with prompts to help you get started. You are encouraged to examine at least five works of art from the options provided for 10 minutes each. You can do this alone, or with loved ones, in the comfort of your home. On April 10, connect with other slow art lookers to discuss your experience and learn more about the selected artworks. Free. Registration is required for the online conversation and space is limited. Visit this page starting on April 2 for selected artworks and slow looking suggestions.

NMWA Book Club: The Blazing World
Thursday, June 10, 5:30–6:30 p.m. and Friday, June 11, 12–1 p.m.
Join us for a deep dive into The Blazing World (2014) by Siri Hustvedt, a novel that explores themes of gender politics, perception and fame in the contemporary art world. Presented by NMWA’s Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative and the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center. Free. Reservations required. Reserve online.

The Tea
Fridays, March 5, April 2, May 7, and June 4, 12–1 p.m.
In this online series, women musicians perform original work via livestream on the museum’s social media channels on the first Friday of the month. The sessions include a short interview, conducted over a cup of tea, which explores the artist’s creative process. Free. No reservations required. Stream live here.

  • March 5: Black Alley
    Black Alley Band has been pushing the art of music to its rhythmic limits. Determined to create a unique musical elixir, Black Alley has taken the finest ingredients of rock, hip-hop and go-go to create their own genre-bending sound called “hood rock.” The band is one, each musician surrendering to the union of sounds, each delivering music from their soul, while in dialogue with one another through their instruments. Each member of this collective is essential to the workability and funkability of the unit.
  • April 2: Omnia Azar
    Omnia Azar is a multi-talented singer/songwriter hailing from Michigan. Her lyrically poignant and vibrant music encompasses her love of jazz, soul, funk, R&B and more. Azar seeks to inspire the masses with her stage presence and unique vocals.
  • May 7: MovaKween

Virtual Shenson Chamber Music Concerts

The McDermott Trio with violist Paul Neubauer
Wednesday, March 31, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

Hailed for their “dazzling virtuosity and beautifully integrated ensemble,” the McDermott Trio has been recognized as one of the most exciting trios of their generation. Since their Carnegie Recital Hall debut, they have performed throughout North America, Central America and Europe. Violist Paul Neubauer’s exceptional musicality and effortless playing led the New York Times to call him “a master musician.” In 2018 he made his Chicago Symphony debut with conductor Riccardo Muti and his Mariinsky Orchestra debut with conductor Valery Gergiev. Neubauer is the artistic director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and the Mannes School of Music. Free. Reservations required. Reserve online.

Stefania Dovhan
Wednesday, May 12, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

Ukrainian-American soprano Stefania Dovhan was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. Dovhan holds degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park and the Augsburg Academy of Music in Germany. Dovhan is a recipient of numerous performing arts scholarships and awards including the Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the Emmerich Smola Prize and a gold medal in the Rosa Ponselle International Competition. Her engagements include the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the New York City Opera; the Baltimore Lyric Opera; and Danish National Opera. Her repertoire comprises over 20 roles including Mimi, Fiordiligi, Liu, Marguerite, Louise, Nedda and Marta in Weinberg’s The Passenger and a highly acclaimed portrayal of the title role in August Enna’s newly rediscovered opera Kleopatra with the Danish National Opera. Free. Registration required. Reserve online.

Jennifer Koh
Wednesday, June 2, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for intense, commanding performances with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. A forward-thinking artist, she is dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting diversity and inclusivity in classical music. Koh has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioned projects and has premiered more than 70 works written especially for her. Named Musical America’s2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, Koh has also won the International Tchaikovsky Competition, the Concert Artists Guild Competition and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She is the artistic director of arco collaborative, an artist-driven nonprofit that fosters a better understanding of our world through musical dialogue. Free. Reservations required. Reserve online.

In the Galleries

Free Community Days
Sundays, March 7, March 21, April 4, April 18, May 2, May 16, June 6, June 20, 12–5 p.m.  
The first and third Sundays of every month are free Community Days for the public. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore current exhibitions as well as the museum’s collection. Free. Advance reservation of timed tickets required. Reserve at nmwa.org/tickets.


New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero
Through May 2, 2021

The dynamic works of Mexico City-based artist Betsabeé Romeroform the newest chapter in NMWA’s public art program, the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, established in 2010. Signals of a Long Road Together comprises four sculptures developed expressly for this installation. Using a process similar to tattooing, Romero carves figures and intricate patterns into the sidewalls and treads of tires, which are then filled with gleaming metallic paint. The tires are assembled into totemic structures that speak to themes of human migration and the natural environment.

New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero is made possible with funding provided by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Public Art Building Communities Program, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, with support provided by the Sue J. Henry and Carter G. Phillips Exhibition Fund. The exhibition is organized by the museum in partnership with the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) and with assistance from the Embassy of Mexico’s Cultural Institute.

Julie Chen: True to Life
Through June 30, 2021

Renowned book artist Julie Chen combines highly complex structures and poetic reflections to create ambitious artists’ books that raise questions about time, memory and human survival. Chen carefully engineers books in ways that create an unmistakable, powerful unity of text and object. Julie Chen: True to Life will include a selection of the California-based artist’s captivating works from throughout her 33-year career. 

RECLAMATION: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals
January 18–December 31, 2021
RECLAMATION, an online participatory exhibition and ingredient archive, examines food as a creative medium and connective tool for exploring intergenerational and intercultural experiences. Through a focus on ingredients used in cooking, curatives and ceremonies, this exhibition re-presents the traditional role of women in providing sustenance and healing. The exhibition’s innovative design centers around the kitchen table, the central domestic object for gatherings of family and friends. Nine artists will activate their kitchen tables, sharing photographs, videos and stories of how they use this most important domestic object. Viewers can leave their mark on the exhibition by sharing recipes, anecdotes and reflections related to food through a digital ingredient archive. RECLAMATION opens a year-long season of programming that examines the relationship between food, art and women as part of the Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative.

The Women, Arts, and Social Change public programs initiative is made possible through leadership gifts from Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Davis/Dauray Family Fund, the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family, and the Susan and Jim Swartz Public Programs Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend
March 3–May 31, 2021
Textile and social practice artist Sonya Clark (b. 1967) is renowned for her mixed-media works that address race and class, celebrate Blackness and reimagine history. This midcareer survey includes the artist’s well-known sculptures made from black pocket combs, human hair and thread as well as works made from flags, currency, beads, sugar, cotton plants, pencils, books, a typewriter and a hair salon chair. The artist transmutes each of these objects through her application of a vast range of fiber-art techniques: Clark weaves, stitches, folds, braids, dyes, pulls, twists, presses, snips or ties within each work. By stitching black thread cornrows and Bantu knots onto fabrics, rolling human hair into necklaces and stringing a violin bow with a dreadlock, Clark manifests ancestral bonds and reasserts the Black presence in histories from which it has been pointedly omitted.
Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The exhibition is made possible by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., with additional funding provided by Share Fund, Clara M. Lovett, the Sue J. Henry and Carter G. Phillips Exhibition Fund, and the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation.

Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood
March 3–August 8, 2021
An icon in modern photography, Mary Ellen Mark (1940–2015) documented people around the world who would otherwise be unknown or forgotten. From street children in Seattle to circus performers in India, Mark captured the lives and stories of individuals with empathy, humor and candor. Drawn from an exceptional recent donation of more than 160 photographs by the artist, given to the museum by members of the Photography Buyers Syndicate, this exhibition presents approximately 30 images Mark made throughout her career depicting girls and young women. Photographs from many of the artist’s best-known series reflect her wondrous and uncanny vision of girlhood.

Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood, presented in the Teresa Lozano Long Gallery of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, is organized by the museum and generously supported by the members of NMWA.