WCMFA Hosts Invite Congress to Museum Day

Vault Pic Invite Congress to Museum Day 2021
Exhibitions and Collections Manager Kay Palmateer guides Congress visitors through the painting vault of the WCMFA.

Hagerstown, MD – During the month of August, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) encourages member organizations to invite their Representatives and Senators to visit. On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland, hosted field representatives from Maryland U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Maryland, Congressman David Trone, and West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts has received competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for educational programs and art collections stewardship. Invite Congress to Museum Day provided information on project updates such as the continued improvements to the Museum’s Permanent Collection Specialized Storage area funded in part by a NEH Preservation Grant, and the Joshua Johnson: Portraitist of Early American Baltimore exhibition, funded in part by a grant from the NEA.

Museum staff and trustees provided the Field Representatives with firsthand knowledge and insight of how federal funds received during the COVID-19 pandemic enabled the Museum to maintain staff levels, and to create original online virtual programs to engage members, the community and visitors. Virtual programming includes: “Let’s Talk Art,” a monthly online talk show featuring, Museum Director, Sarah Hall and Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator, Daniel Fulco. The Museum has also developed a weekly broadcast email and social posting featuring “Weekend Art: Artwork of the Week”, and a monthly virtual series titled “The Curator’s Den.”

The Museum provided an overview of grants received from the Cares Act, Payroll Protection Program and American Rescue Plan. The Museum also received COVID-19 grants from the Maryland Department of Commerce Small Business, Maryland State Arts Council, Maryland Heritage Area Authorities, Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, Washington County Together We Rise, and Washington County Arts Council.

Established in 1931, the mission of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is to provide a vibrant place for the presentation and exploration of art of lasting quality for the benefit of a diverse public through intentional art collecting, lively interpretation, diligent preservation and care, active educational programs, and opportunities for social interaction. The Museum of Fine Arts is accredited by the AAM. Admission is free and its collection numbers over 6,800 works of art.

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts has an enduring commitment to arts education and to the support of regional artists. The Museum actively collects works of art in the fields of American Art, world cultures, and art of the region. The museum offers studio art courses, art historical lectures, concerts, and both touring exhibitions and exhibitions from its permanent collection. The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is funded through support from museum memberships and annual fund donations by the public, grants from the business and corporate communities, support from Washington County, the City of Hagerstown, private foundations, and the Maryland State Arts Council.