Metro Weekly

Spotlight: Women’s History Month at the NMWA

A series of virtual events celebrating women artists and makers

women's history month
Girlhood — Mary Ellen Mark

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has organized a variety of virtual and on-site programming during Women’s History Month in March. One day in particular, Monday, March 8, will be busier than ever at what is touted as “the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts.”

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the museum will present a series of virtual events, ranging from workshops led by women artists and makers, to a family-oriented storytime session featuring picture books by or about women artists, to an Art Chat with educators focused on the museum’s recently expanded #5WomenArtists campaign to increase awareness about gender inequity in the art world by posing the question, “Can you name five women artists?”

The museum will also open two exhibitions on Wednesday, March 3. Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend — on display through May 31 — offers a mid-career survey of a renowned textile and mixed-media artist whose work addresses issues of race and class, celebrates Blackness, and reimagines history to acknowledge and celebrate rather than omit and obfuscate Black contributions.

Featuring nearly 100 works from the past 25 years, the exhibition includes Clark’s signature sculptures and artifacts that incorporate pocket combs, human hair, and thread — such as Afro Abe II, in which a five-dollar bill is embellished with black threads to form an Afro atop the head of the 16th U.S. president. Meanwhile, Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood — on display to July 11 — presents approximately 30 images of girls and young women captured by an icon in modern photography who died in 2015 and whose work focused on people around the world who would otherwise be unknown or forgotten, from street children in Seattle to circus performers in India.

Other free, early March programming includes the next in the museum’s monthly online concert series The Tea featuring the hip-hop- and go-go-influenced, self-described “hood rock” band Black Alley, on Friday, March 5, at noon; the museum’s 8th annual Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon, working to help correct Wikipedia’s gender imbalance, with a focus on entries related to notable women artists of color on the now 20-year-old site, on Saturday, March 6, starting at 10 a.m.; and a virtual, docent-led Collection Highlights Tour focusing on select artworks, on Wednesday, March 10, at 5:30 p.m.

National Museum of Women in the Arts is at 1250 New York Ave NW. Admission is $10. Reservations to the museum events and exhibits are required. Pandemic measures in place. Call 202-783-5000 or visit www.nmwa.org.

Read More:

Spotlight: Ford’s Theatre’s ‘One Destiny’

Gallery: ‘Movements, Moments’ at Torpedo Factory Arts Center

Spotlight: ‘The BlackLight Summit’ at Clarice Performing Arts Center

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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