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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

The 2015 Women’s International Study Center Founders’ Award Will Be Awarded To The National Museum Of Women In The Arts

WASHINGTON — The Women’s International Study Center (WISC) has chosen to honor the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) with its annual Founders’ Award, which recognizes women’s accomplishments. The prize will be awarded to the museum during a ceremony on Aug. 6, 2015, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

NMWA was founded in 1981 with the singular mission to bring to light remarkable women artists of the past while also promoting the best women artists working today. Through its programming, NMWA directly addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art, therefore assuring great women artists a place of honor now and into the future. NMWA remains the only museum in the world solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative achievements.

By awarding the third annual Founders’ Award to NMWA, the WISC board acknowledges the museum’s record of achievement and programming that champions women in the arts. Past recipients of the WISC Founders’ Award include Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2014) and author Gail Sheehy (2013).

“The National Museum of Women in the Arts is extremely honored to receive the prestigious Founders’ Award from the Women’s International Study Center,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling, who will accept the award on the museum’s behalf. “The museum is dedicated to providing a platform for women’s free expression and filling the void in recognition of women artists past, present and future. NMWA champions women through the arts with its programming, collections, exhibitions and outreach, advocating for equity for women by shining a light on excellence.”

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In addition to accepting the award on the museum’s behalf, Sterling will be a featured speaker in the EDGE Series: Women in the Visual Arts Week—How Women Artists Shape the Arts and Contribute to Social Change, taking place on Thursday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. at Santa Fe Prep. This program focuses on women artists’ contributions to social change over recent decades. Sterling will be introduced by Elizabeth A. Sackler, matron of NMWA and chair of the Brooklyn Museum Board of Trustees. A panel discussion will follow with Sterling and artists Harmony Hammond, Rose B. Simpson and Meridel Rubenstein, moderated by Kymberly Pinder, dean of the College of Fine Arts, University of New Mexico. The event is presented by the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in partnership with WISC.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Founded in 1981 and opened in 1987, NMWA is the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts. The museum’s collection features 4,700 works from the 16th century to the present created by more than 1,000 artists, including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Chakaia Booker and Nan Goldin, along with special collections of 18th-century silver tableware and botanical prints. 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 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, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook or Twitter.

NMWA International and National Committees

In 1984, NMWA created its network of national and international committees. The museum currently has 18 outreach committees (ten in the United States and eight abroad) with more than 2,000 dedicated members, and continues to expand its network. The committees host regional programs and serve as ambassadors for the museum. Committees host significant programs that promote women artists, offer new educational experiences and broaden the museum’s membership. NMWA has 15,000 members and devoted supporters from all 50 states in the United States and from 22 countries.

Women’s International Study Center

WISC is dedicated to inspiring and enabling women around the world to achieve their full potential. Building on the contributions of the three women of Acequia Madre House™ and advancing their work in the arts, sciences, cultural preservation and business, WISC honors women’s accomplishments, supports study and research, and facilitates intergenerational, multi-cultural and cross-disciplinary dialogue. WISC’s programs include recognizing women of achievement, hosting Fellows-in-Residence, sponsoring WISC Conversations in various venues and media, convening symposia, preserving the Acequia Madre House™ and its collections and assisting with the preservation of and access to the Acequia Madre House™ Archive.

Women’s International Study Center Awards

WISC has established a series of awards to recognize women of achievement, “past, present and future.” “Past” awards are posthumous, and recognize women of the past for their achievements. “Present” lifetime achievement awards recognize the accomplishments of today’s women. “Future” awards honor young artists, scientists, historians, preservationists or businesswomen who, early in their careers, have made remarkable contributions and show great promise. This program is designed to recognize the continuum of women’s achievements—looking to the past for inspiration, to the present for affirmation and to a future of aspiration and promise.

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