- The Washington Times - Monday, October 12, 2015

A D.C. museum that has long showcased the achievements and contributions of female painters, sculptors, musicians, actors, dancers and writers now is looking beyond the arts to inspire action with a little “Fresh Talk.”

Beginning Sunday, the National Museum for Women in the Arts will host “Fresh Talk,” an occasional forum that allows prominent women artists to discuss issues such as gender, education, health, the economy — even art — with members of the public. After a rousing discussion, forum attendees can enjoy a meal together, along with more fresh talk.

The forum is part of the museum’s new “Women, Arts and Social Change” initiative.

“Our goal is to take the three core principles on which the museum was founded — arts, women and social action — and create programs that could begin to make a difference,” museum Director Susan Fisher Sterling said in a statement. “This museum is the ideal place to present this steady drumbeat of socially relevant programming that explicitly champions women and the arts as catalysts of change.”

For its inaugural forum on Sunday, “Fresh Talk” addresses the topic “Can there be gender parity in the arts?” by featuring conversations with Sarah Douglas, editor in chief of ARTNews; Gabriela Palmieri, senior vice president of art brokerage firm Sotheby’s; contemporary painter/sculptor Ghada Amer; interdisciplinary artist/curator Micol Hebron, an associate professor at Chapman University in Orange, California; and sculptor/videographer Simone Leigh, among others.

Future “Fresh Talk” topics include the filmmaking industry and environmentalism, and ask if design can be genderless and whether a bicycle can be an agent of change. Future speakers include artist/activist Carrie Mae Weems, Netherlands-based designer Gabriel Ann Maher, artist/engineer Natalie Jeremijenko and Alice Rawsthorn, design critic for the international edition of The New York Times.

“Through ‘Fresh Talk,’ our goal is to bring art and social activism to a wider creative sphere and engage participants in meaningful dialogue,” said Lorie Mertes, the museum’s director of public programs. “The programs are designed to inspire and encourage social exchange among diverse audiences on topics that affect us all.”

Each forum will be streamed live at nmwa.org/freshtalk4change, recorded and posted on the museum’s website shortly after the event.

Opened in 1987, the National Museum of Women in the Arts houses more than 4,500 artworks and a 18,500-volume library, publishes art history books and magazines, and holds 10 exhibitions each year.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: “Fresh Talk”

WHERE: National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005; 202-783-5000

WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.; supper 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

TICKETS: $25 for general admission; $15 for members, seniors and students. Includes museum admission and complimentary dinner. Reservations required. Register at nmwa.org/events/fresh-talk-righting-balance.

INFO: For more information, contact [email protected], #FreshTalk4Change.


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