It began with a simple discussion between NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling, Washington Post Arts Reporter Katherine Boyle, and me about the increasing number of women in leadership roles within Washington, D.C. cultural organizations. It culminated in a Washington Post print feature with group photo; web article, including individual leader profiles and photos; and video in the Emmy-award winning “On Leadership” series.
On Tuesday, January 21, with the Federal Government and NMWA closed due to an impending snow storm, an historic photo and video shoot arranged by the Washington Post took place at NMWA. Sixteen journalists and representatives from D.C. museums arrived at NMWA before the snow began to fall.
In an atmosphere of infectious energy, a group photo of eight women leaders included Sara Bloomfield, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Elizabeth Broun, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery; Susan Fisher Sterling, the National Museum of Women in the Arts; Camille Giraud Akeju, the Anacostia Community Museum; Judy A. Greenberg, the Kreeger Museum; Peggy Loar, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design; Kate Markert, the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens; and Kim Sajet, the National Portrait Gallery. In addition, individual portraits were shot and video clips on leadership recorded.
On Sunday, March 2, a group photo by photographer Joseph Marvin ran as an impressive horizontal, full-color cover across the front of the Style section. Art Reporter Katherine Boyle wrote an insightful feature that sets the stage for additional progress for women leaders in the arts, while discussing what it took for them to get where they are today, the challenges for women of color in leadership positions, and work-life balance. In addition, there were great individual profiles and photos of the eight leaders who were photographed, as well as of Doreen Bolger, the Baltimore Museum of Art; Johnnetta Betsch Cole, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, the American Visionary Art Museum; Dorothy Kosinski, the Phillips Collection; and Julia Marciari-Alexander, The Walters Art Museum.
—Amy Mannarino is the manager of communications and marketing at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.