New Era For WMC
This Women's History Month we are excited to unveil the new era of the Women's Museum of California.
You will find our collections and business office relocated to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park, with a renewed commitment for our programs and exhibits to be more accessible than ever before.
Over the next months and years, the Women’s Museum will make its home, not within the brick-and-mortar walls of a single facility, but within multiple facilities and across virtual and digital platforms where we will meet audiences where they are – on the internet, and in libraries, schools, parks, and community centers - or wherever the community calls us to serve.
Read below for FAQs about our exciting new era or email with any questions you have.
Women's Museum Moving
When did the Women’s Museum move to Arts District Liberty Station?
The Women’s Museum moved to Arts District Liberty Station in 2012 and was among some of the earliest tenants.
Will your programing change when you become a “museum without walls”?
You should expect to see exhibits similar to what the Museum has produced in the past, shows that tell the untold stories of women’s achievements in San Diego, California and throughout the United States. Our exhibits will educate and entertain people of all ages and will be accessible to people with disabilities and non-English speakers. Some of our exhibits will deal with complex issues in women’s history while others will talk about how women influenced popular culture and other areas of society. We will integrate items from our own archive with those we borrow from other institutions to provide context and deepen our learning.
What about the Museum Store?
The walk-in Museum Store will close and will be replaced by a more robust and hopefully profitable online store. Expect to find even more feminist focused merchandise and books in our online store that you can access from the comfort of your home with all the conveniences.
Will I still be able to volunteer and intern for the Museum?
This is an exciting area of growth for the Museum. We are revamping our internship program and the details will be announced in the spring. Our volunteer program will also evolve so that more people can engage with our museum exhibits from different geographic areas of San Diego.
Why are you vacating your space? Is the Museum in financial distress?
The Museum is vacating our space at Arts District Liberty Station so that we can reach more people wherever they are. When we become a “museum without walls”, we will have greater capacity to provide digital and virtual programming as well as in-person exhibits throughout the region.
Like all cultural institutions, we have felt the impact of the pandemic which forced us to close our doors to the public last year – we have yet to be able to reopen. Despite the crisis, the Museum is not in financial distress. But, vacating the space will ensure that our organization remains financially strong and that we continue to fulfill our mission.
How will we find you when we want to visit?
The best place to start is our website where you can discover everything that is happening at the Museum, whether it is online or in-person. You can also find us at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park which is where we maintain our business office.
Will you still allow local women artists to consign their one-of-a-kind art, craft, and jewelry through the online store?
That is our plan. We still have a strong commitment to local women artists and hope that our online store will continue to be of service to them.
What about my membership? Will my membership with the Museum change when you become a “museum without walls?”
A membership with the Women’s Museum of California is your way of demonstrating that you support our organization and everything we do. You are part of our family. Your membership donation will connect you to our organization so that you will always be among the first to know what is new and happening at the Museum. When we become a “museum without walls” your membership will have even greater value because we will be more accessible to you than ever before.
What does it mean to be a “museum without walls”? Isn’t that just a fancy way of saying that you do not have a home?
The “museum without walls” concept is actually a business model that has been in existence for many years. The National Women’s Museum of History in Washington DC has existed without a brick-and-mortar facility for 20 years! They were trailblazers in the digital and virtual museum arena and have been very successful in fulfilling their mission.
We will adopt this business model for the next several years to give us time and freedom to experiment and explore ways to reach more people and to diversify our audience. We will have “pop-up” exhibits in various spaces where people can visit and in partnership with other organizations. Most importantly, we will utilize the internet to host more digital and virtual programs that people can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their homes, from here, there, and all over the world.
Becoming a “museum without walls” may be the most exciting and promising “move” the Museum has ever made.
What about the collection? Where is it housed and how can it be accessed?
The collection was moved from Arts District Liberty Station to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park last year. The collection is under-going a substantial assessment so that we can grow it and make it a better resource for the community in the future. Public access to the collection is by appointment only until further notice.
Will the Museum ever have a brick-and-mortar facility of its own again in the future?
We believe that there is value in having a physical space where people can gather and create community around our programs and exhibits. Nothing replaces the good that happens when people can connect face-to-face. We have formed a special committee that will be considering where and how the Women’s Museum should establish its next physical home which we hope will be in our future within the next few years.
Explore WMC Digital Programs
The Women's Museum of California has a variety of engaging content to explore that inspires generations through the accomplishments of women in our history and today.