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West Alabama Arts
Education Collaborative



Shannon McCue
West Alabama Arts Education Collaborative Director
(205) 345-9802

The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa is announcing the establishment of the West Alabama Arts Education Collaborative, a project of the Artistic Literacy Consortium. The Collaborative will be led by its new director, Shannon McCue, and will be administered through a regional office located at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. The Artistic Literacy Consortium is a joint project between the Alabama State Council on the Arts and The Alabama State Department of Education.

Currently, less than 40% of school systems across the state of Alabama offer arts education programming, with rural communities impacted the most.

A leadership team of arts, education, business and community leaders from across the state worked for three years to create the Alabama Plan for Arts Education. The plan was accepted by the State Board of Education in March 2016. In 2018, the Alabama State Legislature approved $400,000 in new funding for the Alabama State Council on the Arts to launch three pilot Regional Arts Education Collaboratives. The collaboratives are strategically located in Huntsville, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. The shared goals for the three collaboratives are to provide regional arts education inventories as well as professional development for teachers, artists and arts organizations in arts integration.

The West Alabama Arts Education Collaborative will hold its first semester-long program in the Tuscaloosa County Schools at Myrtlewood Elementary in Fosters. All second graders will receive visual art classes twice-weekly with professional teaching artist Ruth O’Connor. The curriculum, co-designed by O’Connor and the Myrtlewood second grade teachers, aims to integrate art into the regular classroom curriculum.


January 16, 2019-"Myrtlewood students show off during special night" (Feature article by the Tuscaloosa News)

Article by Drew Taylor/Photo by Ally Agdragna