2023-24 POETRY OUT LOUD WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN TUSCALOOSA

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The regional finals for Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation competition, took place on Feb. 8, 2024 at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Prior to this final round in Tuscaloosa, the West-Central Alabama students participated in a primary competition at their respective high schools.

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations in every state, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Students competing in the Regions 3 and 4 POL program were eligible to compete in the national anthology portion of the program, the original poetry portion, or social issue recitation. Traveling to Montgomery, Ala. this year, the winners will compete in the state-wide competition against winners in other Alabama regions.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts sponsored the competition and The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa administrates Poetry Out Loud on the local level. Additional sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Judges for the Competition were Dr. Kerry Brackett, Joi Miner, and Alina Stefanescu. Accuracy judge was Martie Sample and prompter was Dr. Kevin Ledgewood. The State Competition will take place on March 6, 2024 at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery.

National Anthology Competition

1st Place: Egg McClure, Alabama School of Fine Arts

2nd Place: Zariah Smith, Paul W. Bryant High School

3rd Place: Dana Cheek: Vestavia Hills High School

Also advancing: Sidney Grace Culwell: Vestavia Hills High School

Also advancing: Aysha Thomas: Paul W. Bryant High School

Original Poetry Competition

1st Place: Egg McClure, Alabama School of Fine Arts

2nd Place: Abigail White, Indian Springs School

3rd Place: Erin Sides, Indian Springs School

Also advancing: Dana Cheek, Vestavia Hills High School

Also advancing: James Harden, Vestavia Hills High School

Social Issue Poetry Competition

1st Place: Aarvi Shah, Indian Springs School

2nd Place: Egg McClure, Alabama School of Fine Arts

3rd Place: James Harden, Vestavia Hills High School

Also advancing to state competition: Ellis Carter, Indian Springs School and Jaid Sconiers, Alabama School of Fine Arts

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council, Bama Theatre or CAC, patrons should like the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.

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WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN THE 2024 WEST ALABAMA JURIED SHOW

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center was the setting for the announcement of the winners in The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s 2024 Juried Show for West Alabama artists on Friday, Feb. 2 during the First Friday Art Walk. A huge group of art lovers and artists were present for the conclusion of the annual exhibit including 2 and 3-D art by artists throughout the West Alabama region.

Artists were allowed to submit up to three works for judging. The competition was juried with digital images and the winners then selected in person by Cynthia Buob, a figurative painter and art instructor at East Mississippi Community College. She attended Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. where she earned her BFA.  She earned her MFA in painting from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Established in 1985, the West Alabama Juried Show represents The Arts Council’s mission to promote the arts in Tuscaloosa County. The exhibit offers local artists in West Alabama counties the opportunity to have their work displayed in a public setting and win cash awards for their efforts.

The following prizes were awarded:
The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama Purchase Award – $1,000
Sarah Marshall for “Aggressive Reassurance”
This will be displayed at the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, 9th street in Downtown Tuscaloosa, as part of The Arts Council’s permanent collection and a partnership between the two organizations.

Gail Skidmore Memorial Award of Excellence Contributed by The Arts Council – $300
Eric Nubbe for “Lock #1”

One Cash Award contributed by The Arts Council – $100
Jenna Clark for “Mother’s Magnolias”

Honorable Mentions
Kate Gurganus for “Tea with Lemon”
Krislyn Koehn for “The Fronts #1”
Deborah Hughes for “Conjuring Woods and Water”

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council, Bama Theatre or CAC, patrons should like the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.

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THE ARTS COUNCIL OF TUSCALOOSA ANNOUNCES NEW STAFF APPOINTMENT

(Tuscaloosa, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa is pleased to announce the appointment of Autumn Fuller to the position of Education Director/West Alabama Arts Education Collaborative. The position was left vacant after Shannon McCue, the prior director, accepted a position at The University of Alabama’s Collaborative Arts Research Initiative.

Autumn Fuller is a native of Tuscaloosa and has been involved in the Tuscaloosa arts community for almost 20 years. Starting at age 7, Fuller began performing with Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre and found a love for theatre and all fine arts. In 2020, she graduated from The University of Alabama and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education then took her love for the arts into the classroom. She went on to teach Theatre and ESL English at Tuscaloosa County H.S. for 3 years before her employment at The Arts Council as Box Office Manager. She is continuing her role as an educator with Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre and is still heavily involved with different arts organizations within Tuscaloosa County such as The Actor’s Charitable Theatre and Theatre Tuscaloosa.

The deadline to apply for the Box Office Manager position will be announced at a later date.

For more information about The Arts Council, Bama Theatre or Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, patrons should follow and like “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit www.tuscarts.org for further information.

SCREENINGS IN THE BAMA ART HOUSE FILM SERIES WINTER 2024 BEGIN FEBRUARY 13

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s Bama Art House Film Series Winter 2024 will take place in February and will feature three movies. Screenings will take place at the Bama Theatre on Feb. 13, 20, and 27 at 7:00 p.m.

The box office, doors, and bar will open at 6:00 p.m. Single Tickets will be priced at $10 general, $9 seniors & students and $8 Arts Council Members and will be available at the box office prior to screenings. Discount Punch Card Tickets ($70) will also be available and will be good for any 10 Bama Art House films with no expiration date.

Patrons can also order tickets ahead of screenings by visiting The Arts Council’s ticketing page at https://ci.ovationtix.com/36768.

Visit www.tuscarts.org to view the list of films, details and accompanying trailers under the Bama Art House link.

February 13
“Fallen Leaves” (2023)
Comedy/drama, Unrated / 1h 21m
Original title: Kuolleet lehdet
Director: Aki Kaurismäki, Writer: Aki Kaurismäki, Stars: Alma Pöysti, Jussi Vatanen, and Alina Tomnikov

Synopsis: In modern-day Helsinki, two lonely souls in search of love meet by chance in a karaoke bar. However, their path to happiness is beset by obstacles – from lost phone numbers to mistaken addresses, alcoholism, and a charming stray dog.

February 20
“Oscar Nominated Short Films”
Since 2006, ShortsTV has proudly brought the Oscar® Nominated Short Films to audiences across the globe.
This special release features the year’s most spectacular short films and is available to watch on the big screen for a limited time shortly after nominations are announced. Each nominee is released in one of three distinct feature-length compilations according to their category of nomination: Live Action, Animation, or Documentary. The theatrical release of the nominated short films is the world’s largest commercial release of short films.

February 27
Anatomy of a Fall (2023)
Crime/drama/thriller, Rated R / 2h 31m
Original title: Anatomie d’une chute
Director: Justine Triet, Writers: Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, Stars: Sandra Hüller, Swann Arlaud, Milo Machado Graner

Synopsis: A woman is suspected of her husband’s murder, and their blind son faces a moral dilemma as the main witness.

The mission of the Bama Art House series is to bring current and contemporary independent film to West Alabama, transforming the historic Bama Theatre into a cinematic art house. 

The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should follow and like “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit bamatheatre.org for further information.

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THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES COUNCIL OF TUSCALOOSA COUNTY TO RECEIVE $100,000 GRANT FROM THE NEA

(Tuscaloosa, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $100,000. This grant will support the pARTners Project. In total, the NEA will award 958 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $27.1 million that were announced as part of its first round of fiscal year 2024 grants.

This support will advance the pARTners Project, an initiative aimed at enhancing arts education access in West-Central Alabama. The project focuses on implementing a comprehensive plan for arts education across Jefferson, Tuscaloosa and Hale Counties. Key activities include developing individual campus arts education plans, collaborating with local higher education institutions and providing professional development in creative teaching methods.

“The NEA is delighted to announce this grant to The Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa, Inc., which is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “We are pleased to be able to support the West Alabama community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.” 

Sandra Wolfe, Executive Director of The Arts Council, reiterated the significance of the grant. “The Arts Council is thrilled to be awarded this important financial support from the NEA. This will build on the pARTners Project initiative to enhance access to arts education in our community. Arts Organizations throughout the nation depend on the NEA for its continuing contribution toward the goals of local, state, and regional organizations in all arts sectors, but especially in education.”

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

For more information about The Arts Council, Bama Theatre or Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, patrons should follow and like “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit www.tuscarts.org for further information.

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THE ARTS COUNCIL’S 2024 DRUID ARTS AWARDS CEREMONY POSTPONED TO 2025

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.)  The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s biennial Druid Arts Awards ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, March 28, 2024 at the Bama Theatre, has been postponed to 2025.

Due to unforeseen circumstances at this time, the staff and board agreed that a postponement to 2025 would be appropriate. The arts community is encouraged to consider your most deserving artists, volunteers, educators, and corporate sponsors throughout 2024 so that they can receive the recognition they deserve in 2025. 

The Arts Council offices are located in the Bama Theatre at 600 Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa with the Dinah Washington Cultural Center on the same block. For more information about The Arts Council, Bama Theatre or DWCAC, patrons should like the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and follow the group on Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.

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BACK-N-BLACK: THE ULTIMATE AC/DC EXPERIENCE AT THE BAMA THEATRE IN FEBRUARY 2024

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will present “Back-n-Black: The Ultimate AC/DC Experience” at the Bama Theatre on February 3, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range in price from $20 to $30 (Premium) and are available for purchase at https://ci.ovationtix.com/36768/production/1183874.

Seating is reserved. Doors and the Bama Bar open at 7 p.m.

Back-N-Black delivers the goods with a set list that spans four decades of AC/DC’s finest. Vocalist David Jaynes founded Back-N-Black in 2007 after touring internationally with the AC/DC tribute Hells Bells named by Rolling Stone Magazine as “The Greatest Tribute Band on The Planet” and the world-renowned Black Jacket Symphony. Hear “Thunderstruck,” “Back In Black,” “Highway To Hell,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “TNT,” “Hells Bells,” “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” and many, many more.

The audience experience will include the wild antics of Angus in his signature schoolboy uniform, the tolling of Hells Bell and the explosion of the cannons, and the feel of thunder as Back-N-Black recreates an authentic AC/DC concert setting. After sixteen years, 47 states, five countries and over one thousand performances, the show is still going strong.

The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should follow and like “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit www.tuscarts.org for further information.

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BAMA ART HOUSE NOSTALGIC HOLIDAY BLOCKBUSTER FILM SERIES AT THE BAMA THEATRE IN DECEMBER

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s Bama Art House “Nostalgic Holiday Blockbusters” Film Series will take place December 21 and 22, 2023 at the Bama Theatre. Screenings of nostalgic films will continue at the theatre as in the summer and fall but with a holiday twist, perfect for families wishing to celebrate the season.

Visit The Arts Council’s Bama Art House film page for details including trailers at

https://tuscarts.org/bama/bama-art-house/. A link is provided with each film to pre-order your tickets and avoid lines at the Box Office.

Tickets are $10 for Adults, $9 for Students/Children and Seniors and $8 for Arts Council Members.

Season pass punch card tickets are $70 (pick 10 films in any series you want to attend. For sale at the box office prior to each film.) “The Polar Express” has an additional, special “Golden Ticket” price.

DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH (2018)
December 21 at 2 p.m.
Doors, Box Office, and Bama Bar & Concessions open at 1:00 p.m.
Free Grinch Meet & Greet will be before and after the film.

THE SANTA CLAUSE (1994)
December 21 at 7 p.m.
Doors, Box Office, and Bama Bar & Concessions open at 6:00 p.m.

THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)
December 22 at 6 p.m.
Doors, Box Office, and Bama Bar & Concessions open at 5:00 p.m.
>$20 Golden Ticket: includes Santa Meet and Greet (after the film), Golden Ticket, and a Kids Popcorn and Drink

Regular ticket prices will also available.

The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should follow and like “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit www.tuscarts.org for further information.

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GRANTS AWARDED TO LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ARTISTS FOR ARTS RELATED PROJECTS

GRANTS AWARDED TO LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ARTISTS FOR ARTS RELATED PROJECTS

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa recently awarded grants for 2023-2024 to local non-profit organizations for arts related projects. The awards took place through its annual Small Grants Program with financial assistance provided to diverse sectors in the arts and arts education. Grants were also awarded through the Arts in Education portion of the Community Foundation of West Alabama.  A committee comprised of members of The Arts Council’s Board of Directors was in charge of the selection process for both grant programs.

The following grants were awarded for 2023-2024:

Organizations:

  • Kentuck Art Center & Festival: “2024 After School Programs at Kentuck Art Center”
  • Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra: “Carnival of the Animals featuring Tuscaloosa City Schools 4th Grade Honor Musicians”

Individual Artists:

  • Abigail Brewer
  • Nathan Childers

Arts in Education:

  • Hillcrest High School/Jonny Davis: “Class Camera Set”
  • Northridge High School/John Cain: “Northridge High School Performs at Alabama Music Education Association Conference”

The Small Grants Program was established to aid Tuscaloosa County non-profit organizations, educators and artists in their pursuit of projects contributing to the greater good of local students and citizens through the arts. Organizations can apply for awards for such projects as exhibits, festivals, residencies, consultants, attendance at seminars, institutes, workshops by artistic and/or administrative staff and productions. Professional artists can apply for small grants for pilot or short-term projects or opportunities such as seminars, workshops, conferences or apprenticeships with master artists. Since the advent of the program in 1986, local artists and organizations have received more than $140,000.

Teachers employed by K-12 schools within Tuscaloosa County are eligible to apply for funding for art related projects through the Arts in Education Grant. Grant applications are made through The Arts Council with funding distributed by the Community Foundation of West Alabama.

The yearly deadline for submission of completed applications is October 1 with required forms and guidelines available at https://tuscarts.org/small-grants/.

For more information about The Arts Council, Bama Theatre, or Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, patrons should follow and like “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Twitter and also Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.

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FALL BLOCKBUSTER SERIES CONCLUDES ON OCTOBER 24 WITH TRIVIA, COSTUME CONTEST, AND PRIZES

(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s Bama Art House “Nostalgic Fall Blockbuster” Film Series will conclude Tuesday, October 24, 2023 with “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” at the Bama Theatre. In addition to the screening, the evening will feature fun pre-show events with fanGtastic prizes.

Doors and the Bama Bar open at 6 p.m. The signature drink will be “The Vampire’s Kiss,” a libation topped with vampire teeth. Trivia with Soapy Jones begins at 6:30 p.m. featuring swag bags including items such as a VIP concession ticket, a Bama t-shirt and other similar merchandise as prizes.

The adult Costume Contest starts at 7 p.m. The First Place winner will be presented with one free night at The Alamite and a $100 Food Credit to Forté. Second Place will receive a $100 Gift Card to Central Mesa and Third Place will receive a $50 Gift Card to Avenue Pub. A discounted drink ticket to Nocturnal Tavern will be given to all those in costume. The Arts Council would like to thank our prize sponsors for their contribution to the evening.

The screening will begin following the conclusion of the Costume Contest.

Admission is $10 general, $9 students and seniors and $8 Arts Council members. Season pass punch card tickets are $70, good for any ten films in any series. All tickets are for sale at the Box Office prior to each film.

Visit https://tuscarts.org to view the trailer.

October 24, 2023
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Synopsis: The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker’s fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.
Rated R | 2h 8min | Fantasy / Horror / Drama

The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should follow and like “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit www.tuscarts.org for further information.

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