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At its March 8-9 meeting in Opelika, the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) met to discuss business and other challenges facing arts funding. Meetings were held at the Southside Center for the Arts with visiting speakers such as Senator Tom Whatley, Representative Joe Lovvorn and Lee Vanoy, Constituent Service Representative from Congressman Mike Rogers’ office.
Council meetings were held at Southside Center for the Arts which has received several Arts & Cultural Facilities grants from the Council for adaptive reuse of a building. It is now used as a community center for the arts.
Council and staff were warmly welcomed by Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and Phillip Preston of the Arts Association of East Alabama. During the evening of March 9, council members attended a performance at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts by Sammy Miller and the Congregation.
Dora Hanson James of Opelika chairs the 15-member council. Joel Daves IV of Mobile is vice-chair and Dr. Rachel Brown Fowler of Columbiana is council secretary. board members include: Julie Hall Friedman (Fairhope), Jim Harrison III (Tuscaloosa), Elaine Johnson (Dothan), Kim Vice Mitchell (Decatur), Dr. Henry Panion III (Birmingham), Neely Jones Portera (Tuscaloosa), Doug C. Purcell (Eufaula), Rebecca T. B. Quinn (Huntsville), Will Sellers (Montgomery), Ceil Jenkins Snow (Birmingham), Sontonia T. K. Stephens (Northport), and Mary Wadsworth White (Florence).
ASCA is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Alabama. The agency supports not-for-profit arts organizations, schools, colleges, units of local government, non-profit organizations programming in the arts for the general public, and individual artists.
The council is a body of 15 members appointed by the governor for six-year terms to help promote the arts statewide. A primary responsibility of the council is to make decisions on grants awarded to support art programs and arts education throughout the state. Members come from diverse areas of the state and backgrounds, ranging from arts educators, to professional artists, to community arts volunteers.
The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) receives an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and additional funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
The Mission of the Alabama State Council on the Arts is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality for all Alabamians by providing support for the state’s diverse and rich artistic resources.