Bringing the Arts to Walker County
The Walker County Arts Alliance (WCAA) is a 501c-3 nonprofit organization founded by a group of community members with a mission to promote cultural arts and the awareness of the arts to the citizens of Walker County. Since its inception, WCAA has enhanced the community with a variety of cultural arts programs. The Arts Alliance accomplishes most of its work through volunteer board members who gladly give their time and talent. A part-time position of executive coordinator was added in July 2008 and a tangible office in downtown Jasper was established. Since then, the organization has continued to grow and flourish as it engages the local community.
Purpose and Mission
The WCAA was developed to:
- support and develop arts in Walker County and to integrate artistic activities into the total life of the community.
- identify and encourage existing artists, projects, and folk traditions through the exchange of ideas and resources.
- establish and maintain a partnership with federal, state, and local arts agencies and funding sources.
- enhance accessibility to artistic expression to all people in Walker County by developing community arts center(s), arts education in public schools, and community arts events.
- serve the people of Walker County by enhancing the public’s appreciation for and awareness of the arts as an expression of the best of the human spirit.
Major Programs of WCAA
WCAA has developed several programs and event projects designed to "Bring the Arts to Walker County."
In-School Programs: The Walker County Arts Alliance has several programs that work with children and students in the public school system in Walker County and in various locations throughout the county. For many children, the WCAA arts programs provide an escape and help them find and funnel their creativity. Without these programs, many children in rural Walker County would have no exposure to the arts. Because our rural schools are forced to focus on core learning due to funding limitations, art is often left out of the education mix. Our goal is to help ensure that each child in the public school system and those residents of rural Walker County are exposed to art and art education.
Healing Arts/Focus on Art: These programs benefit both children and adults. The Arts Alliance participates in Healing Arts and Focus on Art projects, partnering with Walker Baptist Medical Center to display art in the lobby and other public areas of the hospital, and providing public displays of local artists’ work in other locations in Walker County.
Art in the Park:
Art in the Park is a juried art show with over 70 artists from around the southeast - primarily Alabama. Sponsored by the Walker County Arts Alliance, the goal of Art in the Park is to expose area residents to the creative efforts of local and regional artists, as well as to adding to the cultural climate of the community.
Children's activities with take-home art projects and storytelling are available throughout the day. Guest also enjoy dance troupes, live music and other performing arts!
New for 2014 will be a Jazz In the Park concert at 5 p.m. with Magic City Smooth Jazz from Birmingham, Alabama.
Delight in the beautiful, shady grounds of Gamble Park, adjacent to the Jasper campus of
Bevill State Community College, while browsing the best local arts and crafts. This spacious park features a paved walking trail, playground and picnic areas.
Dinner Theatre: This annual event, greatly appreciated and broadly supported by the community, serves as a successful fundraiser for the Arts Alliance while providing an opportunity to showcase local theatrical talent. Our 2013 production, 'Til Beth Do Us Part, took place Thursday, November 14 at the CHS Building. If you would like to be a part of our 2014 Dinner Theatre production, call us at (205) 221-1711.
50-Mule Team Public Art Project: A unique and special project honoring the hard working animal—the mule. The mule has worked alongside man in farming, transportation, and played an important role in the early days of mining, an important industry to Walker County. Working with local artists and sponsors, the Arts Alliance has brought 50 painted and decorated mule statues to Walker County. Mule sponsors have the opportunity to place their mules at their businesses or in a public location. A Mule Map is available for residents, visitors and tourists who wish to view the mules. This project has delighted children and adults alike with many posing for pictures with the mules. Not only has this project proven to be a fun art project but an educational one, as children learn about mules and the part they have played in area history. We have added FIVE NEW MULES to the 50-Mule Team, with more to come in 2014! Come by the Arts Alliance office for a new Mule Map so you can find the new additions.
A Tasting of the Arts: Our newest program combines art with food and drink! Tastings feature a gallery showing of artwork from one or two artists, combined with beverage and food tastings from local restaurants. Dates for 2014 are February 6, April 10, June 12 and August 14 and October 9. The events take place in the historic downtown Jasper office of the Arts Alliance. For ticket information, call (205) 221-1711.