Arts Council hosts brunch fundraiser to support Cultural Arts Center and Bama Theatre

Arts Council hosts brunch fundraiser to support Cultural Arts Center and Bama Theatre

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center hosted the Art Fun(d) Brunch on Saturday, Aug. 29. CW | Layton Dudley

The Tuscaloosa Arts Council convened on Saturday at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center to celebrate the arts and raise money for the Arts Council General Fund, which allows the Cultural Arts Center and the Bama Theatre to operate. 

The brunch fundraiser’s beach theme brought a colorful relaxing atmosphere to the airy venue.  Local gourmet catering company, A Cutting Edge, catered the event, and their delicious breakfast spread brought smiles to guests’ faces.

“Today is a fun way for people to get out and enjoy the new Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, to enjoy some art, listen to some live music and have a relaxing Saturday,” said Arts Council board member Elizabeth Hamner. 

Besides putting on exhibitions and performances, the Arts Council works closely with local schools to ensure every child has the opportunity to explore local arts.

“As part of the Bama fanfare program, we bus kids into the Bama Theatre for professional theatrical programs,” said Executive Director Sandra Wolfe. “To see the kids come into the atmospheric theatre with stars on the ceiling and look up at the ceiling in awe, is one of the most special things for me.”

 The event was also a way to thank sponsors and allow them to see the exhibitions. One featured exhibition was a series of photographs of graffiti on the Berlin Wall, shot by local photographer Jim Harrison. Harrison studied painting at the University of Alabama and operates Harrison Galleries on University Boulevard.

“Being in Berlin, as I moved along the wall stopping frequently to frame a shot, a question developed in my mind, 'At what point does graffiti become art?' My eye was drawn to the juxtaposition of color, texture and message laid down by souls unknown over decades now in an evolving state of beautiful decay,” Harrison said in his artist statement.

Saturday marked the second anniversary of the opening of the Diana Washington Cultural Arts Center.

“I’m really proud of this building. I was on the board the entire process of redoing it. It was an old dilapidated building. To see the final product is as exciting as the exhibits we have,” Hamner said. 

 The spacious gallery hosts many visual and performance arts events. Part of the space is rented out to the University’s College of Arts and Sciences and is used to display student’s works. Katherine Schreiber, a junior majoring in Music Administration, volunteered at the event as part of her Arts and Fundraising class.

“I want to do venue management so experience like this with non-profits is really cool. Seeing how they run and how a venue runs is a great opportunity,” Schreiber said. “I knew around ninth grade that I wanted to do music. I’m not a performer, but I really liked it when things would come together onstage, seeing people work so hard on something and then have that pay off onstage. I love going to concerts to see the venue and what it looks like just as much as the performance itself.” 

The event featured live music from the Cavello Trio, a woodwind trio made up of University professors, and the Voodoo Saints, a New Orleans style music group. The goal of the event was to raise $20,000 and to create a unique, fun annual fundraiser and to continue spreading the arts to the Tuscaloosa community. 

 

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