February First Friday monthly art walk to take place downtownBy Christina Ausley | 02/01/2018 1:45am
By Christina Ausley | Staff Reporter
The first weekend of each month in Tuscaloosa is permeated with traditions like art nights, festivals and screenings, with this weekend in particular playing host to a slew of events, including First Friday.
This First Friday, Feb. 2, The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will host a series of Community Arts Conversations as well as the opening reception for the 2018 Double Exposure Photography Competition Adult Division.
Free to the public, the event will be held at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, with the photography exhibit open from 5 to 8 p.m. and the Community Arts Conversations open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
“The first Community Arts Conversations event took place in 2012, and since that time, Tuscaloosa County’s arts and cultural organizations have continued to grow, surpassing standards of quality and creativity,” said Sandra Wolfe, executive director at the Arts Council. “Providing dance, theatre, literary, musical and visual art events, our local arts organizations continually increase the quality of life for local citizens. Community Arts Conversations provides an opportunity to meet the individuals that make such an impact on our community.”
The event will host a variety of groups like the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre, Theatre Tuscaloosa, Actor’s Charitable Theatre, The Dance Initiative and Alabama Blues Project. Arts Council of Tuscaloosa publicist, Kevin Ledgewood, said he is looking forward to the creative energy of the event.
“Whereas most of our local arts groups perform independently of one another, Community Arts Conversations will feature them under one roof simultaneously,” Ledgewood said. “Some will present performances, while others will provide information about themselves and the people behind the scenes that make our community a desirable place to live.”
Due to increased success over time, the events and gatherings of the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa have grown exponentially.
“In the past 20 years, our local groups' participants, audiences and number of productions have increased, plus we have new groups that have emerged,” Ledgewood said. “Their programs and productions continually reach for and meet higher standards and levels of difficulty.”
The 2018 Double Exposure Photography Competition Adult Division will take place in the Arts Council Gallery, exhibiting a variety of Alabama photographers through Feb. 23. Ledgewood anticipates that the conversation event and photography competition will contribute to the arts community of Tuscaloosa throughout and beyond the month of February.
“The arts, no matter what city you're in, bring an important quality-of-life factor to the area that cannot be replaced by any other sector,” Ledgewood said. “The arts also contribute to quality education and economic numbers.”
The event will also provide the opportunity to win a variety of door prizes, including two tickets to see "Cabaret" at Theatre Tuscaloosa, a one year subscription to Alabama Heritage Magazine, a family membership to the Kentuck Art Center through 2018 and a 10-movie punch card for Bama Art House Movie Series.
“I’m really looking forward to taking a break from my studies and enjoying all of the different arts Tuscaloosa has to offer,” said Blake Dempster, a junior majoring in nursing. “It not only fosters a uniquely collaborative event of various artists, whether that be through dance, acting or artwork, but also unifies the community under one roof.”
You can visit for a complete list of First Friday participants and their exhibits. For more information about the CAC, The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, you can visit the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow @tuscarts on Twitter. More information is available at 205-758-5195 or for further information.