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Shelby County Arts Council Receives IMPACT Award for Writing Our Stories

Shelby County Arts Council Receives IMPACT Award for Writing Our Stories

Donna Russell, executive director of the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education (AAAE), presented the 2013 IMPACT Award to the Shelby County Arts Council (SCAC) at its annual meeting on November 12, 2013. The award is given to an organization for outstanding commitment and dedication to children and the arts for innovative and creative programming, curriculum, teaching, and/or presenting.

Since January 2011, SCAC has worked in collaboration with the Alabama Writers’ Forum and the Shelby County School System to bring Writing Our Stories to 7th graders at Columbiana Middle School (CMS). An award-winning creative writing program for adjudicated youth, Writing Our Stories moved into Alabama public schools with its classes at CMS.

“I am truly honored that the Shelby County Arts Council has been recognized by the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education and presented with the IMPACT Award for 2013,” said Terri Sullivan, founder and director of development of SCAC, who accepted the honor on behalf of the Council. “There are many outstanding arts organizations in Alabama, and we are thrilled to be selected from this prestigious group.”

In her letter of nomination, Alabama Writers’ Forum Executive Director Jeanie Thompson wrote, “In 2011 teaching writer Tony Crunk worked with two classes at Columbiana Middle School to produce an anthology of poems that quickly became a point of pride for the entire school. The program ran a second year in 2012, and we are now in our third season.

“None of this would have happened if Terri Sullivan had not, upon first hearing about the program, dreamed of taking it to this particular school as part of SCAC’s school arts programs.”

The Alabama Alliance for Arts Education is a partnership program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts and a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network. One of the missions of the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education is to recognize innovation and achievement. The Alliance acknowledges individuals, schools, and organizations that demonstrate outstanding support for the arts and arts education with three awards: The IMPACT Award; the MAKING A DIFFERENCE Award, given to an individual who is a champion of arts education, an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment and dedication to children and arts education; and the ARTS ADVOCACY Award, given to recognize the accomplishments of an individual whose advocacy efforts have significantly increased support for arts education.

For more information about the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education, visit www.alaae.org or contact Donna Russell at 334-269-1435.

Photo: Donna Russell (r) presents the IMPACT Award to Terri Sullivan on behalf of the Shelby County Arts Council (Kevin Gustin)