Tuscaloosa County offers a feast for the eyes and ears, as the arts are celebrated daily on stage, in the theatre and throughout the community. Whatever the season or the specialty, the Tuscaloosa area community offers an extraordinary year-round calendar of arts and cultural activities that rank among the best in the South. Our cultural offerings are unsurpassed by even some larger metropolitan areas; as a result the community’s cultural assets are interwoven with our economic progress and continue to enrich our exceptional quality of life.
The City of Tuscaloosa’s outdoor Amphitheatre, situated along the Black Warrior River, features a stage of approximately 6,000 square feet and 7,500 seats and features state of the art sound, visual and electronic infrastructure, and amenities. It hosts many concerts and events plus serves as a platform for the cultural arts in the area.
The mission of The Arts Council is to promote and encourage the arts and humanities in Tuscaloosa County. The Arts Council serves as the umbrella organization for 50 Member Organizations, offers educational programs and manages both the historic Bama Theatre and Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Member organizations are local nonprofit arts and cultural groups that contribute to the local arts community through their programming and educational services.
The Bama Theatre has been a Tuscaloosa feature since 1938 and continues as a venue for entertainment and the arts. Independent and foreign films are screened as part of the Bama Art House Movie Series. The Council recognizes volunteers, educators and artists in the bi-annual Druid Arts Awards, and the Small Grants Program nurtures small and pilot arts activities. Bama Fanfare, Spectra and the Poetry Out Loud educational programs serve over 30,000 children annually. Gallery exhibits include the West Alabama Juried Show, the Visual Arts Achievement Awards and the Double Exposure Photography Competition.
In 2013 the organization opened the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, located in the existing four-story 1903 Allen Jemison building at the corner of Greensboro Avenue and 7th Street. Venues in the facility include a black box theatre, The Arts Council Gallery, The University of Alabama Gallery, the Grand Hall, professional catering kitchen, conference room and office space.
Visit www.tuscarts.org for more information.
Opening Construction began on the Bama Theatre in 1937 and was completed in 1938. Prior to this time, City Hall occupied the location at the corner of Greensboro Avenue and Sixth Street. Three theatres were also present in downtown Tuscaloosa: the Ritz (also on Greensboro), the Diamond and the former Bama Theatre which was renamed Druid after the construction of the present Bama Theatre (University Blvd. adjacent to what is now the RBC Bank Building). Funds from the Public Works Administration, a depression era program enacted to both increase employment and benefit the community, were used for the project which included both a theatre/municipal auditorium and city hall, all under one roof. Including funds from the PWA and those contributed by the city, the complex cost $200,000 to complete. In addition to the city offices, three retail spaces were also included in the building. The new complex was the first public building in the city complete with a true air conditioning system. It regulated the temperature and humidity plus filtered the air. The grand opening took place on April 12, 1938 and was preceded by a parade including Disney characters and The University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band. Million Dollar Baby, starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, was screened at the gala, accompanied by animated features. The facility is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For Bama Theatre rental information and programming visit bamatheatre.org.
The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center (CAC) is a hub for the arts in Tuscaloosa, managed and maintained by The Arts Council. The CAC houses the Alabama Power Grand Hall, perfect for weddings and private event rentals, and The Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa Black Box Theatre which provides a location for performances in an intimate setting for family programming and educational opportunities. The University of Alabama rents a gallery space and The Arts Council maintains a gallery within the CAC. The facility also houses offices for the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and Tuscaloosa Community Dancers.
For more information, visit cac.tuscarts.org.
A state-of-the-art, teaching and performing theatre, the Bean-Brown Theatre is located on the campus of Shelton State Community College and is home to Theatre Tuscaloosa, one of the region’s most acclaimed community theatres.
Opened in 1988 on the campus of The University of Alabama, the Frank Moody Music Building is one of Tuscaloosa's primary cultural performing arts centers. The School provides an extraordinary annual calendar of cultural and entertainment experiences, featuring national and international performers and artists, from classical and opera to jazz and popular.
With its 1,000-seat Concert Hall, considered one of the most acoustically perfect facilities of its kind in the nation, the Moody Music Building is home to the Tuscaloosa Symphony; the Celebrity Series; and to the famous, magnificent Holtkamp Organ. Call (205) 348-1477 for information.
Offers private and group music instruction to people of all ages and abilities including lessons on all orchestral and band instruments, piano, guitar, and voice. Early music education classes (Kindermusik) are available for ages infant through 7 years. Housed in the Moody Music Building at The University of Alabama. Call (205) 348-6741 for information.
Formed in 1979, the Tuscaloosa Symphony has become a vital part of the Tuscaloosa arts and cultural fabric and one of the most successful regional symphonies in the Southeast. Very few communities of comparable size or larger can claim its own symphony of such exceptional quality. The Symphony provides an annual season of concerts in addition to performances in our schools, pops concerts, and various other entertainment venues. Call (205) 752-5515 for ticket information.
With its roots in the 1920s, Theatre Tuscaloosa has grown into Alabama’s top community theatre and one of the region’s best. Offering a full calendar of drama, comedy and musicals each year, Theatre Tuscaloosa provides area citizens with exceptional performances at the Brown-Bean Theatre, located on the campus of Shelton State Community College. Call (205) 391-2277 for ticket information.
Kentuck is an extensive, growing network that includes the Kentuck Art Center, Kentuck Museum, and the Kentuck Festival of Arts, which has grown into one of the largest and most important regional arts and craft shows in the Southeast. The Kentuck Arts Center, located in downtown Northport, is home to some of the country's most exceptional artists and craftsmen. The Kentuck Museum, also in downtown Northport, provides regular traveling and invitational arts and crafts exhibits. A focal point for the Alabama Crafts Council, Kentuck maintains a superb year round collection of Alabama arts and crafts. Call (205) 758-1257 for information.
University of Alabama Theatre presents excellent performances regularly at the Gallaway Theatre as well as plays in the Allen Bales Studio Theatre. The University’s Department of Dance offers unique performances throughout the year, including Dance Alabama. For ticket information call (205) 348-3400 or www.as.ua.edu/theatre.
Located on the campus of Shelton State Community College, the Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame salutes the state’s amazing collection of celebrity talent, from Fannie Flagg to Jim Nabors and beyond... and inspires new generations of emerging actors to follow their dreams and opportunities.
Offering popular entertainment throughout the year, The University of Alabama's Horizon Program provides opportunities to enjoy Broadway musicals, classical and popular music and a variety of other entertainment specials.
The Alabama Choir School is a community organization for boys and girls, grades two and above. The school includes the Alabama Boychoir, founded in 1985; the Alabama Girls Chorus, founded in 1996; and the Alabama Childrens Chorus, founded in 1992. The School has five different choirs -- the resident and touring choir for boys grades 4-8; the resident and touring choir for girls grades 4 and up, and the chorus for children grades 2-3. Annual concerts for all choirs take place in December and May at the Moody Concert Hall on the University of Alabama campus, Tuscaloosa. Concerts are also scheduled in various local schools twice yearly and on other occasions as requested. For ticket information call (205) 758-0927.
Alabama Museum of Natural History, featuring exhibits from the Age of Dinosaurs and the Ice and Coal Ages. An Alabama treasure! Call (205) 348-2041.
Bryant Museum, featuring memorabilia and exhibits of Alabama Crimson Tide football since 1892 and other related sports exhibits. Call (205) 348-4668.
Children’s Hands On Museum, provides a delightful experience for children of all ages with a variety of special programs and hands-on, participatory exhibits. Moms and dads enjoy this, too! Call (205) 349-4235 for more information.
Harrison Galleries features paintings, mostly in American or European Romantic and Hudson River School traditions, and photography by prominent Tuscaloosa area photographers. Located in historic Tuscaloosa at 2315 University Blvd. Call (205) 464-0054 for information.
At the Kentuck Art Center, in historic downtown Northport, you’ll find working artists’ studios nestled around a courtyard beside a Gallery Shop. Monthly exhibitions are held. The Kentuck Festival of Arts, held on the third weekend in October, has become one of the South’s most prestigious and recognized arts and crafts festivals. Call (205) 758-1257.
Mercedes-Benz Museum & Visitors Center, one of Alabama’s top tourist attractions, provides visitors with an up-close view of the star-studded history of Daimler-Benz, the world’s premier automobile manufacturer. The story is chronicled in exciting, interactive exhibits at the Visitor’s Center, the first of its kind outside Germany; and explores the technological innovations and development of Mercedes-Benz.
Located in historic downtown Northport, the Renaissance Gallery offers original art by more than twenty regional and local artists. Work on display includes some of the best traditional, folk and contemporary work available in the Southeast. Each painting or sculpture is a one of a kind, hand–made original, signed by the artist. Call (205) 752-4422.
Located at the beautiful Westervelt Corporate Headquarters, the museum features works from several prominent American artists. The impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiques provides a unique perspective on our country's history. For more information call (205) 343-4540.
This magnificent Italianate house was built in 1859-1862 by Senator Robert Jemison Jr. to serve as his town house. The architect was John Stewart from Philadelphia, who along with his partner, Samuel Sloan, designed Bryce Hospital. The Jemison Mansion was incomplete when the Civil War erupted, causing many finishing touches to be left undone. Most of the building materials came from Jemison’s extensive plantations, and the majority of construction was performed by skilled slaves under the supervision of Philadelphia craftsmen. The house was ahead of its time technologically: it was the first in Tuscaloosa to have a fully plumbed bathroom and even had its own gas plant to provide gas for illumination. After serving for a period as the city library, it was acquired by the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society and the Heritage Commission of Tuscaloosa.
Admission is free to the public. For more information, contact Ian Crawford at (205) 758-2906 or visit http://www.jemisonmansion.com/.
In 2008, Paul R. Jones donated a portion of his collection of African American art to the University of Alabama. With over 1,700 pieces, the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama is one of the largest collections of African American art in the world. Jones was known as a passionate collector who sought to collect from both well-known and lesser-known artists, a quality which makes his collection distinct.
The Paul R. Jones Collection is designed to share the works of American artists and their significance with the people of Alabama and beyond and to be used to educate students on the importance of art in life. Works from the collection are on exhibit year-round at the Paul R. Jones Gallery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and are exhibited in galleries on The University of Alabama campus and at other educational institutions and venues. The collection is incorporated into curricula at The University of Alabama, providing students with opportunities to learn and experience the significance of art first-hand.
The Paul R. Jones gallery is located in downtown Tuscaloosa:
2308 6th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35404
The University of Alabama Gallery offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions of artistic works, artifacts, textiles, and other media from permanent collections held by UA as well as works by faculty, students, and guest artists and designers.
Located in downtown Tuscaloosa, the UA Gallery was created to showcase art with the greater Tuscaloosa community and to support downtown businesses through regular exhibits and events.
612 24th Ave., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Contact: Karen Kennedy- Director
Monday – Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
12:00 - 8:00 pm on First Fridays