Arts Council Executive Director Recognized as One of Al.com’s Women Who Shape the State

When Alabama Media Group asked their readers “Who has made Alabama into the state she is today?” Arts Council Executive Director Allison Dillon-Jauken’s name ended up among those of nearly 200 nominees who have changed the state for the better. On November 5th, Dillon-Jauken will be honored as one of 34 “Women Who Shape the State.”

Photo by James Acomb for Alabama Media Group

Photo by James Acomb for Alabama Media Group

Dillon-Jauken stepped into the role as Executive Director of The Arts Council, Inc. in 2009. Since then it has been her mission to celebrate and support the arts organizations, individual artists, musicians, writers, makers and creators who make the North Alabama community a vibrant and interesting place to live. This mission includes ensuring arts education is a priority.

“In order to ensure that arts, creativity and innovation continues to grow and expand locally and statewide, we need to do more to nurture creativity in our youth,” said Dillon-Jauken. ” It is my hope that our elected officials, business leaders and parents across the state will join in this effort to expand access to certified arts specialists that can provide classroom teachers with training to integrate the arts across the curriculum. Through arts integration, we can better engage, inspire and prepare students for the rapidly-changing 21st century workplace that demands innovation and creativity in order to stay competitive.”

Dillon-Jauken credits her theater background for showing her how dramatically the arts can transform a community for the better.

Public Art Installation Honors Pioneers in African American Education

Gather With Us To Honor…

Public Art Dedication: Friday, October 23, 2015 – 10:00 am

Community Celebration: Saturday, October 24, 2015 – 9:00 am to 11:00 am

The Arts Council, Inc., in partnership with Twickenham Square Venture LLC, Huntsville Housing Authority and The City of Huntsville, invites the community to celebrate the dedication of the public art installation “We Gather Here to Honor.” This site-specific public art commission honors the contributions of Dr. William Hooper Councill and Dr. Sonnie Hereford III to education in Huntsville, memorializes the history of African American education in the area and celebrates the community’s future educational hopes and aspirations.

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The installation features a tile bench in the shape of a sunflower, with flower petals created from the footprints of Dr. Hereford III, his family, city leaders and community members. The artist used footprints to incorporate community involvement and symbolize leaving one’s mark on the future. There is a tree planted in the middle of the sunflower, providing an opportunity to gather and socialize as people have in the neighborhood for generations. A closer look at the top of the bench petals reveal details honoring Drs. Councill and Hereford III.  Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 12.43.34 PM

In the 1860’s, Dr. Councill was a pioneer in education for African American students in Huntsville and served as the first principal of The State Colored Normal School which trained African American teachers and grew into Alabama A & M University. In 1963, Dr. Hereford made more education history on the day he enrolled his son, Sonnie the IV in Fifth Avenue School as the first African American student to attend a white public school in Alabama.

Dedication & Community Celebration
The dedication will be held at Twickenham Square on Pelham Avenue between Gallatin Street and Dorothy Ford Lane on Friday, October 23rd at 10:00am.  A Community Celebration will be held at the same location on Saturday, October 24th from 9:00am – 11:00am. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature music performances by local saxophonist Reginald Jackson and performers from Valley Conservatory of Music.  The Boys and Girls Club, Huntsville/Madison County Public Library, Earlyworks Family of Museums, Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre and Academy and the Arts Council will be on-site with children’s activities, information and interactive experiences.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to leave fingerprints on their own sunflower through a hands-on art project that mirrors the aesthetics and significance of the public art installation.

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Angelica Pozo has a resume that includes community-involved artwork in Cleveland, Ohio and Baltimore, Maryland. She has taught ceramics and sculpture in Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, and has served as the visiting artist/artist in residence at universities and conferences across the United States and in Chile. She attended Moore College of Art in Philadelphia before going on to receive her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the New York State College of Ceramics and her Masters of Fine Arts, Ceramics, from the University of Michigan.

Please join us at the celebration!