SCAC receives IMPACT Award for Writing Our Stories

Published 4:08 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2013

By DANNY GAMBLE / For the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – Donna Russell, executive director of the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education, presented the 2013 IMPACT Award to the Shelby County Arts Council at its annual meeting on Nov. 12. 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 Jan. 2011, the SCAC has worked in collaboration with the Alabama Writers’ Forum and the Shelby County School System to bring Writing Our Stories to seventh graders at Columbiana Middle School. 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 the 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.”