SCAC to celebrate 10th anniversary Nov. 10

Original board members of the Shelby County Arts Council meet at the SCAC building, 104 Mildred Street in Columbiana, to talk about the 10th anniversary celebration Nov. 10. Pictured are, front row, Rachel Fowler, Terri Sullivan and Janice Falkner; and, back row, Butch Ellis, Carol Hill and Tom Seale. (Contributed)

Original board members of the Shelby County Arts Council meet at the SCAC building, 104 Mildred Street in Columbiana, to talk about the 10th anniversary celebration Nov. 10. Pictured are, front row, Rachel Fowler, Terri Sullivan and Janice Falkner; and, back row, Butch Ellis, Carol Hill and Tom Seale. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

The Shelby County Arts Council is celebrating a major milestone, “The SCAC 10th Anniversary Celebration 2005-2015,” on Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 6-8 p.m.

The public is invited to the free event beginning at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and a wine reception followed by a 7 p.m. program.

Dress is business casual at the SCAC building, 104 Mildred Street, Columbiana.

SCAC is the brainchild of Terri Sullivan, a woman devoted to promoting the arts in Shelby County.

“My hope is that in 10 more years, the SCAC will be year-round in every school,” said Sullivan. “I feel that the arts lift up children to reach for their dreams and enrich their creativity. The arts enhance our community.”

In December 2004, the SCAC was established with founding board of director members Butch Ellis, Janice Falkner, Rachel Fowler, Carol Hill, Tom Seale and Sullivan, and its 501(c)3 non-profit status was obtained.

Alabama Power gave the original $5,000 seed money to open the facility on Mildred Street.

Scott Owen designed the logo and Jon Falkner designed the website.

The first official program was the production of Jungle Book by the Missoula Children’s Theater Camp at Shelby County High School.

Rae Lynn Dodson, who is still teaching today, began acrylic and oil painting classes.

Over the years, the name has changed but not the mission: “To support, nurture, and promote the cultural opportunities in Shelby County, Alabama.”

As programs and outreach expanded, SCAC is totally devoted to promoting programs and assisting artists county-wide which has been expanded greatly in the last 10 years.

“The organization has served over 8,000 children, youth and adults in a variety of arts education programs including oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting, drawing, pottery, jewelry making, theatre camps, creative writing and guitar/violin/piano/voice lessons as well as exposing the citizens of Shelby County to student, local, and visiting gallery exhibitions,” according to the SCAC website, Shelbycountyartscouncil.com.

The addition of the SCAC Performing Arts Theater, a black box 100-seat theater, has brought excellent shows as Emily Kay Herring performing Songs of Patsy Cline, Dolores Hydock, Groove Daddy, and more thanks to the excellent leadership of Executive Director Bruce Andrews.

Yearly financial support has been given by Alabama Power, Shelby County Commission, Alabama State Council of the Arts and Rep. Mike Hill.

Other substantial donors have included Alabama Humanities Foundation, Daniel Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, AT&T, EBSCO and Shelby County Community Health Foundation.

“When Terri came to me 10 years ago to form the board of directors with her, I was skeptical of such a huge undertaking,” said original board member Carol Hill, still currently serving. “But now I feel an incredible sense of pride of what has been accomplished: The amazing exhibits; the outreach programs for special needs children, juveniles, seniors and even an outstanding children’s theater. Since adding the performance venue, a new dimension of talent and entertainment has opened up. There is nothing more fun that having dinner at Bernie’s and a quality show and dessert afterwards at the Performance Arts Center. I am excited about what the future holds for SCAC.”