Outreach Opportunities





  • ArtReach
  • ArtCare
  • Community Learning Opportunities
  • Master Classes and Workshops
  • Open Rehearsals for Students




Thanks to a sponsorship from Protective Life Corporation, DST Health Solutions, Rachel K. Russell, UAB and VIVA Health, ArtPlay at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center provide arts classes and programs to residents of Birmingham area independent and assisted-living facilities. Through ArtCare the ASC will offer programs specifically designed to engage older adults in health improvement and life enhancing activities through the arts. Research shows that regular participation in arts programs help minimize age-related physical and cognitive impairments, and contributes to better physical, intellectual and emotional health. Some successful programs use the arts to address issues and work with individuals that suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia and depression.





ArtReach, is a collaborative venture between the Alys Stephens Center‘s ArtPlay and YWCA of Central Alabama at YWoodlawn.  ArtPlay’s teaching artists offer free instruction to children as young as 3 through adults in subjects ranging from quilting and drumming to jazz and African dance.

The project contributes to the revitalization of the Woodlawn area, where the YW has invested $11 million for a housing initiative. It also fits ArtPlay’s goals.

Sponsors for ArtReach are Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation, The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Jane Stephens Comer, Susan Mott Webb Charitable Trust, UAB Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Vulcan Materials Company.

Community Learning Opportunities

Join us for many opportunities throughout the season to participate in hands-on educational and fun activities.


Master Classes, Workshops & Clinics

ArtPlay master classes, such as the intimate conversation on comedy with Margaret Cho pictured above,  are a wonderful opportunity to connect local intermediate and advanced students of a variety of ages with masters of their art forms who are here as ASC presented artists.  In a master class all the students (and often spectators) watch and listen as the master teacher works with one student at a time.  Workshops allow a larger group of people to participate and are geared more toward beginning or intermediate level students.  Master classes and workshops take place at ArtPlay, the Alys Stephens Center, and sometimes in local schools.  Most are free unless othewise notated.

Jazz Essentials - Bebop with Branford Marsalis 

Master Class – Tuesday, February 3 at 3 pm

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

Join us for the third installment of The Essentials as we continue our journey through jazz and explore Bebop with NEA Jazz Master and renowned award winning saxophonist, Branford Marsalis.

The three-time Grammy Award winner has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world’s most promising new and established artists. Having gained initial acclaim through his work with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his brother Wynton’s quintet in the early 1980s, Marsalis also performed and recorded with a who’s-who of jazz giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, and Sonny Rollins. He has also collaborated with such diverse artists as Sting, the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby.

Dedicated to music education, Marsalis has shared his knowledge at such universities as Michigan State, San Francisco State, Stanford and North Carolina Central, where his full quartet participated in an innovative extended residency. Marsalis continues to be an artist-in-residence on the NCCU campus. Branford Marsalis embodies a commitment to musical excellence and a determination to keep music at the forefront.

Open Rehearsals for Students

Open rehearsals give students a rare opportunity to see renowned artists prepare for an evening’s performance at the Alys Stephens Center.  Additionally, audience members are often able to ask the performer(s) questions at the end of the rehearsal.