Outreach Opportunities



  • Meet the Artist Series
  • Meet the Artist Comes to Your School
  • ASC Teaching Artists On The Road
  • The Robert Redus School of Guitar
  • Master Classes & Workshops
  • Open Rehearsals for Students



Meet the Artist Series


These one-hour performances allow the ASC to share the arts with students and aspiring young
artists by experiencing the thrill of a live performance in a world-class performing arts center. Performers will engage students with anecdotes about their professional training and provide insight into the pieces they perform and the instruments they play.


School reservations are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Curriculum Guides are available for all “Meet the Artist” programs via email. Performances fill up months in advance. In order to accommodate as many students as possible we request that schools only make reservations if they are sure they can attend. Please check your school’s testing/holiday schedules for the full year before signing up. Last-minute cancellations keep others from participating in our free educational performances. If a school group must cancel, please do so no later than three weeks prior to the performance date. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and understanding.


Sonic Dreams

Tuesday, August 19, 2014// 10:00 A.M.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014// 10:00 A.M.
Thursday, August 21, 2014// 10:00 A.M

Friday, August 22, 2014// 10:00 A.M.

Recommended Grades: 6th – 12th

ASC’s Odess Theatre

Join us for this Meet the Artist Experience like non-other. 

What is an EarFilm?

An EarFilm is a purely audio film for the ears and the imagination. We fuse live story-telling, 3D sound and a cinematic musical score to create an experience that truly unlocks the listener’s imagination. EarFilms breathes new life into the tradition of storytelling, turning it into a hyper-real experience.

“Filmmakers are only ever projecting their own imaginations. EarFilms allows the viewer to use their own. Yes, the attendees are actually blindfolded as they experience cinematic storytelling with 3D sound to create a minds-eye movie all of their own.”- Source Magazine




Jazz Essentials – Swing Era with Kirk Whalum
Friday, September 26, 2014// 10:00 A.M.

Recommended Grades: 3rd – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

Kirk Whalum (born July 11, 1958) is an American smooth jazz saxophonist and songwriter. He toured with Whitney Houston for over seven years and soloed in her single “I Will Always Love You“, the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. He has recorded a series of well received solo albums and film soundtracks, with music ranging from pop to R&B to smooth jazz. Kirk’s musical accomplishments have brought him a total of 12 Grammy nominations.

Kirk won his first Grammy award in 2011 for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do”-featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside lifelong friend and gifted writer, Jerry Peters.



Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge, GuitarREGISTER TODAY!
Friday, October 24, 2014// 10:00 A.M.

Recommended Grades: 3rd – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall
The Guitar duo of Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge is a collaborative effort founded in the roots of acoustic music, exploring the worlds of improvisation and composition.

With Lage’s background in modern jazz and new music, and Eldridge’s deep relationship with bluegrass as well as his being a member of the widely acclaimed band, Punch Brothers, this duo lives at the nexus of improvisation, spontaneous composition, and virtuosic refinement, all performed on their respective 1939 Martin guitars.





The Assad Brothers – REGISTER TODAY!
Thursday, November 13, 2014// 10:00 A.M.

Recommended Grades: 3rd – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

Brazilian-born brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad have set the benchmark for all other guitarists by creating a new standard of guitar innovation, ingenuity and expression. Their exceptional artistry and uncanny ensemble playing come from both a family rich in Brazilian musical tradition and from studies with the guitar/lutenist Monina Távora (1921-2011), a disciple of Andrés Segovia. In addition to setting new performance standards, the Assads have played a major role in creating and introducing new music for two guitars.





Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol
Thursday, December 18, 2014// 10:00 A.M.
Thursday, December 18, 2014// 1:00 P.M.
Friday, December 19, 2014// 10:00 A.M.

Friday, December 19, 2014// 1:00 P.M.

Recommended Grades: 1st – 12th

ASC’s Sirote Theatre

Bah Humbug!  Join the Cratchets, Tiny Tim, all the spirits and of course, Ebenezer Scrooge in his journey toward redemption and enlightenment.  Adapted and directed by ArtPlay Teaching Artist Jerry Sims, whose popular original productions include Yuletide in Dogtown, Alice’s EVEN BIGGER Tea Party, and Down the Yellow Brick Road.  Come early to enjoy holiday treats and more.





Black History Month Program featuring ArtPlay’s “Make it Happen” Performing Ensemble

February 2014 – Date TBD // 10:00 A.M.
Recommended Grades: 4th – 12th
ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

Through a partnership with “Make it Happen” Theatre Company the ASC’s ArtPlay invites high school students to audition for this performance-based program in which students will attend weekly theatre classes and rehearsals that will culminate in an original performance celebrating Black History Month. This performance  is researched, written, and performed by the student participants as part of the “ArtPlay Presents” series.


Each year the Alys Stephens Center’s ArtPlay brings a performing artist into a local school to hold a special concert just for that school.

Performance Information Coming Soon!



For the fourth year the Alys Stephens Center offers arts education programs that travel to your school for free! We are thrilled to collaborate with three engaging and enlightening artists: local poet and performance artist, Sharrif Simmons; actor/educator, Alicia Johnson; and singer-songwriter/educator, Charles Tortorici.



For grades 5 – 12

The Poet’s Corner Workshop provides a comprehensive series of creative writing programs. This interactive program focuses on school-age children and students in “at risk” programs. Through the use of poetry and spoken word, students will be given the opportunity to participate in comparative literature while learning about the history of the oral tradition in comparison to contemporary forms of expression like Hip Hop, Theater, and Rhythm & Blues.

• An acoustic guitar poetry performance.
• An overview of poetic forms.
• An overview of historical poets.
• A comparison to contemporary poets.
• Listening to and reading excerpts from modern poets and popular music.
• Writing and sharing poems with classmates.

This workshop is generally administered once a week over a six-week period, but an abbreviated version is available in one or more school classes or through afterschool programs. Students are encouraged to use their vocabulary in creative ways and in a variety of mediums including spoken word, poetry, and music. Writing and reference materials will be provided throughout the workshop. At the end of the six-week workshop students will perform a recital with a live band at the school.



For grades 3 – 8

wa•ter•shed –
1. An area of land through which water, dissolved materials, and sediments flow on their way to a common outlet, such as a stream, river, lake, or ocean.
2. An important transition between two phases.

Kids and grown-ups all over the world are endeavoring to keep our world and our bodies healthy by ensuring the protection of our drinking water. Join educator and singer-songwriter, Charles Tortorici, as he teaches elementary and middle students the importance of a watershed and its interdependent plant and animal species through a series of six classes using creative writing (in the narrative, descriptive, expository, and poetic styles), song, visual art, and creative movement as teaching tools. The final class will be an in-school performance where students incorporate all of their work from the past five weeks into one cohesive performance piece. We recommend booking these programs early in the school year as availability is very limited.


Make Reservations Now

THE ROBERT REDUS School of Guitar

The Robert Redus School of Guitar was born out of a vision from friends and family of the late Robert Clark Redus IV to spread his joy of music. The Alys Stephens Center is proud to bring this program to a select group of students at three local elementary schools. During this year-long program 12 students will have the chance to study guitar from a university level guitar instructor. At the end of the school year, the students will have the opportunity to keep their guitars based on their commitment to lessons, practice, responsibility, and volunteerism. If you are interested in bringing this program to your school call (205) 975-4769.


Master Classes, Workshops & Clinics

ArtPlay master classes 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 otherwise notated.

Jazz Essentials – The Swing Era with Kirk Whalum 

Master Class – Friday, Sept. 26, Time TBD

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.