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



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.


ArtPlay Presents, A. G. Gaston

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 // 10:00 AM

Recommended Grades:  3rd– 12th

The Alys Stephens Center – Jemison Concert Hall

Join the young actors of ArtPlay’s “Make it Happen” Performing Ensemble as they take audiences on a sneak peek tour of the life of Alabama’s own A. G. Gaston. This production introduces us to the story of Arthur George Gaston, who became one of the greatest business leaders of our time overcoming many obstacles out of the depths of poverty, emerging into unprecedented success.

Written and directed by ArtPlay’s own Alicia Johnson-Williams, this is a fascinating and inspirational story that is sure to touch the souls of many through poetry, song and dance. Gaston, the grandson of slaves, left a fortune of millions, an incredible business empire and was deemed as a hero second to none. Audiences who experience this production will not only leave the theatre knowing more about Gaston’s contributions to society… they will leave with a smile in their hearts.


Red  Baraat

Thursday, April 21, 2016 // 10:00 AM

Recommended Grades: 3rd – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

“We feel comfortable not knowing exactly where we’re headed,” says Red Baraat’s founder and bandleader, Sunny Jain. “We’re very much about trying things out and taking risks. Sometimes it doesn’t work,” he laughs, “and sometimes we stumble upon things that are really exciting.” » Red Baraat might not know exactly where they are going, but they are headed back to ASC this Spring, and it’s something to be really excited about! » The Brooklyn based band members draw on North Indian rhythms, hip-hop, funk and New Orleans-style jazz to create a unique sound that is so powerful, it has placed the band in its own unique and enviable class.  And that sound can unquestionably only be considered party music. » As the band evolves, so does its music.

Roots Music: an Intro to the Blues

Friday, May 6, 2016 // 10:00 AM

Recommended Grades: 3rd – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

What tunes inspired your favorite musicians? Where did that beat in your favorite song originate? What is the blues? » This interactive music experience for the whole family shines a light on how the blues and Americana came to be such beloved music genres. Featuring the music of Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and Blind Boy Johnson, this performance isn’t just a delight for your ears, but also a real treat for the historian in all of us. Each song is a history lesson. » Spend a little time exploring the blues with Bruce Andrews on harmonica and vocals, George Dudley on guitar, Dave Gowens on percussion, Jack Dudley on bass and Steve Ramos on drums. These wonderful musicians and teaching artists are true storytellers. You won’t be singing the blues when you leave this performance of ArtPlay Presents Roots Music.

Make Reservations Now




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, David Roby; 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.



For grades K – 12

With curriculum for all ages, David Roby takes his knowledge of theatre and leads students through a wonderful journey that will develop life skills and a love for the stage.





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.