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Arts in Alabama

Videos and Resources

The Great American Read Resources

This LearningMedia collection highlights books from The Great American Read and includes additional resources across PBS partners that contextualize the authors and the impact these books have had on specific readers and throughout history.

Journey Proud: Muscle Shoals

The Muscle Shoals Sound has influenced music all over the United States and around the world. By meeting with and talking with the writers, musicians and producers who are the bones of the music industry, we will find out how a sleepy little Alabama town became an artistic powerhouse.

Artistic Roots: Alabama's Creative Culture

Take an interdisciplinary focus on the study and creation of music, theatre, sculpture, folk and visual arts. (Grades 4-8)

Alabama Legacy Moments: The Arts

“Alabama Legacy Moments” commemorates the Alabama Bicentennial with distinctive radio and television spots about the people, places and stories that have defined Alabama. View this video collection on the subject of the Arts.

Sun Ra Arkestra | Subcarrier

The inaugural flight of APT's Subcarrier features the descendants of Birmingham's own Sun Ra in his Arkestra, fronted by Marshall Allen. Sun Ra was a legendary jazz composer and pioneer of afro-futurism active from the 1950's-90's. Marshall Allen is Sun Ra's hand-picked successor who has been leading the Arkestra for over 20 years.

Sucarnochee: A Revue of Alabama Music

Alabama Public Television takes you to the stage of The Sucarnochee Revue radio show in Livingston, Alabama to celebrate the traditional music of Alabama. Performers in this one-hour special include Carroline Shines, the Jake Landers Band, the Birmingham Sunlights and Jacky Jack White, who is also the host of the Sucarnochee Revue radio show.

Journey Proud: FFA Music

The Future Farmers of America is more than production farming preparation and agriculture science. The organization has also fostered leadership in a wide number of fields including that of the arts. For many years, this national high school organization has sponsored music programs which encourage local music traditions such as bluegrass style string band and gospel quartet.

Journey Proud: Jefferson County Gospel

Jefferson County, Alabama, is home to a distinct a cappella gospel style which developed in the African-American community during the regions industrial development in the early 20th century. Featuring a “pumping bass” sound and smooth harmonies, this music has been perpetuated by well-organized quartets who elect officers and have a schedule of practices.

Journey Proud: Mobile Brass Bands

Mobile has played an important role in the development of the brass band sound of the Gulf South. The Excelsior Band, founded in 1883 as musicians for the Creole Fire House, continue as an institution. Their prominent role during carnival season as Mobile's musical ambassadors has inspired a new generation of brass bands.

Journey Proud: New Book Gospel

Alabama’s well documented contributions to American music have much to do with the strength of sacred music traditions throughout the state. In the 20th century perhaps no genre of music wielded more influence on Alabamians than convention-style gospel music.

Journey Proud: Frankville Fiddler's Convention

The Frankville Fiddler’s Convention is the oldest continuing fiddler’s contest in the state. It retains the intimate community atmosphere once found at such events throughout Alabama. Showcasing a musical form that dates back to Alabama’s early historic period, the Frankville Fiddler’s Convention also serves social and educational functions in the community and attracts visitors from beyond.

Journey Proud: Juke Joints

The juke joint, its Blues music, culture, and history harken back to a by-gone era. Yet, the music of the Blues is still deeply rooted in tradition and is alive and well in Alabama today; especially in urban areas where it now attracts a broader audience. Guests: SharBaby, Roger Stephenson, Henry “Gip” Gipson and others.

Journey Proud: Camp Fasola

Alabama is well known as a center of Sacred Harp singing. The innovative Camp Fasola, begun in 2003 by David Ivey with Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard, has been very successful in filling a void left by the old-fashioned singing school. Singing technique, appropriate foodways and etiquette are taught by lifelong Sacred Harp singers.

Alabama Craft: Innovation

An original APT documentary in two parts that samples the works, visions, and philosophies of potters Jerry Brown and Charles Smith, quilters Mozell Benson and Bettye Kimbrell, glassblower Cal Breed, musical instrument maker Gene Ivey, and blacksmith John Phillips.

Alabama Craft: Tradition

An original APT documentary in two parts that samples the works, visions, and philosophies of potters Jerry Brown and Charles Smith, quilters Mozell Benson and Bettye Kimbrell, glassblower Cal Breed, musical instrument maker Gene Ivey, and blacksmith John Phillips.

The Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend

The Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend explores the extraordinary lives, inspirations, and history of these artists, and also follows them on a touching bus journey to see their quilts exhibited at The Milwaukee Art Museum.

Journey Proud: Rangoli

Americans of Indian descent have introduced the beautiful but impermanent tradition of decorating the ground and especially entrance ways with colored powders, spices and sands.

Journey Proud: Iconography

For Orthodox Christians the paintings of Christ, the Saints and other biblical figures in Churches, chapels and homes are not just art but an integral part of worship. Elias Katsaros, who immigrated to Alabama from Greece and has become one of the nation's premiere icon painters.

Sloss: Industry to Art

Explore the transition of Sloss Furnaces from its former industrial function to its recent role as a center point for the modern Cast Iron Art movement. Learn about the rebirth of this timeless Birmingham industrial icon that has remained relevant for more than 100 years.

Mr. Dial Has Something to Say

Has Afro-American improvisational visual art been disregarded by the mainstream art world as less important? Have terms such as “outsider”, “visionary,” “primitive,” “folk,” “self-taught,” and “naďve”—all of which have been applied to this particular style—downgraded the importance of this art?

Experiencing Shakespeare Series

Through television, the web, and social media, students explore the Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection. (Grades 6-12)

Alabama Ballet: The Making of Romeo and Juliet

This documentary takes viewers behind the scenes as the internationally-renowned Alabama Ballet interprets William Shakespeare's classic story of star-crossed lovers.

Journey Proud: Classical Dance of India

Sudha Raghuram is a master of Bharatanatyam, a graceful style of classical dance originating in India. Journey Proud visits Sudha and her students for practice and later at a dance recital of Cinderella adapted to Bharatanatyam style.

Alabama's Musical Heritage and Culture

Learn about Alabama’s musical heritage and culture through interviews with Alabama musicians and through performances of legendary Alabama folk, blues, bluegrass, gospel, jazz, and more.

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Education Sponsors

IQ Learning Network
  • Alpha Foundation
  • Daniel Foundation of Alabama
  • Hugh Kaul Foundation
  • Monte L. Moorer Foundation
  • Sybil H. Smith Charitable Trust
Learning Adventures
  • Alabama Bicentennial Commission
  • Alabama Humanities Foundation
    A state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Alabama State Council on the Arts
  • American Graduate
    A program of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • The Daniel Foundation of Alabama
  • Jefferson County Cy Pres Fund
  • Malone Family Foundation
  • Robert Meyer Foundation
  • Sybil Smith Foundation
  • The Stephens Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
e-Learning for Educators/ APT Learn Online
  • Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham
  • U.S. Department of Education
STEM Education Initiative
  • Ann & Alfred F. Delchamps, Jr. Charitable Fund
  • BBVA Compass Bank
  • Beverly and Gary Cooper Charitable Fund
  • Community Foundation of South Alabama
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
General Educational Support
  • Alabama Department of Human Resources
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama
  • Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
  • Wells Fargo
PBS Kids Programs
  • Alabama Power
  • Children's of Alabama
  • US Space & Rocket Center
American Graduate
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Southern Education Desk
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting