UAB Arts organizations recognized with Alabama Arts Alliance awards

ArtPlay was recognized as an arts education champion with the Making A Difference award, and the Inclusion Award was given to UAB Arts in Medicine for its positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

AP kids StreamVocabby’s World, in partnership with ArtPlay, is a free community vocabulary program aimed at children up to age 5 , sponsored by the PNC and Hugh Kaul foundations. Two University of Alabama at Birmingham Arts organizations were honored with awards by the Alabama Arts Alliance.

The Alabama Arts Alliance, a partnership program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, acknowledges individuals, schools and organizations that demonstrate outstanding support for the arts and arts education. Recognizing innovation and achievement is an important element of the Alabama Arts Alliance’s work. The awards were presented at the Alabama Arts Alliance’s 2022 Arts Summit reception, held April 28 at the Red Mountain Theatre Arts Campus. 

UAB’s ArtPlay was recognized with the 2022 Making A Difference award, given to an individual or organization that is a champion of arts education and has demonstrated an outstanding commitment and dedication to children and arts education.

The Inclusion Award was given to UAB Arts in Medicine. This annual award, presented by the Alabama Arts Alliance, is given to an individual, organization or business that strives to be inclusive and make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

The UAB Arts in Medicine program “represents all that an Inclusion Award recipient should be,” said Melissa Hughey, Alabama Arts Alliance chair.

AIM sewingUAB Arts in Medicine offers patients activities at the bedside or in group workshops, including hand-sewing/embroidery (shown), storytelling, drawing, painting, personalized art projects and delivery of customized art kits.“UAB’s Arts in Medicine Program was the first in Alabama to offer a comprehensive hospital-based program dedicated to transforming the health care experience by connecting people with the power of the arts,” Hughey said. “The program is truly inclusive and has served more than 170,000 patients, families and staff across Birmingham, not only at UAB Hospital but also in additional partnerships with St. Vincent’s East Behavioral Health, Children’s of Alabama, and beyond the health care facilities with senior adults and people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.” 

ArtPlay is “thrilled” to be recognized by Alabama Arts Alliance “for the hard work our staff puts into each event that ArtPlay hosts at our house and in the community,” said ArtPlay Director Heath Mixon.

“Bringing arts education to our community is our passion, and we are thrilled about our upcoming events at ArtPlay for 2022 and 2023,” Mixon said.

The Alabama Arts Alliance’s mission is to increase awareness of and engagement in the arts through education and advocacy, and the group is committed to supporting equitable access to arts experiences and arts learning in Alabama. Support for the arts in schools is at the heart of their efforts. The alliance builds awareness of arts opportunities, helps secure valuable programming resources, and generates and hosts workshops for educators and arts professionals.

artplay StretchUAB Arts in Medicine dance artist-in-residence Melissa Turnage leads a movement and dance class.The AAA’s annual Alabama Arts Summit brings together educators, arts advocates, creative professionals, legislators and others who share a desire to improve education, the economy and quality of life for all Alabamians through the arts. The alliance provides the setting for inspiration and motivation, and by gathering, collaborating and exploring together, participants leave with a fresh perspective, inspired ideas, new goals and partnerships that will ensure the arts thrive in Alabama.

UAB’s ArtPlay provides lifelong learning through the arts to all ages, skill levels, incomes and geographical areas through free and fee-based classes, events, performances and exhibits. These opportunities immerse individuals in a world of creativity that opens a world of possibilities as they develop an understanding and appreciation for the arts. Since 2010, ArtPlay has touched the lives of more than 150,000 individuals. 

UAB Arts in Medicine began as a partnership between UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center and UAB Medicine. AIM is part of a patient-centered approach to health care that addresses the needs of the mind, body and spirit. AIM strives to transform the environment of care and enhance healing and well-being for patients, families and staff through free creative arts experiences in a hospital setting with trained teaching artists-in-residence. AIM artists approach each patient as a unique individual with a lifetime of experiences. Since 2013, AIM has touched the lives of more than 170,000 individuals.