UAB’s Alys Stephens Center unveils ArtPlay, a new home for arts education

ArtPlay, a new arts education and outreach center from UAB's Alys Stephens Center, is enrolling people of all ages in a variety of new arts classes.

Classes are slated to begin at ArtPlay Jan. 18, 2011. The center, a new home for arts education in Birmingham that will be housed in a beautifully restored Victorian home at 1006 19th St. South, is a sister complex for the Alys Stephens Center. The new center was made possible through a gift from Jane Stephens Comer.

ArtPlay will offer classes, workshops, residencies and events, with an impressive roster of area teaching artists and collaborations with the UAB Department of Music, Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra and others. Its mission is to educate, inspire and nurture creative growth and self-expression for everyone by providing innovative programming in a collaborative and holistic environment.

ArtPlay will offer something for everyone, from pre-kindergarten to adults. Classes include creative movement, ballet, beginner jazz, theater and musical theater, drawing and painting, dance, poetry, digital recording/studio 101, music production, private music instruction, visual art, storytelling, acting and even a tango dance workshop. A full listing of all ArtPlay classes and offerings is online at

The ArtPlay house, gifted by UAB and located just six blocks from the Alys Stephens Center, was built in 1896 and renovated to become a quality arts and community venue. The center is a three-story facility; the first floor, decorated to maintain its historical integrity, is available for private events as well as ArtPlay ArtPlayhouse_thumb_newsiteprogramming. The second floor is a multi-use level with a dance and drama studio replete with sprung wood flooring, mirrored wall, ballet barre, a small stage, theatrical lighting and state-of-the-art sound, as well as a visual arts studio, media center with recording studio and creative writing and poetry corner. The third floor is home to ArtPlay music programs with a central rehearsal/classroom space and four studio/practice rooms. The property also boasts a multi-purpose arts-education annex and a garden area.

The new ArtPlay classes join the Alys Stephens Center's established art-education opportunities, including Meet the Artist, which brings students to the ASC to engage in interactive performances with world-class artists, the Martin Hames Mentoring Program which matches students to arts mentors, residencies with artists, and ASC Teaching Artists On the Road, which brings artists to schools, among other programs. Call 205-975-2787 or visit for more details.