Making Alabama making headlines across Alabama

Making Alabama. A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit is making headlines throughout the state as it continues its trek through Alabama, stopping in all 67 counties before its grand finale in December 2019.

Presented by Alabama Humanities Foundation with support from Alabama Bicentennial Commission and Alabama Department of Archives and History, it is being met with local innovative exhibits and activities from host communities that have put their unmistakable signature on the 200th birthday of Alabama’s becoming a state.

Artifacts, storyboards, storytellers, festivals, vintage and antique photographs and so much more have greeted Making Alabama’s entrance. In turn, Making Alabama complements with impressive artistic panels depicting periods of Alabama’s history plus the people who played prominent roles in that history. Coupled with interactive computer tablets at each kiosk that let attendees delve deeper into those periods of history, the picture of how Alabama became a state and each community’s part in it comes together in an unforgettable display.

“It’s a treat to have it here, said Ann Rudd, the president of the Dale County Council Arts and Humanities, when it came to Ozark. Her interview was aired on WSFA TV ( in Montgomery. “This is just a very attractive display with freestanding, large kiosks with illustrations of Alabama symbols, illustrations of famous Alabamians, and touchscreen computers that have the stories from the 1700s to the present,” said Rudd.

She believes the exhibit is an opportunity to showcase how much the state has evolved over the past 200 years.

“It just is a feel-good opportunity to mix and mingle and learn where we come from and how Alabama is progressing and changing,” said Rudd.

An attendee from Dothan at the Ozark exhibit said it was worth the trip in an interview with WTVY said: “Everyone should come and see this because you can really learn not just about the history, but you can also learn about yourselves. Where you came from and how we all got here.”

In Cleburne County, Making Alabama cookies and a wine tasting featuring Cleburne County wines was among all the other activities planned around its hosting.

Sandy Bynum, director of the Elba Chamber of Commerce,  told The Enterprise Ledger it was “a great opportunity to see something locally, and it’s a free thing people can do with their children. We can learn about our history and heritage right here. It’s sound, computer screens, it’s free, and it’s a great example of Alabama history,” Bynum said. “This is Coffee County’s time to show it off.”

“For us, hosting the exhibit represents the important part the people of this area played in the growth and development of our great state,” said Drew Green, chair of the Cullman County Bicentennial Committee, to This Is Alabama.

Plenty of other headlines are in Making Alabama’s wake during its first few months and as it continues the journey through time and Alabama. And just as likely, plenty more lie ahead.

The Shelby County Arts Facility, which isn’t even built yet, is reserving its first traveling exhibit for Making Alabama, scheduled to open in the new center in August 2019.

“This isn’t the end of the dialogue for the state and its storied history along with its hopes for the future,” said Alabama Humanities Foundation Executive Director Armand DeKeyser. “We envision Making Alabama as the catalyst for many more conversations to come.”

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