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Volume 33, Issue 1

March 2019

Art & Animation Guild

The Art and Animation Guild Serves at Pathways of Birmingham

By C. Blake Mason

            The Art and Animation Guild at Jefferson State participates in many yearly community service projects.  This past November, the Guild partnered with Pathways of Birmingham. Pathways is a downtown shelter that serves women and children of the greater Birmingham community, who are in desperate need of food and housing. AAG members and I prepared and served a full course meal for the occupants of Pathways.

            Upon arrival, we met a thankful and helpful staff member who escorted us to their kitchen. The meal we prepared consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, salad, rolls, and cake. We decorated and prepared the tables with a variety of drinks and cups and filled the needs of people who rarely have their needs met. As the women lined up for the meal, I began to realize that the highlight of the evening was not the preparation of the meal, but the conversation we shared.

           The women were thankful and appreciative.  We enjoyed each other’s company as we laughed and talked. One woman shared that it was her first real meal in months. They discussed their lives and difficulties and we shared information about Jefferson State Community College and our student organization. They seemed to genuinely enjoy the meal. 

We tend to get so caught up in our busy lives that we ignore the needs of others. My experience serving at Pathways alongside the Art Guild was not comparable to a chore or duty, it was a fun insightful experience. I implore anyone reading this article to take one day out of their busy lives and dedicate it to the service of others.  The Guild members and I received far more from the experience at Pathways than any of us could have ever predicted.

Red Mountain Reading Series

Jefferson State’s Red Mountain Reading Series Goes ‘Through Books and Beyond’  

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – February 25, 2019  – The Red Mountain Reading Series at Jefferson State Community College seeks to provide members of the communities we serve with opportunities for conversation on humanities topics in a collegiate atmosphere. This season’s guests include Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame inductee and educational director Daniel “Jose” Carr; blogger and author of the Eli Sharpe mystery series Max Everhart; actor and sketch comedian David Perry; and Birmingham native poet Sonia Sanchez.

Taken together, this year’s writers help us explore the theme “Through Books and Beyond,” stressing the ways that literary arts can be explored in non-traditional spaces like blogs, on stage, and through public advocacy. All events are free and open to the public.

“It’s very exciting to offer such a range of genres and topics in this year’s presenters,” said Katie Boyer, the series director and an instructor of English. “I hope that our audiences will gain a greater appreciation of the multitude of ways in which language and stories enrich our lives.”

Considered a mainstay of the Birmingham jazz scene, Daniel “Jose” Carr presented a lecture and musical performance on February 18 in the Health Sciences Building Multipurpose Room. The series partnered with the JSCC Black History Committee to host Mr. Carr.

Novelist Max Everhart offered two presentations the next day, on February 19. The first was a reading from his novels and collection of short essays. Mr. Everhart also lead a workshop focused on the writing process that offered insight into the structure of detective novels. 

Still to come this semester, Birmingham-based sketch comedian David Perry will offer two events on Wednesday, March 13, at the Jefferson Campus in Allen Library 111. At 11:30 a.m., Mr. Perry will present a talk on the history of sketch comedy. At 2:30 p.m., he will offer an interactive workshop that will get attendees on their feet.

As the final event in this year’s series, Sonia Sanchez will present a reading on April 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building Multipurpose Room. Ms. Sanchez is a poet, activist, and educator most often associated with the Black Arts Movement. She has received the American Book Award, Robert Frost Medal for poetry, Langston Hughes Poetry Award, and Harper Lee Award, among many others. The series presents Ms. Sanchez in celebration of National Poetry Month and in partnership with the Magic City Poetry Festival. A book signing will follow.

“I love to see our audiences learn about themselves and the world through these presentations,” said Boyer. “This year’s speakers offer any number of opportunities to experience something new.”

Events in the Red Mountain Reading Series are co-sponsored by Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society and are made possible with funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. For more, contact series director Katie Boyer, kboyer@jeffersonstate.edu.

Spotlight Drama Club

The Spotlight Drama Club has been busy this year! They’ve hosted, co-hosted, and participated in a number of college and community events, and are showing no signs of slowing down.

Up next is their biggest and most ambitious project to date. The club members have been feverishly rehearsing their upcoming production of Almost, Maine, a play about the love in all its varieties, since December, and they hope to have a great turn-out at each of their performances. This is Spotlight's first student-directed production and includes club members from multiple campuses working collaboratively to present the show on three campuses.

About the show: A woman carries pieces of her heart with her, a couple saves the love they've given each other in red bags, a man cannot feel until love literally hits him in the head. These playful and surreal experiences are commonplace in the world of John Cariani's Almost, Maine. Relationships end, begin, or change as strangers become friends, friends become lovers, and lovers turn into strangers. Almost, Maine is a series of loosely connected scenes about love, each with a compelling couple at its center, and each with its own touch of magic.

Jefferson State students and staff are invited to see Almost, Maine for FREE! Show your support for your classmates and college by attending any of the performances below.

 

 

Dates, times, and locations:

  • March 14 and 15 at 7 pm at CEPA in Pell City (25 Williamson Dr. 35125) - students free with ID, adults $10
  • March 20 at 3 pm in Fitzgerald 400 (Jefferson Campus) - free performance for all
  • March 22 at 6 pm in HSB Multipurpose Rooms (Shelby Campus) - free performance for all

Interested in joining the Spotlight Drama Club? Email Lesley Warren at ggray2@jeffersonstate.edu or Kevin Townes at ktownes@jeffersonstate.edu for information on how to GET IN THE SPOTLIGHT!