Agency History

The Alabama State Council on the Arts was created by Executive Order No. 29, on April 8, 1966 by Governor George C. Wallace, stating that "The practice and enjoyment of the arts are of increasing importance to the personal welfare of the people as a vital aspect of our cultural heritage and as valued means of expanding the scope of our educational programs."

Several legislative acts have been necessary to get the State Arts Council where it is today.  First there was the enabling legislation, then the name was changed to add "and Humanities;" followed by legislation to put the arts on the State Income Tax Return and lastly to delete "and Humanities."

Legislative Act No. 551 established the Alabama State Council on the Arts and was signed into law by Governor Lurleen B. Wallace on September 8, 1967, thereby creating an official State Arts Agency as required by the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities by Act No. 1065.  In September of 1969, Legislative Act 551 was amended by Act No. 1065 and signed by Governor Albert P. Brewer to include Alabama State Council on the Arts and Humanities. 

In 1976, Legislative Act No. 689 changed the composition of the membership and terms of office of the Council.  In an act passed in the 1987 Legislative Session and signed into law by Governor Guy Hunt, the name of the Council was changed to Alabama State Council on the Arts, thereby deleting "and Humanities."

The Act of 1967 placed the State of Alabama in the official position of recognizing, encouraging, and supporting the growth and development of the arts in Alabama. The Legislature passed this act without a dissenting vote.

The first allocation to the Council was $25,000.00 from the National Endowment for the Arts. By 1998, the budget had increased to $5,018,423 which included $4,593,423 in state appropriated dollars and $500,000 in federal grants.

The Council continues to stimulate growth of the arts and its impact in Alabama by working with a wide range of arts organizations, individual artists, educational institutions, and communities.  In directing this effort, the Council has established goals which reflect current philosophy and priorities.  These goals were defined through the agency's long-range plan, A State Blueprint for Supporting the Arts.