Colony, Cullman County Museum honored for Alabama Bicentennial work

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Colony Mayor Donnis Leeth, Councilwoman Ethel Alexander and Cullman County Bicentennial Committee Chairman Drew Green pose for a photo Wednesday morning at the Colony Educational Complex. The Town of Colony was presented a bronze plaque in recognition of the Alabama Bicentennial Legacy Commendation it received from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Alabama Bicentennial Commission in April announced the Alabama Bicentennial Legacy Awards and Commendations, and the Cullman County Bicentennial Committee was pleased to announce the Wallace State Community College Fine and Performing Arts Department, the Town of Colony and the Cullman County Museum were honored with Commendations. On Wednesday, bronze plaques were presented to the Town of Colony and the Cullman County Museum. (Wallace State will also receive a plaque.)

The honor recognizes outstanding projects by communities and organizations that were part of the commemoration of the statehood anniversary. Wallace States Fine and Performing Arts’ “Stars Fell on Alabama” Bicentennial Musical Salute toured Europe and featured songs with an Alabama influence, and the special murals the Town of Colony created celebrated their unique heritage as one of the few African-American founded communities in Alabama. The museum was awarded for its Making Alabama Bicentennial Art Contest and Discovering Our Places Bicentennial Adventure- The Making Alabama Bicentennial Art Contest was in conjunction with the Making Alabama Bicentennial Exhibit hosted by the Evelyn Burrow Museum. The Discovering Our Places Alabama Bicentennial Adventure was countywide, a project of the Cullman County Museum and Cullman County Bicentennial Committee with financial support provided by the Cullman County Historical Society. Signs were placed at different historical sites from the Hanceville Drug Company to Good Hope School and the old church in Colony.

“Communities invested time and resources in an amazing range of projects,” noted Alabama Bicentennial Commission Chairman Sen. Arthur Orr back in April. “Our successful Bicentennial celebration owes a real debt to their efforts, especially for projects that will be important to the state, its communities and its citizens for a long time to come.”

Awards were given in two categories: Commendations for outstanding Bicentennial programs and projects and Legacy Awards for projects of exceptional and lasting impact. Forty-one commendations and 21 legacy awards were given, representing more than 40 municipalities in 35 counties.

Projects ranged from celebration events to city murals to preservation and restoration of sites and structures. Many projects were locally-focused while some were regional or even statewide. Many are especially notable for their long-term relevance and impact.

The awards represented every region of the state and ranged from small towns like Mooresville (population 50) and Lillian (population 117) to major metros, including Birmingham, Montgomery and Huntsville. Stand outs include Baldwin County, which pledged to erect more than 50 new historic markers, and Cullman County, which sustained extensive programming over the three-year celebration.

Alabama League of Municipality Communications Director Carrie Banks, who served as co-chair of the Bicentennial Local Activities Committee, noted that “collaboration and partnership were key. Many communities created bicentennial committees, which brought chambers of commerce, public libraries and tourism offices, among others, to the table.”

Each winning project will receive a bronze plaque noting the name of the project and its award. The plaques are a public reminder of the achievements of Alabama communities during the Bicentennial commemoration.

For more information about the Alabama Bicentennial Legacy Awards and the Bicentennial commemoration, visit www.ALABAMA200.org or call 334-242-4537.

Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs unveils a bronze plaque presented to the Cullman County Museum, which received an Alabama Bicentennial Legacy Commendation from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)