Arts Infusion: CHS receives $20K Alabama Arts Initiative grant

“You got to purse your lips like this” – Sebastian (Justin Weygand) coaches Ariel (Marie Bean) on how to win over Prince Eric (W.C. Mann for The Tribune/April 2018)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman High School theater department found a way through the pandemic with socially distanced performances and rehearsals, but director Wayne Cook is looking to a more traditional — and even more ambitious — plan as things hopefully return to normal for the 2021-2022 school year.

One thing that should help tremendously? A $20,000 Alabama Arts Initiative grant that will be used to fund some additional arts education at Cullman High. The grant will allow the school to purchase some new equipment that will benefit programs like theater and choir, as well as provide seed money for an ambitious new theater production being designed to reach and include younger students from within the school system.

The grant is also helping kick start a year of Arts Infusion for all Cullman City Schools, which will feature a varied line-up of artists sharing their talents with students across the system.

“Essentially, it’s a plan to infuse our students with a true love of the arts,” Cullman High School Principal Kim Hall said. “We’re extremely excited about it.”

Cook went on to explain the additional funding will provide opportunities to expose more Cullman students to the arts, across several age groups. They plan to have a group working collaboratively to flesh out that effort in the coming months. The new theater production looks to be the most ambitious project to be funded by the grant, and Cook said he’s excited to see how they can reach younger students and share that love of the arts with the next generation of students.

“This will be such a great way to reach down and use our middle schoolers and elementary students and introduce them to what it’s like to be in, and just see, a great show,” Cook said. “We are looking forward to a better year next year. This grant will help us make it extra special in the arts.”