August 24, 1967
The roots for the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) trace back to the 1950s and ’60s when Birmingham parents and arts advocates appealed to state leaders about the need for a school for students interested in ballet and music. On Aug. 24, 1967, Gov. Lurleen Wallace issued a proclamation for the Alabama High School for the Fine Arts (AHSFA) pilot program and a discretionary start-up grant of $10,000. In 1971, the Legislature passed a joint resolution establishing the school with a board of directors appointed by the state Board of Education. ASFA, located in downtown Birmingham, originally operated at Phillips High School and UAB. It offers tuition-free art instruction for students in grades 7-12. Students qualify by audition to enroll in one of six intensive specialty programs – creative writing, dance, math and science, music, theater and visual arts. ASFA can house up to nearly 400 students. The school’s alumni have earned numerous national and state distinctions in arts and academic competitions.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.