Alabama Power Foundation grant helps Etowah County arts

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - May 22, 2007 - Literacy, arts and learning in Etowah County got a shot in the arm thanks to a $5,000 grant to the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation from the Alabama Power Foundation.

The Alabama Power Foundation grant was divided into $1,000 increments each for the following projects:

  • Fund for Access, a needs-based scholarship program for Etowah County children to learn music, dance and art at the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts
  • The January 2007 presentation of the civil rights play “Jackie, Vi and Lena” at Gadsden State Community CollegeImagination Place, a children’s discovery museum in downtown Gadsden
  • Big Fish program, a literacy effort that brought “Big Fish” author
  • Daniel Wallace to area high schools in March
  • Etowah Youth Orchestra

“Every year, for the past 20 years, Alabama Power has supported the program here and, because of that support, the quality of life in Gadsden is what it is today,” said Bobby Welch, director of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation.

In 1989, Rand McNally ranked Gadsden the seventh worst city to live in throughout the United States, Welch said. But in 2000, the city won the Most Livable City Award for cities under 100,000 by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“Alabama Power’s support has paid dividends,” Welch said. “The city of Gadsden and northeast Alabama have opportunities here that aren’t necessarily available in other cities with 43,000 people.”

Willie Maise, division area manager for Alabama Power, said the $5,000 donation is indicative of the mission of the Alabama Power Foundation.

“Our goal is to raise the quality of life for the people of Alabama,” Maise said. “We’re humbled to have played a part in Gadsden’s ranking as one of the best places to live.”

For more information about the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation, log on to

The Alabama Power Foundation works to improve the quality of life of Alabamians and strengthen the communities in which they live. Since 1990, the foundation has provided more than $90 million in grants to worthy projects across Alabama. Details about the foundation are available at

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across central and south Alabama. Learn more about Alabama Power at