Chilton County Arts Council looks to build membership

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2011

After several months of hard work, The Chilton County Arts Council has cleared a major hurdle. It’s now recognized as an official entity.

The Council became incorporated on March 29, and its 501(c)(3) papers are still in the hands of the IRS, but founder Elizabeth Byrd feels like things are headed in the right direction.

“I think we’re doing it the right way,” she said. “I think we’re building it to where things don’t all fall on one person.”

While the Council is now an official organization, Byrd knows that the work is far from over. An organization is nothing without members, and the Arts Council is doing its best to try and draw them.

“We have about a dozen every month that are interested in seeing it succeed,” said Byrd. “That’s a really good number. I personally think that if people are still with me at the end of the year, we’ll be good.”

One of the first things the Council plans to do is reserve a booth for Peach Jam. While most booths pass out flyers, Frisbees, stress reliever balls and the like, the arts council is giving the public something bigger: the opportunity to help decorate their entry in the Peach Parade.

“We’re going to decorate our float early the next morning,” said Byrd. “People who come by our booth [Friday night] are going to get to help us. It may be something like painting a polka-dot and we put it on, but everyone who participates will have helped put that float in the parade.”

Byrd hopes that engaging the public will become a staple of the Arts Council. Plans are being made to eventually hold instructional classes and an outreach to the local community.

“We’re hoping to bring to the community different kinds of things,” said Byrd. “Especially to children and senior citizens. Participating in a creative experience does a lot to enhance quality of life.”

In the mean time, the Council is searching for a home. The group currently meets at the Clanton Public Library, but Byrd said she wants to find a permanent place the Council can call its own.

“It would be lovely to have a room where we could come together and discuss the business aspects of things,” she said. “We don’t have a set office.”

For more information on the Chilton County Arts Council, contact Byrd at