Jasper's arts scene shines with an impressive roster of museums, festivals and arts organizations
The arts and culture scene is alive and well worth seeing in Walker County, with museums, festivals, an arts alliance and even historic stores in downtown Jasper that attract visitors.
Walker County Arts Alliance
Walker County Arts Alliance in downtown Jasper is a nonprofit organization that schedules community events, cultural programs and school projects. One of its most successful community arts endeavors is the 50-Mule Team Public Art Project, which encourages local artists to paint mule statues depicting the county’s rich history that are then displayed as public art. To date, more than 55 statues dot the town. The alliance also sponsors Art in the Park, a one-day event in Jasper’s Gamble Park each spring that celebrates arts and crafts, live music and theatrical productions.
Bankhead House & Heritage Center
The restored 1920s home of Congressman William B. Bankhead (father to Tallulah Bankhead) in north Jasper now hosts art-based exhibits that change each quarter. Recent exhibits at Bankhead House included a photographic history of Walker County and the traveling Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama. Admission is free, and the center is open Tuesday-Friday and the third Saturday of each month.
In September, a Foothills Festival descends upon the historic square in Jasper to provide a free day of live music and activities, and an annual Heritage Festival is held every October to pay tribute to the town’s past with live music performances, arts and crafts exhibits and kids’ activities. Also in October, take a short ride to Sumiton and enjoy an entire day at their Frog Festival, with arts and crafts, great food and an antique car show.
Alabama Mining Museum
The state’s vast coal mining past is showcased at the Alabama Mining Museum in Dora, housed in a gymnasium built in 1935 by the federal Works Project Administration. The museum portrays the stories of people and communities involved in the mining industry from 1890-1940, with hundreds of artifacts such as a 1900s-era train and mining cars. The museum welcomes school groups and tours.
Carl Elliot House Museum
The Carl Elliot House Museum in Jasper chronicles the life of Carl A. Elliot Sr., a U.S. congressman from 1949-1964 who fought for racial equality, better education and quality of life for Alabama residents. View personal photographs, handwritten correspondence and campaign brochures – all at Carl Elliot’s personal residence.
Read more about Jasper’s history and heritage.