News from Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council
Last Friday Art Night, an Island tradition, will resume on Friday, January 31, 6–8 pm. Please join us at the Dauphin Island Gallery (the Lighthouse building) for food, drink, music, an art demonstration by one of our artists, visiting with old friends and making new ones, all while enjoying the works of art on display. Donations are requested and appreciated! DI School Art Program—DIHAC is partnering with Dauphin Island Elementary School in providing art enrichment classes for all grades at the school. It is offered free of charge, thanks to the generosity of DIHAC supporters. During the current school year, each grade learned about a famous artist, viewed a film on that artist’s life and style, and created a tribute artwork based on the study. This artwork was exhibited during the school’s Christmas musical program at the Shelby Center. DIHAC’s student art program is 100% volunteer-powered and donor-funded. The program resumes in January, and we welcome anyone who has an interest in helping us to contact DIHAC’s Art Education Coordinator, Melinda Hollingsworth, at 205-527-2425. Save the Date! Second Annual DI Native American Festival—Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 21, 2020, and join us for the second annual DI Native American Festival to be held at historic Fort Gaines and other Island locations. More details to follow. Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council is a charitable, non-profit organization, providing educational opportunities in the arts for the young and young-at-heart, and working to preserve our coastal heritage. Memberships, donations, and purchases at our Gallery help support our programs.
Arts of Dauphin Island News and Info
Join the fun at the ‘Arts of Dauphin Island’ Gallery (formerly Art Does It) for our Second Sundays With the Arts Open House! January’s event will be held from 3–5 pm on Sunday, January 12, and will feature Joe Sheffield as our Artist of the Month, whose coastal scenes are fantastic, and he will be presenting some great new work. We offer free Youth Art Afternoons that are held on the first Monday of every month from 3:30–5:30 pm. Please contact our Art Instructor, Margie Delcambre, at 251-402-0266 to register. And bring a friend! All supplies are provided. Adult classes are also offered every Monday from 10 am – 1 pm. Classes are $10/per session. For more info, call or text Margie at 251-402-0266. The Gallery is open every week, Thursday – Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. If you need additional info or are interested in joining our artist-run Galley, please contact Marsha Barnett at 251-401-0230 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 Census Reminder
Although the official 2020 Census forms won’t show up in your mailbox until spring, we want to make sure everyone is aware of the upcoming count and the importance of participating. In 2010, participation throughout the state of Alabama was around 72%. Such low participation rates can have devastating effects on funding sources that support a wide range of services, including schools, health care, community assistance, infrastructure, and so much more. Population counts also determine the number of House of Representatives afforded each state. It’s very easy to participate as you’ll be able to respond online, via phone or by mail (paper form). So, make a special New Year’s Resolution to BE COUNTED in 2020!
Monofilament Recycling Program Gears Up
Thanks to the University of South Alabama Marine Science Student Association, Dauphin Island will soon have new containers (PVC tubes) in place to collect monofilament fishing line. The group is hoping that by offering an easy way to dispose of the popular fiber, less of it will end up in area waterways and shorelines where it can harm wildlife. For starters, tubes will be installed at both Billy Goat Hole and Little Billy Goat Hole (pending Park and Beach Board approval), where the majority of boaters launch. The group also plans to expand the area of coverage to include fishing piers and other public access points. Thanks again to the USAMSSA for partnering with our barrier island community in such a meaningful way!
DI Museum to Host Talks
Dauphin Island Museum Director Jim Hall has put together several interesting, educational, and free talks beginning in early 2020 as follows; Friday, January 17 at 6 pm – “Alabama’s Rich Biodiversity” Ms. Kathy Hicks, on the staff of 5 Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center. An excellent and widely traveled naturalist, Kathy will share with us the many and varied natural marvels of the Mobile Bay area, as well as the Mobile Delta waters. Ms. Hicks took many of the photos in the Little Red School House. Its always worth time exploring the displays of our Dauphin Island Museum, located directly across from Town Hall. Tuesday, February 11 at 6 pm – “Fort Powell, the Third Confederate Fort at the Mouth of Mobile Bay” Mr. Paul DeHaan, a nationally recognized authority on the Civil War Union Admiral David Farragut, will give a talk on the little known Fort Powell, which was located near today’s Dauphin Island Bridge. Mr. and Mrs. DeHaan are primary benefactors of our Museum, having donated a number of artifacts, photocopies of important Civil War art, and photographs. Thursday, February 27 at 6 pm – “Sand Island Light House” Museum Director Jim Hall, a long-time supporter of the “Save the Lighthouse Preservation Group” and former board member of the Alabama Lighthouse Association, will describe the history and construction of our Sand Island LightHouse. Some are not aware of the fact that the Town of Dauphin Island owns this historic landmark. Admission is free for each of these events, and seating is limited.
Battle of Mobile Bay 5K Race
On February 15, lace up your running shoes and get ready to participate in the 24th Annual Battle of Mobile Bay 5K Race! Sponsored by the Port City Pacers, the popular race starts promptly at 830am with a cannon blast, and runners will wind their way through east end neighborhoods with a panoramic view of Dauphin Island Bay and the surrounding environs. Proceeds from the race support the ongoing preservation efforts of Fort Gaines. While there, you’ll want to stop by the Blacksmith Shop to check out live demonstrations that will be going on all day.
Mystic Krewe of Salty Paws Mardi Gras Pet Parade
The Mystic Krewe of Salty Paws will hold its 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Pet Parade at Water Tower Plaza on Saturday, February 8, at 10 am. This event is sponsored by the DI Chamber of Commerce and is a fundraiser for the Animal Rescue Foundation. This will also be an Adoption Day for ARF, so please come visit these sweet animals and take home a new “fur-ever” friend! The parade theme this year is “Life’s A Beach” and prizes will be awarded for Most Creative, Best Group, and a few new categories TBA. The registration fee is $10 for one person and pet combo. Additional people and pets are $5 each. Children age 13 & under are free to walk in the parade, but all pets must be accompanied by an adult. No bicycles allowed, but strollers and wagons are permitted. Golf Carts are allowed but will be grouped by parade organizers. Parade participants will be allowed to throw beads, pet toys, and pet treats, but NO candy. So get creative, dress up yourself, your pets, wagons, and more and join us for this fun and very worthwhile cause!
2020 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday
The Alabama Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 am on Friday, February 21, and ends at midnight on Sunday, February 23, 2020. During this time, you can purchase (at a reduced tax rate) an assortment of items that might come in handy when bad weather threatens our stretch of the Gulf coast. The state of Alabama waves its 4% sales tax, and some municipalities like Dauphin Island also suspend sales tax collections on approved items (costing less than $60 each) such as flashlights, batteries, fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, gas containers and much more. Also included are generators costing less than $1000 each. So mark your calendars and make plans to stock up on items to help you weather the next storm.
Mardi Gras 2020 is Just Around the Corner
The 2020 Dauphin Island Mardi Gras parades will be here before we know it; Krewe de la Dauphine rolls on January 25, and the popular People’s Parade follows on February 1! Therefore, it’s not too early to be making plans to attend these family-friendly events. Especially, those wanting to be part of the People’s Parade. Once again, our crackerjack parade committee has been busy massaging and tweaking guidelines to ensure this year’s People’s Parade is the best yet…and that’s a tall order! First, several categories have been added in which awards will be given including Best Band (best Trailer Band award), Best Decorated Vehicle (decorate your classic, fun or convertible car), and Best In Show (the biggest, craziest, fun-nest entry with the best throws and music). The Marshal Award will be chosen based on the theme, overall character, decorations, and enthusiasm. The winner will serve as Grand Marshal for the following year’s parade and be printed on that year’s cups, trinkets, and throws! Prizes will be awarded in each category, and judges will be positioned along the parade route. In addition, the parade is open to Foot Marchers, Dance Troupes, Truck Bands, Performance Groups, Recognized Equestrian Groups, Floats & Trailers, Boats on Trailers, Vehicles, Motorcycle Groups/Clubs and more. Registration fees and some restrictions apply. Parade Committee reserves the right to reject any entrants. The application is available on the town’s website. For more information, please contact the town hall. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
ALDOT Improving Hwy 193
Triggered by what seems to be an uptick in the amount of accidents taking place along the stretch of Hwy. 193 just north of the Dauphin Island Bridge, Mayor Collier sent a letter to the Alabama Department of Transportation requesting they take a look at road conditions in this area. The response was almost immediate as transportation officials sent out crews to grade shoulders to remove high buildups and fill low spots to promote water runoff from the road surface. In addition, pavement markers (reflectors) have also been installed in certain areas to better delineate the edge of the roadway and “brighten” lanes at night. Our thanks to ALDOT for listening to our concerns and taking action to improve safety for the traveling public! Fort Gaines Campground Sets Garage and Crafts Sale DI Campground Pavilion is the place to be on February 15, 2020, for a Garage & Craft Sale! The event will run from 9 am-noon. Anyone interested in setting up a table can contact Debbie Brown at 330-424-8844. What’s Happening at the Sea Lab? The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is getting ready for the new year. University Programs and Discovery Hall Programs open registration for summer courses and summer camps. Mark your calendars to join us on April 4 for Discovery Day. It’s a fun family day with a chance to meet our researchers and learn about their work. Boardwalk Talks return on January 15 at The Estuarium. Keep connected with what’s going on at our website disl.edu Bluegrass/Country Jams Are Back! Grab your favorite musical instrument and head on over to the Little Red School House on Saturdays at 1:30 pm for our popular Bluegrass/Country Jams. Admission is free. Always an enjoyable afternoon. See ya there!
From all of us here on Dauphin Island, “The Sunset Capital of Alabama,” best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!