The Asian Cultural Education Center of Alabama is envisioned as a place where the various Asian communities can present programs, courses, and events that represent their unique arts, cultural expressions, and histories. The Center will offer each participating Asian community an office space for program development through a representative Arts and Culture Program Committee. Each Committee will be free from fund raising and facilities management concerns, so that they can focus of planning, developing, and presenting the best and most authentic artistic and cultural programming and courses possible. The administrative staff would include a full-time grants writer/fundraiser and a full-time events coordinator/marketing manager. The Board of Directors will consist of two members from each Asian community's Arts and Culture Program Committee, plus four non-Asian members, appointed by majority vote of the board from outside nominations and recommended as qualified by the Executive Director.
Imagine visiting artists/scholars/artisans spending up to a year "in residence" at the Center teaching and working on projects. The Asian Cultural Center would offer Asian students and students of Asian cultures from all over Alabama and beyond a "cultural immersion" zone to visit; offer Birmingham residents entertainment and educational opportunities in Asian cultures, arts, and customs; and offer opportunities for all to foster inter-community cooperation, understanding, and friendship in the name of world peace. The Center's motto, reflecting this cooperative spirit, will be "Unity in Diversity!"
The Asian Cultural Education Center of Alabama would eventually offer the following facilities, many of which will be multi-functional, to accommodate the activities and programs to be offered within the Center, all of which would be available for rental to the public subject to availability: a 400-500 seat auditorium; a 500 seat banquet hall with adjoining catering kitchen; multiple classrooms for lectures and courses that are divisible; music practice rooms; dance studios; artists studios for painting, pottery, textiles; an Asian library; computer room; offices for the Arts and Culture Program Committees, Center staff, and an area for visiting Asian consuls/business representatives.
Cultural Center Functions
- To facilitate formation and capacity building of various Asian Arts and Culture Program Committees
- To provide a permanent venue for the various Asian Arts and Culture Committees to plan and present a schedule of cultural events, programs, and courses for metro-Birmingham and all of Alabama
- To provide member Asian Arts and Culture Committees a variety of facilities in which to present, and means for funding, continuous events and programs
- To offer a wide variety of courses: Asian languages, Asian philosophies, Asian histories, Asian art forms (calligraphy, flower arranging, haiku and haiga, painting, pottery, textile, playing Asian instruments, dancing, vocal disciplines), and Asian and U.S. business cultures and practices (for businesses and students).
- To form partnerships with other Birmingham organizations, e.g., Birmingham Museum of Art, the Alabama Symphony, Alabama Dance Council, Birmingham Children's Theater, Opera Birmingham, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the Birmingham International Center, etc. to co-sponsor programs, create programs in two way arts and cultural exchanges, and share resources
- To provide a "cultural immersion zone" in Birmingham for citizens, visitors, business people, and students from various Asian countries
Cultural Center Fundings
Grants (government, charitable foundations, cultural organizations, businesses)
Public and private gifts, donations, and bequeaths
Modest tenant rentals
Admissions fees for events and programs
Rental fees for facilities, e.g., exhibition halls, banquet rooms, meeting rooms, catering kitchen, classrooms, studios, etc.
Charges for courses and training
Profits from upscale Asian gift shop
Profits from restaurant
Interest from an endowed maintenance trust fund included in the initial capital project
Cultural Center Administration
The non-profit Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation will raise funds, approve design of, and construct the Asian Cultural Education Center of Alabama
A non-profit Asian Cultural Education Center Association shall then be incorporated and its Executive Director and Board shall oversee cultural center operations
The Board of Directors shall be composed of an equal number of members representing the various member Asian cultural organizations, plus four members appointed by the Executive Director with expertise in operating a Cultural Education Center
The Board of Directors would hire an Executive Director to oversee administration and maintenance staff
Administrative staff must include a full-time Grants Writer to obtain program funding and an Events Coordinator/Marketing Director