On April 27, 2011, Tuscaloosa was ravaged by a tornado that cut through the heart of the city. A year later, the city was still working to clean and rebuild in the wake of the storm, but with a new plan dubbed "Tuscaloosa Forward" that sought to join neighborhoods once divided by economic class and a car-centric design.

One visionary, Kimberly Conway, an art teacher at a local school, wrote a proposal for a grant from Tully's Coffee that couldn't be overlooked. She won the $100,000 grant partnership with the Seattle-based non profit Pomegranate Center, bringing Tully's and Pomegranate to Tuscaloosa to work with citizens and create, as she envisioned, a community gathering place.

From an initial public meeting in December, 2011, to a 10 day build in June, 2012, the community came together to create the Alberta Gathering Place. The amphitheater, made with volunteer labor and nearly all donated or salvaged materials, will anchor one end of a greenbelt pathway meant to revitalize the city of Tuscaloosa as it rebuilds.

Opening Poem:
"Brighter Day," by Latosha Patterson
Read by citizens of Tuscaloosa.

courtesy of _ghost / ccmixter under creative commons
courtesy of teru / ccmixter under creative commons
courtesy of Blake, on-site performance
courtesy of ramblinglibrarian / Soundcloud under creative commons

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