Artist Isaac Hathaway @ the Federation of State Humanities Councils

By Mark Wilson

Audrey Ross talks with AHF Executive Director Armand DeKeyser

Audrey Ross talks with AHF Executive Director Armand DeKeyser

AU student Audrey Ross, who participated in the 2012 Appalachian Teaching Project of the Appalachian Regional Commission, traveled with me to Birmingham on November 9 to present at the National Humanities Conference of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.  The NHC brings togethers representatives from councils from every part of the nation.  The Alabama Humanities Foundation served as an excellent host for the conference, and attendees visited several historic civil rights sites in Birmingham.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 6.52.55 AMOriginally from Lexington, Kentucky, Isaac Hathaway was an artist known for creating ceramic masks and busts of African American leaders, and he was also the designer for the first two U.S. coins to feature African Americans.  He established ceramics departments at several universities, including Tuskegee Institute, and he taught a summer extension course at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) sixteen years before the university integrated.

Students in the 2012 ATP project designed and tested several ways to introduce the public to Hathaway, and the presentation allowed us a chance to introduce Hathaway and the materials we created to a diverse group of conference attendees.  For more information on the project, visit


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