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Desi Gillespie

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City adds $1.3 million to education. Here's how it will be used

City adds $1.3 million to education. Here’s how it will be used

October 25, 2020
Tuscaloosa City Council added $1.3 million to the education budget. The money will be used to fund Elevate Tuscaloosa’s education initiatives, which include Tuscaloosa’s universal pre-kindergarten program, summer learning academy and a dual-enrollment scholarship for local high school students.
City Council moves for sweeping changes in student housing

City Council moves for sweeping changes in student housing

September 27, 2020

The Tuscaloosa City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday banning the construction of student housing apartments with more than three bedrooms.  The ban does not extend to duplexes, triplexes or any...

CW File

Campus monuments, memorials tell a one-sided story

December 5, 2019
The University of Alabama landscape is dotted with monuments to the Confederacy and important sites of the civil rights movement. These are rarely discussed on campus tours or at other events. Some faculty and students believe that the University should be more open and honest in telling its own history.
CW / Madelyn Verbrugge

West Alabama inmates find rehabilitation in prison ministry

October 10, 2019
Two inmates at Bibb Correctional Facility in Brent, Alabama, speak about how they rely on prison ministry programs for hope and purpose. 
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Japanese fusion genre gets new life in the 2010s

September 27, 2019
City pop is one of the great crossroads of music: it’s where the East meets the West, where R&B and jazz meets disco, where the 1980s meet the 2010s. But it’s a subgenre you’ve probably never heard of.
CW / Joe Will Field

Lockheed Martin seeks UA engineers with challenge box

September 12, 2019
Serving as a lead-up to Lockheed Martin’s career fair on Sept. 11, the Challenge Box presented STEM majors with three engineering problems per day starting Sept. 9.
CW/ Emma Junck

Civil rights history organization opens trail

April 25, 2019
Guidebooks are now available for the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Trail, which leads walkers to 18 stops around the downtown area. The Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Task Force has developed the trail and informational pamphlets.
Fresh sound, energy drive spring jazz concert

Fresh sound, energy drive spring jazz concert

April 23, 2019
The UA Jazz Standards Combo performed their spring concert this past week. The band reached beyond its traditional repertoire by adapting students’ modern favorites.
Alp Yeager, owner of Ruan Thai and a native of Bangkok, Thailand, is one of the many chefs and owners hailing from across the world who have made their homes and livelihoods here in town.

Tuscaloosa attracts restauranteurs from across the world

April 18, 2019
The Tuscaloosa restaurant scene has boomed as the city itself has grown over the last several years. Chefs and owners hailing anywhere from New York to Alabama and beyond have made their homes and livelihoods here in town.
CW/ Keely Brewer

Autism Awareness Month brings focus to campuses

April 15, 2019
April is National Autism Awareness Month. Autistic students and UA-ACTS program director Dr. Megan Davis speak about their experiences with autism here at UA.
Photo courtesy of Juan Carrasquilla

STEM MBA grad starts new sportswear company

April 4, 2019
Juan Carrasquilla, a recent MBA graduate, has created Koali Athletico, a brand focusing on useful pockets in athletic shorts. The company will be holding a Kickstarter campaign allowing for pre-orders next Tuesday.
CW/ Hannah Saad

Dance Alabama! engages Tuscaloosa community

March 28, 2019
As the spring semester show of “Dance Alabama!” premiers this week, seniors Emily Scott and Nicole DiGiovanni reflect on their experiences in the organization they call a family.
All photos courtesy of Vicki Rial

Photomontage innovator’s newest pieces visit UA

March 25, 2019
World-renowned artist Jerry Uelsmann’s new exhibit visits the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art this spring. The new works were developed over the last three years as Uelsmann and Dr. Moa Petersen were co-writing his biography.
“Entropia [review]” 2004

Image courtesy of Julie Mehretu and Highpoint Editions

Internationally acclaimed art visits Sarah Moody Gallery

March 7, 2019
“Excavations,” a collection of prints by Julie Mehretu, is concluding its run in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art. The Ethiopian-American MacArthur Fellows artist uses painting and lithography to create intricate abstractions of modern life.
Photo Courtesy of WVUA 23 Digital Reporter David Williams III

Community honors local civil rights pioneers

February 25, 2019
The second-annual Tuscaloosa Heritage Festival ended with an honoree breakfast at the McDonald Hughes Community Center Saturday. The West Alabama Multicultural Alliance organized the festival, which began Thursday evening.
Photo courtesy of Nathanial Reid

Swinging roles provide real-world experience

February 21, 2019
Often misunderstood and underappreciated, actors who learn two or more roles are invaluable to a production. Known as swings, these unsung heroes push their limits to serve as a safety net for a musical cast stretched thin.
Photo courtesy of Maddie Plunkett

Ancient Greek show continues to intrigue viewers

February 18, 2019
Over 2,400 years ago, Euripides’ “Bakkhai” premiered posthumously at the City Dionysia Festival. The play won first place in the tragedies competition, and it has been immortalized in drama ever since.
CW/ Carter Eike

Daters keep up with Valentine’s Day etiquette

February 14, 2019
Though most would consider it to be an old-fashioned idea, etiquette adapts to changing social norms, according to Emily Post certified trainer Gina Johnson. Students also discuss their working ideas of etiquette and how they avoid potential issues on their first few dates.
Courtesy of

European folk jazz is the product of cultural exchange

February 8, 2019
A widely unknown genre, European folk jazz has a rich history. Created through the fusion of classic American jazz and the Romani folk music of central Europe, the genre has produced some of the most skilled instrumentalists of all time.
Photo Courtesy of Blake Snawder

Sundance trip provides inside look at film industry

February 7, 2019
Each year, UA professor Kristen Warner takes a group of students to the world-famous Sundance Film Festival. A viable networking opportunity, the trip provides film majors a greater awareness of their industry.
CW/ Joesph Field

Artists celebrate start of Black History Month

February 4, 2019
The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center hosted February’s First Friday. This month’s event focused on the contributions of African-American artists in theater, visual arts and music.
Courtesy of Lexi Wrist

Dogs provide assistance for stressful college life

January 31, 2019
Humans and dogs have had an intertwined story throughout history. Now students continue to seek help, physically and emotionally, from our canine companions.
CW/ Carter Eike

Late-night shifts leave no rest for the responsible

January 24, 2019
Paying your way through school can force student workers to take late-night shifts at their jobs. Though irregular sleep schedules are known to harm productivity, financial stresses leave some with no choice.
Courtesy of Austin Bigoney

Fashion Column: Men’s winter fashion combines layering and simple styles

January 22, 2019
As fashion has evolved through the years, it has become particularly difficult to “dress for success.” The kind of success we are looking for varies constantly, with each day bringing a new set of needs and expectations.
CW/ Joseph Field

Quilters guild honors longtime Kentuck artist

January 14, 2019
A cloudy morning in downtown Tuscaloosa saw the unveiling of Hallie O’Kelley’s quilt, “October Glory.” The display was funded by the West Alabama Quilters Guild to honor O’Kelley’s lifelong contributions to the art form.
CW/ Joseph Field

Spring offers fresh start for weekend activities

January 10, 2019
Monday’s tragic ending to a great season marked the final pre-planned weekend of the school year. This semester, with some struggling to fill the football-shaped void in their hearts, students are on the lookout for affordable social activities.
CW/ Austin Bigoney

Tinsel Trail becomes a Tuscaloosa tradition

December 6, 2018
The Tinsel Trail continues its tradition of lining the path to Tuscaloosa’s River Market and Amphitheater this season. Started as a fundraiser for Tuscaloosa’s One Place, the festive walkway of creatively decorated Christmas trees will be free for visitors to enjoy until it closes on Jan. 13.
Photo Courtesy of

Music Column: ‘Young Sick Camellia’ explores new themes

December 4, 2018
The sound of “Young Sick Camellia” marks a departure from the band’s first two releases, “Half the City” and “Sea of Noise.” The former was produced by Ben Tanner, touring keyboardist for the Alabama Shakes.
CW/ Austin Bigoney

Service group turns newsstands into libraries

December 3, 2018
On the morning of Dec. 1, students gathered behind Nott Hall to paint small neighborhood libraries. Several of these libraries have already been installed at Holt Elementary. These small book stands were created for the encouragement of literacy in the Tuscaloosa area.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Review: “The Crimes of Grindelwald” steps into the intense backstory of the wizarding world

November 27, 2018
The long awaited sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” gives Potter fans insight into the history of Harry’s world. Set in 1927, the film follows Newt Scamander as he is recruited by Albus Dumbledore to find the dark wizard Grindelwald.
CW/ Austin Bigoney

University offers community support after shooting

November 15, 2018
The attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last month reverberated through the national Jewish community, affecting students here at the University and stimulating discussion about the frequency of mass shootings in the United States.
CW/ Joe Will Field

Typewriter exhibit showcases writers’ tools

November 12, 2018
The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is hosting the “Alabama Types: Poets, Playwrights & Storytellers” exhibit through the month of November. Several events supplemented the experience, most notably a staged reading of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
CW/ Scarlet VanMeter

Food Review: Bistro Two Eighteen brings French cuisine to Birmingham

November 9, 2018
If you were just walking down 20th St. N. in Birmingham, you might miss Bistro Two Eighteen, a French-inspired restaurant opened in 2011 by Chef Tom Saab.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“First Man” shows rarely-seen side of an American hero

October 24, 2018
Damien Chazelle’s “First Man” released in theaters two weeks ago to an underwhelming box-office performance.
Artist Felix Berroa of Marietta, Georgia. CW/ Joe Will Field

Northport festival showcases acclaimed artists

October 22, 2018
A projected 10,000 people visited Kentuck Park this weekend for the 47th annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts. More than 270 artists from around the world set up booths showcasing their pieces.

Woodlawn Street Market aims to revitalize community

October 19, 2018
Local businesses and merchants set up shop on 55th Place South last Saturday. Now in the fifth season of the market, organizers believe the event has increased foot traffic in the Woodlawn area. This October’s market is the newest addition to their lineup, increasing the market season from four dates to five.
CW/ Grant Nicholls

Twitter creates growing news media culture

October 15, 2018
Students discuss how Twitter makes it easier to access news while also weeding out the information they don’t want to see. The app garners mixed reactions from users for how reliable a news source it is.
CW/ Joe Will Field

Actor’s Charitable Theatre debuts black-box theater

October 11, 2018
The Actor’s Charitable Theatre (ACT) of Tuscaloosa opened John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” in their newly-remodeled black box theater. Previously a rehearsal studio, the space now offers an intimate setting for small plays. The ACT will utilize this theater in addition to holding larger shows at the Bama Theatre.
CW/ Joe Will Field

Chili cook-off brings businesses, community together

October 8, 2018
Local businesses hosted a downtown chili competition in Temerson Square. Organizers hoped to create a greater sense of community through food, music and fellowship.
CW/ Austin Bigoney

Moundville Native American Festival celebrates heritage

October 8, 2018
Members of several nations across the region gathered in Moundville last week to commemorate their culture. Artisans and performers celebrated their heritage on the ancient grounds, playing host to attendees from across West Alabama.
CW/ Austin Bigoney

UA Theatre and Dance continues to feature national pieces

September 27, 2018
Directed by Alex Ates, a Master of Fine Arts student, Lucas Hnath’s play “The Christians” tackles the divisive scene of progressives and conservatives in Christian theology.
CW/ Joseph Field

Club honors local Hispanic, Latino diversity

September 24, 2018
UA Spanish Club: Los Estudiantes sin Fronteras holds cultural events this month to highlight the rich Hispanic influences in the Tuscaloosa community. The club also acts a service organization to the large Hispanic population of Tuscaloosa throughout the year.
John Norman, a comedian, interacts with the audience at Brass Tap's stand-up comedy event,

Stand-Up Tuscaloosa brings comedy to new venue

September 17, 2018
In the intimate space of the Brass Tap, there is no distance between performer and listener, and comics become like revered storytellers one might encounter at a regular dive.
CW/ Scarlet Van Meter

Birmingham band returns for new album

September 10, 2018
St. Paul & the Broken Bones, an Alabama-born band, returned to Tuscaloosa to debut their new album,“Young Sick Camellia.”
Fans' devotion inspires new clothing brand

Fans’ devotion inspires new clothing brand

September 6, 2018
UA professor Mark Barry created the brand Hail Saban inspired by the devotion of Alabama football fans. Hail Saban gains popularity among students for its locality and creativity.
Photo courtesy of Jeffery Bryant Hanson

Review: UA play brings past to present day

August 30, 2018
This week at the Marian Gallaway Theatre, “Separate and Equal” demonstrates Alabama’s place in national discourse. The production examines race relations in the Jim Crow South through the lens of a pick-up basketball game.
Sidewalk Film Festival highlights independent films

Sidewalk Film Festival highlights independent films

August 27, 2018
This weekend the 20th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival opened in Birmingham. The three-day event was packed with various showings, featuring almost 100 films played in iconic locations such as the Alabama and Lyric theatres.
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Desi Gillespie