A group of Italian sculptors, dancers, artisans and musicians have been in the state for the past week participating in a variety of activities as part of the Alabama State Council on the Arts cultural exchange program with Pietrasanta, Italy. Pietrasanta is a coastal city located in the Tuscany region and is known as a center for sculpture production in Italy. Michelangelo is among the numerous artists who have lived and worked in the city.
Members of the Pietrasanta delegation have toured marble production facilities in Sylacauga, participated in Birmingham’s Magic City Arts Connection festival, and performed with the Montgomery Ballet. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange and Pietrasanta’s Mayor Massimo Mallengni assured continuation of the cultural exchange with the signing of a Sister City Agreement at the Rosa Parks Museum in downtown Montgomery on Wednesday. Governor Bob Riley also presented the Pietrasanta officials with a proclamation at the state capitol. For more information see the Alabama State Council on the Arts website at http://www.arts.state.al.us/news/index-news.html
The cultural exchange program began last year when Alabama State Council on the Arts executive director Al Head, members of the arts council and a group of state artists traveled to Pietrasanta. The Alabama Tourism Department’s “Year of Alabama Arts” promotion was used as the theme for the visit. For more on the Alabama delegation’s visit to Pietrasanta see the First Draft magazine cover-story “Alabama Shares its Year of the Arts with Tuscany.” http://www.writersforum.org/pdfs/FirstDraft/fall08.pdf