In 1965, the town of Selma, Alabama, made history with its cross-state civil rights marches and voting rights movement. In the wake of the civil rights movement, however, this iconic city passed out of sight.
In 2001, after attending a grant-writing workshop, two local artists began to dream of ways to transform Selma through the arts. Calling their organization “ArtsRevive” they worked with other creative people in the area to repurpose old, vacant buildings, organize weekend artist retreats, forge partnerships with arts and cultural groups, and generally become the voice for creative revitalization in the heart of the historic River City.
In 2008, ArtsRevive purchased an old auto body shop in downtown Selma on a leap of faith. It took the volunteers two years, but their efforts and enthusiasm paid off. The building opened in March of 2011 to much fanfare, attracting interest from local investors who began looking at other historic buildings along the Alabama River with new eyes.
Today, ArtsRevive continues to bring arts-centric housing, business and cultural opportunities to downtown Selma in order to strengthen the local economy, and improve the quality of life for Selma’s citizens. Through creative place-making and the energy of its volunteers, the group has proven that the arts really do revive.