• creativity. imagination. Mental Wellness.

     

    Drive Social Change at the Speed of Creativity.

     

     

     

     

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    About us

    Fine Arts Find Life (FAFL) is a nonprofit organization based in Birmingham, Al. The mission of FAFL is to enhance the mental wellness of children from underserved communities via expressive arts and education. Our vision is for children to engage in creative, transformative arts experiences as a mode of expression and communication. We aim to inspire imagination and mental peace enabling youth to respond to conflict in a responsible manner and overall, just be their best selves. Our strategy, we offer youth services comprised of expressive arts experiences through collaborative relationships with local children's organizations.

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  • Board Members

    Makella Moore Harris

    Founder & Executive Director

    I am Makella Moore Harris, Ed.S., a native of Demopolis, Al. I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Music Business from Alabama A&M University, Masters of Arts in Music Education from Alabama State University and most recently, Education Specialist in Instructional Leadership from the University of Montevallo. I’m set to begin my Doctorate of Education in Educational and Organizational Leadership this fall at Samford University.

    Sharifa Wip

    Chair

    Sharifa Wip was born in Huntsville, Alabama and raised in Southern California. She moved back to Alabama for college and has lived here ever since. Sharifa is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with bachelors degrees in African American Studies and Mass Communications and a masters in Information Engineering Management. Following graduation, Sharifa worked for WBRC before she was recruited to return to UAB to work with the Blazer Male Excellence Network.

    Tamara DeBolt

    Secretary

    Tamara DeBolt is a “woman of North, living in the South”. She is originally from Decatur, IN and moved to Indianapolis, IN to attend Butler University, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics/Education. She taught high school math in Carmel, IN for ten years before returning to school (Purdue University) to get a Mechanical Drafting & Design degree. She worked in the engineering field from that point forward and also spending some time working for a home builder.

    Terralance De Shon Thurman

    Treasurer

    Terralance De Shon Thurman is an Assistant Vice President and System Support Analyst with Wells Fargo. He is responsible for the management of enterprise-level computer systems supporting the Enterprise Information Technology Distributed Systems operations area within Wells Fargo.

    Shon received a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Huron University and a Computer Technician Diploma from Virginia College.

    Erica Jewel Littleton

    Board Member

    Erica Jewel Littleton has earned local and statewide recognition for her lively contributions to the field of education for more than a decade. A 2005 graduate of Samford’s School of Education, Erica Jewel earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education. In 2009, she became a National Board Certified Teacher as an Exceptional Needs Specialist and renewed her certification in 2019. In 2010, Erica Jewel returned to Samford and earned a master's degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

     

    Roy S. Johnson

    Board Member

    Respected journalist Roy S. Johnson is a Columnist and Director of Content Development for the Alabama Media Group/AL.com, the largest news and information digital site in Alabama. He writes on issues, people, policies, and trends affecting the lives of Alabamians and Americans nationwide, and is a voice chronicling what’s right and wrong in the state and beyond..

     

    Aisha Cooper

    Board Member

    Aisha Cooper resides in Montgomery, Al married to Isaac Cooper with children. A native of Forkland, Alabama and graduating high school from Demopolis, Al, her post high school studies began at Alabama State University receiving a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2006 and going on to receive her Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at Alabama State University in 2009. Mrs. Cooper is currently working on her doctoral degree in Professional Counseling at Amridge University.

    Tawny Stephens

    Fundraiser Committee Chair

    Tawny Stephens is a life and empowerment coach. Her focus is working with women who have amazing ideas but have anxiety around presenting them. She helps them unlock their confident voice and feel powerful when they stand or speak before a group.

    Tawny brings 20+ years of experience in professional theatre. After losing her husband tragically in 2018, she had to put theatre aside and go full time into the world of management. Although she had no business training, she found a way to thrive and lead her store to positive business comps, high connection scores, and low turnover rates - even in the middle of a pandemic.

  • Arts for EXPRESSION Instructors

    Lydia Graves

    Arts for Expression Instructors

    Lydia is an artist, illustrator, and educator based in Birmingham, Alabama. She received a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from Georgia State University in 2006. Since then, she has exhibited at The Contemporary, Barbara Archer Gallery, and Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. Lydia started teaching 2017 in Birmingham City Schools. She has helped the district develop a curriculum map for elementary and middle school art programs. In addition, she has facilitated district-wide professional development. Lydia is currently finishing her Master's degree in Art Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and she teaches PreK-5th grade at Avondale Elementary School.

    Christi Toyer

    Arts for Expression Instructors

    Christi obtained her Bachelors of Art degree in Theater Arts under the direction of Dr. Tommie “Tonea” Stewart. She continued her theatrical training as an intern at the Black Rep Theater, St. Louis, MO, under Founder/Producing Director, Ron Himes. Christi founded Plays on the GO Touring Theatre Company in August of 2007 and made her mark in Birmingham, Al by performing on stages at Birmingham Children’s Theater, Red Mountain Theater, Magic City Actor’s Theater, and Aldridge Repertory Theater.

    Michael Charles

    Arts for Expression Instructors

    Michael Charles is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He attended The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he was a double major in Theater & Dance. He's been in a host of regional theater productions around the United States, a company dancer at AROVA Contemporary Ballet, a Production Cast Principal (Singer-Dancer) for Norwegian Cruise Lines and is an accomplished teacher and choreographer for various dance studios and performing arts institutions in the southeast.

    Ronique Carter

    Arts for Expression Instructors

    Ronique Carter is a native of Pittsburgh, PA and is an accomplished lead percussionist and teacher. Body of work: Drums of West Africa in America, where he studied under the master drummer Eric “Suliman” Rucker. This was the start of his drumming pilgrimage – Pittsburgh, PA. The Shona Sherif African Drum and Dance Ensemble, where he had teachings under Griot Medoune Yacine (Dom) who was the master drummer renowned KanKouran West African Dance Co. Performed in multiple drama productions – Pittsburgh, PA, Columbus, OH and Birmngham, AL.

  • FAFL blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

    The isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown gave many time to reflect. For Makella Moore Harris, it gave her time to “connect with her creative energy on a different level,” she said. That energy that gave birth to Fine Arts and Find Life (FAFL), a Birmingham-based...
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  • F.a.Q

    What does FAFL do?

    We collaborate with local organizations who service at risk students to offer expressive arts services. Our sessions consist of layering fine arts modalities and journaling to increase mindfulness.

    How can we get involved to support the mission of FAFL?

    Thank you so for your interest in FAFL. Please reach out to us at

    fineartsfindlife@gmail.com to discuss collaborative possibilities.

    How can interested adults attend FAFL expressive arts sessions?

    Follow us on social media [IG: @fineartsfindlife and FB: Fine Arts Find Life] to receive updates on community events.

    How can we receive services from FAFL if we are not involved with a partnering

    organization?

    Be on the lookout for upcoming FAFL events via our website fineartsfindlife.org and social media accounts.

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