Walker County Arts Alliance names Putman new director
by Jennifer Cohron
Mar 02, 2014 | 1446 views | 0 0 comments | 105 105 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pat Putman, the new executive coordinator of  the Walker County Arts Alliance, stands in front of the WCAA office in downtown Jasper. Putman is a Jasper native who spent most of her career as a music teacher in the Jefferson County school system. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jennifer Cohron
Pat Putman, the new executive coordinator of the Walker County Arts Alliance, stands in front of the WCAA office in downtown Jasper. Putman is a Jasper native who spent most of her career as a music teacher in the Jefferson County school system. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jennifer Cohron
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In October, the Walker County Arts Alliance gained a new executive coordinator.

Pat Putman, a Jasper native, graduated from Walker High School and Jacksonville State University.

She worked for 34 years in the Jefferson County School System.

Putman began her career as the first female band director in Jefferson County. After 15 years as a band director, she changed her focus to elementary music education.

“At first, I missed the performance aspect,” Putman said. “That transition took a while, but then it became such a joy to watch those children because they love music. Music is the one thing that everybody can do.”

Putman also served more than 25 years as music director of Corner Theatre Academy, where her husband, Mike, recently retired as producer and director.

For the past two years, Putman has been in charge of the CTA Cabaret. The group has performed at several community events, including Jasper’s Foothills Festival in September.

Putman retired from the Jefferson County School System in December 2011.

In addition to her new role at WCAA, she is also the executive director of the Alabama Conference of Theatre.

She previously served for six years as a district chair for ACT, a statewide nonprofit and network of artists dedicated to promoting theatre in Alabama.

The group holds annual festivals in five divisions: community theatre, secondary theatre, collegiate theatre, professional theatre and theatre for youth.

Putman said she has increased her involvement with ACT during her retirement because of her love for the arts.

“All students can find something in the arts that will be perfect for them and that will help them throughout their life,” Putman said. “That is one thing about theatre that has made it so dear to my heart. Acting is such a small part of it. People don’t think about things like the technical side. Those kids don’t want anybody to see them, but they love it. They’re hard workers, and they are creative.”

Putman joins WCAA in its 11th year.

The local nonprofit sponsors three in-school programs: storytelling/ creative writing, Native American pottery and music.

WCAA is continuing an event it started last year called Tasting of the Arts, which transforms the lobby of its office space into an art gallery several times a year. A local restaurant partners with WCAA to offer food and alcohol at each showing.

This year’s Tastings will be held on April 10, June 12, Aug. 14 and Oct. 9.

Art in the Park, which brings artists to Jasper from across the Southeast, will be held May 10. A free public jazz concert will be held at the end of the event.

The Birmingham Children’s Theatre will be coming to the Jasper campus of Bevill State Community College on April 1 and 2 for performances of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

WCAA’s annual dinner theatre is scheduled for Nov. 20.

Putman said her goal as executive coordinator is assist WCAA members with introducing the arts to all ages, children as well as adults.

“I love the arts. I think if you aren’t passionate about what you’re doing and you don’t want to get up and go to work, then you need to be doing something else,” Putman said.