In 1997, in recognition of its contributions to and potential in the music, dance, and theatre, the Alabama Legislature, by joint resolution, designated Shelton State Community College as the Alabama Junior College of the Fine Arts. The mission statement for the State Junior College of the Fine Arts: provide accessible, inclusive educational and cultural opportunities for students and citizens of Alabama through quality instruction and innovative arts programming. Blending public and private institutions, amateurs and professionals, technology and tradition, the College encourages the development of excellence in a broad range of artistic expressions.
In 1998, Shelton State and Theatre Tuscaloosa founded The Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame to honor Alabamians, by birth and adoption, who have made significant contributions to film, television, or theatre. Inductees include Tallulah Bankhead, Rebecca Luker, Truman Capote, George Lindsey, Dean Jones, and Hugh Martin. The annual gala to commemorate inductees (held each year on the Martin Campus) has become one of the most significant cultural events in Alabama.
The Sandra Hall Ray Fine Arts Center honors one of Tuscaloosa’s most outstanding cultural, educational, and business leaders. This Center is home to the Shelton State Community College Fine Arts Division, Theatre Tuscaloosa, and the Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame. The Fine Arts Center facilities include the Bean Brown Theatre, the Alabama Power Recital Hall, the Bell South and Cadence Bank Galleries, painting, drawing, and photography studios, and a dance studio. The Shelton State Community College Music Department, with choral and instrumental rehearsal rooms, faculty studios, an electronic keyboard classroom, and student practice rooms, is also located in the Fine Arts Center. The Sandra Hall Ray Fine Arts Center at Shelton State Community College is unique among community colleges in Alabama and places Shelton State among the elite arts education institutions in the southeast.