The Holle Center plans to occupy DMC fourth floor, host diverse stories and storytellers

May 17, 2023

Bryant Denny Stadium, home to the DMCTuscaloosa, Ala. – Plans have been unveiled for The Holle Center for Communication Arts. The Center will be housed on the fourth floor of the Digital Media Center (DMC), occupying 2,450 square feet in an area previously used for football storage. The $2.6 million space renovation will house a story lab for audio and video recording and a multipurpose space for workshops, screenings and offices. When it isn’t being occupied for a program, the Center will serve as an inviting and creative space for students, faculty and community leaders through programming, workshops and workspaces. 

“We wanted to make sure [The Holle Center] was distinct but also complimentary of the DMC, building upon the work and strategic plan of the College of Communication Sciences,” said Robin Boylorn, Director of the Holle Center for Communication Arts. “My vision for The Holle Center is to become a hub for storytelling and social justice.” 

The Center will connect students with nationally recognized communication leaders, including symposia, lecture series, screenings, workshops and discussion panels. Boylorn said that The Holle Center’s initial program will bring in professionals who can teach students about storytelling. From there, the Center plans to collaborate with an alum to produce student stories. 

The Holle Center also plans to host off-campus events, including art exhibit in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. The exhibit will feature the children’s book “Stand Up! 10 Mighty Women Who Made a Change” by Brittney Cooper, illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson. 

“When I was visiting Rutgers earlier this year, they had this exhibit because Brittney Cooper is a faculty member there. The book is about actual people who exist, and the narrator of the book – It’s a little Black girl. And as a Black woman, it was a ‘wow’ moment, thinking how significant it would have been to have representation when I was a little girl. There aren’t many Black books for children that have characters they can actually interact with. And that’s the kind of content and partnerships The Holle Center will champion, going forward,” said Boylorn. 

The Holle Center for Communication Arts was established in 2019 to promote scholarly activities in the communication arts and is possible through the generosity of the estate of Brigadier General Everett Holle through a gift to the College of Communication and Information Sciences. The development of the new Center will support “creative activity and scholarship that advances human dignity, breaks down barriers to understanding, illuminates injustices, and encourages collaboration and empathy.”