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NACC Foundation Annual Holiday Gala to be held December 8, 2022

November 18, 2022

Pictured is a scene from a recent Holiday Gala.

The Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) Foundation Board is hard at work preparing for the annual Holiday Gala. This year’s “Winter Wonderland” Gala will be held on Thursday, December 8th at 6:00 p.m. in the William M Beck & Fine Arts Building (NACC gymnasium). Sonya Clemons, the “Art Lady”, will be honored as this year’s Northeast Alabama Community College Alumna of the Year.

NACC President Dr. David Campbell invites anyone to attend this great community event. “Our Foundation Gala is one of the college’s most popular and fun events and it is all for a great cause -scholarships for students.  We welcome your attendance!” stated Dr. Campbell.

New to the Gala this year is a “Mocktail and Mingle” social time that will begin at 6:00 p.m. Two yummy non-alcoholic beverages and hot apple cider will be enjoyed by attendees. Event-goers can also check out the 360-degree photo booth and other holiday-themed photo areas during the social time. Mix and mingle with your friends and enjoy the decorations and music.

Dinner and welcome will begin around 6:30 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by the NACC Jazz Band.

The NACC Foundation would like to invite all graduates, students, and friends of the College to show their support by purchasing a seat to the Holiday Gala. “Every year we wonder how we can make the Holiday Gala bigger, how we can make it better, and how we can make it more beautiful, “stated Heather Rice, Development Director.  “Then the team meets, the creativity starts to flow, and the magic happens.  It is so very exciting to be a part of an event that excites the community.”

As stated above by Ms. Rice, the NACC Gym undergoes a massive makeover each holiday season. “Our decorators create a wonderland for all who attend and there always is a happy, festive atmosphere at the event,” said Dr. Campbell.

“The Foundation Holiday Gala is always an exciting event filled with beautiful decorations, great food, and music provided by our NACC String Band and NACC Encore,” stated Heather Rice, NACC Development Director.  “We are especially happy to be hosting the Gala this year as we had to cancel in 2020 due to Covid-19 protocols.”

Each year, the Foundation Board recognizes Northeast alumni at the Holiday Gala. This year’s Alumna of the Year is the “Art Lady” Sonya Clemons. As a young girl, Sonya overheard her father say, “one day, Sonya will make her living with her art.”  Mr. Clemons’ prediction proved true sooner, and in more ways, than he or she could have dreamed.

A Huntsville native, Sonya moved to Scottsboro in 1990, during her senior year of high school. Shortly after graduating from Northeast with an associate degree in Art, she began her career as a professional artist.  Her reputation for charming and intuitive art grew quickly, and soon she was in demand painting murals in homes and businesses locally. 

Sonya became Artist-in-Residence for Madison County Schools and held the same position in Jackson County Schools.  In seven years, she painted more than 50 murals in schools throughout the region.  At Bridgeport Middle School, a child first called Sonya “the Art Lady”—the name fit and stuck!  Sonya painted murals in homes, businesses, schools, and other places in four states, but she also saw opportunities to share her artistry through other media.  Sonya began producing a very popular series of Alabama-themed works on magnets, Christmas ornaments, prints, t-shirts, coffee cups, stickers, and the like, exploring iconic Southern cultural staples as diverse as tomatoes and okra, the Vulcan and the Boll Weevil Monument, mountains and rivers, and local treasures and landmarks in towns from Luverne to Skyline.  Her work is sold in galleries and gift shops across Alabama, and online. 

Sonya is nationally recognized for the remarkable Pictures of Hope therapeutic art program she created, providing free art classes for participants and families in the Jackson County Recovery Community, Drug Court and Family Wellness Court.  Most impressively, joining a renowned group of women authors, college presidents, business leaders, politicians, and others from across the state, Sonya Clemons was honored as one of Twenty Women Who Shape Alabama in 2020.

For those wishing to participate in this year’s Gala, Patron Tables are available to purchase for $600.00 each. Individual seats may be purchased for $75.00. All funds raised for the Holiday Gala support the mission of the College and benefit scholarships for students. 

For more information about the Holiday Gala or to reserve your seat, please contact Heather Rice at 256.638.4418 ext. 2301 or Rachael Graham at 256.638.4418 ext. 2391.

For more information about Northeast Alabama Community College, visit or download the OneACCS app in the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Follow NACC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to keep up with the latest announcements, current events, and more.


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