In 1961, three members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Theta Omega Chapter had a vision. These members were Virginia Blunt*, Edith McClain*, and Naweta Pinkney*. Their vision was to start a project designed to meet the cultural and intellectual needs of young ladies. The name of the project was “Culturama”(suggested by Virginia Blunt and was led by Naweta Pinkney). Edith McClain was the principal founder officially named of this project, and the first meeting took place at Edith’s home on Weinacker Ave.
At the time, Edna Rhodes* was President, and Edith became the first Culturama Chairman. In 1962, Gloria Craig was President and Edith remained Chairman of Culturama. In the beginning, membership in Culturama was limited to Mobile County High School senior young ladies. They met from house to house with the few active Alpha Kappa Alpha women who had housed large enough to accommodate the Culturamites and their sponsors. The culturamites met in the homes of Edith, Virginia (in town and on Dauphin Island), Alma Foster*, Edna Rhodes, Celeste DuCloux*, Marie Merriwether Roberts* Naweta Pinkney, Ann Harris*, and Sally Knight*.
Culturama’s first major event was the Opera, “Madam Butterfly.” Alma Foster purchased opera tickets from Madam Rose Palmai Tenser for all Culturamites and sorority members who wanted to attend. Over the years, Culturama has continued attendance at the opera.
During the formative years, Culturama was made up of a small group of fifteen young ladies and a small group of about thirty members of the sorority. The thirty members donated food items and money for all activities pertaining to Culturama. A few years later, in 1976, the services were expanded to high school senior young ladies in Baldwin County. IN 1977, high school junior young ladies were included. In 1978, high school young men were included. This inclusion made Culturama the only group in this area with young ladies and young men.
In 1979, Culturama had workshops on etiquette and parliamentary procedures. After each etiquette workshop, the Culturamites attended a luncheon. The first luncheon was held in Morrison’s Banquet Room. For several years, the culminating activity was a talent show presented by the Culturamites a the Saenger Theater. Beginning in the 1980’s, other activities were included, such as: The Dinner Theater, College Tours, Christmas Parties and Community Service Activities.
There are two sorority members who have worked with Culturama from 1961 to the present, Ruth Collins and Doris Lee.
Culturama has successfully served the youth of our community for over 59 years!
*Ivy Beyond the Wall