Lonnie Holley claims to have been the seventh of 27 kids and to have been traded for a bottle of whiskey when he was 4 years old. With a back story like that, it’s no wonder he became a storied artist.

The Birmingham native has risen to global acclaim as a sculptor working in stone and found materials. He branched out into painting and has been honored in places like Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, New York’s American Folk Art Museum and the White House.

It’s no surprise Holley’s creativity has found a sonic outlet, too. His first album of completely improvisational blues and gospel-informed avant-garde music was released in 2012 followed by another in 2013, to critical praise. Since then, he’s performed with names such as Daniel Lanois and David Byrne.

Holley will be at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center (301 Conti St.) Friday, June 17, at 6 p.m. to talk about his work in the “History Refused to Die” show. Then, at 8 p.m., he’ll perform in the courtyard of Alchemy Taverrn (7 S. Joachim St.) with special guests Ben Sollee and Marshall Ruffin.

For more information go to alabamacontemporary.com.

Free summer admission available at Exploreum
Nothing motivates students like added incentive, and now the Gulf Coast Exploreum has 4,000 extra ones for area students. Move It Up! is a rewards-based program for kids in grades 5-12 to improve their math and science scores, made possible through the generosity of Wells Fargo.

A student who improves their math or science scores between quarters by a letter grade will receive free admission to the science center at 65 Government St. All that is required is that the student attends with a paid adult and brings the child’s report card showing the improvement from one quarter to the next.

For more information call 251-208-6849.

Fort Conde program starts mid-June
The History Museum of Mobile begins its Fun Fridays at the Fort program for kids ages 5-10 at Fort Conde (111 S. Royal St.), and continues with dates in June and July. The event features crafts, activities and stories that orbit Mobile’s colonial history.

The first Fun Friday, June 17, showcases pirate-themed activities. Kids will construct pirate hats, make their own treasure maps and hear tales of pirate raids on Dauphin Island in 1710.

Sessions are at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Reservations are recommended since space is limited.
Admission is $1 and must be made via cash or check.

For more information or reservations, call 251-208-7569 and ask for Curator of Education Jennie Fondren or email her at fondrenj@historymuseumofmobile.com.