Brittany Howard, Jason Isbell: AL Humanities Fellows

Acclaimed musician-songwriters will be honored August 26 in Huntsville

Huntsville, AL | April 18, 2024

AHA News Alabama Humanities Honors
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Huntsville / April 18, 2024 — Grammy-winning musicians and north Alabama natives Brittany Howard and Jason Isbell will soon receive the highest humanities honor bestowed in their home state.

On August 26 in Huntsville, the Alabama Humanities Alliance (AHA) will recognize Howard and Isbell as Alabama Humanities Fellows. This ticketed event at the Von Braun Center will feature an in-depth conversation between the duo, and each honoree will perform a song for the occasion. Proceeds benefit AHA’s public humanities programming statewide.

Tickets are now on sale via the Von Braun Center (in person) and Ticketmaster (online). You can also learn more about the event at


About the honorees

Howard and Isbell share deep roots in north Alabama — Howard in Athens, Isbell in Green Hill and Muscle Shoals. And the two are among the most acclaimed artists of their generation, with a combined 11 Grammy Awards between them.

They’ll be joining good company as Alabama Humanities Fellows. Past honorees include the likes of Imani Perry, Bryan Stevenson, Howell Raines, Fred Gray, E.O. Wilson, Harper Lee, Kathryn Tucker Windham, W. Kamau Bell, and Wayne Flynt.

While Howard and Isbell are, of course, impeccable musicians, it is their great talent as songwriters and storytellers that makes them Alabama Humanities Fellows. They adroitly weave key elements of the humanities — history, literature, and philosophy — into their songs.

“Brittany Howard and Jason Isbell use their lyrics and their lives to examine what it means to be human — and they challenge all of us to see the humanity in each other,” says Chuck Holmes, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Alliance, “Their lyrics require us to think, and to bring the same level of curiosity and empathy to our own lives.”

The August 26 event honoring Howard and Isbell is part of the Alabama Colloquium series and presented by the Alabama Humanities Alliance, which is celebrating 50 years of storytelling in 2024. All proceeds from the event support AHA programming that helps Alabamians connect with each other, our shared history, and the vibrant, complex communities we call home. 


Event details: 
  • WHAT: The Alabama Colloquium: Honoring Brittany Howard and Jason Isbell
  • WHERE: Von Braun Center’s Mark C. Smith Concert Hall | Huntsville
  • WHEN: August 26, 2024 | 6:30 p.m.
  • PRICING: $75-$100; additional venue/Ticketmaster fees apply
  • TICKETS: Via the Von Braun Center and Ticketmaster

The highlight of the event will feature an in-depth conversation between Howard and Isbell. The honorees will receive their awards from another legendary north Alabama musician-songwriter, Muscle Shoals native Patterson Hood, co-founder of the Drive-By Truckers.

Hood has personal connections with each honoree. In the early 2000s, Isbell was a member of the Drive-By Truckers. In 2011, Hood heard Howard and her original band, the Alabama Shakes, play at a bar in Florence, Alabama; Hood invited them to open a series of shows for the Drive-By Truckers, helping to introduce Howard and the Alabama Shakes to a larger audience.


About the Alabama Humanities Alliance
Founded 50 years ago, in 1974, the nonprofit and nonpartisan Alabama Humanities Alliance serves as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. AHA promotes impactful storytelling, lifelong learning and civic engagement. Through our programs and grantmaking, we provide Alabamians with opportunities to connect with each other, with our shared history, and with the vibrant and complex communities we call home. Learn more at

About the Alabama Colloquium
Each year, the Alabama Humanities Alliance presents the Alabama Colloquium to celebrate how the humanities lift up our state and bring Alabamians together. We also bestow the title of Alabama Humanities Fellow on individuals whose outstanding work in the humanities has positively impacted our state, nation, and world. In 2024, AHA will present two Colloquium events. The first, in Huntsville on August 26, will honor Brittany Howard and Jason Isbell. The second, in Birmingham, will take place December 2 and feature another pair of honorees to be announced this summer.