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How Bessemer native André Holland is giving back to the town that molded him

By June 14, 2023No Comments

This is Alabama • July 1, 2019

André Holland’s heartfelt performances include standout characters in movies like Moonlightand Selma. He has appeared on acclaimed series like American Horror Story, and he made the role of Othello his own at the Globe Theatre in London. The career that has taken him from New York to France began in Bessemer, Ala., and the actor is committed to lifting up the community that fostered his talents.

“Bessemer and McCalla made me,” says Holland. “Often Alabama and the community get a bad rap, but it’s a beautiful place with an enormous amount of potential.”

Through the Holland Project, the actor and his family are working to restore the city’s Lincoln Theatre. “It will be a single-screen cinema and performing arts space,” he says. “Our goal is to provide arts programming for the community ­– a space where young people can explore their interests in performing arts.”

Holland knows first-hand that the arts can have a profound impact on a community, especially the youth. “Ultimately, the theater is a dark place in which we shine light,” he says. “It allows communities to look at the problems they face in a new way. It lets us realize that our shared humanity is greater than our differences.”

Copyright 2023 Lincoln Theatre.