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SEPTEMBER 2016

VOLUME 1

ISSUE 4

IRON CITY

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ROUNDHOUSE

Teen on mission to save abandoned railroad building in Finley-Acipco neighborhood. 22

September Special

INSIDE

SIPS & BITES

FACES

B’HAM BIZARRE

DISCOVER

Island vibes in Avondale

Rhythm of the city

Tropicaleo introduces Southern palate to Puerto Rican, Caribbean cuisine. 10

Birmingham icon John Scalici the pulse behind drum jams and positive messages. 24


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ABOUT

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

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SEPTEMBER 2016

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

12 FESTIVAL FRENZY: Loosen your belt and find your bib — Greek, Middle Eastern food fairs coming up.

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

THE DNA OF BOOKS: Businessman’s ‘foster-care system’ gets patrons to think of reading differently. 6

BREAKIN’ BREAD 2016: Dozens of local food, alcohol vendors set to showcase the best of Birmingham. 14

SIPS & BITES

STREETSCAPE IN REAL TIME: 15th annual Artwalk highlights downtown’s economic growth. 16

OLD-FASHIONED DREAMERS: Year-old We Have Doughnuts mixes Birmingham flavor into sweet treats.

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DRESSED FOR SUCCESS: Alabama Ballet’s costume director reflects on her journey, work. 20

FACES

ROUNDHOUSE RECOVERY: Teen on mission to save abandoned building in Finley-Acipco neighborhood. 22

B’HAM BIZARRE RHYTHM OF THE CITY: Birmingham icon the pulse behind drum jams and positive messages. 24

NECK OF THE WOODS FOREST PARK: Development planned between Silvertron Cafe, Naked Art Gallery. 26 EAST LAKE: Women United project paves way to welcome 1st-time homeowners home. 29

DISCOVER ISLAND VIBES IN AVONDALE: Tropicaleo introduces Southern palate to Puerto Rican, Caribbean cuisine. 10

IRON CITY

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SEPTEMBER’S BEST BETS: Your quick guide to metro Birmingham music and events scheduled this month. 36

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ABOUT

EDITOR’S NOTE

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very summer, I tell myself that this is the year I’ll finally adjust to Southern summers and enjoy my time outdoors in our long, sunny days. And every summer, I scurry back indoors to the blessed air conditioning, choosing instead to glare out my window at the heat waves rising off the pavement. Despite living in the South since I was five years old, I’m convinced that I’m a cold weather creature, built for scarves and hats and boots. This was reinforced recently when I was lucky enough to take a trip to Alaska. The landscape, the wildlife and everything about the trip was stunning. But in the midst of that, I also felt a sense of relief at the summer temperatures, which felt more like the mid-autumn days I experience here. “Ah,” I thought, “this is what it’s supposed to be.”

That breath of cold, fresh air evaporated all too quickly once I got on the plane back home. But it gave me a nice reminder that I’ve got fall days coming my way. If you’re not like me and enjoy the warm weather, I’d encourage you to get out and try the multiple food festivals and food-related events going on this month, try out a Bards and Brews poetry slam or even test your musical talent in a local drum jam. I hope you enjoy September and all our community has to offer this month. Meanwhile, I’ll be cranking up the air conditioning and looking fondly at my sweaters.

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Dimensions) (28) Creative Montessori School (35) Dawson Music Academy (19) FastSigns (15) First Community Mortgage (32) Frame It (27) Garner Family & Cosmetic Dentistry (1) Highlands School (33) Hutchinson Automotive (32) Ingram New Homes (30, 32) Iron City Realty (14) Jeff Richardson - Brik Realty (9) Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. (15) Park 35 on Clairmont (7) Phoenix Builders (38) Planet Fitness (23)

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FIND US Scan the QR code for a complete list of our rack locations or find them on our website, ironcity.ink. Want to join the list or get Iron City Ink mailed to your home? Contact Matthew Allen at matthew@starnespublishing.com.


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SEPTEMBER 2016

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DISCOVER

the DNA of

BOOKS Businessman’s ‘foster-care system’ gets patrons to think of reading differently

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By ALYX CHANDLER f you’ve ever made your way into Reed Books and Museum of Fond Memories on Third Avenue North, it’s probably taken you a few hours to get back out. It’s that magnetic. “It’s the great jolt when people walk in here, this great joy. It happens every day — they have an intake of breath, no matter why people are coming to this place. It’s been happening for years, this poetic jolt,” owner Jim Reed said. Reed, who created the store 36 years ago, spends Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. selling books and aged memorabilia at his specially created store. It might have taken 50 years to find his calling, but now, Reed said, he can’t imagine not being surrounded by thousands of books each day. Looking back though, he admits his life used to be a lot louder than the turning of pages and the crack of the air conditioning turning on. Early in his career, Reed started out as an aspiring actor, which he said lent him skills he still uses today. “When you get onto stage, everyone is paying attention to you, and I loved that. Suddenly, you’re important,” Reed said. “Then it occurred to me, back in this time when I was desperately trying to be my own boss and make a living, that when I come to work I’m still acting, I’m acting the kind, gracious, helpful bookdealer who wants people to feel good and come back.” After going into a career in broadcasting, Reed said he quickly learned it was sink-or-swim in the world of TV performance. Over time, he fine-tuned his skills but eventually quit because even though he was writing, he knew he was only writing what other people needed him to write. “I spent years denying it, writing for other people. Oh, I was a writer, sure, I wrote hard news, PR, for the media, but it wasn’t until I leapt out into the book world that I realized the only person I have to write for is me,” Reed said. When he initially opened Reed Books, it wasn’t easy switching from the corporate workplace. For years he was busy creating a namesake, learning how to write for his own pleasure again and what he refers to as “opening a foster care” for all the various letters, pamphlets, postcards, photographs, cards, books, diaries and any other written material people tried to get rid of or throw away. He kept it all, adding it to his collection at the store.

Jim Reed’s bookstore features more than 50,000 books, newspapers, letters and other written materials. Photo by Alyx Chandler.

“It’s out of respect for people’s lives,” Reed said. To him, it represents memories he rescued and gave another chance. He encourages people to take a minute and pay homage to the words on yellowed love letters, 1940s posters or crinkly comic books. “Literally inside these books are their DNA; it may be 1,000 years old. You could be cloned one day,” Reed said, laughing. He further explained that two microbiologists determined that DNA can be conserved inside the pages of books. That’s why he insists his collection of more than 50,000 books, newspapers, letters and other unclassified 250,000 objects and writings is part of his personal “foster-care system.” Even though everything at his store is for sale, he’s happy to keep all the random memorabilia at his store in the meantime. It preserves the magic and keeps the pull steady for book lovers, curious locals and Birmingham visitors shuffling around the store for hours on end. “This is the center of the universe,” he often says, smiling as both regulars and new customers head in and out of the store. Reading is, Reed said, essential to everyday existence. Saying he doesn’t understand why some people are proud of the fact they don’t read, he opined that some people feel like, by admitting they read a book, it makes them a geek. Or, they genuinely believe they don’t ever read. That’s why he likes to poke fun and ask so-called “non-readers” a few questions about what they consider

reading to be. For example, what signs they read to get here, or if they don’t consider looking at a menu to be reading. “If you hard copied every little thing you read in your life, you’d have a big, big stack of paper. If you went over to Kinko’s [FedEx] and hard copied it, it would be called a book,” he said. This is Reed’s third location in a five-block radius in downtown Birmingham, and he suspects that this time he’ll stay. Reed said the key to keeping his business going is simple. “The book people find me,” he said. “Nowadays, people are finding us in droves.” People often come in and request a certain rare or old copy of a book. If he doesn’t have it, he orders it for them. He said it’s not unusual for people to tear up or get emotional about finding a copy of a book that meant so much to them or a family member or friend. This connection to a story or “poetic jolt” the atmosphere the store causes them, he said, is part of the reason running Reed Books and Museum of Fond Memories is so important to him. His life now consists of acting the role of bookkeeper, occasionally teaching seminars to writers and continuing to publish his own books. He is also the Birmingham Arts Journal editor. “I write books; I sell books; I appraise books,” Reed said, and that is exactly how he likes it. For more information, go to jimreedbooks.com.


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Chelsey Whilding works at We Have Doughnuts at Blach’s Lofts on 20th Street North. We Have Doughnuts offers a variety of flavors of old-fashioned doughnuts, left. Photos by Alyx Chandler.

old-fashioned

dreamers Year-old doughnut company mixes Birmingham flavor into sweet treats

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By ALYX CHANDLER raham Yelton can’t help but eye the purple fruit hanging on the plum tree in her backyard this summer, imagining how delicious it would taste mixed into an old-fashioned doughnut recipe. These days, Yelton said, her taste buds tend to wander to the sweeter side. For the officially year-old doughnut company, We Have Doughnuts, finding creative, sweet flavors isn’t all that matters. “The goal is to speak to the season and the South and to Birmingham specifically,” said Yelton, one of the four friends who started We Have Doughnuts. “How do we roll out a menu that reflects our time and place?” We Have Doughnuts operates a stand in downtown Birmingham at Blach’s Lofts

on 20th Street North, selling old-fashioned doughnuts made from scratch Tuesday through Friday mornings. It sells freshly made singles, assorted half-dozen and dozens from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., or more often than not, until they sell out. We Have Doughnuts has announced a second location at the Box Row development in Avondale, a newly thriving area in Birmingham where many of its customers live. “It all started with Phil Amthor; he’s a dreamer. It was his baby, his dream, and it began with the fact that he just really wanted a good double old-fashioned doughnut,” Yelton said. An old-fashioned doughnut, unlike the more commonly sold yeast doughnut, is made from a specially-crafted batter instead of dough, which allows for a denser, more cake-like texture. Amthor, who originally developed his first old-fashioned recipe

DISCOVER

several years ago, doesn’t take his love for doughnuts lightly. Everywhere he travels, he said he uses it as an opportunity to try and critique local doughnuts. Not only does he occasionally record videos of himself trying various doughnuts across the country, but he also has a manifesto he wrote about his passion for these “underrated” treats. Yelton said they like to focus on new and creative flavors and even sometimes delve into the cocktail flavor scene. The flavors, which also change with the seasons, include lavender lemon, bruléed peach, brown butter, the newly perfected double chocolate and the classic buttermilk and chocolate. “We have a bunch of regulars. Everyone’s happy when there’s doughnuts involved,” said Chelsey Whilding, who sells the doughnuts at the downtown stand. Everyone on staff plays a part in the menu. Each opinion, along with the customer’s intake, is taken into consideration while tweaking and perfecting flavors. They love to take suggestions, Yelton said, which is why she hopes to use her basket of plums soon for a doughnut. “The menu is a collaborative effort,” she

said. “We are always trying to improve and make it better.” A team of three to four bakers rises before the sun to make about 35 dozen doughnuts on an average day. Once the doughnuts are made, they are transferred to Seeds Coffee, Satellite Coffee Bar, Revelator Coffee Company and the downtown stand. On Saturday, doughnuts can be pre-ordered for pickup. With a pre-order system up and running smoothly, the company still has the capability to be operated by a small number of employees, though it hasn’t ruled out the option of expanding to other towns. Supporting local business is also a crucial part of its operating system. Year-round, We Have Doughnuts attempts to source from local farms such as Whit Farm and other locally driven organizations like the Urban Food project. The staff also uses herbs from their personal gardens. Last spring, the owners bought honey from the City Bee Company, also located downtown, and created the hot-honey doughnut, one that Yelton said made them especially proud. Go to wehavedoughnuts.com for pre-order or pickup information.


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DISCOVER

A vegan jibarito sandwich, left, and monfongo, right, at Tropicaleo, a pop-up restaurant serving Puerto Rican and Caribbean food. A permanent location in Avondale is in the works. Photos by Frank Couch.

island vibes in AVONDALE Tropicaleo introduces Southern palate to Puerto Rican, Caribbean cuisine

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By TARA MASSOULEH

America’s oldest port city, with pastel colors and tropical accents. The Marreros ince Isabel Marrero moved to said they plan to make their restaurant dog Birmingham from Puerto Rico and family friendly. In fact, the Marreros’ in April 2015, she has tried 8-year-old daughter, Sophia, already is nearly every restaurant in the hard at work with plans to ensure the latter. city and its surrounding suburbs. “Sophia is all over it,” Gabriel Marrero said. The 26-year-old marketing “She’s the part owner of the restaurant, and consultant and her environmental engishe knows it’s her restaurant. She’ll have neer-husband, Gabriel Marrero, said they a ‘Sophia’s Corner,’ which will be a kids love everything about Birmingham’s vibrant corner in the restaurant with toys for kids.” culinary scene — save one thing. Tropicaleo will serve lunch and dinner Isabel and Gabriel Marrero. “When we moved here we saw the scene plus brunch on the weekends in what Isabel growing, and we thought it’s nice, but they Marrero describes as a “very laid back don’t have what we can bring,” Gabriel ambiance” that reflects “Tropicaleo,” which Marrero said. is Puerto Rican slang to describe the island vibe. What they decided to bring was a bit of their history, a hint “It’s sort of like on your day off you just want to drive of their heritage and a piece of who they are. The two self-dearound the beach, have a few beers, eat some food from food scribed “foodies” are bringing Puerto Rican and Caribbean trucks — that’s Tropicaleo,” Isabel Marrero said. “We’re serifood to Birmingham with their new business, Tropicaleo. ous about our food — all Puerto Ricans are — but we aren’t The fast casual restaurant will be on the 4400 block of serious about anything else.” Fourth Avenue South at the end of the strip mall that houses Before their expected opening date in late October, the Family Dollar. The restaurant will seat about 76 people in its Marreros will be serving up their Puerto Rican dishes at their indoor dining room and outdoor terrace. The couple also plans permanent pop-up at Crestwood Tavern. They serve lunch to take advantage of the building’s existing takeout window to Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and brunch and fill pickup orders. They expect a good number of them, considlunch on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ering the restaurant is next to Cahaba Brewing. “We’re using it as a way to find out what people prefer Décor will reflect Puerto Rico’s capital of San Juan, because Puerto Rican food is very diverse, and the Southern

palate is very tricky,” Isabel Marrero said. “We wanted to get to know people and let people get to know us before we start officially at Avondale.” So far, the Marreros have found success with their signature sandwiches, especially jibaritos, which are made using twice-fried plantains called tostones instead of bread. They are served in two varieties: stuffed with skirt steak and provolone or a vegan option filled with eggplant and hummus. In addition to sandwiches, Tropicaleo offers rotating lunch specials including canoitas, whole, sweet plantains baked and filled with beef or eggplant. Recently, the couple have responded to the requests of their loyal following by offering mofongo, an Afro-Puerto Rican dish made from fried-then-mashed plantains mixed with meat. Like their other menu items, the mofongo can also be ordered vegan. “Vegan is crucial to us,” Gabriel Marrero said. “Having vegan and gluten-free items on our menu has been part of the design since the beginning.” In fact, other than the Morovis bread the couple has made at Continental Bakery, everything on their menu is gluten free. Isabel Marrero, herself, is gluten-sensitive, and she said many of the people who visited their Woodlawn Street Market pop-up had celiac disease. In addition to their head chef, Orlando Vega, who they brought in from Puerto Rico, the Marreros have enlisted the help of local community partners. Instead of selling commercial drinks, they sell Wabi Tea and Wholesome Soda, which are both made in Homewood. They get their sausage from Kyle D’Agostino of D’Agostino Sausage Emporium, who also happens to be their head architect. The Marreros said though they aren’t Birmingham natives, they felt a huge sense of community in the area, which inspired them to push forward in starting a business. “We moved here with no expectations of this happening,” Gabriel Marrero said. “The real thing is that Birmingham is just a prime place to do this kind of thing, to grow it, and make it something special.” Of course, he said he already knew Birmingham was something special. “This whole area was almost abandoned still,” he said. “But I fell in love with the place, and I told [Isabel] we had to come here. I said, ‘This place is amazing; it’s going to be crazy in a few years.’” Now that they’ve made Birmingham their home, the Marreros said they’re excited to contribute to the craziness with Tropicaleo. For more information, go to tropicaleo.com.


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By TARA MASSOULEH wo Birmingham churches will keep tradition alive with the continuation of their annual food festivals. Saint George Melkite Greek-Catholic Church will host its Middle Eastern Food Festival Sept. 8-10, and the following week Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral will host its Greek Food Festival Sept. 15-17. Both food festivals have become staples in the Birmingham food and culture scene with their homemade food, music and dance performances and craft sales. Each year, they draw attendees from across the city and the state. Both the Greek and Middle Eastern food festivals have been around for 35 years or more.

DISCOVER The annual Greek Food Fest draws about 25,000 people each year to experience music, dancing and traditional Greek food. Photos courtesy of Elaine Lyda.

FRENZY

Greek, Middle Eastern food fairs return

NECK OF THE WOODS

GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL “It’s like if we stop doing this, we’re going to disappoint a lot of the greater Birmingham community,” said Pete Lafakis, chairman for the Greek Food Festival. “People look forward to this diversity, or what we offer in terms of a little slice of Greek life, every year.” The Greek Food Festival started 44 years ago when Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s ladies’ society, Philoptochos, decided to make and sell Greek food as an outreach program for the community. Eventually, the demand for Greek dishes and

pastries became so high that the church decided to host a festival where it would sell Greek food and expose others to Greek heritage through traditional song, dance and crafts. Additionally, as the largest of only four Greek Orthodox churches in Alabama, Holy Trinity decided to give church tours during the festival. “A lot of people, when they take the church tours, they’re just amazed at what’s in here — the icons and all that — it’s just eye-opening,” Lafakis said. The festival started out in the church gymnasium, but it has since become a major event for the city of Birmingham, drawing more than


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HAPPENINGS 25,000 visitors each year over its three days. Just last year, the city granted the church permission to close 19th Street between Third and Fourth avenues South for the festival. As part of its mission to serve the community, a portion of the proceeds from the festival is donated to local charities each year. In past years, the festival has donated to Magic Moments, The Exceptional Foundation and The Bell Center. Lafakis said since its conception in 1972, the festival has donated about $1 million. Though the festival has grown to showcase different aspects of Greek culture, food remains front and center. Dinner options range from a Deluxe Plate (includes Greekstyle chicken, pastichio, rice, spanakopita, a Greek salad and roll for $17) to souvlakia (marinated lamb skewers for $13) to gyro sandwiches for $8. Dessert options include

baklava, loukoumathes (fried Greek doughnuts covered in honey), and kourambethes (Greek wedding cookies), and they range from $2 to $4. All the food is made by Holy Trinity church members and can be called in for takeout. For more information, go to birminghamgreekfestival.net.

Kibbee, a dish made from finely ground round steak mixed with cracked wheat, onion, pine nuts and spices, is one of the most popular dishes served.

During the three-day festival, guests can watch live performances of Arabic dancing from church members of all ages. Photos courtesy of John Manos.

MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD FESTIVAL

5 to one woman helped [and] cooked until she was 102.” Shahid has worked on the festival for the past 20 years and said it’s been a team effort from the beginning. The festival started when initial members of the church began cooking weekly international dinners to raise money for the church. Now the church’s 300-or-so families have taken over planning and preparing the food and entertainment for the festival, including vendors selling hand-carved olive wood, religious relics, books and Middle Eastern groceries, as well as Arabic music and dance performances. During the festival, Shahid gives tours of the church and said her favorite part of the event is getting to see people experience Middle Eastern culture for the first time, whether that is by trying new food or learning an Arabic folk dance. Like Holy Trinity, Saint George Church donates a portion of the proceeds from its festival to charity. Once a month, the church cooks food for Pathways, a shelter for women and children. It donates to Three Hots and a Cot, a veterans’ charity, and it donates to Melkite Eparchy, which in turn donates to other charities, including relief in Syria. For more information, go to saintgeorgeonline.org/food-festival.

Though the Middle Eastern Food Festival isn’t quite as large as its counterpart, Saint George Church’s 35-year-old festival has a following in its own right — in recent years it has brought in more than 8,000 people. The festival operates on the same premise as the Greek Food Festival: Festivalgoers get a taste of another culture through food, live music, dance performances and vendors, only it’s not gyros and pastichio they’re serving, it’s kibbee (a Levantine dish made with ground chuck and cracked wheat) and mamoul (a shortbread filled with dates or nuts). Jo Ann Shahid, a festival organizer, said the festival is put on through a joint effort from fellow church members. Planning for the event takes place year-round, with only a four-month lull period at the end of each year’s event. When summer begins, so does the baking. Every Saturday, church members, young and old, gather to bake spinach pies, meat pies and Middle Eastern pastries. By mid-July, the church had collectively prepared and frozen 4,000 spinach pies, 5,000 meat pies, 5,000 pastries and 16,000 stuffed grape leaves. “We’re just one big happy family,” Shahid said. “Everyone helps, kids from age

Festivalgoers can try souvlakia, marinated lamb skewers.


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Breakin’ Bread 2016: Dozens of local food/alcohol vendors set

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Silvertron Cafe staff show off a plate, left, while an employee with The J. Clyde pours a drink, far left, during the 2015 Breakin’ Bread celebration. Photos courtesy of Birmingham Originals.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL irmingham’s chefs and restaurateurs will come together later this month for Breakin’ Bread 2016, an annual celebration of what the Magic City has to offer

in local food. “The idea of the event was to offer to the people of Birmingham something created by the locals,” said Jorge Castro of Cantina Tortilla Grill, who helps organize the event. Breakin’ Bread is hosted by Birmingham Originals, a group of local restaurants, and Castro said the event has been around for about 16 years. This year, Breakin’ Bread will be at Sloss Furnaces on Sept. 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. Aside from Cantina, there will be about 30 restaurants and beer and wine vendors participating. “We have a big list of restaurants that are going to be participating this year,” Castro said. A few of those participants include 5 Point

Public House Oyster Bar, Avo, Bellini’s, Chez Lulu, Bistro V and first-time participant Revolve Kitchen and Brew. There will also be music, sponsor booths, children’s and VIP areas and a chef competition. General admission tickets offer unlimited samples of the participating restaurants’ food, as well as two drink tickets. More drink tickets can be purchased inside the event. VIP tickets include unlimited food and drink and access to the VIP lounge and gift bags. Breakin’ Bread benefits a different nonprofit every year, Castro said, and this year the recipient will be Jones Valley Teaching Farm.

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“The main reason we selected Jones Valley Teaching Farm is because it’s related with food; it’s related to trying to educate kids [and] young people about food, about farms, about all different stuff. So we’re thinking that it’s a really good choice,” Castro said. For many of Birmingham’s restaurants, Breakin’ Bread is one of only a few times a year chefs and owners get to meet and catch up all at once. Despite the chef competition, Castro said the event feels more like hanging out than competing against one another. “Because we are so busy seven days a week, 24 hours … to have 30 or 40 [restaurants] at the same time is like really, really

nice,” Castro said. Breakin’ Bread is also a chance to encourage local eating and gain visibility among Birmingham diners, he said. “It’s actually one of my favorite events in town,” Castro said. General admission tickets are $30 before Sept. 1 and $35 at the gate. VIP tickets are $89 through Sept. 1 and $99 at the gate. Children younger than 12 can enter free and have unlimited food samples and access to the children’s area. To learn more, go to birminghamoriginals. org. Purchase tickets at birminghamoriginals. instagift.com/breakin-bread.


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HAPPENINGS

Birmingham AIDS Outreach invites community to join 25th annual walk

Food Truck Fridays set to bring tasty choices to City Hall/Linn Park

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By ANA GOOD

By ERICA TECHO

aking it out of a parking deck to get to a restaurant for lunch in an hour or less can be difficult sometimes — especially downtown. But it’s not the only way to get a good, local meal. The Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition hosts Food Truck Fridays as a way to provide a convenient lunch spot and support local vendors, said event planner Jennifer Gowers.“We all know how hard it can be if you’re buried up there [in an office], in 30 minutes to run out and get lunch,” Gowers said. Food Truck Fridays started May 6 and are the first Friday of each month. The event started with about eight trucks, and it has grown to hosting 12 food trucks for September and its last Food Truck Friday in October. “It’s been great; it’s been wonderful,” Gowers said. “The turnout has increased slowly, which is one of the reasons the trucks have all been

Snapper Grabber’s Coastal Kitchen is a member of the Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition. Photo by Erica Techo.

signing up.” Which food trucks are present depends on the trucks’ availability, Gowers said. A sign-up list is sent out to the members of the coalition a few weeks before the first Friday of the month, and they are able to sign up. The coalition has 16 members, with food options ranging from pizza to ice cream. The last two Food Truck Fridays will be Sept. 2 and Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The food trucks park along 20th Street between Birmingham City Hall and Linn Park. For more information and a full list of member food trucks, go to bhamfoodtrucks.net. The Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition can also be found on Facebook at B’ham Food Trucks.

Birmingham AIDS Outreach will host the 25th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk and 5K Run, Sunday, Sept. 25, at Railroad Park. The whole family, and pets too, are invited to join BAO for the 25th on the 25th to help raise money and awareness for the fight against HIV/ AIDS in Birmingham. Recognized as the largest and longest-running AIDS walk in the state, the event helps raise somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 a year for BAO, according to Development Director Jaime Whitehurst. “One hundred percent of the funds raised go toward helping to provide free services to people living with HIV and AIDS, as well as to provide free STD and HIV testing for the community,” said Whitehurst. “In addition, we also operate a youth drop-in center called the Magic City Acceptance Center and

a fully staffed wellness clinic with a primary care physician.” Each year, said Whitehurst, the event sees some 600-800 participants. The event will kick off at 5 p.m., with the 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk set to begin at 6:30 p.m. The run and walk will be followed by a brief closing ceremony. The day’s festivities include a community and business fair, children's activities, health screenings and live music. The Mystic Krewe of Apollo will serve as Grand Marshals. “The event is definitely family-friendly,” said Whitehurst. The event is free, but donations are encouraged and can be given online or the day of. A small fee will be required from 5K runners, said Whitehurst, because of the logistics involved in its setup. For more information, to register or to donate, visit birminghamaids outreach.org.


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15th annual Birmingham Artwalk highlights downtown’s economic growth By MANDY McDANIEL

W Courtesy artsBHAM

hen the Birmingham Artwalk began in 2002, only a handful of businesses, artist studios and two restaurants, including John’s City Diner, were a part of it. Over the course of 15 years, the neighborhood has undergone a drastic and exciting change, said Joy Myers, executive director of Artwalk. “Part of our mission has always been to show the economic opportunity that downtown offers and create a weekend to show what a vibrant downtown would look like. Fifteen years later and a tremendous amount of development throughout the city brings us much closer to that goal,” she said. Artwalk is a weekend festival that transforms Birmingham’s historic Loft District into an arts district, featuring the work of more than 100 visual artists, live musicians, street performers, food and drink vendors and children’s activities. Slated for Sept. 9-10, the event spans Morris Avenue, First

The 15th annual Birmingham Artwalk is scheduled for Sept. 9-10 along Morris, First and Second avenues North. Photo courtesy of Arik Sokol.

and Second Avenues North and is free to the public. “For the kids, we feature the Artwalk KidZone on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Located under the 22nd Street viaduct on Morris Avenue, local artists and volunteers

lead children through individual and collaborative art projects,” Myers said. Musical acts include The Twin Heart Trap, The Starlings, Taylor Hollingsworth, GIRLS ROCK, Erynias Tribe, DJ Rocko and Creature Camp. For the past two years, more than 10,000 people have walked the streets during the two-day event. The art itself is varied in medium and price. “While collectors will find exquisite pieces to add to a collection, young patrons beginning to collect will find affordable works of art as well,” Myers said. Participating artists are predominantly from Birmingham and surrounding communities, showcasing the wealth of local talent. This year’s Artwalk is presented by Urban Standard and will feature artists Allan and Sarah Woodall, a husband-and-wife artistic team. Allan Woodall received a formal education in art, focusing on printmaking and digital media, and is now an illustrator, designer, printmaker and painter. His “SpatterBeasts” illustrations are vibrantly colorful. Sarah Woodall is a self-taught painter and designer known locally for her skyline

series of Birmingham. The two artists collaborated on works that depict monsters roaming around popular Magic City sites. “The combination of animals and the city is a joining of two of our passions,” Sarah Woodall said. “I paint Birmingham and Allan illustrates creatures, so we wanted to create some collaborative pieces that merged both worlds.” Artwalk has partnered with many organizations over the years, but has a new partnership this year with Kuumba Community Art's teen design team in Ensley. The program started in 2013 with the goal to help youth develop careers in the arts and graphic design. Students ages 14 to 16 from the Birmingham area are recruited to participate in a youth design academy. For more information, go to birminghamartwalk.org.

Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


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Brian “Voice” Hawkins emcees Birmingham Public Library’s Bards & Brews open mic poetry slam at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. Photos by Patty Bradley.

the VOICE of Bards & Brews

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By AMBER RITCHIE

or Birmingham’s poetry pros and newbies alike, Brian “Voice” Porter Hawkins is the man to know. Hawkins is the emcee of Birmingham Public Library’s Bards & Brews poetry slams and open mic nights. Once a month after hours, the library is packed to the brim with people socializing and enjoying craft beer served by staff from The J. Clyde. Local music starts the poetry slam before Hawkins takes the microphone to start the competition. Hawkins is serious about his career and the arts. Both passionate and thoughtful, he morphs into a larger-than-life personality onstage both performing and leading the library’s poetry events. He has a hearty laugh and an energetic, positive stage presence that draws people in, reminding participants to let loose and have fun. Created by librarian Haruyo Miyagawa, Bards & Brews is a free event to have the community — particularly younger people — get involved at the library. At the first Bards & Brews in 2010, Miyagawa and Hawkins said they expected no more than 30 people to attend, but were surprised when the turnout was 10 times that. Now, most Bards & Brews events attract up to 300 people each month.

“Bards & Brews brings people into the space,” Hawkins said. “This allows us to let people know about all of the other programs that the library has to offer that may not get as much press as Bards & Brews.” The content of the poems varies, just as all of the speakers come from different backgrounds. “People talk about love and money, politics, death, sex, food and anything else that they can imagine,” Hawkins said. “It’s always a great time hearing so many points of view.” Hawkins stressed that Bards & Brews is strictly for adults (18 and up), and there is another library poetry program for teens called Word Up. Other than that, anyone can participate at Bards & Brews. It makes no difference if you’re a veteran slammer or just starting out. “The mix of people is amazing,” he said. “We have college students, 30-somethings and retirees. We have some of the best poets in the Southeast and poets who have only penned their first poem that day.” The “Southern Fried Slam” rules include: original poems only, a time limit of 3 minutes and no props or instruments. The slam has three rounds, with performers eliminated in each round until there are only two poets remaining to compete for the top spot. Each performer is judged numerically on a scale of one to 10 by five volunteers randomly selected from the audience. There’s a prize

involved as well. Each participant donates $5 to the pot, and the winner takes all. “On the open mic nights, we can have up to 20 people read, recite or perform. But on slam [spoken word poetry competition] nights, we only let the first nine people sign up,” Hawkins said. “People usually have pieces prepared, but winging it happens,” he said. “Sometimes, during the slams, there will be a tie, and the poets will have to make up a poem for the tie breaker. Our very first slam featured a performer, Chris Davis, who wings every poem.” In addition to the performances, everyone is a fan of the craft beer. Breweries from all over the country have been featured, but Hawkins prefers local brews. “Good People Brewing, Avondale, Cahaba,” he said. “I fell in love with the brews from Band of Brothers Brewing in February. I think that the local brewers have a great idea about what the people in Birmingham like, and they deliver just that.” Bards & Brews poetry slams are possible due to grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Birmingham Public Library’s Young Professionals and donations from friends of the library. Hawkins said he and the rest of the Bards & Brews committee are “working on a few surprises for the end of next year and the next season.”

Hawkins works full time as a performance artist on and off since 2004. He’s a poet, actor, musician and professional event emcee. He has hosted the longest-running poetry open mic in Birmingham (seven years and counting) at the Carver Theater called “On Stage at the Carver” and performs his original work across the country. Hawkins said he knew he had a talent for the arts at a young age, painting murals with Toby Richards and Susie Harris from the Birmingham Museum of Art’s education department. He was in 11th grade when he discovered his knack for poetry. He started performing his spoken word pieces while in college at Mississippi State University. Hawkins is also heavily involved in the Birmingham community. He works as a community development consultant. With the help of Bettina Byrd-Giles, he created The Color Project Ensley (TCPE) to address health equity (social, mental and physical) using public art and built environmental design. “My commitment to the arts is an extension of my love for community” he said. “I have been using arts in Birmingham to forge alliances and strengthen neighborhoods and communities for the past 11 years. I’ve been working with an amazing group of people in Ensley, Ensley Alive, to help change the narrative about a part of our city that has been neglected and shunned by the rest of the city and our elected officials.”


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Wendy Gamble hard at work in the Alabama Ballet’s costume shop. Photos by Rachel Hellwig.

DRESSED SUCCESS for

Alabama Ballet costume director Wendy Gamble reflects on her journey, work

By RACHEL HELLWIG

W Courtesy artsBHAM

endy Gamble’s daughter, Elizabeth, knew from a young age she wanted to become a professional ballet dancer someday. “When you have children, you never know where they’ll take you,” Wendy Gamble said. As a single parent supporting her child’s dream, Wendy Gamble knew she had to be proactive in “looking for ways to make that happen.”

When Elizabeth Gamble began performing with Alabama Ballet as a young community cast member, Wendy Gamble sought opportunities to be involved behind the scenes. Word got out that she could sew, and she took a position in Alabama Ballet’s costume shop. “The costume director at the time, Betty Smith, took me under her wings and trained me,” she said. “During this time, we were building costumes for ‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,’ so there was an abundance to learn, along with an amazing group of women who helped give me confidence.” While Wendy Gamble was training in the costume shop, Elizabeth Gamble began training at the Alabama Ballet

School. Wendy Gamble’s work helped offset the cost of her daughter’s lessons. “Alabama Ballet very graciously allowed me to work in the shop and at shows to help cover her tuition and fees,” Wendy Gamble said. “I don’t know how I could have made that happen otherwise.” Their hard work paid off. When Elizabeth Gamble graduated, Alabama Ballet offered her a job as a professional dancer, a dream come true. She is now in her seventh season with the company. Along the way, Wendy Gamble found her own success. She was promoted to costume assistant in 2005, then costume director in 2006.


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One of Wendy Gamble’s costumes.

“Taking this job was the scariest thing I had ever done at the time, but it hasn’t turned out too badly,” Wendy Gamble said, laughing. Wendy Gamble’s workplace, Alabama Ballet’s costume shop, is tucked away in the back of the company’s studios in downtown Birmingham. The quiet, but vibrant, space is filled with tulle, tutus, fabric, thread, ribbons, trim, buttons, pins, pointe shoes, ballets slippers and more. Presiding over everything is the watchful, if occasionally suspicious, eye of the shop cat, Ms. Priss, who Alabama Ballet Artistic Director Tracey Alvey rescued from an abandoned litter.

“We originally wanted to give her a ballerina name like Giselle,” Wendy Gamble said. “But Ms. Priss just stuck.” Upstairs in storage is a virtual forest of costumes in every color from pastels to jewel tones to earthy hues. The titles of famous ballets — “Cinderella,” “Coppélia,” “Romeo and Juliet” — designate certain rows. The collection includes a tutu once worn by ballet star Cynthia Harvey, former principal at American Ballet Theatre and The Royal Ballet, as well as Alvey’s “Giselle” costume from her career at London City Ballet (the costume was purchased before Alvey had any association with Alabama Ballet). Does Wendy Gamble have any favorites? “I have a huge soft spot in my heart for our Nutcracker costumes,” she confesses. So, what does the average day in the life of a ballet costume director look like? “People might think that I work on tutus all the time, but that’s far from the truth,” Wendy Gamble said. “I spend a great deal of time just keeping things organized for the next show and handling the shoe orders for the company dancers.” Every day is different. Wendy Gamble might find herself painting pointe shoes, cleaning costumes, scheduling fittings, doing alternations or shopping for anything from fabric to hair nets to laundry detergent. But, yes, she also makes tutus, which is no quick feat. “The rule of thumb is 20 to 30 hours from start to finish,” she said. Each season brings different creative opportunities and parameters for Wendy Gamble. “I like to think we

are the little ballet company that could,” she said. “The budget is never far from my mind. You learn how to be creative on a dime. By being frugal, we are able to perform a repertory that is challenging to the dancers and the community.” Wendy Gamble said her greatest challenge this season will be the company’s new ballet, “Bonnie & Clyde,” set in the Depression era and choreographed by Associate Artistic Director Roger Van Fleteren. It’s her first time creating costumes for an original full-length ballet. “The costumes must allow the dancers to move, but still evoke the time period of the 1930s,” she said. Through all of Wendy Gamble’s work, passion is her guiding force. “You have to be passionate about your work,” she said. “And that’s easy to do here, since I’m surrounded by people who are equally as passionate about this company.” Alabama Ballet will open its 2016-17 season with “At Home” Sept. 23-25 and Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Performed at the company’s studios, the intimate program allows viewers to watch the dancers up close, and they receive complimentary drinks. This year’s program features excerpts of upcoming season performances, including “Giselle” and “Carnival in Venice,” plus choreography by Alabama Ballet company members Nadine Barton and Michael Fothergill. Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


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Roundhouse recovery BUSINESS

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Teen on mission to save abandoned railroad building in Finley-Acipco neighborhood

I

By JESSE CHAMBERS

t’s not unusual for great historical treasures to remain lost, even forgotten, for a long time. A good example would be the Lyric Theatre, which remained closed and largely forgotten for decades before its recent restoration. And now, a Birmingham teen with a passion for history has rediscovered a key relic of the city’s railway past that he says must be saved. Khari Marquette, a home-schooled high school senior, has launched a campaign to save the Finley Roundhouse, an old railroad building near Interstate 65 and the American Cast Iron Pipe Co. that he found and explored in 2012. Marquette, as well as representatives of some local history groups, said he believes the Roundhouse is worthy of recognition and preservation and could be adapted for a new use — perhaps as a railroad museum or community center — that would help revitalize the Acipco-Finley neighborhood. And though Marquette, 17, only recently launched his campaign, he has made some headway and impressed others with his passion for the project. Marquette said he is “very optimistic” about the project. “I will ensure that no obstacle will attempt to derail my efforts to save the Roundhouse,” he said. Located in an obscure spot on Center Street two blocks north of Finley Boulevard, the Roundhouse was built in 1915 for Southern Railway, according to bhamwiki.com. The large, circular structure serviced locomotives and once contained a large turntable. “The Roundhouse was where they turned the trains [and locomotives] around,” said Alice Williams, president of the Jefferson County Historical Association and treasurer of the Birmingham History Center. It is one of two surviving roundhouses in Birmingham and the largest of its type in Alabama. “I was quite amazed and obsessed with this find, and [that it’s] still in good condition,” said Marquette, who lives in the Sun Valley area. “It was a place off the beaten path. I was determined to put this knowledge to use and present it to the public.” The yard was dismantled in 1952 when Southern moved its operations to Irondale, according to bhamwiki.com. The Roundhouse remained on property purchased by ACIPCO, which sold the building in the mid-1950s to a company that added a warehouse and used it for storage. The building was abandoned in 2006. Part of Marquette’s excitement about the Roundhouse comes from the fact that he is one of only a few people who know it exists, he said. “The Roundhouse is a hidden gem and monumental secret of the history of Birmingham, and it is truly worthy of preserving,” Marquette said. “The Finley Yard was a contributor to the city’s early history and the rail culture that surrounded it.” Marquette recently started a Facebook group and plans to create a website and YouTube channel. He said he intends to use crowdfunding to raise money for publicity, research and feasibility studies. He is taking suggestions

Khari Marquette, a homeschooled high school senior, has launched a campaign to save the Finley Roundhouse, an old railroad building near Interstate 65 and the American Cast Iron Pipe Co. that he found and explored in 2012. He wants to nominate the Roundhouse for inclusion on the Alabama “Places in Peril” list released annually by the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. Photo by Shay Allen.

regarding uses for the building. He wants to nominate the Roundhouse for inclusion on the Alabama “Places in Peril” list released annually by the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. This effort was recently endorsed by the boards of both the Jefferson County Historical Association and the Birmingham History Center, according to JCHA President Alice Williams, who called the Roundhouse a treasure. “There are not many of these things left. They are very fast disappearing,” she said. “It could probably be a community center and come back and play an important part in the city going forward.” Marquette also is working to add the Roundhouse to the National Register of Historic Places. As a first step, he recently submitted a Determination of Eligibility letter to the National Register coordinator at the Alabama Historical Commission in Montgomery, he said. He made a presentation to the Mid-South Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in Leeds in

April, and the group endorsed his efforts to preserve the Roundhouse, chapter President James Lowery said. Neighborhood President Art Grayson, an Acipco-Finley resident for 35 years, said he only learned of the existence of the Roundhouse about six months ago but believes the structure could be a real asset. “It should be used for something that we all can be proud of and that it will certainly pay for itself,” he said. Linda Nelson, executive secretary of the Jefferson County Historical Commission, said she has offered Marquette some logistical help and expressed optimism about the project — in part because of Marquette’s grit and determination. “He is not going to stop,” she said. “He will be after people and finding sources of money and doing everything that he can.” To learn more about efforts to restore the Roundhouse, join the “Save the Finley Roundhouse” group on Facebook.


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John Scalici, right, has led drum circles and classes in Birmingham for 15 years. Djembes, top left, which are West African hand drums, are the drums Scalici uses most often in his drum circles. Bottom left: A string of bells around his ankle helps Scalici keep time for the group as he drums. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

rhythm

of the city

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL

t’s not hard to find John Scalici. If you hear the sound of drums anywhere in Birmingham, he’s probably there. Scalici is a lifelong drummer, but he began leading drum circles about 15 years ago. He’s also someone I heard about long before Iron City Ink was a reality. From teachers to artists to amateur enthusiasts, if someone mentioned drumming to me, they also mentioned Scalici. A drum jam isn’t just music to Scalici. It’s creative expression, community building and personal empowerment all crammed into a circle of hand drums. Scalici’s job is to create the “pulse” of the circle, “something people can easily feel” as the rhythms change and drummers enter and leave the group. “John truly is an icon in the city of Birmingham,” said John Powers, who has played with Scalici for eight years. “I think

because his whole message is positivity, inclusivity and community.” I played drums for many years when I was younger — shout-out to my short-lived high school band — but a drum circle is nothing like the orderly beats I was used to playing. The circle of hand drummers feels more organic and the sound is constantly shifting as people try out their own rhythms. “It takes every part working together,” Scalici said. One minute, the music might be almost indecipherable, then a few players adjust their small parts, and the greater whole becomes clear. And underneath it all is the steady sound of Scalici keeping the whole group together. On a full night, there can be dozens of drummers along with people playing shakers and small instruments, dancers and spectators. “It’s just to find a little part to play to add … and all together it’s awesome. It’s moving,” Powers said.

Scalici is reluctant to talk about himself, preferring instead to tell me about his mentors, the experience of drumming and the jams he has led in “every nook and cranny throughout this entire state.” It’s part of a mental change that happened about halfway through his life; as Scalici describes it, he went from “all about me” to “all about we.” As a lifelong drummer, Scalici said he began to see his music as a tool for communities. “My father said, ‘Do something that makes a difference,’” Scalici said. “I never wanted to quit drumming.” Now, drumming is his day job — through his business, Get Rhythm!, Scalici teaches drumming classes and leads circles in schools, hospitals and corporate training events. But the drum jams that pop up around Birmingham are something he does just to give back to the city. It takes more than just a solid beat to lead a drum circle, Scalici said. He has to constantly watch the drummers to make sure they’re enjoying themselves and being active in the circle. Every group, whether friends or strangers, has a different dynamic, and Scalici has to keep enthusiastic drummers from overpowering the circle while also encouraging timid participants to step in. “The energy is different everywhere you go,” Scalici said. Part of drumming, Scalici said, is making sure he’s doing it authentically. One of the drums Scalici uses most frequently is the djembe, which originates in West Africa. When he was first learning about hand drumming, Scalici said he found a West

African teacher to learn not only the proper way to play, but also the history, songs and cultural place the djembe holds. These lessons are things that Scalici imparts particularly to his students, but also in drum circles, so that players are aware of the culture they are borrowing from when they pick up a djembe or other drum. Over the past 15 years, Scalici said he has seen the drum circle community significantly grow in Birmingham, and his jams now usually include a couple of regular players. He has led circles in Railroad Park and local breweries, as well as events such as The Happening, the International Street Fair and CukoRakko. The regular drummers say they come because it’s therapeutic; it allows them to meet new people; it’s a mental challenge, or simply because it’s fun. “Everybody’s always smiling because it’s fun to do,” Powers said. Fellow drummer Steve Daniels, who is also a regular, said he stumbled upon a jam eight years ago in a music shop. The jams have taught him how to feed off other players and be part of the give-and-take they create, but there’s never a pressure to get things exactly “right.” “It’s amazing how many good things happen in this town, and John Scalici is there,” Daniels said. Information about Scalici’s classes can be found at getrhythmprograms.com. But if you simply want to find out where a drum circle will show up next, your best bet is to join the “Birmingham Drum Circle” group on Facebook.


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Five Points commemorated in new exhibit

By TARA MASSOULEH More than a century ago, Five Points South was founded as a streetcar suburb of Birmingham called Highland. Since then, the area has seen the good and the bad — years of neglect and eventually a resurgence of commercial and residential growth. Now, the Vulcan Museum is paying tribute to Five Points South’s vibrant history with a new exhibit called “Patience, People and the Plan.” The exhibit opened June 24 and will run through May 2017. It is divided into four sections: “Early History,” “Transition,” “Revitalization” and “Five Points Today.” The sections work together to explain the history and current uses of the neighborhood’s most iconic buildings and businesses. In addition to written histories and archived photos from the Birmingham Public Library catalog, the exhibit features multiple relics from Five Points’ past. The culinary history of Five Points is represented through an original menu from Cobb Lane. The 1948 dress shop-turned-restaurant is often credited as being Birmingham’s first fine-dining establishment. More recent dining history is represented through a pair of menus from Frank Stitt’s award-winning restaurant, Highlands Bar and Grill. One is from when the restaurant

Photo by Tara Massouleh.

opened 1982. The other is current. Vulcan Museum specialist Lindsay Elliot said it has been interesting to see how things change over time just by comparing the menus. As a bonus, Stitt lent the exhibit two of his James Beard Award medals. The exhibit piece Elliot said she is most proud of, however, is the porcelain mold of “ram man” from Frank Fleming’s iconic Five Points Storyteller Fountain. “It was a neat piece and anytime I go in [the gallery], there are always people drawn

to it,” she said. The Five Points exhibit was planned more than a year ago when organizers said they wanted to showcase a Birmingham neighborhood in the museum. With 99 individual neighborhoods to choose from, it wasn’t easy, Elliot said. “We picked Five Points because it such a unique example of diversification here in Birmingham, and in the South in general,” she said. “It was such an interesting story to work on how people from all income levels

and cultural backgrounds came together, and it was like that from the very beginning and still is today.” Morgan Berney, Vulcan director of marketing and public relations, added that Vulcan being located in the Southside-Five Points neighborhood helped its case. She said the Five Points exhibit fulfills one of Vulcan’s missions, which is to help people learn about Birmingham history and encourage them to explore what they see in the museum out in the city. Elliot said the exhibit pays homage to the three major contributors to the success of Five Points. “It was really the patience of everyone in the community to hear out what needed to happen and take the time to do it all,” she said. “And ultimately, it was the people who were a big part of doing all that.” As evidence of progress, the exhibit features the 1980 revitalization plan for many Birmingham neighborhoods, including Five Points South. It serves as a reminder of how far the Five Points community has come in the past 30-plus years. “It’s been a model for a lot of places going forward, and people have modeled other revitalization efforts after it,” Elliot said. “Patience, People and the Plan” is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is included in the $6 Vulcan Park and Museum admission fee.

FOREST PARK

Development planned between Silvertron Cafe, Naked Art Gallery By TARA MASSOULEH For Matt Boehm, his family’s upcoming Forest Park Place development represents both a “return to form and a break in model.” The 4,000-square-foot commercial building will be Boehm Realty’s first new construction project, but it is far from the company’s first foray in the area. Matt’s father and CEO of Boehm Realty, Chris Boehm, got his start in Forest Park 25 years ago with Silvertron Café, the first development for his new company. “We’re trying to come back to where it all began, but also bring something new and fresh to the area,” Matt Boehm said.

The project has been a long time coming for the Boehms, who came up with a plan for a Forest Park commercial development four years ago. The idea was tabled after a slew of unexpected vacancies in the Forest Park village, but the Boehms never gave up on the idea. Now that the area is buzzing again with the completion of the new Park 35 on Clairmont apartment building, Matt Boehm said the timing couldn’t be better. Forest Park Place will house up to four commercial bays, each with about 1,000 square feet. It will be between Silvertron Cafe and Naked Art Gallery. A house occupies the space now, but the Boehms plan to demolish it in order to build

Rendering courtesy of Boehm Realty.

the commercial space, plus a 10-car parking lot behind the building. They also plan to push back the sidewalk in front of Silvertron to allow for eight additional parking spots. In accordance with the Forest Park neighborhood design review committee, the new building’s façade will imitate the historic feel of Silvertron and Little Savannah. Matt Boehm said, ideally, Forest Park Place would house restaurants, retail spaces and offices. They are working to finalize

a contract with construction companies to build the shell of the building and finish the façade. Matt Boehm said he hopes this will help future tenants see the potential for the development. Though, for the Boehms, Forest Park’s potential comes as no surprise. “Forest Park has been where we’ve lived and grown up our entire lives,” Matt Boehm said. “We’ve always concentrated a lot of our property ownership in the area. It’s been a home and business headquarters to us.”


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Pop-up shop concept in works for small business entrepreneurs By ALYX CHANDLER One of the biggest hurdles facing a new business is the financial risk. But Eric Tasker, creator and owner of SmallBox Company LLC, has plans to hopefully help take some of the sting out of budding businesses. The first of many 8-by-20-foot pop-up stores is coming to Railroad Park on the corner of 14th Street and First Avenue South. Transformed from the shipping containers seen traveling along the nearby railroad tracks, these modified containers will act as a quaint retail space available for a six-to-ninemonth lease to owners of local Birmingham startup companies. Tasker has combined his architecture degree and entrepreneurial inclinations to pursue a solution that kept some of his own small business owner dreams at bay.

“There seems to be a gap between going from a home-based business or from weekend markets and then knowing where you want to be and being able to find a place where you can afford,” Tasker said. “It’s a big commitment.” By leasing out modified shipping containers, he can provide local entrepreneurs the physical space to test the market before they commit to a brick-and-mortar retail place. Usually a retail lease is three to five years in a large space, which involves a substantial initial cost. Knowing when and where to make that sort of commitment can be a risky step for small business startups. The SmallBox Company’s main objective is to lower the stakes and offer a sense of freedom and flexibility to learn, fail and change tactics before going all in. Originally, Tasker and his wife were planning to put several small houses up in

Photo courtesy of Eric Tasker.

northern Georgia as getaway rental homes, an idea he attempted through Co.Starters, a nine-week intensive entrepreneurial program run by Create Birmingham and REV. When the plan fell through, he used the research he did on the modularity of the containers to pursue a more viable solution for local entrepreneurs. He quickly discovered there were similar pop-up retail experiments happening in other places such as Cleveland, Las Vegas and even London. Some of these containers were more permanent, but he chose to design it for a more temporary “first-step” use. Tasker said his is more mobile and closer in design to the modular containers that have been popping up in festivals over the last few years.

“I’m hoping to use them in clusters — one here, one there. The idea is to get a critical mass of retail, so they’re not just out on an island by themselves,” he said. Tasker said he aims to eventually put more downtown and in nearby neighborhoods and areas such as Lakeview, Avondale, Woodlawn, Norwood and Ensley. So far, he doesn’t have any tenants, but he said he already has talked logistics and market goals with a couple of entrepreneurs interested in leasing. He said he also has talked with a bike shop, a coffee company and few other potential retailers about leasing the first retail pod he bought in Railroad Park. Tasker said he plans to choose tenants based on their interest in particular surrounding areas. He wants to discuss where they think their market is, what they’re selling and who they’re selling to. Then he can help locate the right place for the container. After that, they can build a sales record, secure financing and eventually transition to a traditional retail store. “I chose Railroad Park to start because it’s one of the most vibrant markets in Birmingham. The space lends itself to a fairly wide variety of retail opportunities,” Tasker said. Co.Starters is based on a program called Lean, which focuses on getting products to the market sooner rather than later. For more information about leasing a retail pod, contact Tasker at eric.tasker@bellsouth.net.


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AVONDALE

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CRESTWOOD

Community bike ride runs through October

Social justice workshop to examine biases

By JESSE CHAMBERS

By TARA MASSOULEH

Want to know how much fun a healthy life can be? Then check out the weekly Avondale Park Road Bike Ride hosted by Life Time Fitness. It’s scheduled every Sunday through October at 2:30 p.m. The ride begins at Avondale Park and ends at Avondale Brewery. Riders at all levels are welcome. Life Time sponsors such rides to show Birmingham residents how much fun a healthy way of life can be, said Stacey Davis, Life Time Cycle Club coordinator. And the Avondale event is a no-drop ride, meaning everyone stays with a group, she said. “New riders don’t need to worry about being left behind or riding alone,” Davis said. “There’s going to be someone close by to make sure their experience is fun and as safe as possible.” Four groups roll at the same time but with different routes, distances and ride leads. All participants meet for beer at

Avondale Brewery after the rides, she said. “A sense of community has developed,” she said. “It’s pretty special how supportive everyone is toward each other and new riders.” The popularity of the Avondale ride, for which about 85 cyclists attend, reflects the growing popularity of bicycles in the area, Davis said. “Cycling has never been bigger in Birmingham,” she said. “Multiple new group rides in the area have developed with the goal to get more people on bikes. Cycling can be an intimidating sport, so, by offering beginners a safe and fun way to try it out, they’re much more likely to fall in love with riding.” Riders must be at least 18 and should bring helmets and water bottles. Those who need bikes can contact Cahaba Cycles at 205-987-4043. For more information, contact Davis at sdavis@lifetimefitness.com or find Life Time Cycle Club Vestavia on Facebook.

The Crestwood Civitan group and Woodlawn United Methodist Church want to talk to the Crestwood/Woodlawn community through a social-justice workshop led by local activist T. Marie King. The event, called “What’s Your Blueprint? Social Justice King vs. Your Personal Bias,” will be at Woodlawn United Methodist Church Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. King will lead her “What’s Your Blueprint?” exercise, where attendees examine their backgrounds in order to understand their biases. The exercise will be followed by a discussion on bias, then a group discussion or Q&A. Admission is free, but the group will accept donations to help King continue her workshops. Derrick Lord, a member of the Crestwood Civitan and Woodlawn United Methodist

Church, said the workshop was originally scheduled to be part of the civitan group’s monthly meeting, but in light of recent national events, the group said it would be a great opportunity to unite the community through the workshop. “When all the stuff in Dallas started going on and the problems started happening, it kind of changed our focus,” he said. Lord has been a resident of the Crestwood/Woodlawn area for 50 years and has been a member of Woodlawn United Methodist for 10 years. He said there has always been a divide between the black and white communities in the area, but he hopes the divide will diminish through events like “What’s your Blueprint?” “Hopefully when we get through with all this, we’ll have had a good neighborhood discussion and be able to work together on some issues that affect all of us,” he said.


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Project paves way to welcome 1st-time homeowners home

By ALI RENCKENS The basket of toilet paper, oven mitts and aluminum foil meant so much to Lolita Stephens. For the single mother, not only was it the accumulation of months of taking classes to equip her for financial stability and home ownership, working full-time and saving up for a down payment, it represented a bright future for Stephens and her children as well as a supportive community of friends. “It was a big change, but I was taking it all in,” Stephens said, who had spent years shifting addresses and living in financial insecurity. “To finally be stable was a big, big, overwhelming achievement that I’d been aiming for for a long time.” Stephens is one of the many women that Women United has helped through their Welcome Home initiative. Last year, Women United, an affiliate of United Way of Central Alabama, launched their signature initiative, Project Welcome Home, a partnership with United Way’s Individual Development Account program and Habitat for Humanity, to help first-time homeowners. “Home ownership affects every part of their family’s lives, having a permanent address so that their kids are going to school and staying in a school system, having a

Photo courtesy of Women United.

neighborhood with a support system around you,” said Jessica Hightower, United Way’s director of major gifts. With IDA, women take classes designed to build assets and develop skills for financial self-sufficiency and work to save $2,000, which they can then use as a down payment on a house through Habitat for Humanity. A community sponsor matches the $2,000 and

a grant provides another $2,000, which gives the new homeowner $6,000. Unfortunately, after all the expenses a house incurs, women frequently lack enough money for basic household items, which is why Women United started Project Welcome Home. After a woman purchases her house, members of Women United give her a basket with necessities such as cleaning supplies,

tissues and garbage cans. “As women are getting their homes, we started thinking about that first run to the store and how much money we spend just on the basic things you need for a new home,” Hightower said. “So we started to put these baskets together to give to new homeowners.” Last year, at Habitat for Humanity’s home dedication, 13 women received keys to their new homes, Bibles, blessings and Welcome Home baskets. This year, the event will be held on Sept. 1. “What we’re trying to do is draw attention to the power of women in philanthropy and the impact they can have and fun they can have while doing it,” said Samuetta Nesbitt, senior vice president of public relations for United Way. Stephens stays connected with the organization, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. “I always want to give back from now on,” she said. “You’ve got to step out on faith and do not say that you can’t do it, because they’re going to help you do it ... You have to just be determined and stay focused and not lose track of what you have to look forward to.” Women United will be holding Project Welcome Home Shopping Night on Sept. 22 at The Summit. A percentage of sales will go toward Project Welcome Home. People also can donate online or learn more at uwca.org.

SOUTHSIDE

Night of Golden Opportunities to benefit Adopt a Golden Birmingham By ALYX CHANDLER It’s time to spread some love to Birmingham’s orphaned golden retrievers. Adopt a Golden Birmingham is bringing back another Night of Golden Opportunities to Iron City on Thursday, Sept. 15, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. to aid in the permanent and temporary foster care of local rescued dogs. The event includes a variety of wine and beer, plenty of food and both a live and silent auction over the course of the night, all of which benefit Adopt a Golden Birmingham. “If you’re into dogs and golden retrievers specifically, and if you can’t volunteer or foster or get involved with us in any way, attending the event is a way you can,” said Lorraine Donald, president and founder of Adopt a Golden Birmingham.

This will be Adopt a Golden Birmingham’s third event at Iron City and the fourth consecutive year it will host a Night of Golden Opportunity. This year will also recognize the organization’s corporate honoree, Hollywood Feed. Donald said that about 225 people attended the event last year, so they’re excited to see the turnout this year. Officially an organization last year, Adopt a Golden Birmingham is a volunteer-based group that has been rescuing golden retrievers from the Birmingham area since April 2013. In total, Donald said they have rescued about 550 dogs. The event is the organization’s main source of revenue each year, and the money primarily goes to medical care for the golden retrievers. The event costs $125 per ticket, which can

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Donald.

be purchased on the organization’s website or through its Facebook page. Although there will be a few dogs from the organization there, Donald said not to bring personal

dogs to the event. Another way to give back, she said, is to make a donation on the website adoptagoldenbirmingham.com.


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CENTRAL CITY

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‘Birmingham’s Got Potential’ set for Sept. 24

By JESSE CHAMBERS Do you have a special talent — even something weird — you’d like to show the world while supporting a good cause? Then you might want to perform at “Birmingham’s Got Potential” — a variety show inspired by the TV hit “America’s Got Talent” — at Good People Brewing on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds will go to a scholarship fund that makes it possible for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities to attend Special Session, a weeklong retreat at Camp McDowell hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, regardless of their financial means. And the people picking the acts for “Birmingham’s Got Potential” — which will feature local celebrity judges — are open to almost any kind of talent, said Lindsey Mullen, Special Session executive director. “(Almost) nothing is off limits,” she said. “We want to celebrate and showcase the unique things that you can do,” Mullen said. “Whether that be a talent for losing your keys, licking your own elbow, rapidly reciting the alphabet backwards, putting lots of

Photo courtesy of Camp McDowell.

grapes in your mouth — it could be anything. Of course, if you’re really good at singing a beautiful opera aria, or juggling chainsaws — talents that most people would consider actual talents — then please submit those as well.” “Birmingham’s Got Potential” is inspired not just by television but by the 18 talent shows Special Session has hosted through the years at Camp McDowell, Mullen said.

At those shows, “each camper performs something, anything, in accordance with what he or she has the capability,” she said. “No matter what is performed, the audience offers incredible support — cheering and clapping loudly, making the camper feel loved and adored. We want to bring this sort of silly and supportive energy to ‘Birmingham’s Got Potential.’”

At the Good People event, attendees “can expect an audience that is positive and energized, and talents that will delight and surprise you,” Mullen said, displaying a charming flair for the old “ballyhoo” worthy of P.T. Barnum. The money raised is important because 70 percent of the adults who take part in Special Session receive financial aid, Mullen said. “Our goal is that no one is turned away because they can’t pay,” she said. And the adults who attend Special Session are often overlooked and marginalized in society, so the camp offers them something very important, Mullen said. “Special Session is a week — for most of our campers, the only week of the year — when they are really seen for all of their talents, and known for who they truly are,” she said. “It’s a week of the world as it should be, a week where everybody gets to be a star.” Admission is $15, or a $20 admission will include food. To buy tickets or get more information on how to submit a talent, call 530-0685 or go to specialsessionalabama. org. There is also a Facebook event page at “Birmingham’s Got Potential!”


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INSIDE HIGHLANDS SCHOOL ......... 33 THE ALTAMONT SCHOOL ... 34 ADVENT EPISCOPAL SCHOOL ............................ 35 creative montessori school ............................ 35

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FCM NMLS# 629700


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HIGHLANDS SCHOOL In 1958, Highlands School was founded by educator, civic leader and philanthropist Evalina Brown Spencer. And, every bit as important today as it was in the school’s founding years, our school’s culture embraces the living principle that children learn and grow best in a supportive community, where each student is inspired and motivated by a successful and meaningful early education experience. Highlands provides a seamless approach to learning that systematically builds on one success after another. Teachers challenge every student by matching high academic expectations with individual learning potential. Through quality time with teachers, open and respectful dialogue with each student’s parents, a richness of learning opportunities spanning academics, arts appreciation, physical education, character development and leadership development, each vital element of the Highlands program comes together to create a special learning environment at a most special time in a student’s life. We focus on the collective physical, social, emotional, creative and intellectual development of our students. We celebrate and encourage intellectual

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KEY FACTS • • • •

GRADES: 4K-8 WHERE: 4901 Old Leeds Road CALL: 956-9731 WEB: highlandsschool.org

approach to teaching students universallyaccepted values and ethical behavior has been adopted by Highlands as The Six Pillars of Character. These Pillars have been identified by Michael Josephson, the founder of the Josephson Institute, and they include: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

WHY HIGHLANDS?

ability, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, health and wellness, character development and community service. Our students are prepared to thrive and make positive differences as future leaders in an ever-changing, global world. We focus on instilling the habits of success in every student and cultivate a school environment that encourages acceptance, appreciation, respect and tolerance for all citizens

of our school and global communities. Students have many opportunities to share their ideas and academic achievements through public speaking at weekly school community meetings, as well as multiple individual and collaborative group project presentations. “The Highlands Way” is an integral part of everyday life in the Highlands School community. This positive and proactive

► Ranked on The Best Schools list of the Top 50 Private Elementary Schools in the United States. ► Our 3rd-8th graders are in the top 10 percent of all independent school students in ERB mathematics test scores and in the top 14 percent of all independent school students in ERB reading comprehension test scores. ► Schoolwide curriculum concentrated on 21st century skills that include collaboration, communication, global learning, critical thinking and problem solving.


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the altamont school Altamont is more than a school where talented, smart individuals gather together to learn. It is a community of caring, likeminded leaders who come together with the common goal to inspire, educate, and encourage one another to reach full potential. Each day at Altamont, we strive every to improve the fabric of society by graduating compassionate, educated individuals capable of independent thinking and innovative ideas. That is never more important than in today’s changing and fast-paced world. Preparing students for the world requires both balance and breadth, and this is where Altamont’s faculty stands out. No matter a student’s passion or strength, each one is nurtured and allowed to grow, mature, and learn in a caring environment. We are confident that our students are articulate, passionate, and ethically aware young people who will make a difference in the world, hold themselves to a higher standard, and lead trustworthy lives. Altamont is a small family with socio-economic, ethnic, and religious diversity, and our honor code is essential to the fulfillment of our mission. The school has an intensive

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SEPTEMBER 2016

KEY FACTS • • • •

college preparatory academic program with a personalized college search program, including an annual college tour. And the school offers many opportunities for children to develop multiple talents by participating in arts, foreign language, leadership programs,

community service, clubs, class projects, science competitions and sports — all at the same time. We seek highly motivated students who crave greater breadth and challenge in all areas of school life. The school awards

GRADES: 5-12 WHERE: 4801 Altamont Road S. CALL: 879-2006 WEB: altamontschool.org

approximately $1,000,000 in merit and need-based scholarships each year in order to attract the best, brightest, and most diverse student body. Altamont’s main campus is located on 28 acres on the crest of Red Mountain just south of downtown Birmingham. The main school building houses 40 classrooms, two science wings, a fine arts center, a student center, an art gallery and sculpture garden, a computer lab, a 14,000-volume library, and special studios for chorus, art, photography, and orchestra. The athletic facilities include two gymnasiums with basketball and volleyball courts and a weight room. The main campus offers six tennis courts, a soccer field, and a track. A second campus provides another gymnasium as well as soccer, baseball, and softball fields. Please join us for one of our Open Houses to learn more about our school, our students, our mission, and what sets us apart.


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SEPTEMBER 2016

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ADVENT EPISCOPAL SCHOOL

CREATIVE MONTESSORI school

Since its establishment in 1950 in downtown Birmingham, Advent Episcopal School has built a national reputation for academic excellence. Offering 4-year-old kindergarten through eighth grade, Advent is a diverse community of bright children who excel in an environment that is safe, stable and enriching. Our graduates attend the most prestigious high schools in the country, well poised for the road ahead. As the only PK-8 school in downtown Birmingham, Advent is able to take advantage of the rich and extraordinary educational and cultural opportunities at our doorstep. Meaningful exposure to fine art, music, foreign language and critical thinking spurs intellectual curiosity amongst our students. Advent is small by design, even though our students come from 44 different zip codes. Every Advent student is known by name. They are challenged, celebrated for who they are, filled with wonder and have a willingness to learn. Passions, such as Chinese, chess and soccer are realized and fostered here.

Creative Montessori School (CMS) is dedicated to providing an authentic Montessori environment for our students. We value each child’s unique potential and nurture our students’ inherent ability to meet challenges with divergent thinking skills, self-confidence, adaptability and resilience. Children at CMS learn the same things that children in a traditional school will learn — plus practical knowledge such as conflict resolution, social responsibility and environmental stewardship. It is how they learn and how they feel about learning that is quite different and truly valuable. Montessori classrooms are designed to foster intellectual curiosity by facilitating individualized, independent, purposeful work within a warm and peaceful setting. The result is children who fall in love with learning. Students are allowed to learn at their own pace under the caring and thoughtful guidance of a professionally trained Montessori teacher. Founded in 1968, CMS is Birmingham’s first Montessori school; the first local private school to be racially integrated from

KEY FACTS • GRADES: PK-8 • WHERE: 2019 6th Ave. N., Birmingham • CALL: 252-2535 • WEB: adventepiscopalschool.org

Advent is an extraordinary place to be.

DID YOU KNOW?

► 42 percent of students are residents of the city of Birmingham ► 34 percent of faculty and staff are residents of city of Birmingham ► Recipient of the 2015-16 AISA President’s Award ► 2015-16 AISA Blue Ribbon School.

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KEY FACTS • GRADES: 18 months-6th grade • WHERE: 2800 Montessori Way, Homewood, AL 35209 • CALL: 205-879-3278 • WEB: cmskids.org

inception; and the first to offer science, world geography and foreign language to preschoolers. Today, CMS enrolls students from 21 zip codes and is located on a 2-acre campus in the heart of Homewood. Our affordable tuition makes exceptional education accessible to families with diverse socio-economic backgrounds.


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BUSINESS

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HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

PUT THESE IN SEPTEMBER’S BEST BETS

2016 NOOJIN AND WHITE RUN FOR THE CAUSE 8 a.m. Sept. 10, 200 block of Richard Arrington Boulevard North

This 5K run features music and food trucks and is fun for runners and walkers. Proceeds help support the YMCA financial aid program. The run honors Ronnie Noojin and Jere White, two area attorneys and YMCA supporters who died from cancer. For registration, call 3244563 or go to runsignup.com.

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ALABAMA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA COFFEE CONCERTS 11 a.m. Sept. 16, Alys Stephens Center

Carlos Izcaray conducts Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Complimentary coffee and pastries. Single tickets on sale; season subscriptions: $87-$168. For tickets and information, call 975-2787 or go to alabamasymphony.org.

ALABAMA BALLET AT HOME

Sept. 23-Oct. 2, Alabama Ballet Center for Dance

These six performances feature selected repertory, including highlights from the upcoming season, with complimentary drinks in an intimate atmosphere. Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. $20. For information, go to alabamaballet.org/ performances.

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MUST SEE

See this? It means we think you ought to go!

SISTAH STRUT

7-11 a.m. Sept. 24, Legion Field

This 5K run and area walk is designed to raise awareness of breast cancer detection and healthy living. Registration: individual $25; team (up to 3 members) $75; VIP Team (4-10 members) $250. Call 588-0703 or go to facebook.com/ Brendasbrownbosombuddies.

OFFICIAL BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL Sept. 5: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers. Sept. 6: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. Sept. 12: Birmingham City Council Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Sept. 12: Birmingham City Council Governmental Affairs Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Sept. 13: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

Sept. 13: Birmingham City Council Public Improvements and Beautification Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A. Sept. 19: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers. Sept. 19: Birmingham City Council Planning and Zoning Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A. Sept. 19: Citizen Advisory Board. 7 p.m. City Council Chambers, Birmingham City Hall, third floor. The Citizen Participation Program is designed to achieve improved communication, understanding, and cooperation between Birmingham citizens and city officials through increased personal contact between City Hall and neighborhoods and communities

throughout the city. The public is welcome to attend. Sept. 20: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. Sept. 23: Birmingham City Council Administration/Technology Committee. 1 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Sept. 27: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Sept. 28: Birmingham City Council Committee of the Whole. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS Sept. 6: Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Avondale Library, 509 40th St. S. Visit forestparksouthavondale. com for more information.

Sept. 27: Birmingham City Council Education Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

Sept. 8: Roebuck Springs Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. South Roebuck Baptist/Community Church. Call President Frank Hamby at 222-2319 for more information.

Sept. 27: Birmingham City Council Utilities Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third

Sept. 12: Woodlawn Neighborhood Association meeting. 5709 1st Ave N. Call President Brenda


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DISCOVER Pettaway at 593-4487 for more information. Sept. 13: Highland Park Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Upstairs meeting room of the Highland Park Golf Course clubhouse. Meeting notices are sent out to recipients of the Highland Park email list. If you wish to be included on this list, email President Alison Glascock at alisonglascock@ gmail.com. Sept. 20: Central City Neighborhood Association meeting: 6-7 p.m. Linn-Henley Library, Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium. Neighborhood social to follow at Tavern on 1st, 2320 1st Ave. N. Sept. 26: Crestwood South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. 1220 50th St. S. Sept. 26: Crestwood North Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Girls Inc. of Alabama. Sept. 26: Huffman Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Cornerstone School, 959 Huffman Road. Sept. 26: Five Points South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6-7:15 p.m. Southside

Library, 1814 11th Ave. S. Visit fivepointsbham. com for more information.

COMMUNITY Sept.11: National College Fair. BJCC Exhibition Halls. Free and open to the public, the event allows students to meet admissions representatives from numerous schools. Pre-registration is recommended. 1-4 p.m. Presented by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. For details, go to nacacnet.org/college-fairs. Sept. 12: Women Who Code: Programming & Tech Career Development. UAB Innovation MUST Lab at Innovation Depot, SEE 1500 First Ave. North. This panel and presentation by tech recruiters will show you what it takes to succeed in programming, computing and technology careers. Free admission, but RSVP required. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. Call 5033870 or go to meetup.com/Women-Who-CodeBirmingham/events/232085350.

ICI

Sept. 24: Boulevard Blast 5K in Historic

Norwood, presented by the Norwood Resource Center. The Boulevard Blast features a certified 5K run, a one-mile fun run and walk, and other interactive activities. The event is part of the NRC’s “Get Healthy on the Boulevard” initiative. 9 a.m.-noon. Registration for runs begins at 7:30 a.m. Registration 5K, $30; fun run, $10. The Norwood Market at the Trolley Stop is free. Call 322-7361 or go to https://raceroster. com/events/2016/9331/boulevard-blast-5k-inhistoric-norwood#. Sept. 25: Birmingham Walk to End Alzheimer’s, presented by Alzheimer’s Association. Railroad Park, 1600 First Ave. S. Held nationwide, the walks raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The walk is free and open to the public, including pets. Participants are encouraged to raise $100. 1:30-5 p.m. Call 379-8065 or go to act.alz.org/site/TR/ Walk2016/AL-AlabamaFloridaPanhandle?fr_ id=8812&pg=entry. Sept. 29: Hearts After Dark. Iron City Birmingham, 513 22nd St. South. A fun and social fundraising event benefiting the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Foundation. Guests will enjoy a beer and wine open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres by Iron City Grill, live and

silent auctions, and a live band. Funds raised help children in need of a heart transplant. Tickets are $60 per person, $105 per couple. Tickets are also available at the same price at the door. 6:30-9:30 pm. 975-7810. phtsfoundation.org.

MUSIC Sept. 9: Music Under the Stars. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 228 Dennison Ave. S.W. The lineup at this fourth annual event includes flutist Kim Scott, bassist Cleve Eaton, drummer/ composer P.J. Spraggins and students from the Alabama School of Fine Arts Jazz Band. Bring a lawn chair. There will be a food vendor and offsite parking. Proceeds benefit the church’s food assistance ministry. 6:30-10:30 p.m. $28. For information, call 322-8449 or go to stmarks.dioala.org. Sept.11: Service of Choral Evensong, presented by Independent Presbyterian Church, 3100 Highland Ave. A service of evening prayer by song, drawing on fourth-century traditions. The 30-minute service is followed by a 30-minute organ recital. Admission free. 4-5 p.m. For information, call 933-3700 or go to ipc-usa.org.


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Sept. 12: Crestwood Community Band. Cahaba Brewing Company, 4500 Fifth Ave. South. Adults, kids and dogs are all welcome at this free concert. 7 p.m. For information, call 578-2616.

Lloyd Webber. 8 p.m. Season subscriptions $141-$432; single tickets on sale in August. For tickets, call 975-2787 or go to alabamasymphony.org.

Sept. 23: JJ Grey & Mofro, presented by Huka Entertainment at Avondale Brewing Company, 201 41st St. South. Musician JJ Grey offers what the New York Times calls “impassioned singing, riff-based Southern rock, cold-blooded swamp funk and sly Memphis soul.” 7 p.m. $25. For tickets, go to avondalebrewing.com.

Sept. 30: Mid-Day Music: The Samford String Quartet. Cathedral Church of the Advent, 2017 Sixth Ave. North. The quartet will perform a free, 30-minute concert. 12:30 p.m. Free admission. For information, call 226-3505 or go to adventbirmingham.org.

Sept. 25: Vulcan AfterTunes: Dylan LeBlanc with Duquette Johnston. Vulcan Park and Museum, 1701 Valley View Drive. Gates open at 1 p.m.; Johnston begins at 2:30 p.m., and LeBlanc begins at 4 p.m. Tickets and seating are firstcome, first-served. Light snacks, beer, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase. No pets or outside alcohol allowed. For details, call 933-1409 or go to visitvulcan.com. Sept. 30: Alabama Symphony Orchestra Red Diamond SuperPops! Series. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive. The ASO presents a night of Broadway hits, including Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew

ARTS Sept. 8-24: Miss Fancy. Theatre Downtown, 2410 Fifth Ave. South. The world premiere of a play by Daniel Martin. It tells the story of the relationship between Miss Fancy, an elephant who lived at the old Avondale Zoo in Birmingham, and her trainer. Thursdays through Saturdays, 8 p.m. Tickets: adults $18; students $12. For more information, including discounts and specially priced tickets, call 565-8838 or go to theatredowntown.org. Sept.16-Oct. 2: Monty Python’s Spamalot. Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th St. South. Lovingly ripped off from the classic

SEPTEMBER 2016

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot retells the legend of King Arthur. The Broadway production won 3 Tony Awards. Thursdays through Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Tickets: $30-$35; students $15. For information, call 251-1206 or go to virginiasamfordtheatre.org. Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Broadway Night at the Cabaret. Presented by Red Mountain Theatre Company at RMTC Cabaret Theatre, 301 19th St. North. Broadway performers DeMarius Copes, Morgan Smith and Caitlin Kinnunen sing some popular show tunes, as well as new songs from their latest project, the Broadway-bound Prom. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20. For information, call 324-2424 or go to redmountaintheatre.org.

SPORTS Sept. 3: Birmingham-Southern College vs. LaGrange College. Krulak Stadium, BirminghamSouthern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road. 6 p.m. $10. Free admission to children under 18 and BSC students, faculty and staff with ID. For information, call 226-4935 or go to bscsports. net/sports.

DISCOVER

Sept. 4: Miles College vs. Fort Valley State. Legion Field, 400 Graymont Ave. W. The Miles Golden Bears football squad takes part in the 12th annual Labor Day Golden Classic. 4 p.m. Ticket prices TBA. For information, call 9291617 or go to labordaygoldenclassic.com. Sept. 10: Miles College football vs. University of West Georgia. Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd. 4 p.m. $20. For information, call 929-1615 or go to milesgoldenbears.com. Sept. 24: Birmingham-Southern College vs. Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri). Krulak Stadium, Birmingham-Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road. 1 p.m. $10. Free admission to children under 18 and BSC students, faculty and staff with ID. For information, call 226-4935 or go to bscsports. net/sports.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS (HOME GAMES AT REGIONS FIELD) Sept. 1: vs. Pensacola, 7:05 p.m. Sept. 2: vs. Pensacola, 7:05 p.m. Sept. 3: vs. Pensacola, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 4: vs. Pensacola, 3 p.m. Sept. 5: vs. Pensacola, 12:30 p.m.


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Iron City Ink September 2016  
Iron City Ink September 2016