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NOVEMBER 2016

VOLUME 1

ISSUE 6

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cup canvas in a

3-time World Latte Art champion Cabell Tice pouring perfection at Revelator Coffee. 24

INSIDE

HAPPENINGS

Laughing out loud — literally Goulash Comedy group ushers in a new era of Birmingham comedy with stand-up shows, festival. 13

FACES

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Cultural fusion Birmingham-based dance schools, traveling troupes manifest and share centuries of Indian tradition in the Deep South. 28


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ABOUT

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

NOVEMBER 2016

FACES

B’HAM BIZARRE

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28 FACES: Indian dance schools, troupes manifest and share centuries of tradition in Deep South.

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

A VENUE TO BE PROUD OF: Canary Gallery’s Libby Pantazis aims to add to city’s cultural growth. 6

SHARING HER PASSION: Beverly McNeil brings ‘balanced roster’ of essential element — art — to Lakeview. 10

SIPS & BITES

MIXIN’ IT UP: Francisco Martinez, known by many dancers as DJ Paco, brings Latin flair to downtown venues entertaining city’s growing community. 16

GETTING CREATIVE: Birmingham resident Muriel Tarver teaches more than just dance at Creative Mindz. 20

GETTING THE BALL ROLLING: New meatball-themed

restaurant opens in Lakeview. 7

NECK OF THE WOODS BRINGING LAUGHTER: Goulash Comedy ushers in new era of Birmingham comedy, says founder Chris Ivey. 13

FACES BLESSED IN BIRMINGHAM: Having new storefront an

‘amazing feeling’ for owner of Eugene’s Hot Chicken. 8

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Dan Starnes Sydney Cromwell Jesse Chambers Kristin Williams Heather VacLav Sarah Finnegan Louisa Jeffries Erica Techo

FRESH STARTS: New revitalization nonprofit eyes work in Norwood, Bush Hills and Fountain Heights. 34

DISCOVER

STITCHED TOGETHER: Bib and Tucker Sew-Op teaches sewing skills to foster a community-oriented textile operation. 14

Publisher: Managing Editor: Contributing Editor: Design Editor: Director of Digital Media: Director of Photography: Copy Editor: Community Reporter:

TEACHING TECH: Thanks to UAB employees’ grant, afterschool engineering program expands to Woodlawn. 30

NOVEMBER’S BEST BETS: Your quick guide to metro Birmingham music and events scheduled this month. 35

Contributing Writers: Tara Massouleh Alyx Chandler Grace Thornton Page Designers: Cameron Tipton Shweta Gamble

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ABOUT

EDITOR’S NOTE

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e’ll be talking a lot about elections in the coming months, as campaigning for Birmingham’s mayoral and nine council seats ramps up. I fully believe participation in local elections is one of the most effective ways to improve your life and your neighborhood. Turnout in local elections is typically dismal, so we will be doing our part during the next 10 months to inform Birmingham’s voters and encourage them to go to the polls. But before all of that begins, first it’s time to vote in our national elections Nov. 8. I don’t intend to tell you which presidential candidate to pick; however, I do want to call your attention to two parts of the ballot. First, don’t let the congressional and judicial elections be overshadowed by the presidential race. Several local judges’ seats are ready to be filled, and those chosen will be critical in upholding justice in our city. If

one of your Senate or House of Representative seats is up for election, the person who fills that spot will also play a role in making your voice heard on a national level. Be informed, and choose wisely. Second, there is an important amendment to the Alabama Constitution up for vote on the ballot that would prevent several local laws from being repealed, so take time to brush up on that amendment and its effects before casting your ballot. Elections are critical to the United States’ success and democratic identity, from Birmingham City Council chambers all the way to the Oval Office. Do your part, and go vote!

COMMUNITY PARTNERS 20 Midtown (2) 24e Fitness (13) Alabama Eye and Cataract (37) ARC Realty (40) Avondale Antiques (36) Bedzzz Express (39) Birmingham City Council (15) Brandino Brass (21) Campaign to Elect Teresa Hester (17) Campaign to Keep Judge Thetford (23) Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery (31) Children’s of Alabama (19)

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Canary Gallery aims to add to city’s cultural growth

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By JESSE CHAMBERS hen artist Libby Pantazis decided to open a gallery, she knew it had to be in downtown Birmingham, at least in part due to the area’s increased pedestrian traffic and what she calls “the energy and excitement” of the people who live there. “I never even thought about anywhere else,” she said. Pantazis, a retired attorney, wants the Canary Gallery, which is scheduled to open in November, to contribute to this excitement. “I want to make an impact on the city (and) create a venue the city will be proud of,” she said. The Canary Gallery — named for one of the bright colors that Pantazis, an avid oil painter, loves — will occupy about 2,400 square feet on the first floor of the historic Wheelock building on Second Avenue North and will feature a variety of work, including painting, printmaking, photography and ceramics.

Retired attorney and active painter Libby Pantazis is opening Canary Gallery in the historic Wheelock building on Second Avenue North. Photo by Shay Allen.

Pantazis said she wants her gallery to be a friendly, welcoming place, not a holy temple of art. “It will not be stuffy,” she said. “It will be very inviting and very engaging.” One afternoon in mid-August, Pantazis — dressed in a bright yellow jacket and yellow-framed sunglasses — gave a tour of her space still under construction. The gallery is a corner storefront blessed with

high ceilings and a lot of windows that let in natural light. Pantazis said she believes the gallery, which will have a liquor license and room to host other events, will be a special venue and will contribute to the growing activity downtown at nights and on weekends. The gallery will take advantage of this activity by keeping evening hours, unlike most galleries, and will host classes and

workshops, Pantazis said. She said she also hopes local artists will see the gallery as a good place to visit, have a drink and share ideas. “What excites me is the camaraderie that I will enjoy with the other creatives,” Pantazis said. Her artists will include painters Sam Collins and Amy Collins, sculptor Eric Johnson and printmaker Debra Riffe, all from Birmingham, and Orlando painter Victor Bokas. Her artists, she said, will be “very diverse, very different,” adding she believes Canary Gallery can become a popular event venue. “I think a lot of people are interested in a medium-sized venue,” she said. “For a small, intimate setting, what’s better than a gallery?” An Alaska native, Pantazis moved to Birmingham in 1981 with her husband, Dennis, also an attorney. Their law firm, Wiggins Childs Pantazis Fisher & Goldfarb, is in the old S.H. Kress building downtown. Pantazis became a painter in 2007 and retired in 2010. The Canary Gallery is at 2201 Second Ave. N. For more information, call 2400428 or go to canarygalleryllc.com.


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rolling

getting the ball

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New meatball-themed restaurant opens in Lakeview

By ERICA TECHO

eatballs are rolling onto the food scene, popping up in concept restaurants around the country. After seeing a few during her time in New York City, Vestavia Hills High School graduate Mary Susan Cashio decided to bring one of those restaurants back to Birmingham. Owner of Cashio’s Meatball Market, which opened in Lakeview in October, Cashio said her goal with the restaurant is bringing a new spin on the typical meatball. “When you go to a restaurant and you order spaghetti, meatballs just kind of come with it,” she said. “Our menu, you can pick whatever meatball you want and build the dish

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how you want it. You have your way with them, and I think that excites people.” The menu at Cashio’s Meatball Market includes a range of red, white and pesto sauces, as well as meatballs ranging from traditional — a recipe from Cashio’s Grandma Angel — to catfish. Diners can also select sides including risotto, pasta, mashed potatoes and others to go under or next to their selection of meatball. Chef Grayson Taft has free rein in the kitchen, and after seeing the success of his catfish meatball during the restaurant’s opening week, Cashio said she is excited to see his future specialty items. “That’s been a hit, so I definitely have even more confidence in him going forward,” Cashio said. Opening Cashio’s was a family affair, and although it took a little convincing to get her father on board, the

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER Left: Diners have the option of different meatballs, sauces and sides at Cashio’s Meatball Market. Photo courtesy of Jean Allsopp and Appleseed Workshop. Far left: Cashio’s owner Mary Susan Cashio. Photo by Erica Techo.

experience has overall been a positive one, she said. In their first week, Cashio said they have had a packed house each night, in addition to a few pickup orders. This reaction is something Cashio said she hoped for with a Lakeview location. “I definitely wanted to be in Lakeview if I was going to do something so risky as open a restaurant, having almost no knowledge of opening a restaurant,” she said. “Lakeview is so up and coming, and there’s so much foot traffic.” With hopes for the restaurant to continue to grow, Cashio said she is most excited to get to leave her mark on the city of Birmingham. “I’m looking forward to bringing something to Birmingham, finally,” she said. “I grew up here, so I’m glad I can finally contribute something back to Birmingham.”


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Having storefront ‘amazing feeling’ for owner of Eugene’s Hot Chicken

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By JESSE CHAMBERS ebbie Carney, owner and creator of Eugene’s Hot Chicken, a popular food truck in the Magic City, said he is excited, to say the least, about the storefront he’ll soon occupy in the Uptown entertainment district at the BJCC. “When I first saw the architectural drawings, it was an amazing feeling,” he said. “I was like a kid who dreamed of going professional in a sport. I took a moment to let it sink in that this is our reality. It was like we have arrived.” Carney, who has helped popularize Nashville-style hot chicken in Birmingham since opening his truck in 2015, expects to move into the storefront — his first brick-andmortar space — by the end of this year. The store will allow the Nashville native to fulfill the plan he’s had for the business since the beginning and also help him operate it more efficiently. The new 1,100-square-foot space is at the corner of

Ninth Avenue and 23rd Street North across from the Mugshots parking lot, according to Carney. It’s a “small restaurant [with] maybe 30 seats,” he said. Carney sells his chicken in four varieties: “Southern” with no heat, mild, hot and “stupid hot.” The truck also sells chicken wings, chicken fingers, fries, slaw and desserts, including banana pudding, all made from Carney’s recipes. Carney said he’s grateful for the warm reception his food truck has received, but he originally planned on having a storefront first. “Sometimes things don’t go as planned,” Carney said. “In hindsight, the way it evolved was perfect for us. We’ve somewhat built a brand with the food truck, and it’s time to take the next step.” The Uptown location has all the things he was looking for, Carney said. “We wanted to be in an area of town with high traffic and tourism that is also growing,” he said. Having a storefront will allow Eugene’s to solve some persistent space and logistical problems, Carney said. “We have outgrown our space at the

Zebbie Carney has made his hot chicken famous with the Eugene’s food truck. Now he’s prepping to open a brick-and-mortar location. Photo courtesy of Burton Advertising.

commissary,” he said, referring to the Chef’s Workshop in Hoover. “We began catering, and it requires more space than we have right now. Also the volume during a shift on the truck has outgrown what we can keep on the truck.” Despite the excitement about the storefront, Carney said he has a lot of work to do. “Now it’s back to business,” he said. “I have

to make sure our products are as consistent as the truck that everyone has come to love.” And he promised that the food truck will keep right on running. “You will still see Matilda [Big Red] in neighborhoods around town,” he said. For more information, go to eugeneshotchicken.com.


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sharing her passion The Beverly McNeil Gallery, in Lakeview, is at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 28th Street in the space formerly occupied by Loretta Goodwin Gallery. Photos courtesy of Beverly McNeil.

Beverly McNeil brings ‘balanced roster’ of essential element — art — to Lakeview

By RACHEL HELLWIG

“A Courtesy artsBHAM

rt is essential to my life,” Beverly McNeil said. “It has taught me to see things in many different ways. Its beauty enriches me every day.” That essential element in McNeil’s life led her to open Beverly McNeil Gallery two years ago in the historic Lakeview district on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 28th Street, in the space formerly occupied by Loretta Goodwin Gallery. “Beverly McNeil Gallery represents over 35 artists and displays works for purchase,” she said. “I opened this gallery because I want to help people build lasting art collections that will bring them joy over the years and can be passed down to future generations.” McNeil, a Birmingham native, credits her mother-inlaw’s art collection with sparking her love of art 45 years ago. “I always had an appreciation and interest in art, but it was her wonderful and exciting collection that caught my attention,” she said. “I have been hooked ever since.” With the gallery, McNeil’s love of art coincides with a lifelong passion for entrepreneurship. “I am an entrepreneur at heart and have always looked for business opportunities, starting with lemonade stands when I was about 8 years old,” she said. For 30 years, McNeil has combined her interests into working in the business of art. In 1986, she started Portrait Brokers of America. In 2008, she merged Portrait Brokers with Portraits Inc., a company founded in 1942, which she purchased along with Julia G. Baughman. Portraits Inc., whose corporate office is in Birmingham, represents more

than 150 portrait painters. McNeil additionally owned an art gallery in Destin, Florida, for 10 years. Quality, of course, is “first and foremost” when she is selecting art to showcase, she said. Another goal is to feature a blend of local, regional and national artists. “We aim to have a balanced roster,” she said. “One-third being acclaimed Alabama artists, one-third regionally recognized artists and one-third nationally recognized artists.” She also added that she values “the use of light” in portraits and paintings. Regarding Birmingham’s art scene, McNeil said it’s special. Beverly McNeil. “This city is unique in that it is very supportive and appreciative of the talent of our artists and is generous in supporting them,” she said. “Birmingham has a lot to be proud of. We have made strides, especially in the recent years, in growing culturally.” Earlier this year, Beverly McNeil Gallery collaborated with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Made possible by a partnership with the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the gallery hosted an exhibit and reception that featured art, traditional Russian food, live painting by Russian artist Timur D. Akhriev and a performance featuring a string quartet of ASO musicians. “It was fantastic collaborating with the ASO,” she said. “We were so honored to be asked to display Russian and Russian-inspired art in our gallery. The work was breathtaking and helped give a visual picture of Russian culture.”

With 30 years down and many more to come in the business of art, McNeil said she has a vision for the gallery’s future. “I want to continue bringing quality art to Birmingham,” she said. “I want to help our clients learn more about art and assist them in making educated choices as they add to or begin their art collections. Ongoing workshops, gallery talks and exposure to some of the country’s best artists will help us achieve these goals.” Most of all, McNeil said she believes in the power of art to touch and transform. “More than just appreciating the aesthetics of a beautiful painting or sculpture, art makes us think,” she said. “It can inspire us to make changes or improve the quality of our lives. This is why, in an ever-changing world, art is one constant that has always, and will always, be present and be appreciated.” Beverly McNeil Gallery’s next exhibit opens Dec. 1. “This exhibit will feature the incredible abstracts of John Hyche as well as our annual ‘Tiny Treasures,’ which highlights small works from all of our artists,” McNeil said. “This always proves to be one of the most popular exhibitions.” Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


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Storefronts to get festive for Deck the Ham

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL t may not get cold enough in Birmingham for snow this Christmas, but Deck the Ham will cover the windows of several downtown businesses in artistic winter scenes and holiday cheer. Deck the Ham — a project of the Birmingham Art Crawl — is entering its third year. Miranda McPherson, who works with the Art Crawl, said the event got started as a way to bring more window artwork to the city. About 10 artists participate each year. “It’s a really fun, unique opportunity for artists to get creative with a large, unconventional canvas — windows,” McPherson said. The event is free for artists to participate, and they also get the chance to take part in the December Art Crawl and a credit to offset the cost to join the January and February crawls. McPherson said Deck the Ham does not set a theme for the artists, except that they try to focus on more than just one holiday. “It’s more about the spirit of the winter season. However, some of the businesses will request certain imagery, like, Levy’s enjoys having both a Hanukkah scene and a Christmas scene, [and] Storkland likes winter snow scenes,” McPherson said. Painting is from Nov. 27 to Nov. 30, and

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Opera Birmingham to perform at Good People Brewing Company By MICHAEL HUEBNER

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Courtesy artsBHAM

Photo courtesy of Birmingham Art Crawl.

McPherson said the artwork will stay up through December. Voting for the best window display will be from Dec. 1 to Dec. 19, with the winner of the $500 prize announced Dec. 19. McPherson said there will be a panel of judges this year, but art fans can vote on Instagram by taking a picture of their favorite window and using the hashtag #DeckTheHam. The businesses participating in this year’s Deck the Ham had not been chosen as of Iron City Ink’s press date, but McPherson said a full list of locations will be available at decktheham.com soon.

ike many opera devotees, Keith Wolfe has spent a good portion of his life grappling with the notion that opera is stodgy and boring. To attract bigger audiences to the art form, the Opera Birmingham general director has come up with an innovative idea: Take the arias, choruses and ensembles from their theatrical settings and introduce them to a new public in a relaxed setting — specifically, taverns, bars and breweries. The result? Opera Shots, a series of pop-up concerts during which opera performers replace the jazz singers, songwriters and bands that customarily inhabit these spaces. Opera Shots is catching on — at popular hangouts such as Cahaba Brewing Company, The Collins Bar and Avondale Brewing Company. Next up? Nov. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Good People Brewing Company. From opera novices to longtime aficionados, bar patrons have heard opera in a jazz-club, set list-type setting at Opera Shots events. “We’ll do three sets in two hours, about 25 minutes each, with singers doing arias, choruses and duets,” said Wolfe, who joined the company in January. Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


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Goulash Comedy ushers in new era of Birmingham comedy By TARA MASSOULEH Comedy is a lot like punk rock. At least it is to Chris Ivey, founder of Birmingham comedy group Goulash Comedy. “It’s a lot of sleeping on people’s couches, doing shows for eight people in a bar, drinking a ton of PBR, and most importantly saying, ‘Hey, guy I’ve never met before, we do the same thing. Can you help me out?’” Ivey said. And just like with any good punk rock scene, word about Goulash has traveled fast. Since Ivey started Goulash about a year and a half ago, its shows, mostly hosted at Syndicate Lounge, have been gaining traction. People in Birmingham are taking notice and so are comics from around the country. Goulash — the name plays on the hearty German stew Ivey’s mom often made — hosts an average of two shows a week. One is an open mic, where comics, musicians, dancers, spoken-word artists and other performers are invited to perform, and the other is usually a national headliner or a collection of Birmingham area comics. Past shows have brought in comedians such as Sasheer Zamata and Brooks Wheelan

Chris Ivey is the founder of Goulash Comedy, a Birmingham comedy group that puts on stand-up shows featuring local and national comedians. Photo courtesy of Tollie Jones.

from “Saturday Night Live” and Barry Rothbart, who acted in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” and is set to star in ABC’s new comedy, “Downward Dog.” With headliners like these, mixed in with Birmingham’s best local comics, Ivey said Goulash is beginning to make a name for itself. “Now people come through the South and want to hit Birmingham because they’ve had a good experience with us,” Ivey said.

The 27-year-old California native said when he moved to Birmingham three years ago, the time was ripe for comedy. The music and art scenes were flourishing, and comedy, he said, fit right into that. Since he started Goulash, Ivey said the comedy scene has continued to pick up. There’s a comedy show somewhere around town nearly every night of the week, and more places to perform than Ivey could

have imagined. Goulash also hosted Alabama’s first comedy festival, Birmingham Comedy Festival, in May. The four-day event featured more than 40 comics at 13 different shows, including a roast of Gov. Robert Bentley featuring 10 local comics. Following the success of the festival, Ivey already has set a date for next year. “The thing I’m excited about for the festival is that it’s going to keep growing and getting better each year, just like all the things around town do, just like Sidewalk or Secret Stages,” he said. “I want the comedy festival to be something people in the city can be proud of.” Though Ivey admits to being surprised at how quickly Goulash and the comedy scene in Birmingham have grown, that doesn’t mean he’s slowing down any time soon. “I would love to make it be huge,” he said. “People need to laugh, especially now that there’s so much anger everywhere. It’s kind of like our jobs as comedians in this city to bring some laughter. I would love to make people laugh all day, all the time.” For information about upcoming shows, go to Goulash’s Facebook page or goulashcomedy.com.


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together

Bib and Tucker Sew-Op teaches sewing skills to foster a community-oriented textile operation

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By GRACE THORNTON

n their cozy little corner of Woodlawn, Lillis Taylor and Annie Bryant spend their Tuesdays surrounded by spools of thread, sewing machines, quilts and people. Here is where the heart of Bib and Tucker Sew-Op beats. Its mission is to help people of all ages learn skills with the vision of creating a cottage industry of textile manufacturing designed to create income opportunities for single-parent households, Taylor said. Both Bryant and Taylor said they love the creation they have stitched together, but they said they have different reasons for how they got there and why they learned to sew in the first place. “I studied industrial design, and I wanted to have the ability to put my dad’s designs on textiles and make dresses out of them,” said Taylor, a 36-year-old artist. And her colleague? “I wanted to learn to make things and keep my hands busy. If I don’t keep my hands busy, I’ll eat. You can’t eat and sew at the same time,” Bryant, a grandmother, said with a laugh. It was those two thoughts that made their paths cross in 2010 at the Birmingham Quilters Guild, where both of them had gone to pick up some beginner sewing skills. “Most everyone there was more experienced than me,” Bryant said. “But Lillis was a novice too, and she was very friendly. We became friends.” The two exchanged numbers, and even though Bryant didn’t keep going to the guild, Taylor would take what she learned at each meeting and then meet up with Bryant to pass on the knowledge. It was a casual meeting of friends, except that soon it wasn’t just Bryant. Six or seven people were gathering each time at the Tarrant library to learn from Taylor. “It wasn’t long before we started getting on their nerves there at the library,” Bryant said, noting that they were cutting patterns and cutting up — not exactly library behavior. So they moved into a new space, and then another as they grew, and then another. They got the vision to make their little sewing group into a dynamo business that could provide some skills and income to local women. But when they started applying for grants, it was a bit of a roller coaster. “When we didn’t get the first grant I applied for, I was so depressed,” Taylor said. “But things with the group continued to coalesce, and I started a Kickstarter campaign. Things really got going after that.” And after much hard labor, Bib and Tucker Sew-Op was born, named and incorporated. “‘Bib and tucker’ is slang for a woman’s finest clothes in England,” Taylor said. The funds, from the large to the small, have come just when they’ve needed them. A $13,000 grant from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s public health awards helped them to further expand, and The Sewing Machine

Heather Hood leads a sewing class at Woodlawn’s Bib and Tucker Sew-Op, which teaches sewing skills to area residents to try to foster a cottage textile industry. Photo by Frank Couch.

Project, a nonprofit group in Wisconsin, sent them four refurbished Bernina sewing machines to train students. “It’s the top brand in sewing machines,” Taylor said. A used Bernina was where she got her start, too, she said. She bought one at age 27 after visiting Gee’s Bend, a tiny, remote south Alabama community world-renowned for its quilts. Taylor said she had tried to sew when she was younger. “My maternal grandmother was an avid sewer, and when she passed away, my mom tried and tried to teach me and keep my grandmother’s legacy going,” she said. But the machine “just eluded me,” Taylor said. “I had strong feelings of immediate gratification with art at that point in my life, and sewing didn’t provide that quite like I wanted,” she said. But after visiting Gee’s Bend, she said, she was ready to give it another go. “I wanted to try my hand at quilting, and so I started hand sewing squares and making appliques,” Taylor said. “They weren’t really all that good, but I got hooked.” So she bought a used Bernina and reached out to start learning more. That’s when she met Bryant. The Sew-Op moved into its new studio in Woodlawn, at 4915B Fifth Ave. S., in July 2015. “We’ll outgrow this soon, too,” Bryant said from her seat nestled among the sewing machines. “We’re already

congested in here.” Because Taylor and Bryant are co-founders, they’re also the leaders, custodians and bathroom cleaners. But they both say they love it. The group of about 20 meets every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and anyone can come. Bib and Tucker Sew-Op thrives on community projects such as making quilts for shelters. It also has projects such as their March Quilts, which artistically honor different topics of equality. “We want to be the hub of all things sewing, philanthropic and income-generating,” Taylor said. “I think we could incubate people who want to start their own business.” Taylor said she dreams of one day being able to hire a shop tech and build the business even more. Her own day job — working with University Hospital’s arts and medicine program and sewing with patients and family members — provides a major artistic outlet for her. And she said she’s working this year to breathe new life into Tré Lilli, the dressmaking company she started with her father several years ago. But the time she’s got invested at Bib and Tucker Sew-Op is dear to her heart. “We’ve gotten so much of a positive response,” Taylor said. “And we’ve got so much more we want to do.” For more information, go to bibandtuckersewop.org.


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Francisco Martinez, who performs as DJ Paco, provides music for dancers, seen below, at Latin Saturdays at Rare Martini. Photos by Alyx Chandler.

DJ PACO: Mixin’

it up

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By ALYX CHANDLER

rancisco Martinez, known by many dancers as DJ Paco, isn’t surprised that he’s had some problems hearing from his left ear. That’s the ear he leaves exposed, out of the safety of his noise-reducing headphones, on the nights he DJs. That way he can still be a part of the crowd’s vibe and adjust his mixing to fit the

atmosphere. At this point in his 14-year DJ career, he laughed, he’s surprised it doesn’t bother him more. “I really love what I do,” Martinez said. “I love all the people, all different kinds of people, all different ages, enjoying the music mix.” In August, Martinez began Latin Saturdays, a night dedicated to the love of dancing, strobe lights and Latin music, at the Rare Martini twice a month. It also includes an hour-long salsa lesson beforehand. Christine Romano, who’s been the Rare Martini general manager for a year and a half, said that after meeting Martinez one night,


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FACES they ended up talking about how a Latin dance night could bring in clientele for them both. “We try to mix it up. We’ve been around for several years, and it’s [the Rare Martini] still the place to be,” Romano said. In the past, the Rare Martini has hosted a variety of events, bands and birthday parties, but never a Latin night with dance lessons. Martinez said he has seen the Latino community grow in Birmingham over the years, and with that, he’s also seen a spike in interest in Americans for traditionally Latin dances like salsa. “The hope is to give them another option, for them to try a different type of music, atmosphere, also to integrate another culture,” Martinez said. He said it tends to be about 40 percent Americans, with many already knowing basic dance moves. More of the Latino community comes ready to dance later in the night. He also frequently hosts Latin dance nights at other Birmingham clubs including Skyy Bar, Pablo’s Restaurante & Cantina and Medusa Night Club. “This is a great spot over here [in Birmingham], a lot of movement,” he said.

Martinez said what started as a group of friends with a love for playing, mixing and dancing to music transformed over the years into Caliente Entertainment, a DJ company serving the Birmingham area and catering to the growing Latino community. After DJ-ing for a couple of local clubs, the tight-knit group begin to be known for private parties, sweet-16 celebrations, quinceañeras, and most prominently, Latin dance parties. Now the Caliente Entertainment team consists of about 15 people who act as promoters, security, event coordinators, DJs and whatever else is needed. From frequent DJ experience, Martinez said he is glad to know so many American people who love to salsa, but said it’s perfectly OK to come to the Latin Saturdays without any dance skills. Most people are able to learn the basic moves of the dance in the hourlong lesson to get them through the night, he said, but salsa still is only a suggested dance. “Everyone has a good night anyways,” he said. “Music is a universal language. It doesn’t have a color, and that’s what I love about it most.” For his day job, Martinez works in

sales for a local Latino newspaper, but DJ-ing still takes up at least three or four nights a week, with him working night-owl hours of 9 p.m. to about 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. When he first started working the clubs, he was tired all the time, but now, he said, he’s gotten used to his routine. He determines his set list at least one week before each event, and he doesn’t bother with any of the dancers who are too drunk. “I think the kind of the parties we throw, we try to maintain a good rep,” he said. “We’ve been doing these parties for 10 years. We want to make sure everyone’s going to have a good time.” Over the course of his career as a DJ, his music connections from New York, Miami, Atlanta and other big cities send him up-and-coming music popular in their local clubs. He constantly scours websites, top-100 lists and tries to stay on top of the newest music trends. For the Latin Saturdays at the Rare Martini, there will be drink specials and a $5 cover charge. The event is for ages 19 or older. “We’re looking forward to having him here,” Romano said. “We’re excited and hope everyone will come out and see him.”

Francisco Martinez has been a DJ for 14 years and is part of Caliente Entertainment, a DJ company serving the Birmingham area and catering to the growing Latino community.


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tearing down

WALLS New Americans chamber helps immigrants achieve entrepreneurial dreams

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL hen Carlos Blum started his own business in his living room, he had all the typical challenges that new entrepreneurs face. But being an immigrant added the extra barriers of language and legislation. Colombian-born and a U.S. resident since 2004, Blum is the owner of Century Business services, which provides accounting, tax and other services to help Birmingham-area Hispanic businesses grow. He laughs when he recalls the early days of his company. “I started my business not in the garage, in my living room, and yes, I remember those days, and yeah, I was panicked because my wife doesn’t like to see many people in my home, especially the ones that work in [the] construction field because their boots have a lot of dust, and she has to clean the carpet,” Blum said. But it is his experiences in Colombia and navigating the business world of Alabama that has helped Blum support other immigrant businesses for more than a decade. He said he has seen many grow from tiny to large and successful. “I found that the Hispanics came here to America, and they don’t know how to establish a business,” Blum said. “In America, we have a lot of regulations to establish a business, and maybe in their original country they don’t have the same regulations. And for that reason they try to establish businesses in the same way that they used to in their original country, and they fail.”

RESPONDING TO A NEED

It was this experience, in part, that made Hernan Prado seek out Blum to join a new Birmingham association for immigrant entrepreneurs: The New Americans Chamber of Commerce (NACC). Prado works at BBVA Compass and moved to the U.S. from Ecuador in 1995. Prado had his own business background, as he started a Hispanic marketing and media company not long after moving to Birmingham in 2003. He also helped form different Hispanic coalition groups across the state and was a member of the Hispanic Business Council in the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, which became the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). Prado said he felt the BBA’s priorities began to shift

The International Street Fair, held downtown in May, is an annual event for the New Americans Chamber of Commerce, whose goal is to help their members overcome challenges so that they can successfully start their businesses. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

from small business to corporate members a few years ago, leaving Birmingham’s smallest businesses underserved. Seeing a need, Prado created the New Americans Chamber of Commerce in 2014 with participation from as many immigrant groups as he could bring together. “People are saying more and more — listening, I’m hearing this more and more now — that Birmingham is the right place to be if you want to start a business now. So opportunities are everywhere. What I don’t see is a network, a supportive network of organizations or groups that specifically help small business and specifically help new American small business owners. So that’s needed,” Prado said. He is still the driving force behind the chamber, which operates on volunteers. However, there’s a lot of enthusiasm from members to make the chamber a success. “There is a gap in Birmingham’s Chamber of Commerce that is so different from Atlanta’s Chamber of Commerce because they really only deal with corporate entities that are international, and there was nothing there for the small businesses,” said NACC board member Janet Hamm, who also helped found the Central Alabama Global Alliance (CAGA). “What we’re trying to do is get involved in different cultures, because what we found — especially what I’ve seen — is in Birmingham we have the Japanese American Association; we have the Indian Cultural Society; we have the Hispanic [Interest Coalition of Alabama] (HICA) … Chinese American [Business Association of Birmingham]; there’s [Greater Birmingham] Korean [Association], the [Central Alabama] Caribbean [American Association], … and they didn’t talk to each other. They didn’t know what was going on. Plus, they didn’t know how to get word out about what they do,” she said. Regardless of their countries of origin, immigrants in Alabama face similar problems when trying to start a

business, Prado said. One of the most obvious is a language barrier, especially if government offices don’t have interpreters or training to bridge that gap. There’s also the problem that Blum sees frequently: New Americans don’t understand what forms to file or offices to visit in order to legally start their business. “We know that small businesses are similar, but when you’re new to the country, knowing how to even first get your driver’s license before you can apply for the other licenses can be a little bit more challenging,” said NACC board member Vivian Mora, who was born in Brazil and immigrated to the U.S. in 2002. “There’s some special needs if you are a newcomer and just learning to adjust to a new country, a new language, a new culture that if you’re on the same boat, you’re going to realize it and try to make those adjustments.” Prado said it’s also harder for immigrants to begin developing a credit history and have the skills and education they acquired prior to immigration recognized, especially in situations such as applying for a business loan. “We want to give honor to the expertise and knowledge and abilities of immigrants once they move here, because one of the biggest obstacles for us to develop a business or start a business or become more involved with the community is the fact that the United States does not recognize the history, whether it be economic or social or other, as part of the person when they move here,” Prado said. The NACC’s goal is to help their members take on these challenges and successfully start their business. As a volunteer organization, Prado said the chamber is limited in what it can do right now. They host two events per year — the International Street Fair in May and a small business workshop in July. The free workshop covered marketing, taxes, loans and


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FACES The International Street Fair included a parade, food, music, arts and more from different multicultural associations in Birmingham.

insurance, Prado said, “so they will not make the same mistakes that we did, the people who are in business longer.” The NACC also provides education and support for finances, loan applications, city meetings and the other thorny problems of new businesses. If they can get paid staff members for the NACC in the future, Prado said that opens the door to more services. One of his goals is to create a talent bank and criteria to demonstrate immigrants’

skills and knowledge “that can be measured in a way that can be used by the risk assessment at the financial institutions,” he said. “I think [new Americans] need to be recognized as someone that is very capable of doing business here on any level, that they shouldn’t just be assigned to menial jobs,” Hamm said. “They’re extremely bright; most of them are well-educated; they care about themselves, their community and their family, and it really should be

a melting pot of people. “We fought for this in the ’60s. I actually remember Linn Park a little bit, and it just seems like we as a city haven’t embraced other countries like we should.”

CONTINUING TO GROW

Mora pointed out that new American citizens can be great business owners, as people who are willing to start their lives in a whole new country are the same people who can face the uncertainties of entrepreneurship. “We’ve heard that usually the new business owners, or especially if you’re a new immigrant, you’re willing to take the risk, and people that are new business owners, they’re willing to take the risk,” Mora said. “My hat’s off to them for being that brave. In any capacity, it’s brave for an individual, foreign or otherwise, to take on the economy and succeed as a small business owner,” said Herb Underwood, a Decatur resident who heard about the NACC and came to Birmingham in July for the small business workshop. Prado said he hopes the NACC can be a model for similar chambers in other cities and states. Underwood might be the first step toward that. Having learned about the chamber and attended the workshop, he

said he thinks the idea could benefit his hometown. “A lot of what we struggle with, we overlook some of the most obvious points. And what we have in Decatur are a number of new businesses, mom-and-pop businesses, that are foreigners that have moved to America,” Underwood said. “And at a time in Alabama when we’re taking a narrow focus on our foreign communities, ‘multicultural’ is maybe something people are running away from at a time when economics really dictate we run toward it, because that difference is maybe the spark that’s going to bring us back to where we want to be.” Five years from now, Prado said he wants to see the New Americans Chamber as a much larger organization able to provide more services and unity to Birmingham’s immigrant community. Overall, he and his fellow board members want to see better communication in every step of the business-creation process. “Against a lot of people’s opinions, I have to say that Birmingham has been very welcoming to me and to a lot of business owners that have been very successful,” Mora said. “We have big companies that have started from zero … we’re excited to see more and more.”


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GETTING

Birmingham resident teaches more than just dance

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By TARA MASSOULEH

Creative Mindz owner and founder of Alabama Dance Nation Muriel Tarver with Keenan Murray. Photos courtesy of Michael Anderson.

hen Muriel Tarver’s son, Tyland, was younger, he couldn’t stop dancing. He danced at home; he danced at school; he even danced in grocery stores. Anytime Tyland was up, Tarver said, he was dancing. “It wasn’t just normal be-bopping around; it was over-the-top dancing,” she said. “He had so much energy. Honestly, it was kind of annoying.” When Tyland was nine, Tarver signed him up for a dance battle at The Dance Foundation in Homewood. Tyland, the competition’s youngest dancer, made it to the second round, and Tarver, who admittedly is not much of a dancer, took an interest.

“When the music dropped, I didn’t know him,” she said of her son. “Out of all the stuff I had seen him doing, I had never seen that before. So that’s how I became a part of dancing.” Tarver, 49, is now the owner of Creative Mindz Dance Studio and is the founder of Alabama Dance Nation, a network of more than 300 dancers from across the state. And although Tarver took notice of dance during that first battle, it didn’t become part of her life until it was paired with purpose. Tyland attended school at Center Street Middle in Titusville, which was, at the time, a failing school and has since been shut down. When the school made a call for donations to buy new uniforms for the football team, Tarver suggested a dance battle fundraiser. She called upon the organizers from the Battle


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FACES Zone competition at The Dance Foundation, and they agreed to help. The fundraiser ended up raising about $1,800, and it became the first of many dance events Tarver would go on to host. Creative Mindz started out as a dance crew between Tyland and two friends, but once Center Street Middle closed down, Tarver realized it needed to be much more. In 2012, she opened a dance studio on Sixth Avenue South in Titusville called Creative Mindz. Tarver said Creative Mindz became something of an after-school program, where kids got help with their homework before they were allowed to dance. They also received mentorship from their dance teachers, who were college students and older kids from the area. Children of all ages came to the studio, and eventually the studio started catering to the entire community with yoga, Zumba and other exercise classes. The studio strictly operated on a volunteer basis, so in 2014, Tarver undertook the project of shifting Creative Mindz into a nonprofit organization. For Tarver, the project was twofold: She wanted to create a place for children to grow in dance and grow as people, but she also wanted to provide opportunities for older dancers to turn their talent into a profession. Frequently called “Mama” by her

dancers, Tarver has become exactly that to the kids she’s worked with over the past four years. Though she doesn’t teach them how to dance, she said she has taught her students everything from how to shave for the first time to how to order at a restaurant. She’s even sent dancers on their first trip out of the country. She represents 30 dancers who signed three-to-six month professional dance contracts in China. “I’m teaching them how to coexist in a community,” she said. “I’ve taken this situation in dance and I’m using it as a teaching tool. They’re like children to me, so it has to be business in order to run, but it’s not really.” In April of 2015, Tarver moved her studio to the LR Hall Auditorium on 16th Street North and Fifth Avenue North in Birmingham’s Civil Rights District. The threestory building housed a 5,000-square-foot auditorium and 1,400 square feet in studio and office space. In other words, it was the perfect home for Creative Mindz. Tarver said she spent thousands of dollars renovating the space, but by the time summer rolled around, she was forced to shut it down because there was no central air conditioning in the building. Recently, however, she found a spot on Seventh Avenue South and 22nd Street, the former La Cocina restaurant, which Tarver said she

Members of the Creative Mindz dance group perform on the south side of the railroad tracks in downtown Birmingham.

hopes to move into in the future. In the meantime, she has kept up the organization, sending dancers to perform at events such as the Woodlawn Street Market and hosting a summer camp at Epic Elementary School. Of course, as is the trend with Creative Mindz, its newest reincarnation will include more than just dance. Tarver hopes to turn the space into an urban arts studio, where young people can practice and collaborate in all forms of art including dancing, singing, playing instruments and performing spoken word. She hopes to turn the 3,200-square-foot space into a community resource, where classes will be hosted during

the day and events put on at night. With all she does for Creative Mindz, Tarver somehow makes time for her professional life as a full-time veterinary technician. She is the first African American to sit on the executive board of the Alabama Veterinary Technician’s Association, and she’s seeking further certification in the field. Though she doesn’t have much free time, Tarver said managing Creative Mindz doesn’t feel like work. “It keeps me alive,” she said. “It’s not like a chore. It’s like I’m doing what I am — I’m being me. It started out being a project for my son, and now it’s part of who I am.”


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DIY Birmingham serves the downtown community with a lesson in punk culture

By ALYX CHANDLER

or six years, DIY Birmingham has kept punk expression alive. Committed to rejuvenating the creative performance in the downtown Birmingham community, DIY Birmingham exists as a fairly exclusive website resource and calendar for the younger alternative community. It targets creative performers and books weekly and multi-genre musician shows in small venues within the city. This allows Birmingham to pull in new, punk or experimental performers from across the world. “I think that what we are doing is punk. Punk can be narrow or exclusion, but we are definitely coming from punk model,” said Hayley Grimes, original creator of DIY Birmingham. Grimes, who is the core website updater and one of the show-booking managers, moved to downtown Birmingham when she was 18. When she came across a ’zine collection on a trip to Chicago, she was particularly interested in one about creating a local-show calendar. She said she didn’t wait for pay or permission to spread the word about the growing alternative scene. Saturn bartender Wess Gregg, also a key show-booking manager and DIY Birmingham leader, met Grimes at Cave 9, a now-closed music venue and do-it-yourself establishment. The DIY scene aims to provide outlets for a creative community, he said. “It came from punk rock culture in the ’80s where you didn’t want to wait around for someone to give you the opportunity to make art or play music or be creative; you just did it,” Gregg said. After Cave 9 closed in 2004, Grimes and Gregg said they decided to continue dedicating time to expanding a niche music scene in Birmingham. Arron Hamilton, the owner of Cave 9, taught them how to book shows and then let them try their hand at it. By the time his teaching was done, they knew how to put a show together, take care of the people performing and maintain peace the night of the show. They learned that if someone had something they cared about, there was always a space for them. Grimes began to design handwritten calendars she would copy and display around town, and it evolved into a blog where

Hayley Grimes and Wess Gregg book most of the shows at their DIY Birmingham home base, the Firehouse, in downtown Birmingham. Photo by Alyx Chandler.

people were free to click around and see details about upcoming bands and shows. Now, with a newly updated website and several people being recruited for official DIY Birmingham volunteers, the organization continues to expand, and people contact Grimes and Gregg year-round to book shows. “Above anything else, it’s about a

community expression, about creating a space for folks who have something to say but not necessarily any other community to say it,” Gregg said. The types of music they book ranges anywhere from experimental to punk rock to hip-hop. There aren’t certain criteria for booking. Grimes said touring bands and

artists are from all over Alabama and the country and identify as all sorts of genres. “It’s not a clique here, and if there’s a hiphop artist on the list instead of a punk band, people are still going to come,” Grimes said. “They’re open minded.” That’s what makes it punk, Gregg and Grimes said: People will crowd in for almost every show. DIY Birmingham books shows and awareness events all around town, but for the past six years, the Firehouse on 41st Street South has become their home base and most-booked venue, one they make an effort to ensure that it’s accessible to all age groups, especially the younger kids who want to be part of a cool but safe community. “It was frustrating when I was a kid because I didn’t have somewhere to be,” Grimes said, especially after Cave 9 closed. They said they’ve seen parents drop their kids off and pick them up, or sometimes the parents come in to check out the Firehouse. Gregg said everyone is, generally, not younger than 16. On most nights, they ask for a donation, but they both agreed they “never set a hard line,” so as not to limit people who don’t have money but want to enjoy a show. With about a dozen other people directly volunteering a fair amount of time to keep the organization strong, they said they hope to keep getting the word out to community members in downtown Birmingham. “Birmingham is a huge city, but we’ve affected a microcosm of it,” Gregg said Each year they throw a couple of bigger parties for special events such as prom or birthdays. This raises enough money to pay for the website and sustain DIY Birmingham to a certain degree. They both work at other day jobs. Gregg, 31, said he remembers how difficult it was to be young and considered a “weirdo.” A big part of DIY Birmingham for him is the ability to talk to the people who come to the shows about their struggles and how he’s been there before. “We’ve been getting older and young people continue to show up to the shows,” Gregg said. “They are just now discovering who they are as young people, and they have challenging issues as how they identify and fit in,” he said. Gregg said he likes to be there to reassure them they should be confident about how they express themselves. After all, that’s what punk is all about.


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COVER STORY

cup

Cabell Tice, a world champion latte artist who works at Revelator Coffee on Third Avenue North, pours steamed milk into a latte at Revelator. Photos and cover photo by Shay Allen.

canvas in a

3-time World Latte Art champion Cabell Tice pours perfection at Revelator Coffee

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL

ouring a cup of coffee isn’t just an early morning habit for Cabell Tice. It’s math; it’s physics, and — above all — it’s art. Tice has worked at Revelator Coffee on Third Avenue North since June. He is also a three-time World Latte Art Championship winner. He has competed around the world with a cup of steamed milk as his medium instead of oil paint or charcoal. Tice got started in the world of coffee about eight years ago, taking a summer job at


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For me, the training leading up to the first one … was six months of losing latte art competitions and understanding how to handle my nerves, and then six months of winning every single one in New England.

CABELL TICE

Though he’s a world champion in latte art, Cabell Tice has learned about every step to making a delicious cup of coffee.

a coffee shop in Oregon whose owner taught him to “do coffee correctly.” “I sort of stumbled into coffee and accidentally stayed in it for a while,” he said. From that job and the ones that would follow, Tice learned all the elements that make a cup of coffee stand out: original source, bean quality, texture, grind, roasting and brewing time, recipes and the individual differences between every batch of beans. But it was his next job at a shop in Boston that gave Tice the chance to develop latte-pouring skill. He made coffees for hours every day without pause, and Tice compared the repetition to the old adage that 10,000 hours of practice can make a person an expert at any skill. “I don’t have those 10,000 hours, but it was definitely 10,000 lattes,” Tice said. As he started to understand the mechanics behind creating flowers and other designs on the surface of a latte, Tice became interested in competing. Latte art competitions are based on speed, difficulty, symmetry, color and other artistic elements, not about flavor — “not to say that I don’t make an amazing latte,” Tice interjected. It took Tice a while to get over his nerves and start competing well. “For me, the training leading up to the first one … was six months of losing latte art competitions and understanding how to

handle my nerves, and then six months of winning every single one in New England,” Tice said. When he made it to his first world championship in New York in 2013, Tice was one of the bottom seeds out of 64 competitors, and he said he would have been happy just to make it through the first round.

“That was my strategy, was just to not suck,” Tice said. Tice won his round against a man who had previously taken fourth place at a world competition. He continued to out-pour other competitors, and no one was more surprised than Tice when he walked away with a championship trophy.

“I was floored,” Tice said. Since then, he has won another world championship in Seattle in 2013 and again in 2014. He said he only knows two other latte artists who have won three times. “Getting one is a challenge, but three is an anomaly,” Tice said. His next major competition will be in Nashville early next year, though he’ll pour in some smaller competitions between now and then. Though he has developed strategies for practicing and preparing for each individual opponent, Tice said he still gets nervous every time. Going to a latte art competition is as much about the people as about the bragging rights. Many latte artists have been competing against one another for years, and, if they live on opposite sides of the country or around the world, the championships may be the only time they see each other. “It’s like a family reunion every time there’s one of these competitions,” Tice said. Tice chose to start working at Revelator in part because of his wife’s Birmingham roots, and partly because he said he was excited by the company’s ambitions and being “part of the movers and the shakers” in the coffee world. You won’t often see him behind the bar, though — Tice’s role is focused more on choosing coffees to brew and training the baristas to make a good cup from start to finish, including the flourish of art on each latte. Since arriving in Birmingham, Tice has connected with other shops and coffee aficionados to create the Birmingham Coffee Collective, which held a “barista throwdown” in August as a launch party. Tice said Revelator hosted a few hundred people for the event, including representatives from 10 different coffee shops. He said the Collective is planning more events, including tastings and another competition, to build friendships between Birmingham’s coffee makers. “There’s a lot of community,” Tice said.


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cultural FUSION Notinee youth dancers perform at the Bengali Association of Greater Birmingham’s Durga Puja celebration. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

Indian dance schools, troupes manifest and share centuries of tradition in Deep South

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL

ia Sen started Notinee Indian Dance because she wanted to enjoy the dances she learned as a child, not because she thought it would become popular. She certainly wasn’t expecting to create a troupe that would perform from Sloss Furnaces to Las Vegas. “It might be fun to teach dance, but it’s Birmingham, Alabama. Who’s going to learn Indian dance?” Sen recalls. The folk-fusion dance group started 10 years ago with a few friends in a tiny room in Irondale. Sen said Notinee started to attract more people, especially families. “And somehow magically, I guess, it clicked, and then we kept growing,” Sen said. “If I think back on it, it’s amazing.”


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FACES The dance troupe includes both adults and children. Notinee blends two classical dance styles from separate regions of India with folk dances and modern styles. Some of the dances they practice have been passed down for thousands of years; others were popularized in Bollywood movies. Notinee dancers have performed in Alabama and in Cincinnati, Orlando and as part of a large ensemble performance in Las Vegas that included a live elephant on stage. However, some of their more unique dances have been in Birmingham. Sen said the troupe has performed in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Shakespeare at Sloss, “Secret Garden” at the Red Mountain Theatre and with the Birmingham Boys Choir. Adapting Indian choreography to the terrain of Sloss or the music of “Secret Garden” was a particular challenge for Sen. “I had a wonderful time doing that,” she laughed. After first meeting them, I had the good fortune to see the Notinee dancers in action not only at a practice, but also at the Durga Puja celebration in October. Durga Puja is a day of worship for the Hindu goddess Durga, and the Bengali Association of Greater Birmingham’s event was part religious ritual and part talent show for Birmingham’s Indian community. Amid some great food and performances by Notinee and other singers and dancers, the centerpiece was an elaborate and beautiful shrine to Durga. That attention to detail extends to the dances as well. Indian dance is a whole body art, with finger positions and facial expressions as important as the steps or turns. “I didn’t know my fingers could cross and do things,” said UAB professor Jianhua Zhang about her first classes at Notinee. Sheila Rubin, who teaches Bharatanatyam classical dance at Natyananda Dance School, said her dancers have to learn 52 distinct hand movements, seven different neck positions and more for every part of the body. She learned while living in India for 12 years, and many of her students take about that long to reach the level of mastery to give their two-hour, solo graduate performance. “It’s a form that takes a lot of years. It’s a very difficult, demanding form,” Rubin said.

Above: Dora Singh practices with the Notinee Indian Dance company. Below: Nivedita Rao, a local dancer, performs at the Durga Puja festival in October.

HISTORY AND TRADITIONS

Most of Notinee’s dancers, particularly the children, are of Indian descent. Performing in the dance group gives them a chance to be in touch with their culture. “You can imagine, it’s hard to get any culture if your kids are Indian and you want them to be exposed to something, so this has been a great opportunity at least for my daughter to learn something because some of the dances we do are based on long cultural traditions or old religious traditions … so you learn about history and what’s going on in India right now just by accident,” said Rupa Kitchens, who joined Notinee with her daughter. But Notinee also attracted many dancers with no connection to Indian culture. Zhang is from China; Maria Pisu, who has been with Notinee since it started, is from Italy, and Dora Singh, a retired pharmacist, is from El Salvador. “I think this group is unique,” Zhang said. “We’re from all cultures, and we not only learn dance but also the culture is fascinating. I learn so much about India and other places, too.” Several families take the stage together at Notinee. Dora Singh’s children are part of the troupe as well, and she said outside of class they also enjoy Latin and ballroom dance styles. Her husband, Sanjay Singh, takes pictures for the group and is always bringing new ideas. As I sat and talked with the circle of dancers, he pointed out the recent “vertical dance” performance by

BANDALOOP at UAB and suggested that Notinee take its next performance onto the side of a building. “We will not be doing that,” Sen replied. Many of Notinee’s adult dancers work as professors, researchers or physicians. For them, Notinee is also a chance to unwind and express a creative side. “I sit at a desk every day. So this is very welcome at the end of the day,” Pisu said. Dora Singh said practice at Notinee is her creative time. Her favorite part? “The part where I come here and I forget about everything else because I’m totally focused on learning,” Dora Singh said. Notinee and Natyananda are not the only Indian dance groups in Birmingham. There are individual teachers and schools teaching belly dancing, Bollywood dancing and traditional styles as well. Natyananda is one of the oldest, as it will reach its 40th anniversary in 2018. “It’s a wonderful, amazing, thriving art form, and I wouldn’t have expected it in Birmingham, Alabama. But I think like any places, the people who come are the people who are naturally interested in learning about other

cultures,” Sen said. Rubin said the first time she tried Indian dance was a “this is it” moment. In her 40 years of teaching, Rubin said she has seen Indian dance grow in popularity among younger dancers. Though the Hindu mythology is unfamiliar to many in the U.S., Rubin said the emotions and stories are very similar. “Being human is the same no matter what country you’re in,” Rubin said. One of the other performers at the Durga Puja was Nivedita Rao, who was not a Notinee or Natyananda student but had clearly devoted years to her dancing skill. As I was photographing her dance, which centered on the relationship between the gods Shiva and Shakti, Sanjay Singh leaned over from his seat to tell me that her dance had been performed the same way for 2,000 years.

SEE FOR YOURSELF

Several Indian dance groups will be coming together for the UAB Indian Cultural Association’s Diwali celebration this month. The celebration of the Indian festival of lights will be 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Alys Stephens Center. Rachana Kotapalli, who is helping organize the event, said the Diwali celebration will include free admission and dinner. Rubin said Natyananda will also perform at the Alabama Dance Festival in January. With thousands of years of history behind the various styles of Indian dance, even the most advanced performers at Notinee and Birmingham’s other schools still have plenty to learn. “I think there is such a depth of dancing. You can dance for fun and then after 10 years I discovered I’m only scratching the surface. You can go deeper in terms of technique and performance,” Zhang said.


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After-school engineering program now in Woodlawn

Civic fundraiser Tom Cosby named Vulcans Awards’ ‘Game Changer’

By JESSE CHAMBERS

By JESSE CHAMBERS

The Birmingham Public Library has expanded an innovative after-school program designed to help local high-school students pursue technology careers using a $50,000 Community Impact Grant from the UAB Benevolent Fund governed by university employees. The Teens Engineer Birmingham (TEB) program, already offered at the Central Library downtown, is available one afternoon per week at two branch libraries, according to a library news release. In mid-September, the Woodlawn branch began offering TEB for students at Woodlawn High School, and the Southside branch is hosting students from Ramsay High School. The Central Library also has added

EAST LAKE

Students participate in the Teens Engineer Birmingham program at the library. Photo courtesy of Birmingham Public Library.

more activities for its TEB participants, most of them from Phillips Academy. The library used grant money to buy 3-D printers and other engineering equipment. The UAB School of Engineering has helped coordinate TEB since 2015. “This program will encourage students to push themselves academically and prepare them for great success in future STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers,” said Lance Simpson, system teen librarian. UAB employees contribute to the

Benevolent Fund through voluntary payroll deductions. The fund, established in 1984, partners with more than 120 local nonprofit agencies, according to the fund’s website, uab. edu/benfund/aboutus. The Community Impact Grants are given annually to one nonprofit or coalition of nonprofits that submits a proposal that could have “a deep and direct” positive impact on health, education or economic security in the Magic City, according to the website, uab.edu/benfund/support/ impact.

East Lake annex hosts art exhibit

By JESSE CHAMBERS The old commercial strip in the East Lake neighborhood is being revived after decades of neglect ― especially the 7600 block of First Avenue North ― and the arts are definitely playing a part. The latest example is a new visual art exhibit at the East Lake Theatre Art Gallery Annex, 7606 First Ave. N. “Embrace: the Cyclops, the RE:percussion(ist) & the Revolutionist” ― featuring local painters and multimedia artists Hunter Bell, Lee Alan Possum Doss and Ukuu Tafari ― began Oct. 7 and will be open for viewing every Saturday through Nov. 26 from noon to 5 p.m. The show features “multimedia, surrealist, outsider and street art,” according to Bell. The artists are happy to be part of the rebirth of the East Lake commercial core. “I’d rather do [the show] here than on Southside or in Avondale,” Bell said during the Oct. 7 opening reception.

Ukuu Tafari, Lee Alan Possum Doss and Hunter Bell display their work in an art show at the East Lake Theatre gallery. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

“Art is always in the vanguard,” Tafari said. “From Berlin to Skid Row in Los Angeles, the artists kind of come in first, and other people say, ‘Oh, OK.’” Bell and Tafari said that they consider themselves, along with Doss, to be

outsiders in the local art scene ― “We’re not necessarily a member of any coolkid cliques,” Tafari said ― but they still express affection for Birmingham. “People in Birmingham will come out and support you if you’re sincere about it,” Tafari added. All three artists make use of found objects and unusual materials. This shared approach helps unify the show, according to Tafari. “We’re all DIY,” he said. “We also believe in practical things, in recycling things. Who would have thought of using pipe cleaners? That’s a commonality.” Tafari and Doss each said their works carry some political and social themes, while Bell professes to draw heavily on the unconscious. “A lot of my work deals with dreams and shadows and shadow minds,” he said. Bell calls his contribution to the group show “a reflection of my dreams that I found accidentally.” For information, contact 492-6888 or sunwizard222@gmail.com.

It’s likely Birmingham has no bigger fan than Tom Cosby, longtime civic booster and fundraiser. “I think Birmingham is earning great city status,” the Forest Park resident said. “It’s always been a great place to live and a great place to be from.” If Birmingham is a great city, Cosby has certainly played a part in making it so. In recent years, he helped raise almost $12 million to restore the Lyric Theatre downtown after decades of neglect. In the 1990s, while working as an executive and fundraiser with the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Cosby helped save Rickwood Field, bring Olympic soccer to town and even make sure the new Interstate 22 freeway would run Cosby through Birmingham, not Huntsville. It’s therefore no surprise that when Vulcan Park and Museum announced the winners of The Vulcans Community Awards for 2016, Cosby was tapped to receive the Game Changer award. Citing the Lyric and other civic projects Cosby has pushed since the 1970s, the committee said: “There is no question Birmingham’s game has changed at his hands.” And it’s particularly appropriate that Cosby receive a Vulcan award, since he played a huge role in saving Vulcan in 1999 when damage to the aging iron man forced the city to close the park due to safety concerns. The Vulcans committee calls Cosby a “hardcharging, plainspoken guy who still manages to exude Southern style and charm,” and it was he who forcefully reminded chamber board members of Vulcan’s history: The chamber’s predecessor, the old Commercial Club, had Vulcan cast in 1904 as Birmingham’s prize-winning entry in the St. Louis World’s Fair. “‘This is our project. Who else would do this?’” I told them,” Cosby said. The chamber created a volunteer fundraising committee that ultimately became the Vulcan Park Foundation. That makes his receipt of this award especially gratifying, according to Cosby. “That’s very important to me,” he said.


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HIGHLAND PARK By ERICA TECHO In Orthodox Judaism, there is a year of mourning after someone dies. During the year of mourning following the death of Elie Wiesel in July, the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center plans to honor the author and humanitarian through a new book club. BHEC will kick off its book club Nov. 9, which is also the anniversary of Kristallnacht, or the night of broken glass, when hundreds of synagogues were destroyed, thousands of Jewish-owned shops were sacked and looted and tens of thousands of Jews were taken to concentration camps in Germany in 1938. The book club’s first read will be “Night” by Elie Wiesel, something BHEC Executive Director Rebecca Dobrinski said many people read in high school and will now be able to read from a new perspective. “People have been reading ‘Night’ quite a bit, and many of them are re-reading it,” Dobrinski said. Everyone will read the book before the Nov. 9 club, and Dobrinski said the number

CRESTWOOD

Alabama Waldorf School finds new home at old site By JESSE CHAMBERS With its recent move, the Alabama Waldorf School in Birmingham is in a better position to educate children with its holistic approach. “Waldorf education is all about nurturing the whole child — body, mind and spirit,” said Cassia Kesler, marketing director for the Alabama Waldorf School in Birmingham. “We want to cultivate a natural, warm, beautiful atmosphere.” That goal became much more attainable in early October, when the school’s 125 students and 20 teachers and staffers moved into a renovated facility in the 5900 block of Crestwood Boulevard after 17 years in the old Comer School building. One of the main advantages of the new school — located on a wooded, four-acre lot — is “being able to decorate it and lay it out the way we want and renovate with an eye toward Waldorf education,” Kesler said.

BHEC Book Club to honor Wiesel

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Waldorf School.

The new campus for AWS, which was founded in 1987, features two buildings with offices, classrooms, a community hall and playgrounds. There are plans for sustainable permaculture gardens. School officials said hundreds of parents, staff members, alumni and other volunteers helped open the new facility. Waldorf Schools — most of which are in the Northeast and on the West Coast — use art, music and movement in academic subjects to encourage students’ creative thinking and emotional intelligence, Kesler said. “It’s experiential and holistic,” she said. “The kids actually enjoy being in the classroom and learning.” Classes range from a nursery program (beginning at age 18 months) through eighth grade. AWS recently was accredited by the Southeastern Association of Independent Schools and the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America.

BHEC Book Club premiere

Photo by Erica Techo.

of attendees likely will be limited due to space restrictions in the center. An introduction on the history of the Holocaust will precede the book discussion, she said, and they will likely work to tie the book’s themes to modern times. “It’ll be interesting, because it’s the day after the election,” Dobrinski said. In addition to learning more about Wiesel, Dobrinski said the BHEC hopes attendees will learn more about the center, and that the book club will help further the BHEC’s goal of increasing community knowledge about the history of the Holocaust.

• WHEN: Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m. • WHERE: 2222 Arlington Ave. S. (Bayer Properties Building, ground floor) • MORE INFO: RSVP to 7954176 or info@bhamholocausteducation.org by Nov. 7 The book club will likely take place on a quarterly basis, and they aim to cover a variety of topics. “We want to eventually make it as broad as we can,” Dobrinski said. “While it builds knowledge, it isn’t sequential knowledge, so you can come in and out as topics interest you.” Church Street Coffee & Books in Mountain Brook is sponsoring the book club by providing coffee, and copies of “Night” are available at the shop. Other copies also are available to borrow from the BHEC.


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Chai Market marks 40 years of business in Southside By JESSE CHAMBERS

Photo courtesy of UAB.

UAB installs solar array By JESSE CHAMBERS The University of Alabama at Birmingham is now home to the largest solar-energy system in the Magic City. The 100-panel array ― the university’s first commercial-scale solar installation ― on top of the UAB Campus Recreation Center was installed by Vulcan Solar Power and can be seen from Red Mountain. Some smaller solar projects have been done on campus in the past but nothing on this scale. In fact, the sheer size and visibility of the installation may help generate some useful public discussion of environmental issues, according to UAB sustainability coordinator Julie Price. “It is a great pinnacle project that will open the door for us to engage people about solar energy and other facets of sustainability,” she said. The installation is big enough to power four or five homes or one small business and will help save the university an estimated $600 per month in utility costs. In addition, students and faculty members will be able to use the installation for classroom activities and research projects, and UAB Emergency Management and other departments will use weather sensors on the system. Iron City Ink recently sat down with Price to find out more about the new installation, the possibility of additional solar projects and what a sustainable campus may look like in the future. Q: What are some of the classes or departments that will likely use the solar array learning opportunity? A: The primary courses will be in the

School of Engineering, particularly in mechanical and electrical engineering. However, other classes in public health, government and business, for example, can use the installation’s costs, returns and applicable government and utility policies to examine the ways we can best meet our energy needs. Q: “We are treating our campus as a living lab,” you said. Why is that important? A: The UAB Facilities Division has committed to not only building, operating and maintaining our buildings to support the many needs of UAB, like residential life, classroom and office buildings, research and patient care, but also to use our building and grounds to test new technologies and learn from them. This engages our UAB staff, faculty, students and the surrounding community. Q: Are there other solar projects planned or under discussion for the campus? A: As part of our comprehensive energy plan, every building has been evaluated for efficiency improvements, and we are incrementally performing upgrades that save money and reduce energy consumption and emissions. We are also setting some ambitious sustainability goals as part of our five-year strategic sustainability plan, and perhaps additional solar power will be among those goals. Q: What will large campuses like UAB look like from a sustainability standpoint in five or 10 years? What’s the future? A: Bike lanes, composting, interdisciplinary curriculum, green building technologies, and more. For more information about UAB’s sustainability efforts, visit uab.edu/sustainability.

Sam Pokhrel, co-owner of Chai Market on Southside, is proud of his store’s heritage. “This store is very historical,” he said. “This was the first Oriental food store in Birmingham.” The market — originally called Chai’s Oriental Food Store — was founded by Peter Chaiprakob, a Thai-born Chinese-American, and his wife, Sam and Rose Pokhrel took over ownership of the according to bhamwiki.com. Chai Market in January. Photo by Jesse Chambers. Chaiprakob — better known as “Mr. Chai” — started the big bags of rice and African flour. The market market in 1973 and catered to the increasingly sophisticated food tastes of also carries pastries, soft drinks and incense. In its stock of Asian foods, the market the burgeoning, multicultural community of emphasizes Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia UAB students and faculty members. “Now we continue the same thing,” and others rather than China, due to the numerous other outlets in Birmingham that stock Pokhrel said. With Chai Market now in its fifth decade, Chinese items, according to Sam Pokhrel. Peter Chai and his wife had a reputation Pokhrel and his co-owner and wife, Rose, said they are excited about honoring its for good customer service, and the Pokhrels say they’ve adopted that approach. legacy. “We take care of our customers like For the couple, this means providing fresh produce, frozen delicacies and other grocery family members,” Sam Pokhrel said. The store’s customers “are very, very items from Asia, India and Africa while good,” Rose Pokhrel said. “Many have come giving friendly customer service. And they want to continue to supply the here for a long, long time — 15 years, 20 UAB community and the market’s estab- years. When they were a child, some came lished customers while attracting new ones in here.” The store is drawing some new customers — especially as UAB, Southside and downtown continue to attract new residents and from the internet, according to Sam Pokhrel. “When you search for Indian grocery or businesses. Originally from Nepal, the Pokhrels moved Asian grocery in Birmingham, you find our to Birmingham from Huntsville in January. store first,” he said. “It’s easy.” Chai also draws “a bunch of customers Their son, Arya, is a pre-med student at the who come from far outside of Birmingham,” University of Alabama at Birmingham. The couple bought Chai from two Thai including Mississippi and Florida, he said. women — Golf Suchodayon and Kay Sath- “They come [to UAB] to see the doctor, and ianphatthanakul — whom the Pokhrels say they come here, too,” Sam Pokhrel said. Chai Market began stocking imported have served as advisers and supporters. Suchodayon and Sathianphatthanakul, beer and wine in October, according to the who owned Chai for about eight years, are couple. They plan to add a hair salon and credited with broadening its stock to include beauty products in the future. They also said they are not concerned a wider variety of items, including Thai, about the potential impact on their busiAfrican and Indian foods. The store’s aisles contain fresh produce, ness when the new Publix market opens in including plantains, ginger, curry leaf, Japa- Midtown. “We have some kinds of different food, nese sweet potatoes and Taiwanese cabbage. The frozen food cases include samosas, different items, that the Publix is not sellpot stickers and vegetable dumplings. There ing,” said Sam Pokhrel. Chai Market is at 2133 Seventh Ave. S. is a case of frozen fish, including red snapper For hours and more information, call 324and galunggong fish. There’s a wide selection of Indian and 4873 or go to the “Chai Market” FaceKorean tea and Jamaican coffee, as well as book page.


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Revitalization nonprofit eyes work in outskirts

By TARA MASSOULEH When Josh Kirk was 16 years old, he was forced to move out of his house in Mount Olive, Alabama. The house, built in 1932, belonged to his grandparents. They bought it from the government and then passed it on to their daughter. Kirk’s mom could not afford to give the historic home the attention it needed, and as a result, it had holes in the ceiling and floors, active roof leaks, no central heating or air conditioning, and for a time it did not have running water. The city tried to condemn the house two or three times before Kirk and his twin brother moved out to live with their dad. It was this experience that motivated Kirk to start Block by Block Birmingham, a new nonprofit dedicated to promoting revitalization through increased homeownership and property restoration in neighborhoods on the outskirts of Birmingham’s traditional revitalization target areas. “For me, it’s important for people to know that I can relate to the struggles that people in these areas go through,” Kirk said. Kirk said he remembers taking a real-estate magazine with him to middle school and dreaming about having a nice house. Once he was old enough, he got his real estate license, which led to seven and a half years of selling houses. He then spent four years flipping houses with his fiancé and Block by Block business partner, Mark Pynes. “I knew [real estate] was a stepping stone

AVONDALE

Josh Kirk is the founder of local neighborhood revitalization nonprofit Block by Block, which plans to focus on the neighborhoods of Norwood, Bush Hills and Fountain Heights. Photo by Tara Massouleh.

to be able to restore houses in this way, I just never thought we’d be able to do it to the extent that it looks like we can as a nonprofit,” Kirk said. “Hope through housing” is what Block by Block is all about. Kirk said he hopes to work directly with the community to figure out how he can best serve its needs. Block by Block will work to improve single-family home ownership by renovating tax-delinquent properties, flipping houses to provide affordable housing and educating community members on homeownership,

credit and home maintenance. “I think it’s important to have a voice for the people who live there, too, and we really hope to be that,” Kirk said. Kirk said he plans to focus on the neighborhoods of Norwood, Bush Hills and Fountain Heights because they have local momentum, but haven’t yet been taken to the next level like Avondale and Woodlawn. Since latching onto the idea of Block by Block in January, Kirk has been hard at work getting the organization recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and he said he hopes to

officially launch this fall. His first project will be to restore three houses on Second Avenue South in Avondale. The couple plans to use a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the project and gauge interest from the community. Though they aren’t sure exactly how the project will turn out, Kirk said he’s approaching it the same way he approaches everything nowadays: block by block. “I truly see this as something that, if we can do it to the extent that I would like to, we could change the city one block at a time,” he said.

Avondale Rose & Habitat Garden draws birds and bees

By JESSE CHAMBERS Avondale Park’s rose garden, planted in 1915, has a rich history and recently gained a new purpose. “It’s gone from a rose garden to something more,” said Craig Hennecy of the Friends of Avondale Park. In 2014, the Birmingham Audubon Society — along with several partners and many volunteers — transformed the site into the Avondale Rose & Habitat Garden. The garden now features not just roses but many native plants, giving it a valuable ecological role and making it a place for visitors to learn more about nature. “Native plants provide important habitat and resources to native wildlife, including birds and insect pollinators,” said Andrew Coleman of the Birmingham Audubon Society. The project is part of the society’s Urban Bird Habitat Initiative, which seeks to enhance urban wildlife habitat in public green spaces, Coleman said.

Volunteers are needed at another work day at the garden in early November (the date had yet to be set as of press time). Tasks will include weeding, planting and putting down pine straw, according to Stanley Robinson of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board. Native-plant specialist Michelle Reynolds has added such species as milkweed, sumac, primrose and black-eyed Susans to the garden, attracting birds, bees and butterflies. “We can help sustain wildlife and give visitors a deeper understanding of the natural world and their place in it,” Reynolds said. Robinson calls the garden a new jewel in the crown for Avondale Park. Other project partners include Avondale Samaritan Place and historian Catherine Browne. Volunteers are also needed at the park Oct. 29 for a tree planting organized by the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. For details on work days, check the Facebook pages for the Friends of Avondale Park and the Birmingham Audubon Society.

Volunteers from Wells Fargo work at the Avondale Park Rose & Habitat Garden. Photo courtesy of Andrew Coleman of the Birmingham Audubon Society.


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

SIXTH ANNUAL MAGIC CITY HALF MARATHON AND 5K

Nov. 2, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Cahaba Brewing Company

Nov. 3, 7 p.m., Railroad Park, downtown

LIGHT THE NIGHT WALK

VETERANS DAY PARADE

Presented by Bare Hands Inc. , this colorful Day of the Dead event returns for the 14th year. Bring a small altar or memento of remembrance. No pets, coolers or picnic baskets. Admission $10. Children ages 7-12 $3. Kids younger than 7 admitted free. For information, go to barehandsinc.org/ ourfestival/#festival.

The event, hosted by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, raises money for bloodcancer research. Walkers carry lit lanterns of different colors — white for survivors, red for supporters and gold for those walking in memory of a lost loved one. Registration is at 5:30 p.m. The remembrance ceremony is at 6:15 p.m., and opening ceremonies are at 6:45 p.m. Teams of participants work together to achieve a fundraising goal. Register at lightthenight.org.

Beginning and ending near Boutwell Auditorium, this event — the oldest Veterans Day parade in the U.S. — began in Birmingham thanks to Raymond Weeks, who led a delegation to Washington, D.C., urging then-Army Chief of Staff General Dwight Eisenhower to create a national holiday that honored all veterans. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation formally establishing Nov. 11 as Veterans Day. Admission free. For information, call 9425300 or visit nationalveteransday.org.

Nov. 14: Birmingham City Council Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

Nov. 21: Birmingham City Council Planning and Zoning Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A.

Nov. 22: Birmingham City Council Education Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

Nov. 21: 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.

Nov. 22: Birmingham City Council Utilities Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

Nov. 11, 1:30 p.m., Downtown

Nov. 20, 8 a.m., Regions Field

The Magic City Half Marathon weekend features great music, post-race craft beer, entertainment and, of course, a fantastic run in the heart of Birmingham. The events benefit the Ruben Studdard Foundation for the Advancement of Children in the Music Arts. Race day registration from 6-7:30 a.m. Race begins at 8 a.m. For more information, visit magiccityrun.com.

OFFICIAL BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL Nov. 1: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. Nov. 7: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers. Nov. 8: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. Nov. 8: Birmingham City Council Public Improvements and Beautification Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A.

Nov. 14: Birmingham City Council Governmental Affairs Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Nov. 15: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. Nov. 21: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers.

Nov. 22: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

Nov. 23: Birmingham City Council Committee of the Whole. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Nov. 25: Birmingham City Council Administration/Technology Committee. 1 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.


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Nov. 29: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETINGS Nov. 1: Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Avondale Library, 509 40th St. S. Visit forestparksouthavondale.com for more information. Nov. 8: 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. Nov. 10: Roebuck Springs Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. South Roebuck Baptist/Community Church. Call President Frank Hamby at 222-2319 for more information. Nov. 14: Woodlawn Neighborhood Association meeting. 5709 1st Ave N. Call President Brenda Pettaway at 593-4487 for more information.

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Did we miss something? If you would like to have your neighborhood association meeting mentioned in next month’s calendar, email the meeting info to kwilliams@starnespublishing.com.

Nov. 15: 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. Nov. 28: Crestwood South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. 1220 50th St. S. Nov. 28: Crestwood North Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Girls Inc. of Alabama. Nov. 28: Huffman Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Cornerstone School, 959 Huffman Road. Nov. 28: Five Points South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6-7:15 p.m. Southside Library, 1814 11th Ave. S. Visit fivepointsbham. com for more information.

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COMMUNITY Through Nov. 12: The Fall Salon. PaperWorkers Local. 3815 Clairmont Ave., Forest MUST Park. The artists’ co-op SEE presents its annual fall show, which opened Oct. 21, from 5:30-8 p.m. The show features about 40 artists, including members and guests. The co-op has a printmaking studio, workshops and art openings each month in conjunction Third Fridays in Forest Park. For more information, go to paperworkerslocal.blogspot.com or facebook. com/paperworkerslocal.

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Nov. 2-6: Christmas Village Festival. BJCC Exhibition Halls. Begin your holiday shopping with a variety of gift ideas, including arts and crafts, under one roof. Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Nov. 3-5, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Nov. 6, noon to 5 p.m. General admission: Nov. 2, a day of private shopping, is $22; Nov. 3-6: adults, $12; children ages 6-12: $5; children under age 6 admitted free. For information, call 836-7178 or go to christmasvillagefestival.com.

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Nov. 3: The Vulcans Community Awards 2016. The Club, One Robert S. Smith Drive. Presented by Vulcan Park and Museum, this program recognizes residents in the sevencounty Birmingham area who exemplify civic pride, leadership and progress — just as Vulcan has for 112 years. Registration, 5:30 p.m.; dinner, 6:30 p.m. Admission: individuals $110; table of eight, $1,500; executive table for eight, $2,500. For details, call 933-1409 ext. 111 or go to visitvulcan.com/the-vulcans. Nov. 3: Whiskeys of the World. Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Road. Join all-around whiskey enthusiast Nathan McMinn and Plant Adventures program specialist Brooke McMinn for a trip around the world of whiskey. The event includes tastings and a look at the botanical components of whiskies. 6 to 8 p.m. Members, $30; non-members, $35. For information, call 414-3950 or go to bbgardens.org. Nov. 7: BAO Bingo. Birmingham AIDS Outreach, 205 32nd Street South. 7-9 p.m. This popular monthly BAO event features bingo with cash


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DISCOVER and door prizes. $15 for 5 games; $1 for final bonus game. Call 322-4197 ext. 107 or visit birminghamaidsoutreach.org. Nov. 26-27: Great Southern Gun and Knife Show, BJCC Exhibition Halls. The show features guns, knives, holsters, ammunition, reloading military items and camouflage. Nov. 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adults, $9; children ages 6-11, $2. For more information, call 865-458-0051 or go to greatsoutherngunshow.com.

MUSIC Nov. 1: The Cathedral Choir in Concert. Cathedral Church of the Advent, 2017 Sixth Ave. N. The choir will perform Duruflé’s “Requiem.” 7:30 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 226-3505 or go to adventbirmingham.org. Nov. 2: UAB Jazz Ensemble. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Presented by the UAB Department of Music and directed by Steve Roberts. 7:30 p.m Admission free. For more information, call 934-7376 or go to uab. edu/cas/music.

Nov. 4: Alabama Symphony Orchestra Coffee Concerts. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Complimentary coffee and pastries before each concert. Works to include Mozart’s Prague Symphony conducted by Jeffrey Kahane. 11 a.m. Individual tickets $19, $30 and $36. For tickets, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens. org. Nov. 4-5: Alabama Symphony Orchestra EBSCO Masterworks Series. Alys Stephens MUST Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. SEE Works include Mozart and Beethoven, with Jeffrey Kahane conducting and playing piano. 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $74. For tickets, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org.

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Nov. 6: Organ Recital. Independent Presbyterian Church, 3100 Highland Ave. Jack Mitchener, a music professor at Mercer University, will present the opening recital of IPC’s November Organ Recital Series. 4 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 933-3700 or go to ipc-usa.org. Nov. 7: Frederick Teardo organ recital. Cathedral Church of the Advent, 2017 Sixth

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Ave. N. The 2016-2017 Cathedral Concert Series presents Frederick Teardo, the Cathedral’s own director of music and organist, who will perform the complete organ works of French composer Maurice Duruflé. 7:30 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 226-3505 or go to adventbirmingham.org.

975-2787 or go to alabamasymphony.org.

Nov. 7: UAB Percussion Ensemble. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Presented by the UAB Department of Music and directed by Gene Fambrough. 7:30 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 934-7376 or go to uab. edu/cas/music.

Nov. 11-12: Red Mountain Theatre Company Veterans Day Celebration. RMTC Cabaret Theatre, 301 19th St. N. Musical group Three On A String and theater group the Seasoned Performers celebrate the sacrifices of U.S. veterans. Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 12, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call 205-324-2424 or go to redmountaintheatre. org/our-season/rmtc-veterans-day-celebration.

Nov. 8: UAB Jazz Combos. Mary Culp Hulsey Recital Hall, 950 13th St. S. Directed by Carlos Pino and Steve Roberts.7:30 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 934-7376 or go to uab.edu/cas/music. Nov. 10: Alabama Symphony Orchestra Red Diamond SuperPops! Series. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive. On the eve of Veterans Day, the ASO salutes the armed forces with a patriotic concert featuring big-band favorites from the WWII era. 7 p.m. Tickets range from $22.50-$47.50. For tickets or information, call

Nov. 10: UAB faculty recital. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The concert features Denise Gainey, clarinet; and Yakov Kasman, pianist. 7 p.m. Admission free. For information, go to 934-7376 or go to uab.edu/cas/music.

Nov. 13: Choral Evensong. Cathedral Church of the Advent, 2017 Sixth Ave. N. The Cathedral Choir sings the traditional Anglican service of choral evensong, a beautiful service of prayers, lessons and anthems. 3 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 205-226-3505 or go to adventbirmingham.org. Nov. 13: Organ Recital. Independent Presbyterian Church, 3100 Highland Ave. Laubach, a church organist and choirmaster in


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Wilkes-Barre, North Carolina, offers the next performance in IPC’s November Organ Recital Series. 4 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 933-3700 or go to ipc-usa.org. Nov. 14: UAB Gospel Choir. Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall, 1200 10th Ave. S. The choir, celebrating its 21st anniversary, will present “The Classics.” Directed by Kevin Turner. 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $7; UAB students, faculty and staff, $6; groups of 20 or more with advance purchase, $6. For tickets or information, call 975-2787 or go to uab.edu/cas/music or alysstephens.org. Nov. 17: Leon Fleisher and Katherine Jacobson. Samford University, Brock Recital Hall, 800 Lakeshore Drive. A winner of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, pianist Leon Fleisher will perform with his wife, acclaimed pianist Katherine Jacobson. 7:30 p.m. Tickets $10-$30. For tickets and information, call 726-2853 or go to etix.com/ticket/o/4477/samford-university. Nov. 17: Chamber Music @ AEIVA. UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. S. Continuing the Department of Music’s collaboration with AEIVA, this concert in the gallery is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Luis Cruz Azaceta: War and Other Disasters.” On the program are Dmitri Shostakovich, Piano Trio No. 2, and Kurt Weill, “Walt Whitman Songs.” Admission free. Reception at 5 p.m.; performance at 5:30 p.m. For information, call 934-7376 or go to uab.edu/cas/music. Nov. 17-18: UAB Opera presents “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, $15 and $20; students with ID and those under age 18, $5; groups of 10 or more, $10 each for advance tickets. For tickets and information, call 975-2787 or go to uab.edu/cas/music or alysstephens.org Nov. 18: Elvis and J.D., A Gospel Celebration. Samford University, Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center. This performance celebrates musical memories of Elvis Presley, his love for gospel and the music of one of his mentors, J.D. Sumner. The concert will include performances by the Blackwood Quartet and the Southern Masters Quartet. 7 p.m. Admission $15-$20. For information, call 726-2853 or go to samford.edu/wrightcenter. Nov. 18: Alabama Symphony Orchestra Coffee Concerts. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Complimentary coffee and pastries before each concert. Music includes Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, with Alpesh Chauhan as conductor and Tessa Lark on violin. 11 a.m.

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Tickets are $19, $30 or $36. For tickets, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org. Nov. 18-19: Alabama Symphony Orchestra EBSCO Masterworks Series. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The concert — with Alpesh Chauhan, conductor; and Tessa Lark, violinist — will feature Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite and Mendelssohn Symphony No. 1. 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$74. For tickets, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org or alabamasymphony.org. Nov. 20: Wolfgang Rübsam organ recital. Independent Presbyterian Church, 3100 Highland Ave. The internationally known musician will present the third recital in the IPC organ series. 4 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 933-3700 or go to ipc-usa.org. Nov 25: Festival of Praise Tour 2016, BJCC Legacy Arena. The tour features such awardwinning artists as Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker, Israel Houghton, Karen Clark Sheard and Regina Belle. 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $29-$59. For tickets and information, call 800-745-3000 or go to bjcc.org. Nov. 25: Casting Crowns. Boutwell Auditorium. The band’s “Next Thing Tour,” with Matt Maher and Hannah Kerr also appearing. 7 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$75. Groups of 10 or more $18 each. For information, call 205-994-2534 or go to premierproductions.com/tour/castingcrowns-very-next-thing-tour/birmingham-al. Nov. 29: World AIDS Day Concert, presented by Birmingham AIDS Outreach. First Presbyterian Church, 2100 Fourth Ave. N. Children and families are encouraged to attend. Performances by several local choirs and chorus groups as well as a local celebrity emcee. 7 p.m. Free, donations accepted. Donations will benefit BAO. For information, call 322-4197 or go to birminghamaidsoutreach.org.

ARTS Through Nov. 5: The Birds. Theatre Downtown, 2410 Fifth Ave. S. The play, by Conor MacPherson, is a thriller adapted from the short story by Daphne DuMaurier and has plenty of thrills and chills. Directed by Leslie Plaia. Thursdays through Saturdays, 8 p.m. General admission: adults, $18; students, $12. For information, call 565-8838 or go to theatredowntown.org. Nov. 3: Art Crawl. Downtown Birmingham Loft District. Join the Birmingham Art Crawl every first Thursday, rain or shine, as downtown

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Birmingham becomes a walking art gallery full of artists, performers and food. 5 to 9 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 530-5483 or go to birminghamartcrawl.com. Nov. 4: Bards and Brews. Birmingham Public Library — Central Branch, 2100 Park Place. Bards & Brews is a spoken-word poetry performance and beer-tasting event. 6:30-9 p.m. Free. For information, call 226-3671 or go to bplonline.org. Nov. 4: Jeff Dunham Perfectly Unbalanced Tour. BJCC Legacy Arena. The popular comedian is in the midst of a world tour. His NBC-TV prime-time comedy special in 2015 drew 6 million viewers. 8 p.m. Admission $51. For information or tickets, call 800-7453000 or go to bjcc.org. Nov. 4-13: Twelfth Night. Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th St. S. Shakespeare’s most exuberant and sophisticated comedy, is a tale of love, mistaken identity, tricksters, sex and music. Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Nov. 10, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25; students, $15. For tickets, go to 2511206 or go to virginiasamfordtheatre.org. Nov. 4-6: Doctor Dolittle Jr. Red Mountain Theatre Company, RMTC Cabaret Theatre, 301 19th St. N. The classic tale of kindness to animals trots, crawls and flies onto the stage in Doctor Dolittle, the big Broadway-sized family musical. Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 5, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 6, 2 p.m. Adults, 20; children, $10. For tickets, call 324-2424 or go to redmountaintheatre.org. Nov. 6: Southern Tales at The Gardens. Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Road. Storyteller Dolores Hydock presents true stories of women of guts and gusto who settled the American West. Music by Bobby Horton. 2 to 4 p.m. Admission $20. For information, call 414-3950 or go to bbgardens.org. Nov. 6: Estampas Porteñas. The Buenos Aires Tango Company presents its newest production, “Deseos… Stories of Longing and Desire told through Argentine Tango and Music.” 7 p.m. $28 to $45. For tickets, call 9752787 or go to alysstephens.org. Nov. 9-19: Vinegar Tom. Caryl Churchill’s provocative play examines gender and power relationships through the lens of the 17th century witch trials in England. Directed by Theatre UAB alum Luke Harlan. Tickets $15; $6 for students; $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. Wednesday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Nov. 19, 2 p.m. For tickets, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org.

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Nov. 11: Magic Men Live! BJCC Concert Hall. The first live stage production to bring “Magic Mike,” “Fifty Shades of Grey” and others to life as high-energy, breathtaking experiences. 8 p.m. Mature audiences. Tickets range from $22 to $77. For information or tickets, call 800745-3000 or go to bjcc.org. Nov. 13: BASETRACK Live. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. BASETRACK Live was MUST named one of The New York SEE Times’ Top 10 shows of 2014. It is based on the true stories of Marines who served in Afghanistan and their families. 7 p.m. Tickets $28. For tickets, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org.

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SPORTS

Nov. 5: Miles College football. Albert J. Sloan-Alumni Stadium, Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd. The Golden Bears take on Tuskegee University. 2 p.m. Tickets $25 Advance and $30 on game day. For tickets, call 929-1615 or go to milesgoldenbears.com. Nov. 5: Vulcan Run 10K. Boutwell Auditorium, 1930 Eighth Ave. N. This is the 42nd running of this 10K, presented by Birmingham Track Club. 8 a.m. Registration is $45 plus a $3 sign-up fee. To sign up, go to runsignup.com/ vulcanrun. Nov. 12: Samford Bulldogs football. Seibert Stadium, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive. The Bulldogs take on Mercer University. 2:30 p.m. Tickets $18 to $22 advance; $20 to $25 day of game. For information, call 7263647 or go to samfordsports.com. Nov. 19: Southern Conference Volleyball Championship. Pete Hanna Center, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive. Samford hosts the event for the first time since 2011 and only the second time overall. Prices TBD. For tickets and event times, call 726-3647 or go to samfordsports.com.


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Iron City Ink November 2016  
Iron City Ink November 2016