Page 1

MARCH 2017

VOLUME 1

ISSUE 10

IRON CITY

INK finding her

path Five Points South’s Aimee Bruder builds a physical, rigorous and Olympic-medal-winning life with help of her Lakeshore family. 22

INSIDE

SIPS & BITES

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

FACES

Right at home on 1st Avenue

Back for another wild ride at UAB

At the new Atomic Bar and Lounge in downtown’s Loft District, patrons made to feel like regulars just looking to unwind. 6

Annual Festival of 10-Minute Plays treats audiences to an evening of innovative short plays written by UAB students, faculty and staff. 12


4

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

ABOUT

SIPS & BITES

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

MARCH 2017

FACES

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

24 BIRMINGHAM BIZARRE: Magic City Pinball League all fun and games — and getting the highest score.

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

RIGHT AT HOME: At The Atomic Bar and Lounge, patrons made to feel like regulars with a place to unwind. 6

COMFORTABLE IN THEIR OWN SKIN: Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham a grassroots movement of acceptance for bodies of all shapes, colors, sizes and abilities. 20

NECK OF THE WOODS

THE NEXT BIG BITE: Ryan and Geri-Martha O’Hara, the co-owners and co-creators of Big Spoon Creamery, prepare to open their first official storefront in the Avondale area. 8

‘PASSIONATE JOURNEYS’: Festival of 10-Minute Plays returns to UAB this month for another wild ride. 12 HEIGHTENING EMOTIONS: Opera Birmingham’s tuneful ‘Elixir of Love’ a tale of romance, deception. 14

LUCK OF THE IRISH: Take in all of Five Points South this month during the nine-day St. Patrick’s Celebration. 26

BUSINESS

FACES

DISCOVER

REAL ESTATE: Transactions and developments slated for the metro’s real estate market. 10

GRANTING GROWTH: Awesome Foundation looking to fund next community-altering project. 18

MARCH’S BEST BETS: Your quick guide to metro Birmingham music and events scheduled this month. 37

IRON CITY

INK

Publisher: Managing Editor: Contributing Editor: Design Editor: Director of Photography:

Dan Starnes Sydney Cromwell Jesse Chambers Kristin Williams Sarah Finnegan

Digital Editor: Alyx Chandler Copy Editor: Louisa Jeffries Community Erica Techo Reporters: Lexi Coon

Published by: Starnes Publishing LLC

Contact Information: Iron City Ink PO Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 dan@ starnespublishing.com

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: sydney@ starnespublishing.com P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

Legals: Iron City Ink is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Information in Iron City Ink is gathered from sources considered reliable, but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Iron City Ink. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 313-1780 or by email.

Please recycle this paper.

Advertising Manager: Matthew Allen Sales and Distribution: Warren Caldwell Eric Clements Don Harris Jon Harrison Michelle Salem Haynes Gail Kidd James Plunkett Rhonda Smith

Advertising inquiries: matthew@starnes publishing.com


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

5

IRONCITY.INK

ABOUT

EDITOR’S NOTE

T

here might just be too much going on in Birmingham. Every month, I hold the final, printed issue of Iron City Ink in my hands and know that if we doubled it in size, there still wouldn’t be enough room. There are so many stories that we have to wait a month or two to cover, or that we haven’t even reached yet because we don’t have the manpower or the page space. Driving around Birmingham always results in a couple additions to our staff’s running list of things we want to write about, and I doubt we’ll ever reach the point where we run out. This month, some of those great things include events like the UAB short play festival and the TEDx

conference happening this month, as well as unusual groups like the Awesome Foundation and Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham promoting their vision of a better city. There’s a lot more inside this issue that I hope you’ll enjoy. And next month, there will be even more — and the month after that, and so on as we keep trying to fit in as many stories as possible with each issue. If you want to share a story you think we should tell, email me at sydney@starnespublishing.com.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS 20 Midtown (2) 24e Fitness (12) 30 A Realty (13) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (31) ARC Realty (40) Avondale Antiques (15) Bedzzz Express (21) Birmingham City Council (11) Budget Blinds (5) Children’s of Alabama (30) Frame It (12)

Hanna’s Antiques (9) Huntington Learning Center (35) Hutchinson Automotive (8) Ingram New Homes (6) Iron City Realty (9) Jeff Richardson - Brik Realty (17) LAH Real Estate (15) Neuralife (32) NextHome Southern Realty (23) Opera Birmingham (17) Pies and Pints (33) Prideline Transportation (33)

RealtySouth (3) Samford Academy of the Arts (8) Seasick Records (39) Spikes (6) TEDx Birmingham (27) The Altamont School (7, 34) The Highlands Community (19) UAB Center for Exercise Medicine (19) Urban Suburban (7) Watts Realty (39) YMCA of Greater Birmingham (36)

FIND US Pick up the latest issue of Iron City Ink at the following locations or scan the QR code for a complete list of our rack locations: ► Birmingham Public Library Central Branch ► Five Points Market ► Piggly Wiggly, Clairmont ► Starbucks at 20 Midtown

► Birmingham Public Library Avondale Branch ► Crestwood Coffee Co. ► Woodlawn Cycle Cafe ► East 59 Vintage and Cafe

Want to join this list or get Iron City Ink mailed to your home? Contact Matthew Allen at matthew@starnespublishing. com.


6

SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

Right at home At The Atomic Bar and Lounge, patrons made to feel like regulars with a place to unwind

T

By LEXI COON “

Feizal Valli and his wife, Rachael Roberts, both of whom previously worked at The Collins Bar, opened their mid-century modern bar, The Atomic Bar, on First Avenue North. Photos by Lexi Coon.

he whole bar is a little bit tongue-in-cheek,” said Feizal Valli as he described the bar he and his wife, Rachael Roberts, opened downtown, The Atomic Bar and Lounge. They don’t want to take themselves — or their bar — too seriously. Valli and Roberts first crossed paths at The Collins Bar, which Valli helped design and where Roberts served. A few years later, on New Year’s Day in 2016, they left The Collins Bar to open one of their own. “In a way, I had already opened a bar,” Valli said. “Except The Collins Bar belonged to somebody else.”

Eight months later, they signed the lease for their new bar at 2113 First Ave. N., just days before they were married, Valli said. After trying out what Roberts said must have been 20 designs for potential bars — one of which included a miniature version of Avondale for a mini golf course — they decided on an iconic mid-century modern look with furniture from all over the country. Guests can chat on barstools from Louisville, Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga or relax in booths from Detroit under lights from Miami. “I’ve always been a fan of mid-century modern. Furniture wise, it’s so timeless,” Valli said. It also adds to that feeling of being at home.


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

7

SIPS & BITES The artwork in the bar fits the theme, with a large re-creation of the Beatles’ famous Sgt. Pepper album hanging above the bar featuring local Birmingham celebrities and a giant grid of friends and regulars painted in an Andy Warhol fashion decorating the back wall. Photos line the walls, too, but they aren’t just random celebrities; they’re baby pictures from friends, family and locals. Even the trophies belonged to Roberts and her brother. “As people come in and see this space, we ask them to bring in theirs, too,” Valli said. “We want it to be more like a home.” Valli and Roberts carried that welcoming and tongue-in-cheek feeling by adding another element to The Atomic: costumes. After visiting Las Vegas with friends and having a second wedding, this time Elvis-themed, Valli and Roberts decided they liked the idea of having a bar where “unspoken walls” are broken down. “I’m from New Orleans, so it wasn’t uncommon for me to go out on a Wednesday as a rabbit all night and shoot some pool,” Valli said. “Just because you’re in that booth with your friends doesn’t mean

Valli said that anyone who walks into the bar is welcome to bring a trophy of their own to make The Atomic Bar and Lounge feel more like a home.

someone can’t come over and ask you why you’re dressed as a chicken.” The costumes range from animals to the

Elvis outfits they wore in Las Vegas, and Valli said they’re hoping to add more group sets as well.

Just like with the costumes, Valli and Roberts didn’t want to take their drink menu too seriously, either. Take one of their signature drinks, the Sex Panther. Valli said it’s an old fashioned with a twist, and is named after the cologne from the movie “Anchorman.” It even comes with a temporary tattoo of a snarling panther. “We want some of the drinks to be a little ridiculous,” he said. “I think we’ve lost the reason why people go out and drink in the first place.” Roberts agreed, saying the main idea is to help people unwind and feel welcome with drinks and company; they want The Atomic to feel like the bars that they frequent. “This is a place where it’s super easy to be a regular. When you’re a regular, it’s not just a Bud Light waiting for you. Your face goes up on the wall. Pictures of your parents go up on the wall,” Valli said. “It’s not really a business,” Roberts added. “It feels more like home.” The Atomic Bar and Lounge is open from 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday and from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, go to theatomiclounge.com.


8

SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

Big Spoon Creamery takes next big

BITE

O

By ALYX CHANDLER

The sweet smells of the kitchen are about to become a whole lot bigger as Ryan and Geri-Martha O’Hara, the co-owners and co-creators of Big Spoon Creamery, prepare to open their first official storefront in the Avondale area. Photo by Alyx Chandler.

n some days, the entire kitchen smells like warm waffle cones. Other days, it’s citrus and orange peel or fresh strawberries and cream. Whenever the Big Spoon Creamery trike or truck drives through Birmingham, the scent of the day generally follows it from the kitchen, through the streets, to the people. But come this spring, the people are going to be the ones coming to the Big Spoon Creamery, one of Birmingham’s favorite, local, artisan ice cream companies.


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

9

SIPS & BITES The sweet smells of the kitchen are about to become a whole lot bigger as Ryan and Geri-Martha O’Hara, the co-owners and co-creators of Big Spoon Creamery, prepare to open their first official storefront in the Avondale area. The two first met while working in the restaurant industry. Geri-Martha O’Hara worked as a pastry chef and Ryan O’Hara as a sous chef, both at Bottega. Eventually, they married and began to toss around the idea of an old-style ice cream shop. “Every entrepreneur will tell you that the perfect time to start never comes, so you might as well just test the waters, try it,” Ryan O’Hara said, explaining that in 2014, pop-ups weren’t as popular or in style as they are these days. What started as a back-burner dream quickly evolved into a reality. The grassroots shop has come a long way from when it was first started, when it was what Ryan O’Hara referred to as essentially “a lemonade stand” at their home. They expected a small crowd on July 4, 2014, when they invited friends and family to come try some of their “old-school” ice cream they’d been experimenting with. Instead, they had a line down the driveway and ran out of everything they had. A reporter

from Southern Living even showed up. “You’re going to get a delicious product when you use high-end ingredients,” Geri-Martha O’Hara said. Ryan O’Hara said his wife was primarily the brains behind the flavors. “We’ve always let the seasons predict the menu and worked with a lot of nearby farmers.” As the summer of 2014 went along, the duo kept selling ice cream at various pop-up events and getting more serious about their ice cream dream. In the winter, they closed shop and prepared for the next big step — bringing the first old-school ice cream trike to the state of Alabama. It wasn’t even a year later when they both quit their jobs within a month of each other and focused on fully launching Big Spoon Creamery at Pepper Place. The following fall, they bought an ice cream truck and hired their first full-time employee. “That’s when we found this place,” Ryan O’Hara said, referring to the storefront along Third Avenue South. “It was a perfect fit, big enough to house all the production, really great community and culture, really fun place to be.” He said he wants their first storefront to be high-energy, with a barstool area of at least 12 available seats. Additionally, the

Along with the expansion to a storefront, the menu is growing as well. It will include things like toppings, sauces and sundaes. Photo courtesy of Big Spoon Creamery.

Avondale store will feature an open kitchen where customers can get a firsthand look at how the ice cream process works.

For Kim Williams, Big Spoon Creamery store manager, incorporating ice cream into her everyday life is the norm. Previously, she managed an ice cream stand for 15 years and grew up with her family making homemade peanut butter ice cream. “I don’t need an excuse to love it,” she said with a laugh. “It’s the best. Everyone is usually in a good mood, and if they aren’t, then they are when they leave.” Geri-Martha and Ryan O’Hara said there is a certain buzz and sense of community happening in Avondale right now that attracted them to the area. They said they’re excited to see where it takes Big Spoon Creamery. “The amount of support has been unreal. Our customers are our biggest cheerleaders, and they’ve become our great friends, too,” Geri-Martha O’Hara said. They said they plan to offer about a dozen flavors seven days a week, Sunday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. The official opening date hasn’t been decided, but Ryan O’Hara said to customers should keep looking for the release of new flavors and menu items. Go to bigspooncreamery.com or find them on Facebook.


10 SIPS & BITES

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

MARCH 2017

FACES

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

C BJC

. tN

ue

n Ave

N.

Sloss Furnaces

t Pos

. tN

Off ie

. Bo n Jr

3rd

N.

ue

n Ave

9

var ule d

. tN

ree

t St 31s

. tN

tree hS

28t

tree dS

22n

. tN

tree hS

. tN

20t

N. ue

n Ave

N. ue

n Ave

6

N.

dal rmo Inte acility F

N.

hS

tN

C

.

hS tree tN .

.

5

gto

rrin

.

eS

26th St

reet N.

. Bo n Jr

u ven th A

tN

S.

6

Niazu

var ule

8

.

ue S

en h Av

10t

tree

ue

n Ave

dA

5th

S.

har

1

ue

n Ave

Ric

ld

s Fie

dS

Av

4th ion Reg

S.

e enu

23r

3rd

S.

24t

ue

n Ave

r

Rail

2

12

. 2nd

k Par oad

ue

n Ave

eS

1

tN

Av

ont

m lair

u ven st A

tree

e enu

. rris

Mo

18t

tree hS

1

7

. tN

ue ven st A

tree hS

13t

2nd

19t

3rd

5th

gto

ue

n Ave

N.

10

11

N. 4th

ue

n Ave

rrin

ue

n Ave

6th

dA

5th

ce

Pla

har Ric

. tN

3

. tN

6

k Par

use

t ho

. tN . tN

tree hS

ly Kel m ra Ing rk Pa

tree hS

.

eN

u ven th A

ts igh il R e Civ stitu In

N.

13

16t

N.

15t

Av 7th

ma Av

d 20t

rd

enue

22nd St

reet N.

tN

tree

hS

a eva am oul lab ty B of A m ersi sity ingha r v i e n U Univ at Birm

.

4

Hoar Program Management is providing program management services for the $24 million BJCTA Intermodal project that is expanding and transforming the BJCTA Bus Transfer Facility on Morris Avenue into an integrated transportation center linking intercity rail, intercity bus, public transportation, taxis, car/van pools and bicycles. When complete, Amtrak, Greyhound and MAX will be consolidated in a single complex.

r Cou

. tN

o Wo

tree hS

e enu

Shannon Waltchack and Ladd Real Estate 3 have partnered to bring the Parisian Building, at the corner of Third Avenue North and 18th Street, back to life after more than 20 years of vacancy. The construction phase for Action Resources, which will relocate from the neighboring Paramount Building to occupy the top two floors of the building, is nearing completion. The first floor of the remodeled Parisian will be leased to a bar or restaurant.

6

tree hS

r. B ds J

17t

am

rah

. Ab Rev

Construction Update

Retail spaces in the Waites Building, at the corner of Seventh Avenue South and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard, are being turned over to tenants March 1. Rodney Barstein of Retail Specialists said some tenants could open for business in June 2017. Tenants announced so far include Blaze Pizza, Smoothie King and Farm Burger. Apartments in the building will also be available for move-in in June.

n Lin k Par

ue

n Ave 7th

18t

d

r eva

oul

Industrial property Parkside 15, 1200 First Ave. S. — consisting of seven buildings on an entire city block — was bought by Shannon Waltchack two years ago. The buildings are located behind the Baker’s Row development and are former Merita Bakery warehouses. Shannon Waltchack recently sold one building to Cottage Supply for their new upscale residential showroom; another building is under contract, and there is activity to sell or lease all of the remaining buildings to office and creative users.

5

tree hS 19t

u

2

Construction of the UAB Collat School of Business is underway after a Dec. 19, 2016, groundbreaking and expected to last 18 months. Brasfield & Gorrie are the contractors on the project. The $37.5 million building will be located on University Boulevard between 12th and 13th Streets South and, when finished, will include 110,000 square feet to house the Collat School of Business and Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

BM

ll

ni rco Ma rk Pa

tree hS 28t

oA

n Ave 9th

a

rah

. Ab Rev

twe

Bou

. eN

d

r eva

oul

Jr. B

tree hS 24t

Pre-leasing and model unit showcasing 1 recently opened for Flats on 4th, an 86-unit apartment complex at 1520 Fourth Ave. S. Construction, led by Watts Realty Company, is expected to be complete in the next six months. Contact Arlington Properties for leasing information.

s ood mW

. tN

Bought/Sold/Leased

ree t St 31s

Real Estate Transactions & Development

14

.

Highland

Avenue

S nue

ve th A

4

10

Arlington Avenue

ue

ven hA

S.

12t

Hoar Construction is working with Alabama Power to decommission the 120-year-old Powell Avenue Steam Plant and is now restoring it for commercial development.

of Buford, Georgia, is the developer. Completion is and Second and Third avenues south. The developers expected in early 2017. An old Alagasco facility next recently purchased the long-vacant, 16-floor Liberty ue S. door will also become a smaller, limited-service Aven National Building at the southeast corner of the 16th Vulcan Park Marriott. intersection and will add it to the project.

Hoar Construction continues to work on an adaptive reuse project at the campus of Children’s of Alabama. This is a long-term, systematic, upgrade and renovation project of more than 1 million square feet of the existing campus.

Openings/Closures

7

8

Nequette Architecture and Design is renovating the old Harold’s Furniture storefronts in the 2200 block of Second Avenue North for office and residential use. There will be 10 lofts and at least two first-floor commercial spaces. Nequette will have its offices on the fourth floor. The project should be complete in early 2018. The general contractor is Francis Bryant Construction.

9

Construction continues at the historic Empire Building at 1928 First Ave. N., which is being turned into the 117-room Empire Hotel, a luxury Marriott hotel. Ascent Hospitality

10

The Pizitz, a $70 million renovation of the old Pizitz department store by Bayer Properties, is now open. The 251,210-squarefoot space includes The Pizitz Food Hall — with 13 stalls, two restaurants and The Louis bar — 143 residences with a rooftop pool, an attached parking deck and office space. The Pizitz will house retailers Warby Parker and Yellowhammer Creative on the mezzanine. Brasfield & Gorrie was the general contractor.

11

The Publix supermarket at 20 Midtown, at 12 the intersection of 20th Street South and Third Avenue South, had its grand opening in February. Work has begun on the third phase of the 20 Midtown development on a full block between 20th Street South and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard

Hoar Construction is the general contractor for the 90,300-square-foot restoration of Capstone Real Estate’s Federal Reserve Building and annex at 1801 Fifth Ave. N., which held its grand opening in early February. Harbert Realty Services partnered with Capstone on the project. The historic building has been renovated into commercial office space. Both buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

13

Coming Soon iBrew Ramen & Sushi is coming to Five Points, according to Michael Watts of Watts Realty. The restaurant will be located next to Golden Temple at 11th Ave. S. and 19th St., and is in the hands of an experienced restaurateur. Watts said opening is projected for spring or summer 2017 after remodeling.

14


12 SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

Festival of 10-Minute Plays back at UAB for another wild ride

T

By JESSE CHAMBERS

Lee Shackleford, far right, with students Andrew Taylor and Kara Ward-Tobin. Photos courtesy of UAB.

heatre UAB’s annual Festival of 10-Minute Plays, now in its 14th year, is an opportunity for audiences to enjoy an evening of innovative short plays written by UAB students, faculty and staff. The event usually offers a wide variety of emotion and a wild ride through every genre from drama to romance to slapstick. And audiences should find themselves moved by the work of these young playwrights, said UAB assistant professor Lee Shackleford, the event’s founder. “There aren’t going to be a lot of depictions of ho-hum everyday life, but rather passionate journeys through the hearts of people experiencing joy, pain, fear and love,” he said. Audiences can join the playwrights and actors in these passionate journeys when the Festival of 10-Minute Plays comes to the Odess Theatre at UAB March 6-10 at 7:30 p.m.


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

13

HAPPENINGS

Students in a UAB 10-minute play. The festival is for mature audiences only.

The plays and playwrights include: “An Absolute Rose,” by Ella Grace Smitherman; “Knock, Knock,” by Michael Cooper; “To Make Love Known,” by Benjamin Lundy; “The Deal,” by Pierce Alexander Edwards; “Visual Art 101,” by Brady Grimm; “Gratitude for Disservice,” by Bliss Bailey; and “The Vase,” by J. Marc Quattlebaum. All the playwrights are students except for Quattlebaum, the theater’s prop master. The productions are helmed by Shackleford and four other directors. Shackleford started the festival in 2003, inspired by a similar festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The festival begins each spring in Shackleford’s playwriting class, where students write as many as 25 pieces. By the following January, the plays are chosen and cast and actors, directors and designers begin work. “It’s the greatest laboratory for playwriting imaginable,” Shackleford said. “A playwright can toss out an idea, however wild, and if it seems like there is any hope for its growth at all, they’re encouraged to write a draft. Then each writer gets feedback from the other writers in the class, and eventually a few of these scripts emerge as the ones we’ll produce for the festival.” With rare exceptions, the plays — even at 10 minutes — follow a classical structure of setup, complication and resolution, according to Shackleford. “A 10-minute play has to do everything a full-length play would do, only without the luxury of time,” he said. Ten-minute plays are easier to write than full-length plays, according to Daniel Martin — artistic director of Theatre Downtown and a former UAB student — who presented his comedy, “Bag Boy,” in the 2009 festival. “You have to be precise,” Martin said. “There isn’t any time to waste on subplots or filler.” Martin calls the festival “a fantastic

Need more short plays? The Festival of 10-Minute Plays at UAB isn’t the only opportunity Birmingham theater patrons have in March to enjoy a program of short plays. Theatre Downtown at 2410 Fifth Ave. S. will host from March 8-25 a program of original shorts, all written by Artistic Director Daniel Martin and staged by upand-coming local directors. This is the second year Theatre Downtown has hosted the event, which was called “All in the Timing” and featured works by famed American playwright David Ives in 2016, according to Martin. Martin created the festival “as a way of training directors, and for allowing people in the Birmingham community who might be interested in theater to give it a try for the first time,” he said. “A role in a short play is much less intimidating than one in, say, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’” Last year, “audiences seemed to respond really well to the variety that the evening presents,” Martin said. For details on the event, many of which are TBA at press time, call 565-8838 or go to theatredowntown.org. – JESSE CHAMBERS staple” in local theater and “incredibly important in training new playwrights.” Smitherman said playwrights can “get their work out there and maybe see if they have what it takes to write a [full-length] play.” Cooper, whose “Knock, Knock” is a horror/thriller, said the festival “shines a light on the immense pool of talent that we have at UAB.” The festival is for mature audiences only. Admission is $5. For information, call 9752787 or go to uab.edu/cas/theatre.


14

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

HEIGHTENING EMOTIONS

Tuneful ‘Elixir of Love’ a tale of romance, deception By MICHAEL HUEBNER

I

Courtesy artsBHAM

f you have tickets to Opera Birmingham’s March show, steer clear of a peddler named Dulcamara. He wants you to drink his potion. And if you fall for his despicable trickery, as Nemorino does in Gaetano Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love,” you may end up falling in love — or discovering the magic liquid is nothing more than cheap Bordeaux. Among the most popular operas in the repertoire, “Elixir” has been entertaining audiences for 185 years, beginning with a flurry of performances in Italy, and still holding its own — number 14 in Operabase’s list of most performed operas in 2015-16. Both frivolous and flirtatious, the plot revolves around a young peasant, Nemorino, who hopes to win the love of Adina, the daughter of a wealthy landowner. But a dapper soldier named Belcore has designs on marrying Adina, so Nemorino must find new means to win her over before the wedding takes place. Enter Dulcamara, a traveling snake oil salesman who has the magic answer, and the gullible Nemorino falls for it. “Elixir” had everything 19th-century Italian audiences could desire — humor, romance, deception and a love triangle — and those attributes have stood the test of time. Most of all, it contains some of the most melodious bel canto tunes ever penned. “The most familiar tune is ‘Una furtiva lagrima,’” said Opera Birmingham General Director Keith Wolfe. “When I think of that aria, I think of Luciano Pavarotti. The whole show is filled with that kind of tunefulness. One of the things Donizetti did really well during that bel canto period is using the music to heighten the story, heighten the emotions and have a lot of fun. It has everything going for it.” “Bel canto” is hard to define until you actually hear it. The primary “beautiful singing” vehicle of 18th- and 19th-century Italian opera, it can be light, natural and ornate, yet filled with sensuous color. Yet it held its own against the operatic excesses that followed. Houston-based soprano Alicia Gianni, a versatile performer whose singing runs the gamut from opera to jazz to musical theater, brings her bel canto skills to the role of Adina. Though she sang the supporting role of Giannetta in “Elixir” in Houston, this will be her debut of the lead. “Bel canto roles are so funny because they’re not very relatable,” she said. “It’s like going to the movies. It’s about making people believe they are in this opera. You have to make them relatable.” Gianni, who recently landed the role of Anita for Houston Grand Opera’s 2018 production of “West Side Story,” is focused on bridging the two-century gap from Donizetti’s “Elixir” to 21st-century audiences.

Opera Birmingham: ‘The Elixir of Love’ ► Friday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 26, 2:30 p.m. ► Wright Center, Samford University ► Sung in Italian with projected English translations Roderick George, above,

“I love to do physical comedy,” she and Alicia Gianni. said. “I’ve been told I’m a funny girl. I Photos courtesy of Opera Birmingham. like to play it up a bit. But there has to be sincerity, especially at the end of ‘Elixir.’ Adina is hard to play, above and beyond her singing. She comes across as a bit of a brat, and I don’t want her to be. For me, she’s very sexual. She loves to play and flirt and get her way.” Roderick George, a seasoned opera singer and University of Montevallo faculty member, plays the peasant youth Nemorino, who falls for the elixir story. “He’s a pretty simple guy,” George said of Nemorino. “He’s shy, a somewhat awkward, ordinary guy who’s in love with a girl who, in his mind, is unreachable — definitely a contrast to Adina.” George will join several other Alabamians in the production. André Chiang, who teaches at the University of South Alabama, will sing the role of Belcore. Bass-baritone Paul Houghtaling, a University of Alabama voice faculty member, portrays Dulcamara. Birmingham-based soprano Kathleen Buccleugh will sing the role of Adina’s friend Giannetta. Keturah Stickann, whose credits as stage director and choreographer include Virginia, first-time opera-goers. Kentucky, Houston Grand, Chautauqua, Santa Fe, San “You think of first-time operas, and ‘La bohème,’ Diego and several other opera companies across the nation, ‘Carmen’ and other dramatic pieces come to mind,” Wolfe will direct. Leading the Alabama Symphony will be Tyson said. “This is not a heavy, serious show, which a lot of Deaton, a collaborator with musicians from the Metropoloperas are. Because of its lighthearted nature and fun spirit, itan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, ‘Elixir’ makes a great first opera.” Deutsche Oper Berlin, Paris Opera, La Scala and many others. Set design is by UAB theater department faculty memEditor’s note: This article bers Kelly Allison, with costumes by Samford University was produced in partnercostume shop manager Mary Gurney. The Opera Birmingship with artsBHAM. To ham Chorus will be led by Daniel Seigel. learn more about them, Wolfe thinks “Elixir” will be a good introduction for visit artsbham.com.


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

15

HAPPENINGS

TEDxBirmingham speakers to challenge attendees to embrace ‘possibility’

W

By JESSE CHAMBERS

hat could you accomplish if you shed self-limiting beliefs and dared to see opportunities everywhere? That challenge will be posed to attendees at TEDxBirmingham 2017, an all-day conference hosted by nonprofit group TEDxBirmingham, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center March 25. The event’s theme is “possibility,” and the 12 speakers — all with strong local ties — have challenged the status quo and looked for new and better ways to have an impact on Birmingham, according to the group’s website. Speakers include UAB surgeon Dr. Jayme Locke, director of America’s longest kidney-transplant chain. “Her idea could revolutionize how live organ transplants happen,” said conference co-organizer Matthew Hamilton.

Dr. Jayme Locke, left, and Dr. Michael Saag. Photos courtesy of UAB.

Dunya Habash, a recent Birmingham-Southern College graduate and daughter of Syrian immigrants, filmed a documentary at a refugee camp in Jordan. “With so much discussion about

immigrants and refugees, I’m looking forward to hearing an idea from someone who can bear witness firsthand,” Hamilton said. Other speakers include Anne Wright, executive director of Firehouse Shelter; Dr.

Michael Saag, pioneering AIDS researcher; and social entrepreneur Lara Avsar. Organizers chose the “possibility” theme after picking the speakers, Hamilton said. “We wanted to highlight the optimism inherent in this group,” he said. However, inspiration is not the only goal of TEDxBirmingham 2017, because many motivational speeches highlight the work of one person or a small group and leave the audience without a lot of clarity on how that applies to their life, Hamilton said. “We focus on the ideas and coach the speakers to make them accessible to a broad audience, so each person can interpret and integrate those ideas into their own lives,” he said. TEDxBirmingham is affiliated with the nonprofit TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). For a list of speakers, go to tedxbirmingham.org. The number of tickets is limited, but the event will be streamed live on TEDxBirmingham’s website.


16 SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

Lindsey Christina. Photo by Rachel Hellwig.

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

Art Crawl focuses on providing local artists with an affordable and regular way to exhibit and sell their work. Photo courtesy of Miranda McPherson.

Resurgence leads to a move Hometown artist Lindsey Christina promotes creative scene as Art Crawl transitions to Pizitz By RACHEL HELLWIG

A Courtesy artsBHAM

re you excited by Birmingham’s continuing revival? Lindsey Christina is. “I’m exhilarated by the resurgence I’ve witnessed in this area,” she said. And the local art scene plays a large part in her enthusiasm. Born and raised in the Magic City, Christina has been surrounded by art all her life. “I have been encircled by a family of creative individuals. My mother, grandmother, aunts, cousins, sisters and grandfather were or still are artists,” she said. “However, it wasn’t until late 2011 that I decided to pursue art further. I enrolled at UAB in 2012 as a studio art major, and I haven’t looked back since.” That decision to pursue art eventually led her to become the managing director of Birmingham Art Crawl — a monthly exhibit of local artists in downtown Birmingham founded in 2014. She first became connected to the organization after her graduation in 2015, when she started working as community outreach coordinator at MAKEbhm in Avondale. “Part of my mission was to reach out to other art organizations, businesses and related nonprofits in our area to build partnerships and collaborative experiences to create a unified art experience in Birmingham,” she said. In creating those experiences, Christina began

volunteering with the Art Crawl. She realized the aims of its founders, Rich Burton and Miranda McPherson, matched her own. “They are incredibly passionate about contributing to the art scene in downtown Birmingham while also promoting the local, growing businesses in the area,” she said. By the following year, she was taking on more responsibilities at the Art Crawl as McPherson and Burton became increasingly busy with McPherson’s law firm and the couple’s young daughter. In summer 2016, Christina transitioned into the role of managing director. The Art Crawl focuses on providing local artists — from established to up-and-coming to students — with an affordable and regular way to exhibit and sell their work. “Our hope is that artists and makers will benefit from the experience both artistically and financially,” Christina said. “There is a profound and well-established creative scene in Birmingham that has existed for quite some time, and Birmingham Art Crawl’s mission is to help it survive and flourish.” Christina is also part of that creative scene as an artist, focusing on printmaking, painting and collage. “I attempt to illustrate specific emotions through my investigation of the myths and vulnerabilities that develop through the varying experiences and memories of women,” she said. “I consider my work to be unconventional, extreme self-portraits with a more open-ended and universal approach occasionally incorporating pop culture images of women,

specifically depictions of struggle, peril and vulnerability.” This month, Christina will lead the Art Crawl forward by moving the organization from its previous location on Second Avenue North between 20th and 25th streets to The Pizitz at Second Avenue North and 19th Street. “It will be sad to leave behind some of our most valuable and supportive community members, businesses and venues,” Christina said. “However, I’ve chosen to move forward with Art Crawl’s collaboration with The Pizitz because they are incredibly enthusiastic and thrilled about hosting our happening each month.” Christina said the move will enable the organization to feature more artists than ever before. She cites the advantages of The Pizitz’s large rental property; the courtyard where artists can exhibit their work; the Food Hall, which is home to more than 15 restaurants; and the fact it will be the location of Sidewalk Film Festival’s new office and Yellowhammer Creative’s new retail shop. “I believe this is going to be an incredible opportunity for our artists,” she said. March’s Art Crawl is March 2 from 5-10 p.m. at The Pizitz. See birminghamartcrawl.com for more information. Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


18 SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

GRANTING growth

Awesome Foundation looking to fund next community-altering project

A

By ALYX CHANDLER

little money can go a long way, or at least that’s what Birmingham’s “awesome” new grant provider insists. Max Rykov, the founding dean of the Birmingham chapter of the Awesome Foundation, said this is an opportunity for any resident of Birmingham. “I think everyone has something they could do really great and have an immediate impact in the world around them for $1,000,” he said. “Take some time and think how you can give back to your city.” The grants the Birmingham chapter of the Awesome Foundation give fund projects in education, civic engagement, media, sciences and entertainments. They are aimed at community projects, not personal ones, that would have a widespread impact. Each chapter, which now includes the Birmingham one, receives money pooled from about 10 self-organized “micro-trustees” and give to the grant winner in cash or checks. A 501(c)(3) status is not a requirement. The grants are also generally not given to large organizations, but instead to small, nonprofit groups or individuals. “We’re just starting, but we already had some awesome submissions so far,” Rykov said. “I’m excited to see once we get some more traction what kind of projects people will submit.” Rykov, who co-founded the Birmingham chapter with the founding trustee, Dr. Dionee Mahaffey, said it was fairly easy for them to find 10 people to become trustees. Each trustee donates $100 a month for the cause and takes part in the decision on which applicant receives the money. Applications don’t have to be linked to any sort of nonprofit. The only criteria for applying are the project must be community-focused and not strictly for personal gain. Rykov said it can be anything, no matter how big or how small of a project it is, as long as the applicant feels like it adds value to the city of Birmingham. It can also be part of a new or an existing project. “We want to live in a city that’s vibrant, where out-of-the-box ideas are encouraged, a place where civic engagement, social engagement is encouraged in new, fun ways,” he said. “This is what makes living

Members of UAB’s Solar Decathlon team, front row, from left: Ken Rankin, Christy Green, Kane Agan, Matthew Gregg, Lucas Lampkin and Felicia Buck. Middle row, from left: Marcelo Caliz, Forrest Satterfield, Gerald Allen, Scott Jones, Naveen Kucharlapati, Andy Gray, Andrew Faustmann and Steven Collins. Back row, from left: Professors Hessam Taherian and George Talley. Photo courtesy of Joseph Gunter.

in a city worthwhile. It’s what makes a community grow, what makes a city into a community.” Rykov said the Birmingham chapter received more than 20 applications for the first grant. He expects it to grow as more people hear about Birmingham’s chapter. Applicants are encouraged to apply from the 11th until the end of the month. The winner is announced on the 10th of each month, so the winner has time to notify friends, co-workers or family about the announcement night.

TRANSFORMING ENERGY

The foundation announced its first grant winner at its launch night at Carrigan’s Public House Jan. 26. It plans for the grant announcements to be a monthly gathering for people in Birmingham dedicated to bringing awesome ideas to the area. The first grant was awarded to Bambi Ingram, a UAB student, and her university team competing in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2017. They are in the process of designing a net-zero energy, solar-powered home called s u r v i v (A L) to be entered into the competition. It has to

be 1,000 square feet. The 80-member team has been working on the renewable energy project for a year and a half. In October, they will spend the month in Denver and compete in 10 various competitions against 13 other teams, two of which are international. “It’s a workforce development program where the team works with area mentors, builds the house, tests it and then takes the house apart, puts it on a truck and takes it to Denver,” she said. The winner of the Solar Decathlon receives $350,000, and each participating team is awarded $100,000. After the competition, the team will haul it back to Birmingham and eventually rebuild it as UAB’s sustainable microgrid demonstration site. “We’re hoping to put it in a microgrid demonstration site neighborhood, so it will be with four small homes that we are retrofitting to be renewable energy-powered, which will make an entirely sustainable neighborhood,” Ingram said. Originally inspired by the devastation of the 2011 tornado outbreak, the house serves as a model for resilient housing in tornado-prone communities. Ingram said they

want to introduce the city of Birmingham to microgrids and the use of renewable energy. Specifically, Ingram said the money will most likely be used for transportation costs or shipping, which is a major part of the project. Until then, the team will keep meeting at the Maker’s Space every Friday at 5 p.m. to work and raise money for the project as the deadline approaches. “We are so surprised and excited for this grant,” she said.

EMPOWERING PEOPLE

When asked about tips for applying, Rykov said there’s not any sort of trick to get noticed and chosen by the trustees, just to be genuine and passionate about making the city a better place. Since its start, the Awesome Foundation has funded 2,449 projects with almost $2.5 million. It operates 83 chapters in 18 countries. “It’s a foundation that empowers people,” Rykov said. People are encouraged to reapply monthly if their project is not chosen. For more information about the Awesome Foundation and the different projects they fund, go to awesomefoundation.org.


20 SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

comfortable in their own

skin

W

By SYDNEY CROMWELL

hat does the perfect body look like? To Mary-Berkley Gaines, there’s not a single answer. “There’s no right or wrong way to have a body. Every body’s a good body,” Gaines said. Gaines is the creator of Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham, a website and grassroots movement of acceptance for bodies of all heights, weights, shapes, skin colors, genders and abilities. It started with her own fashion blog and plus-size modeling opportunities, then Gaines said she began seeing more plus-size models “killing it” in fashion and makeup. “This was the representation I was looking for and needed my entire life,” Gaines said. In April 2015 she put together her first photo shoot of a group of like-minded friends, and in November 2015 the Beautiful Bodies site went live. Gaines said her goal is to counter the most prevalent body type in fashion: white, straight and thin. “I realized locally there’s such a need for this. It’s more than just fashion; it’s connected. There’s a need for a radical change in how we think about ourselves and others,” Gaines said. “This movement is all about proper representation, representing the marginalized.” It’s not just a movement about weight. The Beautiful Bodies project is about creating respect for people’s differences and reversing the mental harm that can come from feeling like you don’t measure up. Right now it’s a side project, but Gaines said she’d like it to become her full-time job. “It’s almost the millennial way of thinking. We’re going to figure it out and make our way as we go along,” Gaines said. “This is an organization run by women, and these are women of color, women of size, non-able-bodied women, queer women.” They started with a website, where one of its regular features is the “Skin Stories” series. Birmingham residents open up about their personal experiences and struggles, along with a photo shoot designed around promoting the beauty of their individual body, on the Beautiful Bodies blog. “Many people have felt it was kind of a breakthrough when they did it,” Gaines said. One Skin Stories participant is Tiffany Mueller, who stumbled across the project online. Having been plus-size most of her life, Mueller said she has been interested for years in promoting body positivity. With a background in clothing retail, Mueller already was aware of the

Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham supporters. Photo courtesy of Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham.

sometimes-narrow definition of beauty that brands can promote. “I never really wanted to work anywhere where I couldn’t wear the clothes or I couldn’t wear the products. That didn’t feel fair to me,” Mueller said. When she decided to do a Skin Story of her own, Mueller said, “every step of the way was just full of support.” One of her challenges was deciding how to frame her story. With other Skin Stories focusing on eating disorders, abuse and life traumas, Mueller said she was afraid her own story of accepting and feeling confident in her size would seem shallow. The experience of being vulnerable, both in her writing and on camera, was cathartic, Mueller said. She chose to wear a bikini for her photo shoot, for the first time in about a decade. “There’s something to be said for getting it off of your chest,” Mueller said. “Parts of it were scary because you’re baring your soul to the internet.” She remembers clearly the day the story was published. “I was just clicking refresh like every other minute,” she laughed. When it was published, readers didn’t find Mueller’s Skin Story shallow. Instead, she said people began reaching out to let her know they had felt and experienced the same things, and they were happy to know they weren’t alone. “Once it was live, I got so many messages of just love and support and everything. I had people reach out to me that I hadn’t talked to in two or five or 10 years … and tell me how thankful they were that I told this story,” Mueller said. “My phone died twice that night,” she added, recalling the texts, calls, emails and even Snapchats she received. The Skin Stories aren’t Beautiful Bodies’ only project. Gaines said they are working with artists to do installations

related to body positivity, as well as producing a local ’zine. They’ve made an appearance at every Punk Rock Flea Market, held at Saturn once per season, and Gaines has a goal of doing more pop-ups this year. “We’re all about getting out in the community, and people knowing us,” Gaines said. Gaines said the project is a resource for clothing swaps, and Beautiful Bodies is seeking a physical location downtown. Once they have a spot, Gaines plans on hosting classes and workshops related to topics of self-love, confidence, respect and judgment of others and “how to progress as a human.” Another idea she’s considering is hosting free yoga classes where participants don’t have to be athletic or able-bodied to participate. Though the term “safe space” is sometimes derided, Gaines said Beautiful Bodies will make it a point that all its events are places where anyone can attend and feel respected. She said these classes and workshops could be an important tool for the city because many people don’t realize how the way they talk and think ― about themselves and others ― can have an impact. “A lot of people don’t have resources for that,” Gaines said. As they build more awareness of the Beautiful Bodies project in Birmingham, Gaines said most of the community response has been positive. She emphasized that body positivity and self-confidence are far from simple, clear-cut issues. “Everyone struggles with something,” Gaines said. “You can still go through a hard time and still be considered marginalized in one way and privileged in another. It’s pretty much to the point [that] we’re all in this together.” Find Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham on beautifulbodiesofbham.com or on Facebook.


22

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

COVER STORY: Bruder builds a physical, Olympic-medal-winning life with help of Lakeshore family.

finding her

path

A

By SYDNEY CROMWELL

imee Bruder’s wheelchair might give some people the impression that she’s “fragile.” But that notion won’t last long for anyone who watches her play wheelchair rugby. Bruder has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy and has lived in Birmingham since 2002, including the last five years in Five Points South. Despite the condition that causes depth perception problems and muscle tightness throughout her body, especially her legs, Bruder describes herself as a “pretty active person” and has tried everything from cooking and sewing to shooting and Paralympic swimming. “I think it’s how you look at life,” she said. “Nobody in this world’s perfect. Therefore, everybody has to adapt to something. My adaptations just happen to be physical barriers.” She also has a knack for foretelling the weather based on how her body feels. “I can beat James Spann any day,” Bruder said. An Indiana native, Bruder came to Birmingham looking for jobs in a city where she could be independent — without worrying about snow getting in the way of her wheelchair. A local friend took her to the Lakeshore Foundation, which had only been open a month or so, while she was in town in late 2001. That’s where Bruder would eventually get a job in the membership department, where she still works 15 years later.

Aimee Bruder fights for possession of the ball during a wheelchair rugby match against a Texas-based team Feb. 3 at the Lakeshore Foundation in Homewood. Photos and cover shot by Sarah Finnegan.


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

23

FACES In that time, Bruder said, she has seen the Lakeshore Foundation in Homewood grow from a brand-new facility with about 500 members to more than 5,000 members today. “The word has gotten out, to say the least,” Bruder said. Her Five Points apartment is laid out so that things she frequently needs are close by, since Bruder is only 4-foot-9 even when standing, and she does ride the bus due to her depth perception problems. “Everything that I use on a daily basis is pretty much from my chin down, or a tiny bit above my head, so I can reach up and grab it,” Bruder said. But she believes firmly that while she may move differently through the world and require an occasional helping hand with high shelves, her life and goals are the same as anyone else’s. “Really, we’re just humans trying to survive. I just happen to use wheels as my primary mode,” Bruder said. Her introduction to sports began, not with rugby, but with a family love of swimming. She continued to swim in high school and college, eventually excelling enough to make the U.S. Paralympic swimming team from 1992 to 2012. Bruder said she loved

the chance to represent her country in Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London. The 1996 Paralympic Games were the most meaningful, Bruder said, because her family and college coach had the chance to watch her compete. She brought home three bronze medals that year, followed by a silver medal in 2000 and another bronze in 2008. Wheelchair rugby — also called quad rugby — is the first team sport Bruder has participated in. Instead of swimming, a solo sport where she competed at the highest level, Bruder entered rugby about 10 years ago without a bit of experience. “It is a challenge to me. It’s something different. I swam for so long; I needed something to replace it,” Bruder said. “I’m very grateful for this team because they accept any person who wants to come into practice and work.” Wheelchair rugby is played with opposing teams of four on a basketball court with a volleyball instead of a traditional rugby ball. Bruder primarily plays as a blocker, keeping the opposing team out of the way so her teammates can get possession of the ball and score. Bruder said she loves that it’s a high-contact, strategic game that relies on

a good team bond. Playing rugby is not only a fun stress release — Bruder said the chance to bump and block other players can turn around a bad day — but it also helps her balance, strength and coordination. “For me, having a disability, I have to keep moving. If I stop moving, my muscles get tighter and tighter,” Bruder said. Due to her lack of experience, Bruder said most of her first several years on the Lakeshore Foundation team were spent on the bench, with only brief chances to play in competition. In the past few seasons, which typically run from September to April, she’s seen a little more time on the court. Being one of the less skilled rugby players has also given her a drive to keep improving. “I rode the bench for a long time, but I had to earn my way onto the court,” Bruder said. “I know I am not the best player on my team. I’m still going to be on the bench probably 10 years from now.” Bruder is the only female rugby player at Lakeshore and, as far as she’s aware, one of only about 25 female players in the U.S. Sometimes that puts her in a unique position. She recalled an early practice where she was paired off with a younger and more experienced male player.

“I heard him say, ‘Mom told me not to ever hit a girl!’” Bruder said. Though she’s hoping to recruit at least one other woman to the team next season, Bruder said being a woman on the team is rarely a problem. Entering a male-dominated sport is like “trying to crack a hard shell,” Bruder said, but her Lakeshore teammates are willing to play alongside anyone who puts in the work. The Lakeshore Foundation held its annual Demolition Derby tournament in early February, where Bruder and her team had the chance to play against some of the top teams in the nation. She said they have a lot of preparation to do before their U.S. Quad Rugby Association sectional tournament March 17-19 in Ohio. Their hope is to secure a spot in the National Championships in Phoenix on April 20-23. Bruder said her friend’s decision to take her to the Lakeshore Foundation 15 years ago not only altered her career path, but also is the only reason Bruder ever heard of wheelchair rugby. Being on the team has added “a whole new dimension that I never knew was available” in life. “I’m not afraid to participate in life, and I think sports in general has brought that out of me,” Bruder said.


24 SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

Brinkley Sharpe and Brendan Turner are part of the Magic City Pinball League. Chris Warren started the league in 2009, and it has three seasons per year. With about 25 players competing per season, Sharpe said it’s a diverse group brought together by the love of the old-school game. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

PINBALL

wizards B By SYDNEY CROMWELL

rinkley Sharpe doesn’t want to think of how many quarters she’s spent in pinball machines around Birmingham. It’s all in pursuit of a high score — and a good time — as part of the Magic City Pinball League. Sharpe, an investigator for the Jefferson County Public Defender’s Office, and Brendan Turner, a web app developer for Viva Health, joined the league about two years ago. It’s a niche hobby, and the Highland Park couple said at first they didn’t realize how much skill went into the game. “Seventy-five cents and a minute and a half later, I had gone through all three of my balls, and then it kind of hit me. I’m a competitive person, so I wanted to get very good at this. But I realized that sometimes

watching someone play, it seems like they have conjured magic in order to keep a ball in play,” Turner said. “I think pinball wizard is a good name.” Chris Warren started the league in 2009, and it has three seasons per year. With about 25 players competing per season, Sharpe said it’s a diverse group brought together by the love of the old-school game. “We said, ‘We don’t know how to play.’ And [Warren] said, ‘It doesn’t matter,’” Sharpe said. “Pretty soon into it, we realized this was something we were really interested in.” “Part of the game is luck, so everybody has a good shot at having a good game or bad game,” Turner said. Competitive pinball has its own set of rules established by the International Flipper Pinball Association, but much like more traditional sports, it boils down to keeping the ball in play and making strategic moves to get the most points. In this case, though, the field of


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

25

IRONCITY.INK

B’HAM BIZARRE play is covered in lights and decorated with movie characters or fantasy themes. My only experience with pinball before hearing about the pinball league was the Windows “Space Cadet” computer game, but Sharpe and Turner played a few rounds with me on a “Star Trek” themed machine. I lost — very quickly — but I got to see firsthand why the game got them hooked. Sharpe said it’s easy to lose track of how many quarters she’s spent in a single practice. Every game takes a dose of luck, but Sharpe and Turner also have developed plenty of skills as they’ve competed in the league. Turner said the basic flipper control to aim the pinball and keep it in play is built on “muscle memory and instinct,” but more advanced players also use the “subtle art of nudging” the machine as a whole to direct the ball where they want it to go. “[It takes] a lot of concentration on multiple things and the ability to simultaneously block out everything. Especially playing in an arcade like this,” Sharpe said. “Anyone can come in. You never know when a child will try to climb on a machine while you’re playing.” A couple of the league members are ranked on a national level, and Turner said it’s “mesmerizing” to watch them in action. Sharpe said pinball is the type of game that always leaves you wanting to play just one more round. “The difficulty level becomes such … that the next thing you get to is just hard enough that you want to play again,” she said. While the pinball league’s official games Know about something and practices are at in Birmingham you consider BumperNets in Hoover, bizarre, eclectic or utterly Sharpe and Turner can original? Let us know! Email also frequently be found information to sydney@ feeding quarters into starnespublishing.com. pinball machines at Buck Mulligan’s, Black Market Bar and Grill, Carrigan’s, Cahaba Brewing and Saturn. Like many others in the league, they also have a machine of their own in their living room. Turner said they started with a cheap, older machine that he fixed up and sold, gradually moving up to better models. But right now their pinball machine sits untouched — living in a second story apartment, Sharpe and Turner said they try not to disturb their neighbors. “I’ve kind of fixed it up almost like a classic car in the garage that you never take out and drive anywhere. So I’ve put a lot of work into it. It’s a gorgeous machine. I used to turn it on just to watch the lights,” Turner said. But someday that’s going to change. “We will definitely have an arcade in our basement, eventually,” Turner said. Turner even helped develop an app called Pindigo, for pinball players to track and share their scores with other players. The app launched in June 2016 and is slowly building an audience. “It’s such a niche kind of community that as a budding software developer, it’s the perfect size, and there’s also no competition in that area,” Turner said. Sharpe, 25, and Turner, 27, are among the younger members in the league, but they said it’s as much about a group of friends swapping stories — and sometimes pinball machines — as it is about competition. They all share “this one obsession” with a game based on a set of flippers and a metal ball, Sharpe said. “It becomes a pinball problem,” she said. Find the Magic City Pinball League at mcpl.league.papa.org or on Facebook.

What’s going on?

Above: Brinkley Sharpe practices her pinball skills. Below: While the Pinball League’s official games and practices are at BumperNets in Hoover, Sharpe and Turner can also frequently be found feeding quarters into pinball machines at Buck Mulligan’s, Black Market Bar and Grill, Carrigan’s, Cahaba Brewing and Saturn.


26 SIPS & BITES

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

FIVE POINTS

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

9-day St. Patrick’s celebration March 9-17

By JESSE CHAMBERS Five Points South may be “the most interesting and eclectic neighborhood in metropolitan Birmingham,” according to attorney and Five Points booster Stephen Alexander. In addition, Five Points — formed in May 1887 as the suburb of Highland — is celebrating its 130th anniversary, making it nearly as old as the city of Birmingham. And there’s likely no better way to celebrate the anniversary, or the neighborhood’s uniqueness, than by attending its biggest annual party: the Five Points South St. Patrick’s Celebration, March 9-17. The celebration will feature an Irish flag raising, Irish dinner, parade and St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and Five Points will be thronged with revelers, according to James Little of REV Birmingham, who said the parade alone draws 10,000-12,000 people each year. The events have a positive economic impact on Five Points, according to Little. Parade Day “is a big day for the restaurants,” he said. “They triple what they normally do on a normal Saturday. Most businesses on parade day see an average 80 percent increase in sales compared to a normal Saturday.” Businessman Marty Connors, chairman and founder of the Birmingham Irish Cultural Society, said his organization tries to make its events authentic. “If you come to the dinner, you will see Guinness served,” he said. “You’ll see real,

The Five Points South St. Patrick’s Celebration will feature an Irish flag raising, Irish dinner, parade and other St. Patrick’s Day festivities, like drinking Guinness. Photo by Shay Allen.

handcrafted Irish beer, real Irish dance and music.” There are a couple of things that won’t be seen at the dinner, according to Connors — girls in tanks tops that say, “Kiss me, I’m Irish,” and green beer. “That is totally bogus,” he said. The society, formed in 1981, started the parade in 1984. The annual dinner has raised about $100,000 over the years for Kid One and other charities, according to Connors. For details on all the events, go to fivepointsbham.com. For information regarding the Irish dinner, go to facebook.com/ BhamIrish.

MAIN EVENTS

► March 9, 5:30-6 p.m.: Irish Flag Raising

at Chick-fil-A and the Great Birmingham Irish Toast at Buck Mulligan’s. The flag ceremony, led by the Birmingham Irish Cultural Society, will feature a pipe-and-drum performance and the announcement of the parade marshal. ► March 10, 7 p.m.: St. Patrick’s Dinner: The 37th annual dinner at Pine Tree Country Club will benefit Kid One Transport and feature Irish food, music and dancing. ► March 11, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Parade Day, with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade from 1:30-2:30 p.m. The Chick-fil-A Lucky Zone for kids will be open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ► March 17, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: St. Patrick’s Day. On Parade Day and St. Patrick’s Day, participating merchants will offer food and drink specials, and live music and entertainment will be offered at 10 venues.

Monthlong exhibit showcases history As Five Points South nears its 130th anniversary, learn more about its colorful history through the exhibit, “5 Points South: Patience, People and the Plan,” at Vulcan Park & Museum through May. “People from all income levels and cultural backgrounds came together,” said Vulcan Museum specialist Lindsay Elliot. “It was like that from the beginning and still is today.” The exhibit displays a 1980 master plan that helped revitalize Five Points. “It’s a great example of a community that stuck to a plan,” said Mark Akerman, Vulcan director of education. “It still has work to be done, but it’s made great improvements.” Planners wanted to retain that Greenwich Village flavor Five Points is historically known for, Akerman said. On April 19, Vulcan presents “A Talk with Frank Stitt and Friends,” a panel discussion in which restaurateurs will describe their industry’s impact on Five Points. On May 2, Vulcan hosts “A Taste of Five Points,” a celebration of the neighborhood’s anniversary. The exhibit is open each day 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Park admission is $6. For more information, call 933-1409 or go to visitvulcan.com. – JESSE CHAMBERS

WOODLAWN

‘Everybody welcome’ at historic Grace Episcopal Church By JESSE CHAMBERS

The Rev. Robyn Arnold at Grace Church. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

At Grace Episcopal Church, parishioners believe “the Gospel is to be lived more so than preached,” according to the church’s rector, the Rev. Robyn Arnold. “It’s a way to share God’s love in the world,” she said. Grace, founded in 1889, shares that Christian love in Woodlawn, which has many low-income people, through outreach programs like a food pantry, emergency clothes closet, ESL classes and community kitchen. “I inherited a parish that has such a heart for outreach, and it’s so much a part of who the people are,” Arnold said. She’s served Grace since 2012. The red church doors are open to anyone. “Everybody is welcome at Grace,” Arnold said. The congregation is about one-quarter black and one-quarter Hispanic, according to Arnold. “We’re straight and gay,” she said. “We’re economically diverse. We’re

probably the most diverse parish in the diocese.” That love of diversity at Grace is rooted in belief, according to Arnold. “The world God created is incredibly diverse,” she said. “We love each other because of our differences, not in spite of them.” A Kentucky native, Arnold attended graduate school at UAB and seminary in California before returning to Birmingham to lead Grace. Some of the church’s outreach programs were started by the Rev. Maurice Branscomb, Arnold said. Branscomb retired in 1997, according to the diocese website. This summer, the church will again host its seven-week youth program, Grace Works, in which neighborhood kids ages 10-14 learn vocational and life skills, enjoy adventurous day trips and build such projects as organic garden beds and rainwater systems. For applications, go to gracechurchwoodlawn.org.


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

27

IRONCITY.INK

NECK OF THE WOODS

CENTRAL CITY

UAB, Firehouse Shelter offer health clinic for homeless By JESSE CHAMBERS

Occupational therapy student Mary McIntyre and Dr. Rick Kilgore work at the UAB student-run health clinic at the Firehouse Shelter on Third Avenue North. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

UAB and Firehouse Ministries have partnered to create a much-needed student-run health clinic for Birmingham’s homeless at the Firehouse Shelter downtown. A screening clinic, which began in June 2016, is on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 8:30-11 a.m., according to Dr. Rick Kilgore, director of the UAB Physician Assistant Program. Clients are referred as needed and given transportation to other providers, including Cooper Green Mercy Services and the Bessemer Neighborhood Health Center. Health-education sessions — where clients can learn about topics such as vaccines, smoking cessation and stress management — are on second and fourth Wednesdays, Kilgore said. The clinics and educational sessions are supervised by faculty but staffed by students training to be doctors, nurses, physician assistants, dieticians, nutritionists and physical and occupational therapists.

It’s a great learning opportunity for students, who can only learn so much in the classroom or hospital, according to Kilgore. “In a situation like Firehouse Shelter, you’re going to see everything in life,” he said. “It gives us a chance to see real-life patients with real-life problems,” Ashley King said, who’s in the physician assistant program. Client Dwayne Durrah praised the clinic staff. “They don’t have a problem sitting down explaining your situation medically and being able to get the assistance you need,” he said. Client Robert Means is homeless and a former longtime drug user. “They are giving me the chance to go to the doctor and get some stuff corrected,” he said. “I’m just grateful they came.” The program has “given our guys hope for a healthier lifestyle,” said Kim Clark, Firehouse case manager. The Firehouse Shelter is at 1501 Third Ave. N.


28 SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

AVONDALE

EAST LAKE

Spoken word ‘liberating’ youth at Real Life Poets workshops By JESSE CHAMBERS “Poetry and spoken word aren’t for everybody, but the ones that gravitate toward it find it liberating to be able to express themselves in a creative manner,” said John Paul Taylor of the Birmingham nonprofit arts group Real Life Poets. And some of those people are the youth who’ve taken part in the after-school workshops RLP has conducted at East Lake United Methodist Church since fall 2015. The workshops — attended mostly by elementary and middle-school students, as well as some high-school kids — are once a week during the school year. RLP works with children and youth to encourage creative writing, public speaking and individual expression, said East Lake UMC associate pastor Cheryl Hinnen, who added that about 10 to 15 students have taken part in the workshops each semester. RLP has done incredible work, Hinnen said. “They both inspire and challenge youth who would otherwise not have a voice,” she said. “Because they allow creative expression; they create spaces for youth to be themselves and tell their stories.” “A great benefit from poetry is it helps increase emotional intelligence,” Taylor said. Most of the East Lake workshops are led by RLP co-founder Leroy Hicks, according to Taylor. RLP also has created other outlets for young poets, including Real Global Poets, a poetry exchange between young people in Birmingham and Kenya. In spring 2016, RLP published a collection of poems from the exchange, “Our Voice is Our Power, Vol. 1.” Fifty-six kids from Birmingham, including 14 from East Lake, had work in the collection. RLP completed a second exchange in fall 2016; this time exclusively for kids in Kenya and East Lake, with plans to publish

HIGHLAND PARK

Photo by Jesse Chambers.

Students participate in the Real Life Poets workshop. Photo courtesy of East Lake UMC and Real Life Poets.

another book. In summer 2016, RLP hosted a pilot six-week arts academy at the church, which drew 24 participants for sessions in spoken word, culinary arts and cosmetology. RLP and the church are planning to hold the arts academy again this summer, with details to be announced, according to Taylor and Hinnen. In addition, the group is turning two rooms on the second floor of the church into a community arts hub, according to Taylor. The rooms will provide a space for the group’s workshops and will be “a safe space for youth and community to express freely and openly,” Taylor said. To learn more about RLP, go to reallifepoets.org. To read poems by youth from East Lake and elsewhere, go to globalpoets.org. To learn more about attending the workshops, call the church at 836-3201.

Poverty simulation ‘a powerful experience’

By JESSE CHAMBERS About 900,000 Alabamians live in poverty, according to the nonprofit group Alabama Possible, which works to remove barriers to equality and prosperity in the state. The group also hosts interactive poverty simulations that allow participants — including teachers, administrators, business people, community leaders and others — to better understand the hardships faced by disadvantaged people. Alabama Possible will host its next Community Action Poverty Simulation at Independent Presbyterian Church on March 4, 9:30 a.m. to noon. The event is free and open to the public.

Alabama Possible will host its next Community Action Poverty Simulation on March 4. Photo courtesy of Alabama Possible.

The group’s executive director, Kristina Scott, will facilitate. The simulations, developed by a

Missouri nonprofit, feature a lot of common family situations, Scott said. Each participant is assigned a name, family role and income level and must cope with typical challenges faced by the poor — for example, getting a job, caring for children, applying for public assistance or finding transportation. “It gives people the chance to learn what it’s like to live week to week, month to month and paycheck to paycheck,” Scott said. The simulations also provide participants with a powerful emotional experience, Scott said. The event is co-sponsored by IPC, Canterbury United Methodist Church and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. To register, go to ipc-usa.org/events.

‘Upscale’ thrift shopping offered for a good cause By JESSE CHAMBERS Part of the charm of thrift shopping is knowing your dollars support a good cause. You can enjoy that feeling at Sozo Trading Co. in Avondale, billed as “an upscale thrift store.” Proceeds support Sozo Children, a Birmingham nonprofit that seeks to make better lives — and provide housing — for orphaned or neglected children in Uganda. The store sells thrift items and merchandise from Uganda and leases 24 booths to local vendors. The store is billed as upscale because of the quality of the donations, including furniture, designer clothes and household items, according to store manager Barbara Phillips. “We also offer new merchandise,” she said. “We keep our sales floor clean and organized. When you shop with us, you will never have to dig through tables of clothes or bins of items.” The store’s items made in Uganda include baskets, jewelry, Nativities, ornaments, cloth animals and hand carvings. Avondale has been a great location, Phillips said. “This area is reviving,” she said. “People that come down to eat wander in just to see what we’re all about.” Sozo’s customers on a recent Saturday — including Crestwood’s Tara and Lee Parr — seemed to agree. “We’re enjoying our coffee while we’re walking around, then we’ll have some lunch in Avondale,” Lee Parr said. “It’s fun to treasure hunt,” Tara Parr said. “We love it down here,” said Kimberly Corbin of Trussville, who was shopping with her daughter, Cameron. Cameron Corbin also said she enjoyed the shopping. “We find a lot of stuff,” she said.


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

29

IRONCITY.INK

NECK OF THE WOODS

SOUTHSIDE

CRESTWOOD

Beauty Shock mixes pop-culture edge with open, friendly vibe

Brittany Ayres is the voice behind Alabama Rose, a band that will be releasing their first EP album in Southside on March 10. Photo by Alyx Chandler.

By JESSE CHAMBERS

Alabama Rose to release 1st EP album March 10 By ALYX CHANDLER “If Wanda Jackson and Elvis had a baby and that baby was babysat for an extended period of time by Jefferson Airplane and The B-52’s, [Alabama Rose] would be that baby,” Brittany Ayres, who also goes by her previous stage name and current band name, Alabama Rose, said. On Friday, March 10, Alabama Rose will be celebrating the release of their first EP album, “Good Times for Bad Girls,” at the Nick. After traveling, touring solo and then working independently on her music in the Tennessee Valley, Rose has made her way back to Southside, working at Mason Music with some of her bandmates. She previously went to UAB and lived in Birmingham for a total of about 10 years. “Five years ago, the music scene wasn’t there, but this was the place I settled in when I really wanted it to happen,” Rose said. “Now, Birmingham has all the right things.” In September 2015, she officially partnered with Collin Zuckerman, Adam Blevins and Jacob Robertson, along with the help of her producer from Nashville, to form the permanent rock ’n’ roll band Alabama Rose. She said the band definitely has a soulful, bluesy sound. “At the end of the day, I’m a blues musician. I tried to fight it, but I’ve finally found the real sound of my voice through it,” Rose said. Alabama Rose performed their first show at Kellypalooza, a music festival in Ohatchee, Alabama, where they received

three encores. Since then, they’ve played at selective Birmingham locations, including Saturn, the Nick and other venues. Recently, they just finished recording their six-song EP album completely live on vintage equipment. Rose is the creative liaison behind their first music video, which is to be recorded soon. She got the band name from a bar, Alabama Rose, in the small town where she grew up in, West Jefferson. She said it used to be a booming coal mining town, but it doesn’t even have a red light anymore. The bar — which she was told that she wasn’t allowed to go to — was down the street she grew up on. She used to sneak off anyway to play pool and listen to new music. She even saw Creedence Clearwater there once. “It was the little rebel shack that never would quit, and I was the little rebel,” she said. When it burned down several years ago, she paid homage to it with her stage and band name, a name that is now known around the do-it-yourself bars and downtown Birmingham. “Us kids, we used to be the little punks at cave 9,” Rose said. “We grew up, but we didn’t stop loving what we loved.” They are currently “shopping the EP out” on some record labels, but nothing has been decided yet. Alabama Rose is the third band up on March 10 and will play around midnight, followed by Bohannons, the main act. There will be a small-scale release of physical copies of “Good Times for Bad Girls.” Digital copies are available on Bandcamp. com, with preorder available.

Jonathan Fowler and Shelby McDonald ― hair stylists and owners of Beauty Shock salon on Fifth Avenue South near Crestwood and East Avondale ― love what they do. It’s the world’s “greatest job,” Fowler said. “We get to know people and help them look and feel great about themselves.” “It’s about the personal relationships we get to build, being one of the few industries where we can actually touch people,” McDonald said. “It’s about making them look good, but it’s really about making them feel good.” “It’s a creative outlet,” Fowler said. “Being eccentric, creative types, we love art and design in all forms, and hair is a way we can channel that energy.” The Huntsville natives have created their perfect venue at Beauty Shock, which opened in 2015. They’ve given it a colorful, pop-culture vibe and a friendly atmosphere. And as Crestwood North residents, they take pride in contributing a vibrant new business to the community. Fowler and McDonald previously worked at a Mountain Brook salon that closed abruptly. They worked temporarily as freelancers, doing TV and music video shoots and making house calls. “It was during those house calls that we realized the full vision of the salon we needed to build ― a comfortable space that was fun and welcoming,” Fowler said. They found the perfect location in the vintage brick building they now occupy. The unusual structure served decades ago as the power station for a trolley turn-around and has been used as a photography studio, painting studio and architecture office, according to Fowler and McDonald. “We’ve always loved and saw so much potential in this building,” Fowler said. The partners said the structure, which had been neglected, gave them a chance to move their business back into the city and do something different with it. They are leasing the building but plan to purchase it. The interior, with high ceilings, is a perfect place for the partners to display their love of pop culture. “We’re both art lovers, especially the

Above: Theresa Romei styles a customer’s hair. Below: Beauty Shock owners Jonathan Fowler and Shelby McDonald. Photos by Jesse Chambers.

wonderful local artists in Birmingham,” McDonald said, adding that he and Fowler are “huge fans” of local painter John Lytle Wilson, whose work is displayed prominently in the salon. “Life is too short to not have fun, and that’s why we wanted to depart from the austere, sterile traditional salon environment and wanted our guests to feel like they were being welcomed into a friend’s home,” Fowler said. Regular customer Anne Epstein appreciates the Beauty Shock atmosphere. “It’s just relaxed,” she said while having her hair done by McDonald. “I’ve been to other salons where people fuss over you. It’s casual, comfortable. There is no pretension or snootiness.” The original Beauty Shock customers were mostly from over the mountain, but the partners said they’re now drawing more customers from the immediate area. “We live and work here in Crestwood, and it’s important for us to see this area redeveloped and used to its fullest potential,” Fowler said. The salon’s other stylists are Theresa Romei and Tristan Cone.


30

MEDICAL SERVICES DIRECTORY • SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

IRONCITY.INK

IRON CITY INK

MEDICAL SERVICES DIRECTORY SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

MARCH 2017


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

MEDICAL SERVICES DIRECTORY • SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

31

ALABAMA ALLERGY & ASTHMA CENTER 504 Brookwood Blvd., Homewood Q: What is an allergist? A: Many people don’t know when to see an allergist or what conditions they specifically treat. A boardcertified allergist/immunologist is a doctor who specializes in allergy, asthma and immunology. Allergists treat both pediatric and adult patients and specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies — environmental, food, drug, insect — asthma, chronic cough, hay fever, skin disorders — eczema and hives — chronic infections and immunologic disorders. Q: Why should I see an allergist instead of my primary physician or another specialist? A: There can be confusion about when to see an allergist versus a primary care physician, ENT, pulmonologist, dermatologist or gastroenterologist. An allergist offers non-surgical treatment options. Their goal is to identify the

underlying cause of your symptoms or abnormal immune response. All of our allergists/immunologists are certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) and have completed at least nine years of medical training, including their fellowship in allergy and immunology. Allergists are the only type of providers who receive the specialized training to perform and interpret allergy testing, treat complex allergic diseases, asthma and prescribe allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots). Always talk to your primary care physician about your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or persist after initial treatment, you may be referred to a specialist. Q: When should I see an allergist? A: Consult an allergist/immunologist: ► If you have an allergic reaction to a food, insect bite or sting ► If you need accurate testing and

205-871-9661

alabamaallergy.com

need find out what you are, and are not, allergic to ► If your asthma causes frequent symptoms, affects school/ work/sleep/exercise, or leads to frequent doctor or emergency room visits, or if an asthma attack has led to hospitalization ► If you have allergy symptoms that affect your lifestyle or lead to recurrent sinus infections ► If your medications (over-thecounter or prescribed) are not helpful in treating allergic rhinitis, asthma or cause unwanted side effects ► If you have hives (urticaria) or swelling (angioedema) ► If you have moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (especially if an infant or child)

► If you desire to reduce your medications or wish to improve, and possibly cure, your allergic rhinitis or asthma through allergy shots ► If you need antibiotics at least once a year or you have sinus infections, recurrent colds or chronic bronchitis ► If you want the most up-to-date and individualized treatment options for your immunological condition.


32

MEDICAL SERVICES DIRECTORY • SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

IRONCITY.INK

IRON CITY INK

MARCH 2017

NEURALIFE NEUROPATHY & PAIN CENTER 1849 Data Drive, Suite 1, Hoover

205-549-4899

Q: What do you treat? A: The NeuraLife treatment effectively treats neuropathy and chronic nerve conditions. It is effective regardless of the origin of the neuropathy. We successfully treat symptoms resulting from disease and illness as well as from accidents and injury. Common symptoms include: ► Numbness/burning pain; ► Leg cramping; ► Sharp, electrical-like pain; ► Pain when you walk; ► Difficulty sleeping due to leg and foot discomfort; ► Prickling or tingling feeling in the hands and feet Bottom line: If you have pain because of nerve issues, we can help.

A: No, we are nonpharmaceutical.

Q: Will I have more medications?

Q: Is a medical doctor involved?

NeuraLifeCenters.com

Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon medication costs; ► Potentially returning a disabled patient to daily living; ► Patients able to perform activities of daily living with minimal pain.

Q: Is surgery involved? A: No. Q: Is therapy involved? A: No, we are a non-light therapy, non-physical therapy, non-chiropractic and non-laser practice. Q: Is it safe? A: NeuraLife treatment involves physical science and not chemistry. Therefore, it is considerably more natural and physiological to the human body. This technology is extremely safe, noninvasive, effective and virtually free of undesired side effects.

A: Yes, NeuraLife offices are staffed by medically degreed personnel, and each office has a medical doctor (MD) as its medical director. Q: What are some longterm advantages to these treatments? A: NeuraLife offers safe and effective medically-directed

nerve pain treatments to reduce the hyper-irritated state of the nerves. The long-term advantages of this treatment regimen include: ► Avoiding surgery; ► Avoiding the probability of chronic pain; ► Dramatic cost savings in both treatment and subsequent (lifelong)

Q: How will I know I am getting better? A: Patients typically feel improvement as sensation and coordination return, plus a reduction in pain. It’s important to note that in the initial stages — as damaged nerves begins to heal — the return of sensation can sometimes be experienced as pain of varying degrees. This is a normal part of the restorative process and is usually limited in duration, disappearing as treatment progresses and sensation more fully recovers.


34

IRONCITY.INK

IRON CITY INK

������ c���

G U I D E special advertising section

A

s days turn warmer, it’s time to start thinking about summertime at last, and no summer is complete without a camp experience. Peruse our guide to learn more about which programs best fit your child’s personality, interest, age and availability. No matter which you choose, it’s time to jump in for fun and adventure this summer.

THE ALTAMONT SCHOOL

Keep learning in a variety of classes Summer is the perfect time to try something new, dive deeper into a current interest, fine tune math and English skills or fulfill required courses in a more relaxed environment. Altamont offers a wide array of quality classes that are educational and fun. Altamont’s six-week program is open to rising 1st-12th graders. It includes three separate sections of two-week classes: June 5-16, June 1930 and July 5-14. Registration opens February 1. Credit courses: High school credit courses for rising 9th-12th graders include Altamont-required half-credit courses in Speech, Laboratory Technology and Health. Full-credit courses are offered in Honors Geometry and ninth grade Honors Ancient and Medieval Civilizations. Elective classes for rising 3rd-8th grade students include photography, theater, cooking, astronomy and gaming, as well as enrichment classes in math and English. One of our exciting new offerings this summer is a creative writing/gaming course with Lou Anders, award-winning author of the Thrones & Bones books

and game. Sports and music camps: Our popular basketball and soccer day camps are open to players of all skill levels in rising 1st-12th grades. Music offerings include rock band camp, band camp and string camp. Whether it’s enrichment, enlightenment or entertainment, Altamont has what your child needs most this summer — something constructive to do. Registration and course information at altamont.recdesk.com. Contact Dr. Josh Barnard, Summer Program Director, at jbarnard@ altamontschool.org.

MARCH 2017


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

������ c���

G U I D E

35

special advertising section

YMCA OF GREATER BIRMINGHAM HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER

Huntington offers summer tutoring sessions Huntington Learning Center is offering summer tutoring sessions so your student can catch up or get ahead for the coming year. “We give personalized attention and tailor make the program for the student,” said Marty Lively, owner of Huntington Learning Center in Vestavia. “We focus on more than homework help. We figure out where their struggle is and work from there at the student’s pace, not ours.” Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, algebra through calculus, chemistry and other sciences. It preps for the ACT and SAT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of state standards. For most students, study skills are not inherent. These aptitudes take

time to learn and consistent practice to be most effective. Whether your child is a successful student or struggling with one or more subjects, there are certain essential skills that will build a foundation for his or her success in school and life. Huntington Learning Center focuses on something called Executive functions. Executive functions are neurologically based skills that require self-regulation or mental processing. Put simply, they help children focus, prioritize tasks, set goals and work toward them, and stay attentive when studying. These functions include organization, time management, planning and retention. Organization will help the student to keep workspaces tidy and put supplies in places where they can be found easily combined with the ability to stay on top of homework and supplies needed in class and at home. Time

management will teach students to organize one’s time with the aid of a planner/calendar in order to maximize work time and deter procrastination. Planning teaches the ability to manage short-term and long-term to-dos. Retention will teach the ability to retain information and retrieve it later when completing a task. Students will also learn note-taking skills at the summer sessions. “Students need to develop a reliable method of taking notes and make sure their notes record key points covered both in textbook and in the class,” said Lively. The learning center focuses on test-taking skills, as well. “A solid study plan is the core of a good test-taking strategy,” said Lively. “Children who embrace reliable learning methods and stick to a study schedule are best equipped to perform well on exams, but most need guidance

to fine tune their test-taking skills.” Huntington also offers tutoring geared toward standardized testing and college entrance exams. “We also have ACT prep,” said Lively. “This is one on one instruction dynamic because the focus is usually scholarship dollars or entrance into a college or university.” Huntington Learning Center is located at 790 Montgomery Highway, Suite 112, Vestavia Hills, AL. We are in the Vestavia Hills City Center, next to Publix.


������ c���

36

G U I D E

IRONCITY.INK

IRON CITY INK

MARCH 2017

special advertising section

YMCA OF GREATER BIRMINGHAM

YMCA summer day camp focuses on youth development Youth development is the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical processes that all youth uniquely experience from birth to career. A successful developmental process fulfills children and teens’ innate need to be loved, spiritually grounded, educated, competent and healthy. Trading stories and sharing a favorite book or song with a new friend. Being greeted with smiles and high-fives from staff and teammates after scoring the winning point. Always fitting in, just for being you. This is what Summer Day Camp at the YMCA of Greater Birmingham is all about — ensuring kids get more out of their summer break: more friendships, more achievement, and more belonging. The Y is a place where kids feel safe, welcomed and can express their individuality in an environment that provides positive relationships, encourages parent engagement, and helps

children realize their passions and talents. It’s also loads of fun! To learn more or to register, go online to ymcabham.org/best-summer. Other YMCA summer opportunities: ► YMCA Camp Cosby The YMCA of Greater Birmingham’s sleepaway camp, Camp Cosby, offers a one-week, co-ed, safe and structured experience for children ages 6 to 16 on the shores of Logan Martin Lake. YMCA Camp Cosby gives children a chance to play hard, make new friends, and have the adventure of a lifetime in a safe, fun and structured environment. Your camper will develop new skills, gain confidence, make friends and have an amazing experience. campcosby.org ► YMCA Hargis Retreat Unlike other day camp programs, Summer Day Camp at Hargis is really camp! Located on 200+ wooded acres complete with swimming pool, hiking

trails, fields for games, rock face for climbing, and our own private lake, it is the perfect backdrop for the traditional camp activities that we offer. Activities include: • Hiking • Fishing • Canoeing • Lake swimming • Archery • Rock climbing ymcabham.org/hargisretreat ► Summer Adventures In Learning (S.A.I.L.) The Summer Adventures In Learning program works with struggling students in grades 3-5 who need extra help. Summer Adventures In Learning is designed to help prevent learning loss, offer chances to explore new interests and skills and close the achievement gap for children from lower income communities. ymcabham.org/sail

► THINGAMAJIG® Invention Convention July 2017 THINGAMAJIG® is a daylong event that combines STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), active fitness and play, creative eco-art and team challenges into one child-focused festival. Learn more online at ymcabham. org/thingamajig.


IRON CITY INK

MARCH 2017

SIPS & BITES

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

PUT THESE IN MARCH’S BEST BETS

FESTIVAL OF 10-MINUTE PLAYS 7:30 p.m., March 6-10, Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S.

FACES

37

IRONCITY.INK

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

INK

SPRING WALKING TOUR: DOWNTOWN, A FIRST LOOK

MAGIC CITY CYCLIAD

DISCOVER

ICI

MUST SEE

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

TEDXBIRMINGHAM

8 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 25, Railroad Park, 1600 First Ave. S.

10 a.m., March 25, Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S.

This bike ride — with length options of 10, 30 or 62 miles — benefits the Deep South Cancer Foundation. Admission is free, but riders pay an entry fee that benefits the foundation. All rides include well-marked routes that are fully supported with rest stops that feature energy food, drinks and other surprises. Sweep vans, film crews and course marshals will ensure no one is left behind. For more information, call 800-8685468 or go to deepsouthcancer.org.

Speakers from a variety of backgrounds — none of whom are paid — share a bold, new idea through a short talk of 18 minutes or less. The events also feature artistic performances and hands-on, interactive experiences. The participants at a TEDxBirmingham event represent a cross-disciplinary mix of people, ranging from civic and business leaders to educators, technologists, artists and more. Follow on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDxBirmingham or on Facebook at facebook.com/TEDxBirmingham.

Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

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

March 6: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers.

March 14: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

March 7: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

March 14: Birmingham City Council Public Improvements and Beautification Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A.

March 20: 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.

March 22: Birmingham City Council Committee of the Whole. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

Theatre UAB presents the Festival of 10-Minute Plays for the 14th year, produced by Lee Shackleford and featuring original plays written, directed and acted by UAB students, staff and faculty. The plays are typically smart, edgy, shocking and often funny and have adult language and themes. Tickets are $5. For more information, call 975-2787 or visit alystephens.org.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-8 p.m., March 18, various locations, downtown Birmingham

The event is part of an annual series of walking tours exploring Birmingham’s history presented by Vulcan Park and Museum and the Alabama Center for Architecture. Registration is required. Vulcan members $10; nonmembers $12. For information, call 933-1409 ext. 113 or visit visitvulcan.com.

OFFICIAL BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL

March 13: Birmingham City Council Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. March 13: Birmingham City Council Governmental Affairs Committee. 2 p.m.

March 20: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers. March 20: Birmingham City Council Planning

March 21: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

March 24: Birmingham City Council Administration/Technology Committee. 1 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. March 28: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. March 28: Birmingham City Council Education Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.


38 SIPS & BITES

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

March 28: Birmingham City Council Utilities Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETINGS March 7: Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Avondale Library, 509 40th St. S. Visit forestparksouthavondale.com for more information. March 9: Roebuck Springs Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. South Roebuck Baptist/Community Church. Call President Frank Hamby at 222-2319 for more information. March 13: Woodlawn Neighborhood Association meeting. 5709 1st Ave N. Call President Brenda Pettaway at 593-4487 for more information. March 14: 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.

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

COMMUNITY March 3-5: Cottontails Arts, Crafts and Gift Show. BJCC Exhibition Halls. Shop at more than 500 booths for Easter baskets, toys, games, home decor, party dresses and other spring-themed items. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Adults $6; children ages 6-12 $3; children under 6 admitted free. For information, call 836-7178 or go to christmasvillagefestival. com/cottontails. March 6: BAO Bingo. Birmingham AIDS Outreach, 205 32nd Street South. 7-9 p.m. This popular monthly BAO event features bingo with cash and door prizes. $15 for 5 games; $1 for final bonus game. Call 322-4197 ext. 107 or visit birminghamaidsoutreach.org. March 18-19: Alabama Gun Collectors Association Spring Show. BJCC Exhibition Halls. The AGCA presents its annual “Salute to Veterans” show, with more than 700 tables of new and vintage firearms. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be a small door charge for admission. For details, call 334-272-1193 or go to algca.org.

March 21: 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. March 27: Crestwood South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. 1220 50th St. S. March 27: Crestwood North Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Girls Inc. of Alabama. March 27: Huffman Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Cornerstone School, 959 Huffman Road. March 27: Five Points South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6-7:15 p.m. Southside Library, 1814 11th Ave. S. Visit fivepointsbham. com for more information.

March 25-26: Repticon Birmingham. Zamora Shrine Temple, 3521 Ratliff Road. The event features more than 100 tables of top-quality reptiles, amphibians, exotic pets and pet products, hourly seminars and presentations, and door prizes. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For details regarding admission, including one-day, two-day and VIP tickets, go to repticon.com/alabama-2/birmingham.

March 28: Bush Hills Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Bush Hills Academy School, 901 16th St. S.W. Call President Walladean Streeter at 602-4237 for more information.

March 19: Birmingham Punk Rock Flea Market. Market by the Tracks. 4271 Morris Ave. More than 50 vendors offering vintage, art, zines and more. Food vendors. Noon-4 p.m. For information, contact BHMflea@gmail.com.

Did we miss something?

MUSIC

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

March 2: Southern Soul Assembly. Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Ave. N. An artist-in-theround performance series featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther

MARCH 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

Dickinson, this collaborative show draws from the members’ Southern roots in blues, funk MUST and rock. 8 p.m. Tickets are SEE $29.50, $39.50 and $49.50 plus fees. To order, call 800-7453000 or go to lyricbham.com/events.

ICI

March 3: Norah Jones. BJCC Concert Hall. Jones, a nine-time Grammy Award winner, tours to support her album Day Breaks, which goes back to her roots in jazz piano. 8 p.m. Ticket prices TBA. For details, call 800-745-3000 or go to bjcc.org. March 3: Alabama Symphony Orchestra Coffee Concert. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Enjoy coffee and pastries, then hear music director Carlos Izcaray conduct the ASO in Haydn’s joyous Symphony No. 102 and Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes.” 11 a.m. Tickets $18, $28 and $34. Call 975-2787 or go to alabamasymphony.org. March 3: Black Jacket Symphony presents Queen’s “A Night at the Opera.” Alabama Theatre,1817 Third Ave. N. The Black Jacket Symphony recreates classic albums in live performances with musicians picked specifically for each album, as well as first-class lighting and video production. 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, $35 and $115. Call 800-745-3000 or go to alabamatheatre.com. March 3-4: Alabama Symphony Orchestra EBSCO Masterworks Series. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Violinist Arnaud Sussmann performs Brahms’ only concerto for violin, and the ASO presents Haydn’s joyous Symphony No. 102 and Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes.” Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$74. Call 975-2787 or go to alabamasymphony.org. March 4: Back 2 The 80s. BJCC Concert Hall. Popular 1980s musical performers appearing are Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Kid Capri, Al B. Sure!, Force MDS, Hi Five, Cherelle and Doug E. Fresh (subject to change.) 8 p.m. Tickets range from $51-$101. Call 800-7453000 or go to bjcc.org. March 5: Ahn Trio. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The three sisters of the Ahn Trio — on piano, violin and cello — have earned a reputation for embracing crossover classical music with unique style and innovative collaborations. 2 p.m. Tickets $42 and $78. Call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org. March 9: The Fab Four. Alabama Theatre,1817 Third Ave. N. The Emmy-winning Fab Four are said to provide uncanny, note-for-note live

DISCOVER

renditions of classic hits by The Beatles. 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $17.50-$47.50 plus fees. Call 252-2262 or go to alabamatheatre. com. March 11: John Pizzarelli. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Guitarist Pizzarelli is among the prime revivalists of the great American songbook — including classic standards and late-night ballads — giving it a cool jazz flavor. 8 p.m. Tickets $32-$57. Call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org. March 17: Winter Jam. BJCC Legacy Arena. The event features live performances by the top artists in Christian music, as well as worship and ministry. 7 p.m. Admission $10 at the door. For information, go to 2017.jamtour.com/ shows/birmingham-al. March 17: Alabama Symphony Orchestra Red Diamond SuperPops! Series. Alabama Theatre,1817 Third Ave. N. The ASO welcomes back Windborne Music and conductor Brent Havens, who will present their high-impact tribute to classic rock band Led Zeppelin. 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, $45 and $58. Call 975-2787 or go to alabamasymphony.org. March 17: Sam Bush. Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Ave. N. Grammy Award-winning multiinstrumentalist Sam Bush expanded the horizons of bluegrass music, fusing it with jazz, rock, blues and funk. 8 p.m. Tickets $22, $29.50 and $39.50 plus fees. Call 800-745-3000 or go to lyricbham.com. March 24: Charlie Wilson. BJCC Legacy Arena. R&B performer Wilson — former lead vocalist with The Gap Band — appears as part of his “In It to Win It” tour, with guests Fantasia and Johnny Gill. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $49.50, $67 and $87. Call 800-745-3000 or go to bjcc.org. March 26: The U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Founded in 1946, this elite, 65-member instrumental ensemble is the oldest and largest of the U.S. Army Field Band’s four performing components. 4 p.m. Admission free. For information, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org. March 26: Home Free. Alabama Theatre,1817 Third Ave. N. This five-man band mixes Nashville country standards with countryflavored pop hits. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.50, $33 and $123 plus fees. Call 252-2262 or go to alabamatheatre.com. March 31-April 1: Alabama Symphony Orchestra EBSCO Masterworks Series. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. Conductor


MARCH 2017

IRON CITY INK

39

IRONCITY.INK

DISCOVER Carlos Izcaray and the ASO — along with guest artists, the ASO Chorus and other area choruses — will present Verdi’s monumental and dramatic Requiem Mass. Friday & Saturday, 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$74. Call 975-2787 or go to alabamasymphony.org.

ARTS March 2: Birmingham Art Crawl. Various locations, downtown Birmingham. Every first Thursday, the Art Crawl turns downtown into a walking art gallery with artists, performers and food. 5-9 p.m., rain or shine. Admission free. For information, call 530-5483 or go to birminghamartcrawl.com. March 3-5: Birmingham Ballet. BJCC Theatre. The company will present a production of the MUST classic “Cinderella.” Friday and SEE Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Ticket are $30 and $45 plus fees. Call 800-745-3000 or go to birminghamballet.com.

ICI

March 9-25: Short Play Festival. Theatre

Downtown, 2410 Firth Ave. S. An evening of short plays, all helmed by up-andcoming directors. Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. For information, call 565-8838 or go to theatredowntown.org. March 16: Jazz House Poetry. Ensley Jazz House/A.G. Callins & Associates, 611 19th St. Open mic for all ages to read, recite, perform or whatever you’d like. BYOB. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the first performer starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 567-0333 or visit our Facebook page. March 16-26: “Exit Laughing.” Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th St. S. The story of the wild adventure had by the three surviving women in a longtime bridge club who steal the ashes of a member who dies. Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. General admission $25; students $15. Call 251-1206 or go to virginiasamfordtheatre.org. March 18-19: “In Her Own Fashion.” RMTC Cabaret Theatre, 301 19th St. N. The play tells the story of Ninette Griffith, the legendary fashion coordinator at the Loveman’s department store in Birmingham in the 1950s

and 1960s. Be ready for adventures, romance, celebrities and fashion disasters. Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. $15. Call 324-2424 or go to redmountaintheatre.org. March 21: The Brain Candy Live Tour. BJCC Concert Hall. Adam Savage of TV’s “MythBusters” joins forces with YouTube sensation Michael Stevens for an interactive theatrical experience that features more than three tons of crazy toys and incredible tools. 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $30.75-$76.75. Call 800-745-3000 or go to bjcc.org. March 24: Chris Rock. BJCC Concert Hall. The Grammy- and Emmy-winning actor and comedian returns to live comedy with the Total Blackout Tour. 8 p.m. Tickets are $49.50, $69.50 and $125. Call 800-745-3000 or go to bjcc.org. March 25: Melba Moore in “Still Standing.” Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th St. S. The acclaimed Broadway and TV star presents a one-woman show about her professional life as one of America’s first successful AfricanAmerican musical theater performers. 7:30 p.m. Tickets $20 and $25. Call 251-1206 or go to virginiasamfordtheatre.org

SPORTS UAB BLAZERS MEN’S BASKETBALL

(Home games at Bartow Arena; tickets $17 and $22; call 975-8221 or go to uabsports.com)

March 2 and 4: The Blazers wrap up their home season, taking Florida Atlantic on March 2 and FIU on March 4. 7 p.m. March 8-11: Conference USA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. UAB Bartow Arena and BJCC Legacy Arena. UAB and the city of Birmingham will host the Conference USA tournament, which will help decide which teams get bids to the NCAA tournament. Call 975-8221 or go to uabsports.com. March 25: Rumpshaker 5K and 1-mile Fun Run. Regions Field, 1401 1st Ave. S. 8-11 a.m. Since 2009, the Rumpshaker 5K has raised almost $1 million to promote awareness about colorectal cancer, grant funds to fight and treat it, and provide hope for colorectal cancer survivors and those fighting the disease. This event is a fun, family friendly experience for all ages. For more information, call 256-346-5014 or visit rumpshaker5k.com.


Pre-Sort Standard U.S. Postage PAID Tupelo, MS Permit #54

Iron City Ink March 2017  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you