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JULY 2016

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Terrific New Theatre’s Carl Stewart ready to take final bow of career. 22 INSIDE Dr. Jason Garner

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Comeback tale in Crestwood

A catalyst for change

Enjoying its own communitydriven renaissance, The Shoppes of Crestwood readies for more growth. 6

West End Community Cafe serving more than food to patrons and staff. 26


s, d n a h e k a e sh w e r o f e B s. d n a h d l o we h

At RealtySouth, real estate doesn’t simply equate to hard negotiation and paperwork. For us, it’s more than a transaction. It’s the relationship that matters most. For more than 60 years, we’ve been running in the same crowds. If I look familiar, it’s not necessarily because I sold your parent’s home. Our children swim in the same pool. They’ve laughed on the merry-go-round together at the mall. Your community is our community. We are proud to be your neighbor. It’s Who We Are.

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IRONCITY.INK

ABOUT

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

JULY 2016

SIGHTS

B’HAM BIZARRE

FACES

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

28 BACK TO FOCUS: Blank Space Mural Project one of many groups reclaiming public spaces for street art.

BUSINESS

NO WHEELS? NO PROBLEM: Food truck owner readies a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Forest Park. 11

A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING: Enjoying its own community-driven renaissance, The Shoppes of Crestwood readies for more growth. 6

HAPPENINGS

DOWNTOWN BUZZ: Who needs acreage to keep thousands of bees? Not these city dwellers and owners of City Bee Company. 24 DINING WITH DIGNITY: West End Community Cafe serving more than food to patrons and staff. 26

B’HAM BIZARRE

STILL SUITING UP: A mainstay of downtown, Baldone Tailoring Co. watches tide turn again in city center. 8

PARKOUR PRACTICALITY: Following ‘natural movement of the body’ all that’s required here. 30

NECK OF THE WOODS A HOMECOMING: Center Point alumnus finds his roles as an actor back in Birmingham. 16

THE TECHY SIDE: Inaugural Sloss Tech brings daylong discussions about future and role of technology. 32

CARE AT THE CURB: Forest Park, Homewood residents pair up to have health delivered. 9

CELEBRATING CITY’S COLOR: Show highlights artist’s depictions of skyline, neighborhoods. 18

COME TOGETHER: Sister Neighborhoods program aims to break down barriers in Crestwood. 33

SIPS & BITES

FACES

DISCOVER

CHEF WHO GOT HIS GOAT: Through grassroots effort, Avondale chef sees his dream come to fruition. 10

COVER STORY: Terrific New Theatre’s Carl Stewart ready to kick his feet up and take his final bow. 22

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

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

Dan Starnes Sydney Cromwell Jesse Chambers Kristin Williams Frank Couch Heather VacLav Louisa Jeffries

Community Reporters: Erica Techo Tara Massouleh Contributing Writers: Alec Harvey Sarah Cook Grace Thornton Interns: Ali Renckens Alyx Chandler

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.

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JULY 2016

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ABOUT EDITOR’S NOTE

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ometimes, my job is too much fun to feel like work. Like every job, what I do comes with many difficult and stressful moments. But it also comes with some incredible moments that make me forget I’m getting paid to be there. One of those moments was standing on a rooftop and watching honeybees fly all around me as they returned from a day of foraging. Another moment happened while lying on the ground, taking pictures as a guy jumped and turned flips over my head. I get a lot of joy out of being able to share these moments with you. This month, there are some great people featured in these pages, among them being Carl Stewart, who is ending his time at the Terrific New Theatre; the West End Community Cafe, which is making a unique community gathering place; and a group of muralists who see the chance for art on every blank wall.

From a tiny house show to Sloss Fest, we’ve also got the details on what’s going on in Birmingham this month, plus news and updates about what’s going on in your “neck of the woods.” This is only our second issue, but we’re having a lot of fun covering our city so far. I hope you’ll connect with us through social media or email to help us keep covering what’s important to you.

FIND US ► What's on Second, 2323 1st Ave. N. ► Charm, 2329 2nd Ave. N. ► Mamanoes Grocery Shop, 2301 2nd Ave. N. ► Jim Reed Books, 2021 3rd Ave. N. ► Five Points Market, 1904 11th Ave. S. ► Crestwood Coffee Co., 5512 Crestwood Blvd. ► Woodlawn Cycle Cafe, 5530 1st Ave. S. ► Birmingham Public Library - Central Branch 2100 Park Place ► Urban Standard, 2320 2nd Ave. N. ► Sol’s Deli, 2 20th St. N., Suite #120 ► Yo Mama’s Restaurant, 2328 2nd Ave. N. ► Birmingham Museum of Art, 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. ► World of Beer, 1005 20th St. S. ► Piggly Wiggly, 3314 Clairmont Ave. S. ► Los Amigos, 3324 Clairmont Ave. S. ► 20 Midtown, 304 20th St. S. ► Seasick Records, 5508 Crestwood Blvd. ► East 59 Vintage & Cafe, 7619 1st Ave. N. ► Tom and Jerry’s Chevron Food Mart, 2188 Highland Ave. S. ► Silvertron Cafe, 3813 Clairmont Ave. S. Want to join our distribution list or get Iron City Ink mailed to your home? Contact Matthew Allen at matthew@starnespublishing.com.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS 20 Midtown (2) ARC Realty (40) Bedzzz Express (39) Brandino Brass (15) Central Alabama Cadillac Dealers (29) Children’s of Alabama (7) Counter Dimensions (20) FastSigns (7) First Community Mortgage (21) Garner Family & Cosmetic Dentistry (1) Highlands United Methodist Church (27) Hutchinson Automotive (9) Iron City Bham (23) Iron City Realty (15) Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. (9) Phoenix Builders (21) RealtySouth (3) Seasick Records (14) Sentry Heating & Air (23) Sozo Trading Company (14) The Altamont School (20) Urban Home Market (19) Virginia Samford Theatre (5) Vitalogy Wellness Center (29)


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a little bit of Right: Susan Hartley at Crestwood Coffee at the Shoppes on Crestwood. Below: Newman Evans of Newman’s Classic Cuts cuts Chris Harper’s hair while Seasick Records’ Daniel Drinkard talks with a store patron.

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

JULY 2016

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

everything Enjoying its own community-driven renaissance, The Shoppes of Crestwood readies for more growth

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By JESSE CHAMBERS

he typical small retail centers and strip malls have a depressing sameness. With fast food restaurants, nail parlors, cellphone stores and loan offices, these developments usually aren’t thought of as vibrant neighborhood centers. But Birmingham has at least one big exception to that rule: The Shoppes of Crestwood, a locally focused retail center on Crestwood Boulevard near 56th Street South. The Shoppes boasts about a dozen small businesses, including a coffee house, antique mall, record store, tavern and restaurant. The center has taken advantage of its long history and prime location to become a point of pride and a community gathering spot for Crestwood, a once-declining area that has been revitalized in recent years by a parade of new faces, not unlike the mall itself, residents said. The Shoppes are frequented by everyone from bearded hipsters to moms with strollers, and the mall’s tenants seem to revel in its specialness.

“We beat to our own little drum over here,” said Susan Hartley, a neighborhood resident and manager of Crestwood Coffee Company, which has served as a place to meet and chat for a decade. “For a strip mall, we have a very unique, unusual vibe.” Originally called Crestwood Center, the mall is about 35,000 square feet. It was completed in 1957 and expanded in 1958, according to bhamwiki.com. Birmingham attorney Payne Baker and two partners — one of whom, Blake Millican, opened Crestwood Tavern in 2005 — bought the development in 2014 and renamed it. Mary Romeo Young, owner of 33-year tenant Romeo’s Sporting Goods, calls it “very friendly, very family-oriented.” “It’s a neighborhood-friendly vibe,” said Newman Evans, a barber who runs Newman’s Classic Cuts inside Seasick Records at the center. The mall’s Crestwood location is a key to its success, said Seasick Records owner Daniel Drinkard, who moved to the center in June 2015. “There are a lot of families, and people in Crestwood really support local businesses, so it’s nice to be here,” he said. “I think Crestwood is the best neighborhood

The exterior of The Shoppes of Crestwood on Crestwood Boulevard near 56th Street South. The locally focused retail center currently houses about a dozen small businesses. Photos by Frank Couch.


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BUSINESS in Birmingham,” Baker said. “About 90 percent of the people are wonderful. It’s an eclectic bunch. Everyone seems to get along with each other. This is a neighborhood center, and I think it’s very reflective of the neighborhood.” Baker said he and the mall’s new owners wanted local businesses for the Shoppes. That said, a few establishments in the mall at the time of the ownership change are no longer there, like the Urban Cottage gift shop, an alterations shop, upholstery shop and State Farm insurance office. “Urban Cottage just decided to leave,” Baker said. “The upholstery shop and the alterations and State Farm we asked to leave [because] we didn’t feel it was the tenant mix we wanted.” Pete Williams, owner and stylist at Hi-Tech Hair, had nothing but praise for the owners’ efforts. “It’s a lot better than it was before, now that the guys who have it are trying to add a lot of spice to it,” said Williams, a former Crestwood resident who moved his shop to the mall in 2008 from Mountain Brook. “We’ve been very protective about the tenant mix,” Baker said. “We’ve turned down more people than we’ve signed up, just because we didn’t feel they brought anything to the center or to the neighborhood. Luckily, we’re in a position that we could be selective.” There are presently two vacancies at The Shoppes. Several tenants said the city’s $2.5 million renovation of Crestwood Park next to the

Urban Suburban Antiques occupies one of the larger spaces in The Shoppes of Crestwood. “We have attracted ... a lot of younger decorators who are looking for different kinds of things,” employee Marty Robbins said.

mall was good for business. The renovation, completed in 2012, was “a big enhancement for the neighborhood,” Williams said. “That park draws a lot of people from all over town.” The individual businesses make their own contributions to the center’s vitality. Crestwood Coffee Company, owned for five years by Danny Winter, is a “common meeting place” and has “probably brought a lot of the community together more,” Hartley said. Seasick Records draws college students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and other campuses, Evans and Drinkard said. Urban Suburban Antiques — the largest retail space at the center — is “not just an old-school antique mall,” employee Marty Robbins said. “We have attracted … a lot of younger decorators who are looking for

different kinds of things.” In 2015, Bobby Lorino and Pat Sanford, owners of Rogue Tavern and Pale Eddie’s on Second Avenue North in downtown, converted an old gas station at the corner of Crestwood Boulevard and 56th Street into The Filling Station bar and restaurant. And the restaurant has boosted customer traffic at the center, according to several tenants. “We feed off them, and they feed off us,” Crestwood resident Lorino said. “That’s why I really like it.” Many customers, especially area residents, see The Shoppes as a nice place to spend time, Drinkard said. “It’s not a place where you do your thing and leave,” he said. “(People) will go to the antique store. They will get their coffee or get

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their hair cut or go to The Filling Station and hang around the area. The park is good, too. It’s just a cool, fun, light atmosphere.” This atmosphere is reflective of positive changes in Crestwood, said Young, who grew up there. “I’ve seen it flourish, decline and now it’s in a revitalization period, so I see a lot of young families moving in and renovate the homes, and I think it’s coming back to life,” she said. The Shoppes owners said they plan to start an upgrade of the center’s façade. There will also be a local compounding pharmacy with “an old-timey soda fountain” opening this summer, Baker said. The mall has a florist, Grant May of Park Lane Flowers; Boxcar Vape, a vaping lounge; and the Vineyard Food Market, with a large beer and wine selection. “You’ve got everything here,” Lorino said. “It’s becoming like a little suburb of Chicago where you can walk to get everything you need.” Because The Shoppes has been so successful, Baker and his partners also purchased the Family Dollar strip mall on Fourth Avenue South in Avondale near Continental Gin in mid-May for $700,000 from Avonwood Properties LLC. They plan to follow a similar model of bringing in local businesses, according to Baker. So far, there are two confirmed tenants: Sheppard’s Pet Supply and City Vision Magazine. A micro-distillery is planning to lease at the mall, and the partners would like to bring an organic grocery as well.


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SIGHTS

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JULY 2016

B’HAM BIZARRE

Downtown

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

STILL SUITING UP

Baldone Tailoring Co. watches tide turn again in city center

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By JESSE CHAMBERS owntown Birmingham, once neglected, has come back big-time in recent years, drawing visitors to such attractions as Regions Field and Railroad Park and offering a wide variety of new bars, breweries, restaurants and music venues. Butch Baldone — a longtime downtown merchant and owner of Baldone Tailoring Co. — is among the cheerleaders. This recent vitality “definitely helps the entire city scene,” he said. “Anytime you can get some vibration from people coming around, that’s good.” And the return of the Birmingham Barons baseball team from the suburbs “is a plus for the whole city, no doubt,” he said. But downtown will have to become much busier than it is now to rival its peak in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, Baldone said. “[Downtown] was so full of people, it was hard to walk on the sidewalk,” he said. On a recent day in March, Baldone offered his memories of a busy, dynamic post-World War II downtown filled with movie houses, cafes and other small businesses –before the City Center was challenged by the suburbs and the shopping malls that served them. Baldone’s father, Frank, opened the business in 1935 and rented two other storefronts downtown before buying their present building — on Second Avenue North near 23rd Street — in 1968. Born in 1941, Baldone began working at the shop when he was 11 years old for $3 a week. “That was good money,” he said. He wore dress pants, a nice shirt and a tie as he ran errands for the shop all over town. “The metropolis was so busy,” Baldone said. “Everybody came downtown. Every day was like Saturday.” The city even had “a different aroma” in those days, thanks in part to the fiveand-dime stores such as Woolworth’s, he said. “You could smell the cotton candy and the caramel popcorn,” he said. “Today the aroma of the city is gasoline.” Baldone said he would later learn tailoring from Frank Grisanti, a master tailor who had a shop on Third Avenue North. The coming of the malls “really hurt Birmingham because it decreased the population of downtown,” he said. The malls also helped damage the prospects of small businesses — “the bloodline of any big city” — according to Baldone.

Butch Baldone, below, began working part-time at his father’s tailor shop in a bustling downtown when he was only 11 years old. He is still tailoring in Birmingham a few blocks away on Second Avenue at 23rd Street. Photos by Frank Couch.

“By taking it to the outskirts in these malls, you decreased the number of small business operations [downtown],” he said. The decline of downtown as a shopping area became clear by about 1970, when things “got rough for everyone in business,” Baldone said. “People quit spending money. They quit coming to town.” Baldone, whose father died in 1976, kept the shop going by doing alterations and repairs and renting tuxedos. By about 1977, business “started coming back, if you could hang on,” he said. He said he still mourns what he calls a huge loss of small downtown merchants since the glory days. “There used to be 10 hot dog stands; now there’s one,” he said. And Baldone said he is not an optimist regarding the prospects for a retail revival downtown.

“I don’t think small business will ever come back,” he said. The malls retain a critical advantage in drawing shoppers, Baldone said. “They have convenient, no-charge parking,” he said. In response, the city of Birmingham should write fewer parking tickets and, instead, give all downtown visitors two hours of free parking, Baldone said. The residents of the lofts and other apartments downtown have not yet made a big, positive impact on retail in the area, Baldone said. “You would think it would,” he said, but added that those residents badly need more places to shop downtown. “Many of these people living in these lofts are at UAB, and they walk or ride a bike to work, and they love it, but for them to really do shopping, they have to get in their car and

go to the perimeter.” The longtime business owner expresses a deep passion for the Magic City. “I love Birmingham, Alabama, because it is a wonderful city, and the people are great,” he said. It is also a misconception that the City Center is dangerous or crime-ridden, Baldone said. “Downtown is one of the safest places to be, and a lot of people don’t want to believe that, but it’s true.” And Baldone remains optimistic that Birmingham, including downtown, can flourish as long as residents look past their differences and share a vision. “I think people are seeing that a vibrant city is valuable and important, and the only people who can affect it are people — people of all color, all race, all religion,” Baldone said. “That’s what America is about. It’s a melting pot.”


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BUSINESS

Forest Park, Homewood residents pair up to have health delivered

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL or patients with chronic illnesses, Mazi Rasulnia sees a lot of what he calls the “6,000hour problem.” Out of roughly 6,000 waking hours each year, those patients see their doctor perhaps one or two hours. The rest of the time, they’re on their own to manage their condition. “Doctors, pharmacists, nurses — they all mean well, they just don’t have time,” Rasulnia said. Rasulnia is a Homewood resident and the co-founder of Pack Health, which he describes as a patient engagement program to help bridge the gap between doctor visits. The goal of Pack Health, which Rasulnia founded with Forest Park resident Will Wright in October 2013, is to “extend the reach of the doctor beyond the clinic” and help patients better manage their health. The company started out at Innovation Depot but moved into an office on Sixth Avenue South earlier this year. Pack Health starts with a 12-week program, which patients can sign up for directly or through their doctor, insurance provider or employer. The company works with chronic

Pack Health co-founder Mazi Rasulnia holds one of the toolkits that his company mails to new members. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

conditions such as cancer, COPD, asthma, diabetes, infectious diseases and mental illness and soon will start an autism program to help caregivers manage health and prevent wandering. “They just want help. They’re overwhelmed. They’re frustrated. They’ve tried a lot of things. But generally what we’re finding is we get a lot of people who joined through support groups, through word of mouth, through Facebook,” Rasulnia said. For $25 per month, clients are paired with a health adviser who will call, text or email them each week to answer questions and help

keep the clients working toward their goals. “I have members that have had their condition for years and years and years, and they just really don’t know how to deal with it. Having somebody to kind of talk to them is helpful,” health adviser Kiley Turner said. “Having the personal touch is something that’s meaningful.” Taking a cue from subscription delivery services such as Blue Apron and Trunk Club, Pack Health mails each new client a box containing a health contract, pedometer and other items to help them stick to a new health plan. These include refrigerator magnets with

healthy food information and a place to write each week’s “tiny goal” to reach. However, what’s made Pack Health grow to 2,500 clients in less than three years is that each program is customized. Rasulnia said each health adviser helps their client set up individual goals and learn about behaviors that can help or worsen their individual symptoms. “It’s just a function of empathy and time. We’re spending time with people and coaching them and making sure they make the right choices,” Rasulnia said. “We’re trying to do it for less than [the cost of] a haircut.” After the initial 12-week program, Pack Health members continue for an additional nine months with less frequent check-ins from their health adviser. Turner said she’s still there to answer questions, but the goal is to see if the education and new habits they created will stick. Though they have members in every state and a few other countries, Rasulnia said Pack Health is trying to keep its success local. They work with UAB and Baptist Health Systems, try to hire local graduates and even have their printing and product manufacturing kept in the state. “We’re trying to make it, ‘Alabama saved health care,’” Rasulnia said.


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DISCOVER

Ginger scallion soba noodles salad with crispy pork terrine and snap peas.

The chef who got his

GOAT

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Wooden Goat co-owner and chef Matt Ralph prepares a dish inside the Avondale restaurant’s kitchen. Photos by Frank Couch.

By TARA MASSOULEH

ooden Goat is the new kid on the block of Avondale businesses. But there’s no quippy story behind the Southeast Asian restaurant’s marquee, other than to say the name itself is the story — at least if you ask co-owner and chef Matt Ralph. “We wanted something that sounded either humble or antihero,” he said. “Something that shows that we are underdogs. We’re pulling this together every day. I don’t want people to think we’ve got it all figured out.” Wooden Goat is, in all senses of the word, a grassroots project. Ralph and his business partner, Paul Davis, installed 40 percent of the building, including building their own tables, patio railing and other metalwork. In addition, Ralph personally writes and tests each menu item considered for the restaurant all from his self-described “crackerjack box” kitchen. “It’s more important when you do it yourself,” Ralph said. “If you just write somebody a check to build you a building, it doesn’t quite have the same heart. I want people to know that it’s real, and there’s people succeeding and failing on a daily basis, but we’re trying.” After deciding college wasn’t for him, Ralph did the typical restaurant thing. He waited tables, eventually cooking at lowlevel restaurants. He then decided to attend culinary school at Johnson & Wales. He spent years working in high-end kitchens, bouncing between Charleston, Birmingham and Boston, before moving back to Birmingham where he’s been for the past five years. Though the 35-year-old Nashville native has worked through the opening of seven restaurants in his 16 years as a chef, Wooden Goat is the first that’s been his own, a feat that has always been the end goal. Though he speaks fondly of his time working for the likes of Frank Stitt, among other accomplished chefs, the freedom to create his own dishes

Country style ribs with pea tendrils, rice noodles and sweet chile.

takes precedence. “When you work for people, you never get to do what you really want to do,” Ralph said. “And that’s been my driving force. That’s always been what I’m about. I just want to be able to do what I want to do, food wise.” For Ralph, this meant bringing his passion for Southeast Asian food — namely Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian — to Birmingham. First, at an Airstream trailer parked behind a Parkside bar known as Hotbox, and now across the street at his own 57-seat, freestanding restaurant. Ralph said his love for Asian food took off during the 10 years he lived in Boston. With access to a diverse community, he spent considerable time exploring Boston’s Chinatown and was heavily influenced by a fellow chef and mentor who taught English in Japan. Upon moving back to Birmingham, where his family has been for 20 years, and deciding on a concept for a new restaurant, he said the choice was clear. With Asian being an up-and-coming cuisine, Ralph felt the time was finally right to bring a restaurant like Wooden Goat to Birmingham. And while people have certainly been receptive to trying new cuisines, the real challenge for Ralph has been working to erase the stigma traditionally associated with Asian food. “People think this is supposed to be cheap; this is supposed to be a pound and a half of fried chicken,” he said. “So it is a little tricky trying to make nice Asian food using fresh ingredients.” But hard work has done little to deter Ralph. As his cuisine of choice is particularly time-intensive and preparation-heavy,

it’s typical for Ralph to spend more than six hours cooking pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup made with beef bones, rice noodles and a plethora of spices including star anise, cloves and cardamom. It’s also common for the kitchen staff to spend two to three days making its specialty Chiang Mai sausage from start to finish. “I go through a lot of steps to get all that on a plate, and I guess it’s the challenge that makes it fun,” he said. “Nothing easy is ever fun.” With standards such as Vietnamese chicken wings, marinated in fish sauce and served with fried shallots, cabbage and cilantro, and Indonesian fried noodles, served with bok choy, egg and homemade sausage, Wooden Goat already has amassed a loyal following. To keep diners interested, Ralph experiments by adding more adventurous dishes such as papaya salad —served with peanuts, dried shrimp, fried garlic and Thai chili — and five-spice tofu to his list of fan favorites. For Ralph, the quality of his food has always been, and will always be, his top concern. As a result, helping his chefs improve and grow is just as important. And after working in multiple kitchens throughout his career, he said he’s hoping to run a program different from the ones he grew up in. “I came up … with guys who were bullies and really strict,” he said. “I like to show the goal behind the program rather than just saying, ‘Shut up, and do your job.’” And part of the program is supporting rather than competing with his fellow small business owners. Ralph said he hopes to create a restaurant community in Avondale and the entire of city Birmingham, similar to the one he experienced while working in Boston. “We talked to each other, and we pushed each other,” he said. “We didn’t see it as competition; we saw it as a challenge. There are a couple of us around town who want that. We’re trying to help each other; we’re trying to come up and make a better food community.” For now, this means continuing to push himself to serve better food and pushing his staff to perform better. It also means pushing to keep the flourishing Avondale neighborhood true to its roots by making sure businesses assimilate into, rather than change, the existing community. With the opening of Wooden Goat, Ralph said he is well on his way. “I’m just trying to make some good food and help out other small businesses,” he said. “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want to do this.”


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SIPS & BITES

NO wheels? NO problem Food truck owner prepares for leap to brick-and-mortar restaurant in Forest Park

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By GRACE THORNTON ac Russell smiles big and shakes his head when he thinks about what he’s hoping to do at his new restaurant and market in Forest Park. He wants it to be different. He wants people to feel the love. And he wants to do some things that maybe don’t make sense at first. But Russell said he hopes it’s a risk that’s going to be around for a long time. And he hopes it’s going to start a new kind of culture. Russell, owner of Shindigs catering and food truck, will take that risk out of the old V. Richards space at 3916 Clairmont Ave. “hopefully by October — November is a must,” he said. The name is still in the works, but the concept is fully formed. “We want to make a culture that’s way more sustainable than anything we’ve been a part of before,” Russell said. He said he wants the restaurant to be farm-to-fork food, but he also wants it to be a place where people can buy fresh food and meat, grab a glass of wine and end up in a casual conversation they never expected to have. “We want it to be a little like Louisiana lagniappe — you come in maybe to pick up one thing, and by the time you leave, you’ve found a few surprises and made a new friend,” Russell said. “We want to know our customers and our employees and have this overlying culture of faith and love.” It’s something that’s been in his blood for a while. When Russell was growing up in the Selma area, his grandfather would use almost anything as an excuse to get friends together and have food, he said. “That’s how our catering business got the name ‘Shindigs’ — my granddad would have shindigs around almost anything from poker tournaments to deer hunts to whatever event we could make up,” Russell said. Shindigs Catering will carry on making food and taking it around town, but he said he’s hoping the new restaurant and market will be a place where people can gather and stay. And he’s hoping it will be a place where both employees and customers feel cared for, Russell said. “It’s about the sustainability of the village,” he said. “We’re looking at it way more abstractly than just the food or the animals or the vegetables.” But those things — the food, the animals and the vegetables — will still be very important, Russell said.

Mac Russell is the owner of Shindigs food truck and is opening a restaurant in Forest Park. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

The Shindigs food truck sits in front of owner Mac Russell’s new restaurant.

Food will be locally sourced. They’ll be bringing animals and vegetables from their own farms — the two big ones in Marion and Morgan Springs in Perry County and smaller urban farms in Cahaba Heights. “We’ll have nice cuts that can go straight to the center of the plate, but we’ll also have

cuts that can go to make very tasty fast casual dishes,” he said. “We want to have a culture of great food but good stewardship of what we have.” Their bread will come from Big Sky Bakery, and their buns will come from Continental Bakery in English Village.

“We’re getting the best from all our friends and kind of throwing it together,” he said. Russell said he has lots of friends in the food industry in Birmingham. Over the years, he’s spent time in the kitchen at Hot and Hot Fish Club and a number of other places, including Standard Bistro in the Town of Mount Laurel. “At our new restaurant, we’ll have breakfast and lunch, but we’ll also be a place we hope people will gather at night and come for date nights,” Russell said. It will feature what he calls an “ultralux” bar, and the food will be “solid and satisfying,” he said. He’s doing heavy research into “really good coffee,” and he has extensive juice bar experience he plans on putting to good use, Russell said. “We want to energize and bless others and make good food,” he said. “We’re starting small and taking this leap of faith for what we know is the most charming neighborhood around Birmingham. We want it to impact our village, and we would love it if it would spread to the city and maybe pour over into the state.”


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Showtime

DISCOVER

A crowd spreads out at the Blast Stage at Sloss Furnaces during the 2015 Sloss Music and Arts Festival. Photo courtesy of Karen Utz.

Local band The Burning Peppermints hits the Sloss Fest stage July 17 By RACHEL HELLWIG

Sloss Music & Arts Festival

• WHEN: July 16-17 • WHERE: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, 20 32nd St. N. • INFO: Gates open at 12:30 p.m. Music begins at 1 p.m. and concludes at 11:30 p.m. • TICKETS/PASSES: Single day passes start at $75; weekend passes $135 and up, plus fees. Free for children younger than 6 with an accompanying adult • WEB: slossfest.com

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Courtesy of artsBHAM

irmingham’s latest summer music festival returns this July to a popular city landmark — and a local band will find itself in the spotlight during the weekend’s performances. The Sloss Music & Arts Festival returns to Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark on July 16-17. During its inaugural run last year, the two-day event showcased 33 bands and drew about 25,000. This year’s event will highlight an eclectic mix of 31 acts on three stages. The festival also will include iron-pouring demonstrations by Sloss Metal Arts Program, an exhibit of music posters by the American Poster Institute and a variety of art vendors. Craft beer will be available at

the Piggly Wiggly Craftly Beerly Garden and Starr Hill All Access Area. A local up-and-coming highlight will be The Burning Peppermints, composed of 2015 Hoover High School graduates Jake Wittig and Daniel Powers, along with Ryan Colebeck and Ahmad Farzad, owner and producer at the recording studio King of the Jungle Productions in Vestavia Hills. They were an opening act at Birmingham’s 2015 Secret Stages, a festival that showcases rising bands from across the country. Wittig formed The Burning Peppermints in 2013, and the band evolved during his high school years. “We shifted gears,” he said. “We started moving in a faster, darker, frenzied and psychotic direction,” one he said was inspired by West Coast garage bands. Eventually, the band began playing under the name The Burning Peppermints and adopted the band’s


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DID YOU KNOW?

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Sloss Furnaces was an iron-producing factory from 1882 to 1971.

It became a National Historic Landmark in 1981 and a museum in 1983. It is the only 20th-century blast furnace in the country preserved as a historic industrial site.

SLOSS

The oldest building on the grounds dates from 1902. Headlining this year’s festival is North Carolina native and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ryan Adams and his band, The Shining. Sloss Fest’s 2016 lineup also features Death Cab for Cutie, Ray Lamontagne, The Flaming Lips, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and many other performers. Photos courtesy of Karen Utz.

It has the reputation of being a haunted site and can be rented for paranormal investigation.

bro ...

It was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” and Syfy’s “Ghost Hunters.”

signature fashion statement. “In tribute to bands like The Animals, The Beatles, The Kinks and more, we started wearing suits like those bands would on their TV performances,” Wittig says. “It was for fun, but we soon realized that the suits had almost magical powers: They prepared everyone for a show, turned heads and helped people give us a chance and take us seriously.” Things started taking off in summer 2014. “Suddenly, as high schoolers, we were getting the opportunity to have our music played on Birmingham Mountain Radio and being asked to play shows instead of having to hunt them down,” Wittig said. “Then, at the beginning of 2015, we met Ahmad Farzad. He was extremely interested in working with the band and recording our album. Early that year, we recorded our debut album, ‘Dirty Rainbow!!’” As is often the case in emerging bands, members departed and new ones joined. But the current foursome of Wittig, Powers, Farzad and Colebeck recorded The Burning Peppermints’ second album, “Witch Mountain.” “We definitely draw from an upbeat, raw West Coast psychedelic punk vibe,” Farzad said. “But the material from ‘Witch Mountain’ is a little darker, more lyrically emotional, and the music has more Southern grit — pun intended — in it.” Wittig echoes this description. “The direction we’re currently moving in is a darker one, with more psychedelic themes and lyrics,” he said. “At first, my goal was to get people moving, to make music the audience could dance to and go crazy to. But,

Things started taking off for The Burning Peppermints, who will be performing at this year’s Sloss Fest, in the summer of 2014. Photo courtesy of David Smith/ dsmithscenes. com.

as I began the journey into the follow-up to ‘Dirty Rainbow!!,’ I wanted to make an album that was as cerebrally stimulating as it was physically stimulating, music that not only makes your blood pump, but takes you to another place entirely.” What’s up next for The Burning Peppermints? “We’ve got the follow-up to ‘Witch Mountain’ almost written and seven albums in conceptual stages,” Wittig said. “We’re also working on a very special concert experience with all new music. We’ve all got so much music we want to make and play for people. I’m excited to continue to do that, especially for the crowd at Sloss Fest.”

But music fans have much more to look forward to at Sloss Fest. Headlining the festival is North Carolina native and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ryan Adams and his band, The Shining. Sloss Fest’s 2016 lineup also features Death Cab for Cutie, Ray Lamontagne, The Flaming Lips, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and many other performers. The SlossFest app for Apple and Android devices includes the full band lineup and helps you create your own festival schedule, among other features. Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


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Dreaming big to live tiny in Birmingham

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James Brewer, second from right, founded AL Tiny Homes a year ago and will serve as host builder for the Tiny House Roadshow July 22-24. Photo courtesy of James Brewer.

By SAM CHANDLER fter 19 years in the mainstream construction business, James Brewer decided to shrink his professional scope. Now, the Mount Olivebased builder solely serves an expanding niche: the tiny house community. “The tiny house market is a red-hot market,” Brewer said. “It’s a great alternative lifestyle for people. I think down the road you’ll see real estate geared toward tiny house lifestyles.” While gaining some national popularity, Brewer said the tiny house movement has remained somewhat of an obscurity throughout the Southeast, especially in Alabama. He hopes to change that. Brewer is the founder of AL Tiny Homes and will serve as host builder for the Tiny House Roadshow held July 22-24 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Tiny House Roadshow • WHEN: Friday, July 22, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, July 23, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, July 24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. • WHERE: Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex • TICKETS: Adults ages 13-65: $12.50; Adults ages 65 and older or military: $11.25; Children ages 7-12: $5 • WEB: tinyhouseroadshow.com

“The biggest reason I wanted to bring it to Birmingham is to raise awareness for the tiny house movement,” he said. “Most people in the Southeast have never seen a tiny house in real life. I want people to truly see one, touch one and walk through it.”

DISCOVER

In addition to hosting 30 vendors that specialize in tiny house-related products, the three-day event will feature up to 25 model tiny houses. Brewer said he expects between 15,000 and 35,000 people to attend. Unlike other misnomers, tiny houses stay true to their label, Brewer said. The diminutive structures are built on towable trailers and range between 16 and 30 feet in length. To comply with transportation laws dictating permissible trailer width, tiny houses intended for mobile use are 8.5 feet wide.

As a result, each contains roughly 130 to 340 square feet of actual living space. Outfitted with plumbing, electric and every major appliance — including a washer and dryer — the houses represent a medium between a house and an RV, Brewer said. “It’s about downsizing, going back to simpler things,” he said. Although top-of-the-line tiny houses can boast a price tag of up to $70,000, Brewer said the average cost ranges between $35,000 and $55,000. Plus, they can be fully constructed and


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HAPPENINGS turnkey ready within four to six weeks, he said. Whether a young professional searching for financial independence or a retiree seeking an RV alternative for cross-country treks, tiny houses fulfill a multitude of purposes for any age group, Brewer said. He said he’s even built tiny houses intended for commercial use, including mobile dog grooming and mobile physical therapy units. The structures don’t cost a fortune to maintain, either, Brewer said. Tiny-house dwellers typically pay less than $50 for power and less than $20 for water each month, granting people greater financial freedom, he said. The small structures, which can be designed to run on solar energy, also minimize environmental impact. All factors considered, Brewer said he believes the tiny house movement is here to stay. “It’s not a trend you’ll see come and go,” he said. “It’s a true change that’s sinking in.” For more information on the Roadshow, including expo times and ticket prices, visit tinyhouseroadshow.com.

Night of Paws, Pints and Performances on tap

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By ERICA TECHO

eer, music and animal rights will come together at Avondale Brewing Co. in July. The first Paws, Pints and Performances fundraiser for the U.S. Animal Law Center will be at the brewery on July 9 from noon to 11 p.m. The event includes six bands, an art contest and games for kids. Linda Dooley, founder, president and CEO of the U.S. Animal Law Center, said Avondale Brewing Co. was selected for this new event because it is in a good area with a lot of outdoor space. The U.S. Animal Law Center is a nonprofit that works to provide education programs, build an animal abuse database and support conservation efforts. It was founded by Dooley in 2011 and received its nonprofit status in 2015. “We do education on compassion toward animals, we have K-12 program curriculum, and we talk about, in the curriculum, compassion toward all animal species and what to do if someone sees someone abusing an animal,” Dooley said. The center also works to promote

Paws, Pints and Performances • • • •

consumer education training, which covers information on antibiotics, hormones and making good choices on meat. It also helped get an animal cruelty bill passed in 2013. “We try to influence policies as well, and to do that we have to be funded,” Dooley said. “It’s [the event is] basically to help our programs to continue and to get out in the public also.” In addition to outdoor activities, the event includes an art contest called “Angels Among Us.” Local artists and residents can submit a piece in any medium featuring any animal, the only guideline is the piece must be original and animal pictured must have angel wings.

WHERE: Avondale Brewing Co. WHEN: July 9, noon-11 p.m. TICKETS: $25 WEB: theusanimallawcenter.com

During the event, there will be buckets under each piece of work, and attendees will be able to drop money into the buckets to “vote” for their favorite. An award will be given to the piece that has the most support, Dooley said. While this is the first year for Paws, Pints and Performances, Dooley said in May the event already had begun to receive community support. That positive reaction, she said, means they already are looking toward future events. “We will have it again; there’s no doubt,” she said. “We’re already getting enough support that we will have it again.”


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Brandon McCall:

BACK HOME AND FINDING HIS ROLE(S)

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By TARA MASSOULEH

week, with five-hour rehearsals on weekdays and eighthour days over the weekends. To help prepare for the role, McCall said he plans to t wasn’t until Brandon McCall was watch “The Little Mermaid” movie a number of times to told he shouldn’t be an actor that he get a feel for how Sebastian sings, moves and interacts. decided to become exactly that. He said his wife, who is a big fan of the movie, will It’s a story that he tells often, be involved in his preparation. And as he hones McCall said. As a Center Point Sebastian’s accent over the next couple of High School senior, he decided to months, he’s hoping for some patience from major in biology on the path to becoming a his wife. pediatrician. When a teacher stopped him in “After a while, she gives me that side the hallway to ask about what his plans for eye like ‘Please, shut up,’” he said. “But college were, McCall told her. The teacher’s she really enjoyed ‘The Little Mermaid’ relief-filled reply was that she was glad he as a kid, so hopefully she’ll just sing hadn’t chosen acting, because it probably with me, and we’ll have karaoke.” wouldn’t work out for him. His wife and high school sweet“I thought, ‘Now I’m going to prove heart, Denika, is one of the biggest you wrong,’” McCall said. “That day, that supporters of his acting and the moment, I changed my mind and decided to major in theater at Alabama State University.” reason McCall started acting in Birmingham, he said. After growTen years later, the 27-year-old Birminging up in Ensley, he moved to ham native has stuck to his word. After comCenter Point during high school. pleting his Bachelor of Arts, then moving to After attending Alabama State Sacramento, California, as a B Street Theatre University, McCall said he was cast member, McCall has returned home. ready for a change when he He will star as Sebastian in Red Mounmoved to Sacramento to intern tain Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Little Mermaid” running July 8-31. This will with the B Street Theatre. There was only one thing be McCall’s fourth role in a Red Mountain holding him back. Theatre production since he moved back “I was actually engaged to Birmingham in 2011. His previous roles include the starring role of high-school-foot- when I moved to California,” he said. “So of course I had to come ball-player-turned-band-nerd Jake in “Band back and get married.” Geeks,” the royal gatekeeper in “The Wiz” After getting married and taking a and detective Eddie Souther in “Sister Act.” Though he said he has enjoyed all his roles year off from acting, McCall traveled to Atlanta to perform as Theophilus in at Red Mountain Theatre, McCall said he is Lolita Snipes’ production of “Good God especially excited to perform as Sebastian A’Mighty” and as Angel-o in Robin Givens’ producbecause he will have the opportunity to sing, tion of “Joy in the Morning.” Eventually he found dance and act. his way back to Birmingham. “I think Sebastian is different because “It came to me that I was trying to figure our now he gets to expose everyone to all my where I could share my talents outside of Birtalents,” he said. “I think Sebastian brings it mingham, but I was like ‘Why not share it with all together. I wouldn’t say I am, but I would your own people and your own city?’” he said. say that Sebastian is going to be one talented Though McCall has been acting primarily in guy.” stage productions since his mother first took McCall originally auditioned for the role him to an audition when he was 12, his interof King Triton, but was turned down because he didn’t look old enough. He was later called est in entertainment doesn’t stop with theater. He also is interested in all aspects of film, back to read for Sebastian. “It was a role that I really didn’t think about television, music and modeling. McCall recently landed the role of a featured playing, but once, in that audition, they gave me [a] piece to sing, I kind of fell in love with sideline player in “Woodlawn,” and said he hopes to one day perform R&B, soul or life it,” he said. music. One of his long-term goals is to win In fact, McCall said the role suits him an Oscar, Tony and Grammy. much better than he could have anticipated, However, McCall said his biggest goal is to be describing himself as silly, playful, loyal to successful in his own way and help others through his his friends and a protector to his family. As comic relief, Sebastian mirrors many of those talent. “I always tell people that when I do a show, if I make traits as being loyal to King Triton and a one person happy, that’s good enough for me,” he said. protector to Ariel. “As long as that one person received something great or Since rehearsals started June 14, McCall has been in full-on Sebastian mode six days a inspiring, I think I did my job.”

DISCOVER

The Little Mermaid presented by Red Mountain Theatre

• WHEN: July 8-31 at 2 p.m. Wednesdays; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays • TICKETS: Start at $30 for 13 and older, $29 for ages 2-12. • WEB: redmountaintheatre. org

Photo courtesy of Brandon McCall.


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chase arrington’s

OUTLET

Birmingham musician to perform July 9 at The Nick

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By JESSE CHAMBERS

irmingham rock musician Chase Arrington has had a passionate, lifelong love affair with the guitar, an instrument he began playing when he was only 10 years old. “What I like about it is the rawness and the honesty,” he said. “There’s so much room for interpretation and freedom and expressiveness.” Arrington said he especially likes playing live. “You’re able to take all the things you’ve felt for the past day or week or month and just let that go,” he said. And the guitar, the signature rock ’n’ roll instrument, has a tremendous power, Arrington said. “There’s something about playing a guitar solo over some music and just making it something that’s really a statement,” he said. Arrington will continue seeking to make his own personal statement with the instrument when he plays The Nick on July 9, opening for The Steppin Stones, a South Carolina rock trio. He will play in support of his first solo recording, “Signs of Life,” a six-song EP he released in January. And the gig will be the next small step in Arrington’s long quest to make a living doing what he loves: playing music. Arrington told Iron City Ink more about this quest, which led him to give up a lucrative career in engineering, and about “Signs of Life” just prior to another gig at The Nick in June, when he appeared with Mississippi vocalist Shane Russell as part of their acoustic-rock project, Firing Embers. The prospect of opening for The Steppin Stones has Arrington “really stoked,” he said. “They’re really good, really tight. They’re what rock music should be,” he said. Arrington, 27, is an Oak Mountain High School graduate who earned a degree in mechanical engineering from UAB in 2012 but turned back to music full time within a few months. According to Arrington’s website, he has played more than 400 shows, including numerous gigs with Birmingham band The Haulers. His inspirations have included such guitar gods as Eddie Van Halen, Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Slash of Guns N’ Roses, and those influences are evident in the hard-rocking tunes on “Signs of Life.” The EP is also an indicator of Arrington’s increasing maturity as a musician. “It started out as a project to see if I could write an entire album by myself,” Arrington said. With the exception of “Midnight Calling,” with Russell on vocals, the songs on the EP are instrumentals, allowing room for interpretation by listeners. “Each song means something to me, but when other people listen to it, they might have a different take on it, just like looking at abstract art,” Arrington said. “Signs of Life” comes from an intensely personal place, he said. “The name and a lot of the themes in the album came from a dark time in my life,” Arrington said. That “dark time” included the loss of his 88-year-old maternal grandmother, with whom he forged a powerful bond in the months before she died. “That’s where the emotional storm and reflection on the album comes from,” he said.

Chase Arrington will continue seeking to make his own personal statement with a guitar when he plays The Nick on July 9, opening for The Steppin Stones, a South Carolina rock trio. Photo courtesy of Chase Arrington.

The EP is a story about love, loss and hope, according to the website. The show at The Nick, located at 2514 10th Ave. S., will be a chance for Arrington to show his increasing confidence as a writer and performer, he said. “I’ll be playing some new songs that aren’t on the album, (and) I’ll be singing,” he said. Arrington said he wrote the lyrics for the new material, and he’ll play with a drummer, bassist and second guitarist who also plays keyboards. More shows with Firing Embers are in the offing, as well, he said. He and Russell have written material for about nine months.

“I can’t put a label on it,” Arrington said. “It’s acoustic rock, and it’s edgy. Because it’s not in any specific genre, we can do a whole lot of stuff.” Arrington, who helps support himself by giving guitar lessons, said he will continue to make music his work as well as his passion. “That’s why I quit the engineering job,” he said. “I had it for four months, and I was making good money, but I wasn’t playing, and it was eating away at me. It’s like I’m dying.” “I need my outlet, to be able to play,” Arrington added. “When I do, everything is fine.” For more information, go to chasearringtonmusic.com.


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the city’s

Show highlights Charles Buchanan’s depictions of Birmingham skyline, neighborhoods and more By RACHEL HELLWIG

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Story courtesy artsBHAM

harles Buchanan is a visual artist and the editor of UAB Magazine. About a decade ago, his photography hobby and deep appreciation for Birmingham led him to start making block prints of notable sites around town. His art has since been featured on HGTV, Birmingham Magazine, B-Metro and Alabama’s state tourism website. In 2012, he authored “Fading Ads of Birmingham” published by The History Press. The book, with photography by Jonathan Purvis, tells the stories behind nearly 70 of Birmingham’s old business signs. Buchanan’s new exhibit, “Local Color,” is on display at Naked Art Gallery, 3831 Clairmont Ave. S., until July 23. Pieces in the show include depictions of Birmingham skylines, Five Points South, the City Federal Building, the Cahaba River and a half-real, half-imagined image of Sloss Furnaces, in addition to wall pieces and functional objects such as clocks, boxes and wearable items. More information at NakedArtUSA.com. Q: Tell us a little about “Local Color.” A: As the title suggests, this exhibit features locally inspired art. It’s the first time that people will see my work in watercolors, acrylic, painting on fabric, drawing, collage and cyanotype (a form of printmaking that uses the sun to create the image on sensitized paper). It’s a pivot from my previous focus on block prints. I’m very excited about it. Q: What is it about Birmingham that inspires your art? A: Our city is really lucky because we didn’t tear down our old buildings. Birmingham has lots of character. I love just walking around downtown and looking at the architecture. I try to distill what Birmingham feels like for those who look at my art. In the past, I’ve made true-to-life block prints of landmarks such as Vulcan, Sloss Furnaces and the statue of Electra on the Alabama Power Building, as well as neon signs; it’s fun to depict something so vibrant in 2-D. In my more abstract work, I usually have a mood in mind that’s reflective of the city. Perhaps I’ll just recreate the layers of colors in the rocks at the Red Mountain Expressway Cut. Other times my images are

an amalgam of different locations … bits and pieces of streets with a “Pepper Place” sign, although you won’t find a real-life place that looks exactly like what I illustrated. Q: Why did you transition from block prints to drawing and painting? A: I knew that once our daughter was born, I wouldn’t have as much time for art. I needed to find something that wasn’t as messy as block prints and that I could stop and start as needed. I figured I could always pick up a pen and draw. And, after 10 years of doing block prints, I wanted to try something new and more abstract. Transitioning to drawing and painting has re-energized me, and my art. Q: What was your first artistic love as a child? A: When I was 8 and 9 years old, I loved animation and thought I would become an animator. I loved telling stories through that format. My comics were a blend of humor and adventure. My characters were talking animals — somewhere between Garfield and Disney. I feel that, with my return to drawing, my art is coming full circle. Maybe someday I’ll redraw those comics. I’ve saved them all. Q: Did you formally study art? A: No, I don’t have any formal training. In elementary school, I took an art class and learned how to make block prints. I also did some graphic designs in college. But, I learn mainly from my own study and practice. Watercolors are intimidating; I’ve done a lot of reading about them. Since I work at UAB, I also talk with an art professor there. Q: Are you originally from Birmingham? A: I was born in Selma, Alabama, but I lived all over the South while growing up. I came to Birmingham right before my senior year of high school in 1989. It’s safe to say that I claimed Birmingham as my home, or rather, Birmingham claimed me. Q: What are some of your favorite things in Birmingham? A: Artwalk is a great showcase especially for newer artists, and it helped people discover me. Also, I met my wife there. Day of the Dead is another favorite. It’s magical, a mix of Mexican tradition with the city of Birmingham. I also enjoy Railroad Park; my daughter loves to watch the trains. Other picks would be Red Mountain Park, Sloss Furnaces and

Some of Charles Buchanan’s artwork, Railroad Crossing, above, and Five Points South. Buchanan’s exhibit, “Local Color,” is on display at Naked Art Gallery until July 23. Photos courtesy of Charles Buchanan.

Birmingham Restaurant Week, to name a few. Q: What’s next in your artistic life? A: I’d like to explore new techniques. I also want to refine my watercolor work. I’d like to work more with old-school pens with nibs, which makes controlling them more challenging. Q: What’s one thing people might not know

about you? A: I represented central Louisiana in the National Spelling Bee when I was in the eighth grade. Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


17,000 square feet of unexpected home furnishings, mixing the rustic with the elegant.

PROGRESSIVE SALE Select oor samples will progressively become discounted throughout the month of July. Special orders are excluded.

1001 Doug Baker Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35242, The Village at Lee Branch urbanhomemarket.com 205.980.4663


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PRIDEFEST

Festival-goers ride a float during the 28th annual Pride Parade and Pridefest at Sloss Furnace. Photo by Shay Allen.

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SLICEFEST

Keller Williams encourages the crowd to sing along during his set at SliceFest 2016. Photo by Erica Techo.


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CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL

SALSA SHOWDOWN

The Caribbean Festival at Linn Park included a parade celebrating a variety of Caribbean cultures. Photo by Patty Bradley.

The sixth annual Salsa Showdown at Avondale Brewing Company beneďŹ ted the Sidewalk Film Festival and featured salsa and dips from several area restaurants. The highlight of the event is a pepper-eating contest that literally had contestants and audience members crying. Photo by Shay Allen.

Want to advertise? Email matthew@ starnespublishing.com for more information.

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COVER STORY: Terrific New Theatre’s Carl Stewart ready to kick his feet up and take his final bow

THAT’S A

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By ALEC HARVEY

arl Stewart is slacking off. As his retirement approaches — he’ll step down as artistic director of Terrific New Theatre, the theater he co-founded in 1986, on July 30 — he missed his first day on the job. That’s right. After 30 years of manning the box office and then sitting outside smoking his Pall Malls while the show went on inside, Stewart missed a night recently to attend a wedding. “Except for that one night, I had been there every night we had a show going on,” he said. From Stephen Sondheim to Tennessee Williams, Charles Busch to Del Shores, Stewart has directed every show at TNT. When he turns out the lights on his career July 30 — the last night Dolores Hydock will perform her new show “Three for the Road” — a huge chunk of Birmingham’s theater history will come to a close. “I just thought 30 years, that’s enough of that,” Stewart said. Stewart’s trek to now — he’ll only say his age is “somewhere between 80 and death” — began long before that. He grew up in Florala and attended Florida State University before moving to New York to study with the legendary Stella Adler. He was a hairstylist in New York, which he continues to do in Birmingham, but he also became director of supernumeraries (basically, the extras wrangler) for New York City Opera. Stewart himself was a supernumerary on stage when a young tenor named Placido Domingo took New York by storm in the title role of “Don Rodrigo.” In 1968, Stewart returned to Alabama, doing a little theater in Birmingham briefly before heading to California with three friends. A devastating car wreck and an earthquake would bring him back to Birmingham. The accident on Birmingham’s Southside killed Bill Ozier, director of Birmingham’s Actors Studio and a theater icon, especially among younger actors. After a 1972 earthquake, Stewart fled California and, with friends Vic Fichtner and Randy Marsh, created Birmingham Festival Theatre and picked up where Ozier left off.

BFT opened with the Stewart-directed “Threepenny Opera,” and he estimates he directed another 60 shows there before he and partner Steve Stella opened their own theater, TNT, in 1986 at the corner of 21st Street and First Avenue South. Kathleen Crawford Jensen, a longtime stage director and actress for TNT, was there from Day One. “When I walked in, I thought, there is no way we’re going to turn this into a theater,” she said. “Then Steve lifted the drop ceiling and showed me there were 30-foot ceilings, and that’s when I started to see Carl’s vision. The three of us went in with sledgehammers and crowbars and took out old Sheetrock walls.” TNT opened with a Sondheim musical revue and soon found its niche presenting small dramas, comedies and musicals, sometimes on the edgy side, and often shows that had never been produced in Birmingham. For a young actress named Cari Gisler (now Cari Gisler Oliver), who met Stewart and Stella just after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College, it was heaven. “I was in awe of these two men,” she said. “Their theater was wicked cool. I didn’t know it had just opened a couple of months before. They spoke about theater seriously, like it was OK to pursue this as a real job.” Five years later, in 1991, Stewart and Stella moved TNT to its present building in Pepper Place. In the first 10 years, Stewart, of course, directed every show. Stella designed all of them, until he lost a battle with AIDS in 1996. Both Oliver and Jensen have worked with Stewart and TNT on a volunteer basis for 30 years. They recently starred in “Matt & Ben” as part of Stewart’s last season. “Carl Stewart has taught me so many things,” Oliver said. “A lot of it was in theater, sure — timing, pacing, trusting the process, listening, all those things that I think everyone who has worked with him took away. But there’s something you get from sitting with him day in and day out like Kathleen and I did that others didn’t benefit from. He taught me strength and commitment. Carl never let us think of TNT as a hobby. He treated us as professionals who knew better.

Birmingham’s Terrific New Theatre co-founder Carl Stewart smokes in his office. Photo by Frank Couch.

Show up on time, be prepared, don’t waste time and work.” It’s hard to come up with a Birmingham actor or actress who has not appeared in a show at TNT, and one of those who has appeared regularly on the TNT stage is going to step into Stewart’s shoes. Tam DeBolt, who also helped close out this final Stewart-run season in “Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” will become TNT’s new artistic director July 31. But first, Stewart will end his reign with another of his “regulars,” Hydock. She first appeared in “Carbondale Dreams” in 1990, and “Three for the Road” will be their 16th collaboration in 26 years. It’s made up of three of the shows they’ve done together over the years: monologues from “Talking Heads,” “Talking With …” and “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.” “The broad Southern comedy he does so well doesn’t always showcase his sensitivity to the human heart, but I’ve been fortunate to work on ‘meatier’ plays with him that have let that side of his directing brilliance come through,” Hydock said.

The actress said she hopes this isn’t the last chapter of Stewart’s theater life. “If there’s a play he finds that he just has to do, I imagine he would find a way to do it,” she said. “And if I come up with something — something I write myself or a play I encounter along the way — that I really, really want to do, I would ask Carl to go on that journey with me.” For his part, Stewart said he doesn’t know exactly what he’ll do. “Right now, I’m done with it and ready to put my feet up and ready to quit putting my cigarette smoke on other people,” he said. “Other people don’t need to suffer with me.” And his legacy? “It used to always bother me that still, after all this time, we only can seat 98 people, and I was hoping the day would come that would demand that we have more seats to fill,” Stewart said. “But that didn’t happen. What did happen is all the other theaters started opening up, and in that sense, there are more chairs. You can’t fling a cat in Birmingham without seeing a theater, and that possibly might be my legacy.”


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Since Chuck Strahan started City Bee Company at his downtown residence in January 2015, he said many customers have been drawn in by the idea of “urban beekeeping.” Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

buzz the downtown

Who needs acreage to keep bees? Not downtown resident Chuck Strahan, owner of City Bee Company

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL

or a future full-time beekeeper, Chuck Strahan didn’t get off to a flying start. He recalls going to the post office with his partner Jay McKinney, who wanted to take up beekeeping, to pick up a box full of buzzing honeybees. “I said, ‘I’m not getting anywhere near those bees.’ I didn’t want anything to do with it, and for the first 12 months I didn’t,” Strahan said. That was seven years ago. Now Strahan, a Birmingham resident since 1980, keeps 31 hives in downtown Birmingham and is the owner of City Bee Company. Three of those hives sit on the roof of his home on 20th Street North. City Bee Company sells honey, including creamed and chili-infused versions, along with beeswax products such as lip balm, body butter, beard balm, hand salve and dog paw balm. Strahan first tested out those products in his kitchen, two stories underneath his rooftop hives, and he continues to make the products in small batches. Most of his sales are online, Strahan said, but City Bee Company also appears at Pepper Place Market, Woodlawn Farmers Market and the Tuesday night West Homewood Farmers Market. Sojourns Fair-Trade, Smith’s Variety, Redmont Hotel’s gift shop, Dog Days and Whole Dog Market carry some of Strahan’s products, along with a few stores on the Gulf Coast. Holler & Dash in Homewood sells his creamed honey and has bottles of City Bee raw honey on the tables. We Have Doughnuts buys chili-infused honey “by the gallon,” Strahan said, for their sweet chili donuts. All this for a company that’s only a year-anda-half old.


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Clockwise, from top left: Thousands of bees fly to and from Chuck Strahan’s home on 20th Street North every day, but he said most of his neighbors would never know they’re there unless he told them. Strahan checks in on three of the 31 hives that produce honey and beeswax for City Bee Company, which sells several types of honey and beeswax skin care products both online and at a few different retail locations in Birmingham.

Besides the quality of the honey itself — no chemicals are used in caring for the hives — Strahan said beehives on a rooftop have a certain appeal for buyers. “People are really intrigued, and even if they’re not urbanites, even if they don’t live in the city, people are intrigued with city living,” Strahan said. “That’s just exciting to them.” When Strahan and McKinney started keeping bees, they simply gave away the honey to friends and neighbors. As time went on and Strahan overcame his fear of bee stings, he also became interested in using the beeswax. With a background in restaurants, he decided to try out skin-care recipes. “Beeswax is a hot commodity. It’s in just about anything you buy,” Strahan said. After testing, throwing away and starting over many times — “a lot of beeswax going in the garbage,” Strahan recalled — he had the products that formed the backbone of City Bee Company. After getting burned out in previous careers, Strahan said he loves having a job that gets him outdoors and meeting other people. But his favorite part is tasting what his bees create. He and McKinney put honey, particularly chili-infused honey, on everything from meats to vanilla ice cream. “It is a staple at our table. I don’t care what

A lot of times when it’s early in the morning or they’re coming back in from foraging in the evenings, I will just sit out there and watch them. They’re just amazing.

meal we’re eating — breakfast, lunch or dinner,” Strahan said. “It’s like a condiment at our table. It’s good on everything.” Surprisingly, Strahan said his bees never have trouble finding pollen and nectar. From parks to landscaping, there’s plenty to go around within the roughly three-mile radius his bees travel. “So if you think about what’s three miles from downtown as the crow flies — gosh, first of all you’ve got Linn Park, Kelly Ingram Park, Railroad Park. You have all the great plantings along the streets downtown … You’ve also got Avondale Park; you’ve got the Birmingham Zoo; you have the Birmingham Botanical Gardens,” Strahan said. “You’ve got a lot of trees and shrubs and flowers within a three-mile period. So no, food’s not a problem.” Downtown living does affect the honey,

CHUCK STRAHAN

though. Unlike rural bees feeding on wildflowers, Strahan said his hives gather pollen and nectar more frequently from trees and shrubs. The result is a darker, thicker honey with a stronger flavor. Because his bees leave the hive and almost immediately fly upward, Strahan said most of his downtown neighbors wouldn’t know he had bees on his roof if he hadn’t told them. He knows a couple of other people in the city who also keep hives. “I would say it’s easier to keep bees in an urban area on a rooftop than it is on a five-acre plot of land,” Strahan said. “They’re already two stories up anyway, so by the time they fly up, fly out and start on their trip to where they’re going to collect nectar and pollen, they’re already away.” Later this month, Strahan will extract honey from the hives for the first and only time this

year. Some beekeepers prefer to make multiple harvests through summer and into early fall. Strahan said the single harvest helps him be sure he’s leaving enough honey behind for the bees to eat during the winter, so he doesn’t have to provide substitutes later. Anything the bees make after July is theirs to eat. The single harvest, along with his no-chemical-treatment policy, fit into Strahan’s desire to interfere with his hives as little as possible. “I don’t want to use anything that could possibly manipulate the bees to do something or make something that they wouldn’t do if it was a feral hive out somewhere,” Strahan said. “You don’t want to mess with the bees. This is their home; you want them to do what they do.” Seven years ago, Strahan “didn’t know anything about bees, except they stung me.” While he said there’s still a lot to learn, he said he loves beekeeping so much that even if City Bee closed down, he’d keep his thousands of tiny, flying roommates. “I certainly enjoy it. Bees are fascinating creatures — they really are. A lot of times when it’s early in the morning or they’re coming back in from foraging in the evenings, I will just sit out there and watch them. They’re just amazing,” Strahan said. Learn more at citybeecompany.com.


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change

A CATALYST FOR

West End Community Cafe serving more than food to patrons and staff

Karl Carlisle, above, greets customers every Wednesday at the West End Community Cafe. Right: McKinzie Harrison pauses to show off some food in the midst of the lunch rush at West End Community Cafe. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL

arl Carlisle holds a small counter in his hand as he greets diners at West End Community Cafe every Wednesday. Though it’s in the same building, the cafe is a wholly different concept from the soup kitchen his mother, Belle Carlisle, ran for more than 30 years. “I know that myself, that a lot of people who come here really don’t have enough money, that some might be homeless, but they’re able to come in and eat a good meal,” Karl Carlisle said. The West End Community Cafe is a paywhat-you-can cafe in the Urban Ministry building at 1229 Cotton Ave. SW. Every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., more than 100 customers come in for a healthy, homecooked meal and pay either through a donation or through work, such as bussing a table. “One of the things we found is the ability for people to do something for the meal that they eat — there’s dignity in that,” said Urban Ministry Executive Director Hill Carmichael. Urban Ministry started in 1978 and also provides an after-school children’s program, summer learning, home repair and homelessness prevention programs. In 2015, Carmichael said Belle Carlisle’s retirement prompted Urban Ministry to look at new uses for its soup kitchen. Though the kitchen fed more than 100 people per day five days a week, Carmichael said they saw the potential for community and small-scale economic development. He wanted something West End could be proud of.

“We really envisioned a place that wasn’t just the soup kitchen mentality. Soup kitchens are wonderful, and if you fed one person, you made an impact in a life. But what soup kitchens have not done, in my opinion, is move people from poverty to opportunity, and we wanted to be a catalyst for that kind of change,” Carmichael said. After months of renovations, the community cafe opened first to 30 people chosen as West End’s neighborhood ambassadors, who were asked to give their perspective on everything from the menu to the service to the décor. “They really helped shape this place,” he said. Carmichael said the goal was for West End to take ownership of its cafe. “People want their communities to be all they can be,” he said. The community cafe opened to the public in March. It serves more than one purpose — as Carmichael puts it, there are four purposes: “employment, education, enterprise and eatin.’” “We like to say that when you can’t even get to the G [in eating], you know the food is really good,” he said. Ingredients from Urban Ministry’s community garden often find their way onto the menu. Carmichael said the rest of the food comes from donations and wholesalers, and every meal is designed to be nutritious. Chefs Ama Shambulia and McKinzie Harrison develop the menu each week, with one day’s menu including chicken quesadillas, beans, corn, salad and peaches. West End Community Cafe has become a community gathering spot. Carmichael said

each Wednesday, diners range from West End neighbors to professionals on lunch break to families and more. They also have hosted several events there. “You get a good mix of community within West End, people out of West End, and I don’t think anyone feels out of place,” Harrison said. “It’s a beautiful space, and I think this will engage other people in creating a better West End.” Karl Carlisle said he knows a handful of regular diners who were homeless when they first came to the cafe and now have jobs, but continue to return on Wednesdays. “That’s a blessing right there,” Karl Carlisle said. All four of the cafe’s purposes come together in its internship program. The cafe has three local interns who are on a two-year program to learn about life skills and everything that makes a restaurant run. They are involved in every aspect of the cafe and studying on the days when they’re not working. “The only reason we have a cafe, the only reason we have a garden, the reason we have an urban kids program and a housing repair program is so that we can hire interns — young adults in the neighborhood [age] 18 to 30 — and they go through a 24-month workforce [program],” Carmichael said. Harrison, who serves as the chef instructor, said the interns had no cooking experience when they arrived but have picked up those skills quickly. As a former college-level culinary instructor who moved to Ensley two years ago, Harrison said she enjoys seeing her meals make a difference in the lives of interns and the people she feeds. “We’re seeing so much growth, they’re

excited,” Harrison said. “It’s learning to be successful whether they work in a restaurant job or if they work at Wal-Mart, they have those personal skills to succeed.” One of those interns is Chakela Bone, 22, who lives in Wylam. Despite her lack of cooking experience when she began, Bone said the “wonderful” experience at the cafe has encouraged her to start her own restaurant in Birmingham someday. “I learned how to cut; I learned how to cook healthy food, how to make healthy food, what’s the difference between healthy food and fast food,” Bone said. Encouraging job skills and entrepreneurship in these interns, Carmichael said, is critical to the cafe’s goal of economic change in West End. “My biggest hope is that they don’t go on to do incredible stuff by leaving West End, but that they went on to change their own lives and thereby changing West End by staying in it and making it better, making it the community they want it to be,” Carmichael said. Urban Ministry staff members want to create another social enterprise project like the community cafe in the future. The cafe also will begin offering lunch on Thursdays after Labor Day. A $5 donation is requested to offset the cost of the food, and higher donations will go toward paying the cafe interns or providing a meal for someone who cannot pay. For more information, visit urban-ministry. org/our-ministries/community-kitchen.


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BRINGING

birmingham BACK TO focus

Blank Space Mural Project just one of several groups reclaiming public spaces in the form of street art

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By SARAH COOK lues legend B.B. King, soulbased band (and Birmingham natives) St. Paul and the Broken Bones and a few ballerinas are meeting up on Third Avenue North downtown. Their convergence will come in the form of a several-stories-high mural painted across the Whitmire Building in the heart of Birmingham’s historic theater district. The mural is no coincidence. It’s meant to act as a statement — a loud, colorful proclamation symbolizing Birmingham coming back into focus. Blank Space Mural Project, a local grassroots movement whose mission is to reclaim public spaces with street art, is the artistic force behind the larger-than-life painting. This is the second mural spearheaded by the Mural Project. The first installment is only a stone’s throw away on 19th Street North between Third and Fourth avenues. It depicts — in a pop art style reminiscent of Andy Warhol — Birmingham’s calling card: the Vulcan statue. Meghan McCollum, project manager for the Blank Space Mural Project, said largescale street art has greater power than just visual stimulation. It tells a story. “This art is representative of the redevelopment of Birmingham,” said McCollum, who hails from Atlanta but found inspiration in the Magic City while writing her undergrad thesis on Sloss Furnaces and its role in transforming the local landscape. “Street art formed as a way for people to reclaim a space

Clockwise, from top: Meghan McCollum stands in front of the Vulcan mural, which has received fame in its own right as an artistic destination downtown. Kyle Kruse and Stephanie Guckenberger — the visionaries behind the Blank Space Mural Project — are leaving their mark on downtown through reclaimed mural space. The Vulcan mural, and the soon to be Whitmire Building mural, located in the heart of the city’s historic theater district, pay tribute to Birmingham’s artistic past while also acknowledging its vibrant present. Photos by Sarah Cook.

and mark their territory — saying I belong here. These are my streets.” The Blank Space Mural Project only recently began beautifying Birmingham by bringing life to formerly vacant building sides. Kyle Kruse, who owns both properties where the completed Vulcan mural and soonto-be mural exist, spearheaded the project alongside Stephanie Guckenberger. McCollum said Kruse had the vision for the project long before paint hit the walls. “It was just kind of serendipitous how it all came about, and the three of us decided to make it happen,” she said. “It was really slow at first, but then we started putting dates on the project and putting numbers on it, and it started happening.” One of the Mural Project’s goals is to serve as a cultural bridge in Birmingham — closing the gap between the past and the present, and catalyzing a vibrant, colorful future for Birmingham and beyond.

With downtown recently experiencing its own renaissance, McCollum acknowledged the growing gentrification trend. Through making art accessible to anyone, she said she hopes to create a more inclusive environment. “Street art doesn’t exclude anyone. It’s made to reach people who normally wouldn’t go into a gallery or an art shop,” she said. “It’s made to engage a larger audience — and that, to me, is the most exciting part about this project.” The mural on Third Avenue North will boast several layers of symbolism. Its colors, which will be similar to its neighboring mural, are inspired by the basic broadcast test signal — a seven-point gray scale ranging from white to black, green and aqua, all the way to true blue and magenta. Musician silhouettes will be the forefront of the color scheme, signifying — like a radio coming into focus — Birmingham becoming clear again.

“It’s like a broadcast on TV where you turn it on and at first it’s kind of fuzzy, but then the color comes out,” McCollum said. “That’s what we’re trying to symbolize with these projects.” After witnessing the success of the Vulcan mural (the painting has already received Instagram fame with the hashtag #vulcanmuralproject), McCollum said the possibilities for this next mural are endless. “The amount of street art in the world is insane,” she said. “You’ll see these iconic pieces of art in New York and London — and it just speaks to the area. It kind of becomes advertising for the city.” The benefits of street art, McCollum continued, are enormous. “If you can create a space where someone is going to say, ‘What do you think this artwork means?’ Who knows what possibilities can come out of that,” she said. By starting a conversation about what it means to live in Birmingham — or what it means to simply walk the city’s downtown — Blank Space Mural Project aims to be a positive spark in a city that already has a creative fire burning beneath it. “We want people from Ensley to come and enjoy this. We want people from Avondale and Woodlawn to feel welcome in this piece,” McCollum said. “It may seem rather ambitious for a big painting in a parking lot, but I think it’s important to inspire people to be better and do better. That’s really what it’s all about.” For more information on the Blank Space Mural Project, search hashtags #bethemagicbham and #blankspacemuralproject on Instagram.


Thursday July 7 - Tuesday July 12 - Thursday July 14 - Tuesday July 19 Thursday July 21 - Tuesday July 26 - Thursday July 28 - Saturday July 30


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P A W

By SYDNEY CROMWELL

Josh Morris leaps off a stair railing during his parkour class at Phase Gym. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

hen your workout includes balancing on railings, somersaulting across ramps and vaulting over stairs, one thing you’ll never be is bored. I recently participated in one of the twice-weekly parkour classes at Phase Gym at 615 28th St. S. Well, to be more accurate, I tried. In reality, I barely got through the warm-up — a combination of jumping, crawling, balancing and more — before I gave up my free-running aspirations and settled for taking photos instead. Parkour, or free-running, involves getting from one point to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. Most frequently, it requires climbing, crawling, jumping or balancing to navigate obstacles that the average person would walk around instead. Josh Morris, who has taught the parkour class at Phase Gym for about a year, said he likes parkour because it’s all about “natural movement” of the human body. He first became interested in parkour about four years ago and felt that it changed his life so much that he wanted to share the sport with others. In addition to his Tuesday and Thursday classes, Morris sometimes leads weekend workouts or parkour meetups at Railroad Park. Some parkour enthusiasts take it further and incorporate flips, handstands and other acrobatics that may not be as efficient, but certainly do look cool. “You watch free-running videos, [and] it’s hard not to be a little inspired,” Morris said while setting up for the class I attended. But at Phase Gym, parkour is still supposed to be a workout. Morris keeps the class to only a handful of people, and they intersperse running, pull-ups and other more traditional workouts in between the parkour challenges. “I’m all about what’s practical,” he said. “We’re just moving like a human animal is meant to move.” When we practiced our balance by walking backward and forward on elevated boards, Morris doled out “punishment push-ups” to anyone who lost their balance. There was also a Mario-themed jumping exercise that, even if it left me gasping for air, was entertaining because of that iconic theme song. For the parkour portions of the workout, Morris and his class made use of Phase’s Lakeview surroundings. Trees on the sidewalk and stairs at a neighboring warehouse were equally fair game. As I watched, I could tell that even the beginner students looked at their surroundings in a whole different way than I did. What drove that realization home was a moment after the class, when Morris, student Andy Smith and I were headed back toward the gym. Smith pointed out a building that he thought Morris could climb. I laughed, thinking it was a joke. Morris sized up the wall and said he could do it. The students had different reasons for joining the class. Jill Friery started three years ago after repeated injuries in her crossfit workout class. She said parkour helped her in “learning my body better,” improving her posture, movement and workout form. Plus, she said she simply


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enjoys it more than a regular exercise routine. “It’s definitely fun. It’s hard work,” Friery said. Smith agreed that parkour “breaks up the monotony” of a workout, and he continues parkour outside of his classes. He no longer walks around a puddle when he can jump over it instead. “It awakens in you the urge you might have had as a kid to climb a tree or jump over a river,” Smith said. Morris said his oldest student is in his 70s and works on simpler, but no less practical, movements. Even though parkour is mostly about the fun, Morris said there’s always the chance that what he teaches could have a real-world use. “If you’re in a burning building and

Know about something in Birmingham you consider bizarre, eclectic or utterly original? Let us know! Email information to sydney@starnespublishing.com.

there are obstacles in the way, are you able to make it out alive?” he said. Though I didn’t climb trees or jump over stairs myself in the class, I had a small taste of how parkour can change the way you see things. As I was walking back to my car after the class, I met a curve in the sidewalk. Rather than following it, I left the sidewalk, jumping off a ramp and vaulting a low brick wall instead. When I returned to the paved path, I was just a tiny bit satisfied with the chance to take those obstacles in stride.

Parkour students navigate a tree as part of their workout.

Jill Friery climbs over a railing as part of her parkour class at Phase Gym.


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CENTRAL CITY

City shows its techy side with inaugural festival By ERICA TECHO Birmingham has been recognized for its restaurants, breweries and growth over the past few years, but one thing it has not been recognized for is its tech industry. TechBirmingham is working to change that. This July, TechBirmingham is hosting Sloss Tech, a daylong technology festival, in partnership with Telegraph Creative to help kickstart a branding campaign for the Birmingham tech world. TechBirmingham President Jennifer Skjellum and member services manager Greg Wingo said the goal of a branding campaign is to help people realize Birmingham’s growth has led to more than a city with cool places to eat and drink. “Birmingham has not just the lifestyle, but also opportunities for a career,” Skjellum said. The city also offers multiple opportunities for a tech-based career, Skjellum said, meaning someone could come to the city and have options. “We’re not so much dealing with a negative perception [of Birmingham],” Wingo said. “We’re dealing with no perception.” Sloss Tech will take place at the Lyric Theatre on Friday, July 15, the day before the Sloss Music & Arts Festival begins. The two festivals are working in partnership, Wingo said, to help show off a blend of what Birmingham has to offer. “It has that South by Southwest feel to it,” Wingo said. Sloss Tech includes three guest speakers and seven events around the city. The speaker

HIGHLAND PARK

From far left: Andy Grignon, Robert Scoble and Gary Vaynerchuk. Courtesy photos.

Sloss Tech • • • •

WHEN: July 15, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. WHERE: The Lyric Theatre COST: $150 WEB: sloss.tech

lineup includes VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur Robert Scoble and Siberia Managing Director Andy Grignon. Vaynerchuk is well-known for his work in social media, including investments in Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other companies, as well as the #AskGaryVee show, where he

answers questions about topics from social media to family businesses. “I think Gary Vaynerchuk is a draw to anyone who loves blogging or social media,” Skjellum said, noting that he will bring in a focus on storytelling and media that can appeal to individuals outside of the tech world. Overall, Wingo said the speaker lineup Sloss Tech has secured is big for an inaugural event. “Robert [Scoble] is a foremost expert in virtual reality, Andy [Grignon] designed the first iPhone,” Wingo said. The day also includes speakers from local tech companies and a chance to see downtown and grab lunch. One reason they selected the Lyric is because of its location and proximity to local places to eat and local

sights to see, Skjellum said. She added that they believe the weekend of Sloss Tech and Sloss Fest offers a good recruiting weekend, where companies can show off the city to target employees. After the event wraps up, Skjellum said they hope to have all of Sloss Tech’s costs covered and to use revenue to fuel the branding campaign for tech in Birmingham. Seeing as partners were not secured and official planning did not start until early this year, Skjellum said the festival has seen sponsorship support that has it off to a good start. “Oftentimes the best plans line up at the last minute,” she said. For more information about Sloss Tech or to purchase a ticket, visit sloss.tech.

One Birmingham PAC preps for ’17 vote

By SYDNEY CROMWELL Between now and the municipal elections in August 2017, Eric Martin Scott and Richard Burton are visiting as many of Birmingham’s neighborhood association meetings as they can. Scott, a Highland Park resident, and Burton, a Second Avenue North resident, are the creators of One Birmingham, a political action committee focused on the 2017 mayoral, city council and board of education elections. The PAC, which became active in April, was formed after Burton’s experience as president of his own neighborhood association. He said his role included taking residents’ requests and complaints, from crime to potholes, to Birmingham’s city government. “The more you sort of see and the more you’re exposed to, the more you realize the system is in great need of change and improvement,” Burton said. Since April, Burton and Scott have been traveling to neighborhood meetings to seek

out what the community wants from their municipal representatives. While they won’t be able to attend meetings for all 99 neighborhoods, Scott said they plan to make sure all the geographic regions are covered. The feedback they get from these meetings will be the foundation of what One Birmingham advocates for in this election cycle. “People in Birmingham want the same things people everywhere want. They want their kids to be able to go to the playground, play in a safe space. They want to be able to drive on smooth roads, walk on smooth sidewalks. They want their kids to go to good schools, not failing schools, and they want their government to work for them, not against them,” Burton said. Part of One Birmingham’s job is community education, from voter registration and participation to creating an online calendar where every neighborhood meeting in Birmingham is listed. “For the most part, that simple thing right

Photo courtesy of Eric Martin Scott.

there did not exist within the city of Birmingham until we just created it,” Burton said. He said they hope to drive up voter participation, typically low in local elections. He noted that electing a city council member or board of education member has more impact on a resident’s day-to-day life than a vote in a national election.

“Ultimately, this is all going to hinge on how many people get out of their house and show up and vote,” Burton said. As with all PACs, though, One Birmingham will review and endorse candidates in the city elections whose platforms are aligned with the group’s interests. One Birmingham will provide advertisement opportunities and voter data to candidates it endorses. Scott noted One Birmingham is not involved with any particular political party. Burton said that while the board of education has improved since its last election, he believes the city council is “broken beyond repair” and is in need of a “clean sweep across the board.” “We’re looking to support candidates who we feel will bring about change,” Burton said. One Birmingham will be hosting events to talk more about the PAC’s purpose, and Burton and Scott will continue their neighborhood meeting visits. For more information, go to onebham.com.


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Free Little Library now at Willow Wood Park By ALYX CHANDLER Take a book, leave a book. That’s the motto for the Woodlawn Girl Scouts’ new community book exchange at Willow Wood Park along Georgia Avenue. Located in the high traffic area by the community center, the freestanding library offers books with reading levels from preschool to fourth grade. At the May 15 ribbon-cutting ceremony, Girl Scout Troop 30658 donated the Little Free Library — stocked with about 20 donated books, with more ready to replenish the stock — to Troop 30919, the newer group of Woodlawn Girl Scouts. “They are a new, small troop, and they were excited. It was a great show of sisterhood,” said Membership and Community Development Manager Nakesha Scott. Troop 30658 leaders Cindy Crook, Kristina Theall and Stacy Cierohn, all with Girl Scout daughters, assisted the girls with the process of donating the library. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was created with the goal to bring the two communities together. The 15 girls used the money raised from selling Girl Scout cookies to fund the structure

Apartment complex breaks ground By ALI RENCKENS

Photo courtesy of Cindy Crook.

purchased from the Little Free Library, a nonprofit company that promotes literacy. For children who might not have access to books or even new books, the Free Little Library gives them a chance to read while they’re at the playground. “Since they’re in second grade, this is the big year for them for reading. I think they really learned a passion for being able to read and comprehend books more,” Crook said. Although they’re still trying to get the message to the children on the playground to leave a book when they take one, any and every child is encouraged to scout out some new reading material.

When Metropolitan Apartments in Lakeview opens, it will be the completion of a project John Gilbert has been looking forward to for more than 30 years. “I’ve always been intrigued about doing something in Birmingham since my wife is from Mountain Brook,” said Gilbert, president and chief operating officer for Bomasada, the Houston-based real estate company developing the project. “We’ve found this great site in Lakeview, and we’re very excited. It’s just an unbelievable part of town … We’re really happy to be a part of the community.” Work is being done on the parking garage, which will contain more than 400 spots. The foundation is being poured, and utilities have been completed for the $40 million housing community. The 262 units will consist of one- to three-bedroom units. The average size of each apartment will be 890 square feet, and each will have amenities such as stainless-steel appliances and high-end fixtures. Rent will be in the $1,000 to $3,000 range.

Artist’s rendering courtesy of Bomasada.

Residents of the four-story buildings will be able to enjoy luxuries such as shuffleboard, billiards, a fitness center, yoga room, resortstyle pool, a dog park, fire pits and grills. “The Lakeview area has been really more about the restaurants and bars,” Gilbert said. “This would be really the first high-end, residential component to this part of town.” He predicts the complex will attract young professionals and millennials, as well as empty-nesters who are looking to downsize but are not ready to move to a retirement community. The first units are expected to open in the summer of 2017, and the entire project should be completed in the fall of 2017.

CRESTWOOD

Sister Neighborhoods program breaking down barriers By SYDNEY CROMWELL Residents of Crestwood North and Oak Ridge Park have taken the first step in building a closer relationship between their neighborhoods as part of a new Birmingham program. Global Shapers, started by the World Economic Forum, is a group of people around the world working on projects to improve their individual communities. In Birmingham, the Global Shapers members have come up with the Sister Neighborhoods program as a way to connect neighborhoods that may be close geographically but distant socially. This was the case for Crestwood North and Oak Ridge Park, said Crestwood North Neighborhood Association President Darrell O’Quinn. A 15-year resident of the neighborhood, O’Quinn said he already was friends with his counterpart in Oak Ridge Park, Myeisha Hutchinson, but their communities were not connected. “Her neighborhood … historically, was segregated for black people, and ours has historically been a white neighborhood,” O’Quinn said. And while segregation laws are no longer in effect, many Birmingham neighborhoods still have a similar racial makeup. “This was a very

Photo courtesy of Darrell O’Quinn.

small step toward breaking down some of those historical barriers,” he said. O’Quinn heard about the program through a friend in Global Shapers, and residents from both communities were open to being part of the Sister Neighborhoods program

and getting to know their neighbors better. These are the first two communities to try the program. “A lot of people want to talk about it and want to make people who don’t look like us feel welcome in our community,” O’Quinn

said. “I hope that all of the history doesn’t overshadow what’s possible now.” The program started with a group of Crestwood and Oak Ridge Park residents touring the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in June. Global Shapers planned the event, and neighbors also used the day as a chance to discuss future Sister Neighborhoods events. Those events, O’Quinn said, could include community meals, porch parties or simply spending time together as individuals. He wants to see Crestwood North and Oak Ridge Park “come together, talk and just do what neighbors do.” He said a big goal he has discussed with Hutchinson is a sidewalk on one of the streets connecting the two neighborhoods and making it easier for them to spend time together. “That would at least establish a greater physical connection and encourage people to venture in each direction,” O’Quinn said. The Sister Neighborhoods program is starting with a small number of residents, but O’Quinn said he expects the program to grow and have an impact throughout both neighborhoods. “I think that if you can get a half dozen people from each neighborhood talking with each other, that’s a good start,” O’Quinn said.


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AVONDALE/ FOREST PARK

7th annual Park in the Park Antique Car Show rides into town By ALYX CHANDLER After former teacher Bob McCary drove his ’42 Packard sedan to the Children’s of Alabama hospital a few years ago to cheer up some of the sick children, he said he’s happy his street car collection is still making an impact in the Avondale community. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 16, about 200 antique, collectible and new cars will be displayed along Avondale Park and the lakefront for the seventh annual Park in the Park Antique Car Show. “It is a family-friendly event where a lot of people come in close vicinity to very fun cars — while also supporting a good cause,” said Marco Morosini, one of the event coordinators and supporters. The free event is organized by Forest Park South Avondale, a local merchant group, in cooperation with the city of Birmingham. There will be food and a DJ, as well as a large shade tent by the lake with chairs provided for the lunch crowd. “The community just loves it now,” McCary

Classic cars are coming to Avondale Park this month during the seventh annual Park in the Park Antique Car Show. Photo courtesy of Jeff Whitcomb.

said. “I was a Birmingham teacher for 30 years. I wanted to do something else for a good cause for the kids.” When McCary asked a hospital worker all those years ago what he could do to help the children, she put him in touch with the main event organizer Richard Steward, who began to work with McCary to make an event that now

SOUTHSIDE

FIVE POINTS

Event facility on 6th Ave. S. opens By GRACE THORNTON At first, Troy Wallwork was just looking for a bigger office for his tech company, DataPerk, which had outgrown its space. But what he got was a building with a bonus — a facility that could house his office on one side and still leave a massive space for hosting a variety of local events. That’s how Southside’s Haven event venue got started. Only six months old, Haven, at the corner of Sixth Avenue South and 25th Street South, is a refurbished warehouse with exposed brick walls, concrete floors, metal rafters and big beams. “It offers a big, wide, open space, a blank canvas for anyone who wants to add an urban touch to their event,” said Jackie Rowell, event coordinator for Haven. The 20,000-square-foot venue will have an open house July 14, 5 to 9 p.m., for anyone wanting to check out the space. Haven, which started booking events in January, already has a variety of events from weddings to expos planned, Rowell said. It also has played host to rehearsal dinners, organizational meetings and nonprofit fundraisers, she said. Tours are possible and can be booked through Rowell, and a preferred list of vendors is available for anyone interested in

attracts more than 3,000 people. The profits collected from the car show are divided up for several causes, all focusing on making children’s lives better. One company, Magic Moments, is a statewide organization that fulfills non-medical wishes for chronically ill Alabama children. Another company, Nightlights, helps local

children who are abused, neglected or at risk. Some of the money also goes to local elementary schools for funding suppers for children and their parents, more library books and new computers. The first antique car show started with the intention to combine a good cause with a way of attracting outsiders to the Avondale area. Since then, Stewart said that he’s seen a huge spike in foot traffic for the community. In recent years, Avondale also has featured an annual Christmas craft bazaar, Orchestras in the Park and the Movies at Avondale Park series. “It’s really, really turned around like we wanted it to,” Stewart said. Instead of only giving out five trophies this year, the Park in the Park Antique Car Show will be giving each of its car-holder participants a chance to take an envelope “leaf” off its $5,000 money tree, with each envelope containing up to $100. Stewart said the money tree is a better way to thank participants for showcasing their cars for a good cause other than a few trophies.

Owner of The J. Clyde developing 5 Pts. Brewing German-style brewpub By GRACE THORNTON

Photo courtesy of Troy Wallwork.

holding an event at Haven. The venue also is able to provide tables, chairs, AV equipment and a stage. For more information about the event venue, go to eventsathaven.com or find it on Facebook by searching “Events at Haven” or call 536-7233.

The old house behind The J. Clyde in Five Points South is on its way to becoming the German-style brewpub Jerry Hartley has been dreaming of for years. “It was built in 1901, and it’s remarkably well preserved,” said Hartley, owner of The J. Clyde tavern in Southside. “I think it’s going to make a great brewpub.” Hartley said he started dreaming about it when living in Germany more than a decade ago while doing environmental work as a chemical engineer. “I visited a lot of brewpubs while I was there, and I knew that’s what I wanted to eventually be able to do in Birmingham,” he said. But then he started The J. Clyde, and it became his baby for the past 10 years. It wasn’t until this house opened up that his brewpub dreams began to look like more of a reality. 5 Pts. Brewing will specialize in brewing special beer for its customers, Hartley said. “One thing I want to do is never brew the same beer twice,” he said. “It has to be great beer, but it might not be the same pale ale every time. We want it to be constantly changing but always be really, really great so that

Photo courtesy of Jerry Hartley.

we keep people excited and interested.” It’s still about a year away from being a reality, but when it’s finished, it “will be a really cool thing for Birmingham to have,” he said.


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THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN

SLOSS MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

Thunder on the Mountain 2016 will once again illuminate the skies above Birmingham’s treasured iron man, Vulcan. This year’s show will last approximately 20 minutes and will feature a variety of sparkling fireworks that will brighten the sky with vibrant colors and patterns. The show, as always, will be choreographed to a musical soundtrack that will feature a mix of patriotic favorites and popular musical performances. Please note: Vulcan Park and Museum will close at 6 p.m. No spectators will be allowed inside the park or at the entrance to Vulcan Trail. Free to the public, rain or shine. For more information, call 933-1409.

Sloss Fest features three stages of music — the Steam Stage, Blast Stage and Shed Stage — and emphasizes indie and alternative rock, Americana and folk, hip-hop and electronica. The event includes food trucks and food booths, craft beer, custom prints and other artworks. Sloss Fest 2016 will present Ryan Adams, Death Cab For Cutie, Ray Lamontagne + Friends (band members of My Morning Jacket), Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, the Flaming Lips and much more. Tickets on sale through Ticketmaster and slossfest.com.

July 4, 9 p.m., Five Points South

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July 16-17, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

PUP CRAWL

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MUST SEE

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

ART ON THE ROCKS

July 16, 1-5 p.m., Good People Brewing Company

July 22, 7 p.m., Birmingham Museum of Art

Join the Greater Birmingham Humane Society for its third Pup Crawl of the summer! We will be imbibing in some of our favorite locally hand-crafted beers (or if you have more than two legs, a bowl of water). Furry friends and their humans can take part in the dog photo booth, activities and contests all while raising a beer to the GBHS. The T.A.R.A. van will also be on hand with adoptable dogs, gift shop items and exclusive Pup Crawl merchandise. A $10 donation earns entry into the event, as well as one entry for a chance to win a pair of Adele tickets! Admission: $10 donation. For more information, call 942-1211.

Art on the Rocks, presented by Dale’s Seasoning, is back for an exciting 12th season! The Birmingham Museum of Art’s highly anticipated summer series brings all the best of Birmingham’s vibrant cultural scene together in one dynamic place. Featuring artists, makers, musical guests and downtown Birmingham businesses, Art on the Rocks presents a Friday night of art, music, performances, food and fun. Tickets $25 for non-members, $15 for members. Call 254-2565.

OFFICIAL BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL July 5: Birminghham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. July 11: Birmingham City Council Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. July 11: Birmingham City Council Governmental Affairs Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

July 12: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. July 12: Birmingham City Council Public Improvements and Beautification Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A. July 18: Birmingham City Council Planning and Zoning Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A. July 18: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers.

July 18: 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. July 19: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. July 22: Birmingham City Council

Administration/Technology Committee. 1 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. July 26: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. July 26: Birmingham City Council Education Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. July 26: Birmingham City Council Utilities Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.


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NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETINGS July 5: Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Avondale Library, 509 40th St. S. Visit forestparksouthavondale.com for more information. July 11: Woodlawn Neighborhood Association meeting. 5709 1st Ave N. Call President Brenda Pettaway at 593-4487 for more information. July 12: 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. July 14: Roebuck Springs Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. South Roebuck Baptist/Community Church. Call President Frank Hamby at 222-2319 for more information. July 19: 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. July 25: Crestwood South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. 1220 50th St. S.

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call 253-1051. June 28: Alabama Women in Business Business/Networking Luncheon. 11:30 a.m. The Club of Birmingham, 1 Robert S. Smith Drive. Guest speaker Javacia Harris Bowser will discuss “The Benefits of Blogging to Build Your Brand & Business.” Javacia is founder and president of See Jane Write, an award-winning membership organization and website for women who write and blog. She will focus on the three C’s of blogging — clarity, content and community. AWIB members: Free. Guests $30. For more information and reservations, call 541-7709 or visit alwib.org. June 30: The Saturnian Spectacle. 8-9 p.m. Christenberry Planetarium at Samford University. Join us as we explore Saturn, its many moons, and the Cassini spacecraft that arrived at Saturn in 2004! Admission is free and seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Telescope viewing will be available on a first come, first served basis after the presentation if weather permits. For more information, call 726-4139. July 1-31: Alabama Farmers Market. Open 24 hours but most vendors are open daily from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. 344 Finley Ave. W. Owned and managed by the Jefferson County Truck Growers Association, Alabama Farmers Market is both a wholesale and a farmers market. The Market houses more than 500 farmers and vendors on its 49 acres of land, 33 of which consist of only produce, making it the largest market in the state. Admission is free. For more information, call 251-8737.

July 25: Crestwood North Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Girls Inc. of Alabama.

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Saturdays, July 1-31: East Lake Market. 8 a.m. to noon. East Lake MUST Farmers Market, 7769 2nd Ave. East Lake Market offers fresh SEE S.produce from local farmers and homemade jams, relishes and bread every Saturday from 8:00 am - noon. Check back each week to discover new entertainment, health and wellness activities and volunteer opportunities. Rain or shine … see you at the market! For more information, call 836-3201.

ICI

July 1-31: Nominations open for The Vulcans Community Awards 2016. Vulcan Park and Museum. Open to the public. This program recognizes citizens who exemplify civic pride, leadership and progress just as Vulcan has symbolized for 112 years. Five outstanding citizens will receive “The Vulcan” award for community commitment, initiatives or heroism that have or will have a significant impact on the quality of life in the region. Only one award will be given for Lifetime Achievement and special recognition will also be given in the other four categories. Submit your nominees for the Lifetime Achievement, Hero, Servant Leadership, Newcomer and Game Changer awards. Recipients will be recognized at the Nov. 3 dinner at The Club. For more information, call 933-1409, ext. 111. July 3: Christianity in America Celebration; 6-7:15 p.m. Briarwood Presbyterian Church. 2200 Briarwood Way. Make plans now to attend this uplifting celebration of God’s hand in America’s history, with music lead by our Chancel Choir and Festival Orchestra and the annual honoring of both our active duty service members as well as our veterans.This year our keynote speaker will be the honorable Tim Scott, U.S. Senator from South Carolina. Senator Scott is an outspoken Christian whose life story is a fitting example of the American Dream. Free admission and parking. For more information, call 776-5200.

July 1-31: Dino Discovery: They're Back! The Birmingham Zoo, daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. This limited-time exhibit July 25: Huffman Neighborhood Association meeting. features 12 life-sized, North America-native animatronic dinosaurs at heights of nearly 20 feet, weighing 7 p.m. Cornerstone School, 959 Huffman Road. almost 7 tons and measuring 85 feet in length. Take July 25: Five Points South Neighborhood Association an expedition down a trail filled with creatures that meeting. 6-7:15 p.m. Southside Library, 1814 11th Ave. roamed the earth 160 million years ago. Zoo members $4 plus tax; non-members $6 plus tax. For more infor- July 5: Hit a Home Run with the Negro Southern S. Visit fivepointsbham.com for more information. mation, call 205-397-0409 or go to birminghamzoo. League Museum, presented by the Birmingham Public com/event/dino-discovery-theyre-back. Library. 10 a.m. Smithfield Branch Library, 1 8th Ave. W. The Negro Southern League Museum and the July 1-31: Jennys to Jets - Birmingham’s Military Birmingham Public Library are excited to share the Aviation History. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Southern Musenewest museum to be added to the Birmingham comIf you would like to have your neighum of Flight. Exhibition features art and artifacts that munity. Toby Richards, curator for the NSLM, will be borhood association meeting mentioned in create a visual narrative paying tribute to 100 years sharing artifacts from the rare and priceless collection next month’s calendar, email the meeting of worldwide aviation service by the men and women of Dr. Layton Revel, beyond the walls of the museum info to kwilliams@starnespublishing.com. of the Alabama (Air) National Guard. Tickets $7 for into the community for a hands-on experience for adults, $6 for seniors and students; active military youth, teens, and adults to enjoy. Join us for a look into and family and children younger than 3 free. For more Birmingham’s past with America’s game: baseball! information, call 833-8226. Free. For more information, call 324-8428.

Did we miss something?

COMMUNITY

Through June 30: Salvador’s Deli Grant for Teachers at Birmingham Museum of Art. Salvador’s Deli is gearing up to make grants for supplementary art supply kits to teachers in need! We’ve been working all year raising funds to provide brand new, quality, custom art supply kits for your bare shelves, refreshing your classrooms, so the kids can create, explore and empower themselves through art making. Due to demand, we are asking teachers who wish to apply to fill out a short, competitive grant application, select his or her desired art kit and submit the required information by 10 p.m. June 30. For more information, call 870-0480 or email forstallart@earthlink.net. June 28: Movies at Avondale Park. 7:15-10:15 p.m. Avondale Park, 4101 Fifth Ave. S. Local artists Zach and Cheyloe perform, followed by viewing of “Despicable Me.” Admission is free. For more information,

Mondays, July 1-31: Young Professionals Kiwanis Social Hour. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Carrigan’s Public House. By hosting some of Alabama’s preeminent business and civic leaders as speakers, this meeting gives Kiwanis members and guests a chance to dig deeper into community issues and, oftentimes, lead to new service project ideas for the club. Additionally, this is a time for Kiwanis members to network and vote on the business of the club. Hors d’oeuvres are provided by the club, and Carrigan’s typically has drink specials as well. Look for the Kiwanis sign to find us. Admission free. For more information, call 578-8467. Saturdays, July 1-31: The Market at Pepper Place. 7 a.m. to noon. Rain or shine. The Market at Pepper Place brings the best Alabama growers, food producers and artisans to Birmingham. Bring your leashed four-legged friends and enjoy live entertainment.

July 7-28: Throwback Thursday Kids Club at the Alabama Theatre. Kids accompanied by adults can enjoy classic films at the famed Showplace of the South downtown. The doors open at 9 a.m. with face painting, prizes and other pre-show fun. Films begin at 10 a.m. Kids are admitted free – with full-price adult admission – when wearing their Throwback Thursday Kids Club stickers. Adults $5; kids 12 and under $3; kids two and under admitted free. Tickets are not being sold in advance for this event. The box office opens at 9 a.m. July 7: Aladdin; July 14: The Land Before Time; July 21: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; July 28: Pocahontas. For more information, call 252-2262 or go to alabamatheatre.com. July 9: Tragic City Rollers home derby. Doors open at 6 p.m. Whistle blows at 7 p.m. Zamora Shrine Temple, 3521 Ratliff Road. Beat the heat and come watch your Birmingham women’s roller derby league, the

DISCOVER

Tragic City Rollers, as we return to action against the Chattanooga Roller Girls. Get your tickets at brownpapertickets.com/event/2508670. $10 online, $15 at the door. Kids 8 and under always get in free. Want to help local children and save $2 when you buy tickets at the door? Our 2016 Sally Slaughter Charity is the Food Bank of Central Alabama’s Weekenders Backpack Program. Help us collect nonperishable, easy-to-open food. All donations will be given to local, in need students to take home Fridays after school. Any donations brought to Saturday’s bout would be very much appreciated and you will receive $2 off your ticket bought at the door. Join us after the bout at Black Market Bar & Grill, Five Points. We’d love to meet our fans and talk roller derby. Maybe you want to become involved!

July 9: Shop Class. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. MAKEbhm. 4000 3rd Ave. S. A MUST prerequisite for having full access our wood shop. Joe will give an SEE tooverview of each tool, then guide the attendees in using the tools themselves. He’ll also focus on the culture of the shop, and the importance of proper etiquette in the work environment. No one will go home empty handed, as students will be put their new skills to use, designing and creating something awesome. Cancellation policy: Please let us know if you can’t attend — we require 48 hours written notice to receive a refund. Admission: $85. For more information, call 790-7849.

ICI

July 9: Mushrooms, Mycorrhizae, Magic and Madness: An Introduction to Mycology, presented by the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The instructor is Juan Luis Mata, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of South Alabama. This class will focus on the macrofungi, which include any type of fungal reproductive structure that is evident to the naked eye. Recognition of the major groups of macrofungi will be taught with special attention to those forming beneficial symbiotic relationships with plants. After an introductory lecture, participants will collect specimens in The Gardens for detailed examination. 12:30-4:30 p.m. BBG members $40, non-members $45. For more information, call 4143950 or go to bbgardens.org. July 9: Paws, Pints and Performances Music and Art Festival. Noon. Avondale Brewing Company. Come join the Avondale team and the U.S. Animal Law Center at the brewery for this first annual event. For more information, call 203-4546. July 9-10: Alabama Gun Collectors Association Summer Show at the BJCC Exhibition Halls. The goal of the Alabama Gun Collector's Association, which has over 1,600 members, is to come together to display and trade guns, weapons, accessories and memorabilia from our nation’s proud history. A.G.C.A. members collect a wide range of weapons from our past and present and display and trade them at the shows. The open on Saturday and Sunday, both to members and — for a small door fee — to the general public. Saturday,


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DISCOVER 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 334-272-1193 or go to algca.org. July 11: BAO BINGO. 7-9 p.m. BOA, 205 32nd St. S. Birmingham AIDS Outreach hosts a monthly BINGO game on the first Monday of every month. Doors open at 6:00 pm and the game is from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm. You must be 19 to enter. Each month there are six games and each game includes a cash prize of $100 or more. In addition to the six games, door prizes are given away throughout the evening. The charge is $15 to play five games, $1 to play the final bonus game, and $1 for an ink dauber. Cash, check, and credit/debit cards are accepted. Each month a guest emcee hosts the BINGO game. The average number of guests is about 170 with as many as 300. Each BAO BINGO night Silvertron Cafe stays open extra late for our BINGO patrons and offers fantastic pasta specials! Silvertron Cafe is located in Forest Park at 3813 Clairmont Avenue South next to Naked Art Gallery. For more information, call 322-4197, ext. 107. July 11: Get in the Game with Virtual Reality. Presented by the Birmingham Public Library at the Southside Branch, this interactive presentation and discussion regarding virtual reality is perfect for teens who love to play video games and would like to design them. UAB’s ET (Enabling Technologies Laboratory) will provide Oculus Rift headsets to test out. 10:30 a.m. Free admission. For more information, call 933-7776 or go to bplonline.org. June 12: Movies at Avondale Park. 7:15-10:15 p.m. Avondale Park, 4101 Fifth Ave. S. Local artist Ryan Sobb performs, followed by viewing of “The Incredibles” at Crestwood Park. Admission is free. For more information, call 253-1051. July 13: Alabama Theatre Tour. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. Join us for a tour of the historic Alabama Theatre, the Showplace of the South. The tour begins in the ticket lobby and leads you all the way up to the balcony, concluding in the auditorium with a demonstration of Big Bertha, the Alabama’s prized Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. The Alabama Theatre does not have an elevator and stairs are involved in this tour. The tour lasts approximately one hour and costs $10/guest. Private tours for large groups or private individuals can be booked at $200 per tour up to 20 people and then $10 per person for each additional person. Doors will open 15 minutes before the tour begins. The door will be locked five minutes after the beginning of the tour and late guests will not be accommodated. For more information, call 252-2262.

July 15: Sloss Tech. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Lyric Theatre. Sloss Tech is teaming up with Sloss Fest to offer MUST an inspiring weekend that provides SEE a venue for thought-provoking presentations and workshops covering the latest in creative thinking and emerging

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technologies. Sloss Tech’s mission is to become a hub for our technological community to network, share ideas and push their boundaries of innovation. Sloss Tech is inspired and managed by TechBirmingham, a 501 (c)(6) nonprofit organization. All profits from Sloss Tech will go to helping continue our mission of strengthening and promoting the technology ecosystem in the Birmingham region. One-day regular pass $150. For more information, visit sloss.tech. July 17: The 2016 Gospel Explosion. 5 p.m. The Hope Center, 1901 Ave. E. The 2016 Gospel Explosion will feature talent from all over Birmingham and surrounding areas. There will also be vendors in the building so you can shop around as well. We would love for you and all your family and friends to come out and have fun with us as we praise the Lord! Tickets $10; kids 12 and younger free. For more information, call 632-9651.

“CAPTURE THE FLAVOR” of some cool smooth jazz! For more information, call 820-9310. July 26: Movies at Avondale Park. 7:15-10:15 p.m. Crestwood Park. Local artist Kyle Kimbrell Music performs, followed by viewing of “Princess Bride.” Admission is free. For more information, call 253-1051. July 30: Italian American Heritage Society hosts Summer Dance Party. Doors open at 7 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m. Old Car Heaven, 115 S. 35th St. Dance with live band, Total Assets, and enjoy light hors d’oeuvres. 501c(3) nonprofit organization. Tickets $40. For more information, visit iahsbham.com.

MUSIC June 27: Rusty Shipp/December’s Fallen. 10 p.m. The Nick Rocks. 2514 10th Ave. S. General admission $5. For more information, call 252-3831 or visit thenickrocks.com. June 28: Atala/Mos Generator/Year of the Cobra/ Capsized. 10 p.m. The Nick Rocks. 2514 10th Ave. S. General admission $8. For more information, call 252-3831 or visit thenickrocks.com.

July 19: Movies at Avondale Park. 7:15-10:15 p.m. Avondale Park, 4101 Fifth Ave. S. Local artist Zach Doss performs at Crestwood Park, followed by viewing of “Indiana Jones - Raiders of the Lost Ark” at Avondale Park. Admission is free. For more information, call 253-1051. July 22-24: Tiny House Roadshow. BJCC Exhibition Halls. This event will feature national exhibitors showing the latest in tiny home construction, technology and features, as well as completed models. Tickets will be available at the door. Adults ages 13-65, $12.50; over 65 and military, $11.25: children ages 7-12, $5; children 6 and under are admitted free. Friday, noon-7 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, go to tinyhouseroadshow.com. July 23: Alabama Music Awards. Carver Theatre, 1631 Fourth Ave. N. Red carpet begins at 3 p.m. Pre-show at 5 p.m. Awards show at 6 p.m. After party (location TBA AT 10 p.m. The Alabama Music Awards is celebration that showcases Alabama’s musical talent. The audience will get to enjoy live performances, red carpet interviews, honoree presentations and more! Guests will be present from records labels, management companies, A&R, the media and more! Tickets bought in advance will be $15 per ticket plus tax and $25 per person plus tax on the day of the event. Tickets purchased on the day of the event will be available at the box office at the Carver Theatre. For more information, call 202-0898, 503-6840 or visit alabamamusicawardsshow.com. July 23: Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fourth Avenue Historic District., Fourth Avenue North and 18th Street. This festival is a dynamic event featuring local, regional and nationally renowned jazz artists. This free community event providing first class entertainment, a diverse selection of food vendors and children’s village for all to enjoy. We promise you a great time in the Magic City as you

June 30: Elijah Butler Band/Chris Posey Band/The Dozens. 10 p.m. 2514 10th Ave. S. General admission $6. For more information, call 252-3831 or visit thenickrocks.com. June 30: Hayes Carl/Emily Grimble. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Saturn Birmingham. 200 41st St. S. Admission $18-$30. For more information, call 703-9545 or visit saturnbirmingham.com. Mondays, July 1-31: Buck Mulligan’s Karaoke Craic Night. 8-11 p.m. Buck Mulligans. DJ Boom Kitty will be spinning your favorite tunes and making you sound like a pro. Extensive music catalog. Admission free. For more information, call 933-3999. July 1: Dr. Bacon. 10 p.m. The Nick Rocks. 2514 10th Ave. S. General admission $6. For more information, call 252-3831 or visit thenickrocks.com. July 1: Latin Dance Night. 9 p.m. Iron City, 513 22nd St. S. Come join us for Iron City’s Latin Dance Party. Salsa and Bachata lessons with Michael Newman begin at 9:30 p.m. DJ Paco will be mixing your favorite Latin beats beginning at 10:30 p.m. General admission $10 for ages 18 and older. Tables available for $30. For more information, visit ironcitybham.com. July 2: Robert Ellis/Tom Brosseau. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. Saturn Birmingham. 200 41st St. S. Admission $12-$15. For more information, call 703-9545 or visit saturnbirmingham.com. July 2: Vampire Bleach Bomb. 10 p.m. The Nick Rocks, 2514 10th Ave. S. General admission $6. For more information, call 252-3831 or visit thenickrocks.com.

visit saturnbirmingham.com. July 6: Gutherie Brown and the Family Tree/Future Thieves. 10 p.m. The Nick Rocks. 2514 10th Ave. S. General admission $8. For more information, call 252-3831 or visit thenickrocks.com. July 7-8: Umphrey’s McGee plus The Werks. Avondale Brewing Company. Tickets $30-$35. For more information, call 777-5456. July 8-9: Robert Earl Keen, presented by Huka Entertainment. 7 p.m. Avondale Brewing Company. 201 41st St. S. For more information, call 684-5557. July 8: Sean McConnell with The Roosevelts. 8 p.m. WorkPlay Theater, 500 23rd St. S. General admission $10. For more information, call 684-5557 or visit workplay.com. July 9: Bare Necessities featuring SQUNTO, MOGLEE and TRIPXUDIO. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. Zydeco. 2001 15th Ave. S. General admission $12. Get tickets at ticketweb.com. July 14: The Writer’s Share presents: Sara Beck, Mark Irwin, Lauren Lucas and Park Chisolm. 8 p.m. WorkPlay Theater, 500 23rd St. S. General admission $10. For more information, call 684-5557 or visit workplay. com. July 16: A Muscle Shoals Revue featuring Amy Black. 8 p.m. WorkPlay Theater, 500 23rd St. S. Admission $15. For more information, call 684-5557 or visit workplay.com. July 17: Parachute, presented by Huka Entertainment. 7 p.m. WorkPlay Theater, 500 23rd St. S. Admission $20-$25. For more information, call 684-5557 or visit workplay.com. July 19: Uncle Lucius. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Saturn Birmingham, 200 41st St. S. Admission $10-$12. For more information, call 7039545 or visit saturnbirmingham.com July 20: Never Shout Never with Hundred Handed and Me Like Bees. 7 p.m. WorkPlay Theater, 500 23rd St. S. Tickets start at $20. For more information, call 684-5557 or visit workplay.com. July 20: Digable Planets. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Saturn Birmingham, 200 41st St. S. Admission $20-$25. For more information, call 7039545 or visit saturnbirmingham.com July 22: Matthew Mayfield and Noah Guthrie. 8 p.m. WorkPlay Theater, 500 23rd St. S. Admission $15. For more information, call 684-5557 or visit workplay. com. July 22: Luke Combs. Doors open at 9 p.m., show starts at 9:30 p.m. Zydeco. 2001 15th Ave. S. Tickets $12. Get tickets at ticketweb.com.

July 3: Humut Tabal. 10 p.m. The Nick Rocks 2514 10th Ave. S. General admission $5. For more information, call 252-3831 or visit thenickrocks.com.

July 26: Michael Franti & Spearhead, presented by Huka Entertainment. 7 p.m. Avondale Brewing Company. 201 41st St. S. Get tickets at http://huka. com/event/1195321-michael-franti-spearheads-birmingham.

July 6: Black Lips. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. Saturn Birmingham, 200 41st St. S. Admission $16-$20. For more information, call 703-9545 or

July 30: BoomBox. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Iron City, 513 22nd St. S. Tickets $18-$20. For more information, visit ironcitybham.com.


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SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

ARTS Through July 15: Make It Happen Theatre Company's Summer Performing Arts Academy. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. 520 16th St. N. Make It Happen Theatre Company has the exciting opportunity to collaborate with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute for an innovative, educational, performing arts program that teaches civil rights history during a Summer Drama Day Camp. This program explores the importance of expression for today’s youth and the different ways one can communicate physically, verbally, musically and overall, artistically, to present important, historical stories through the performing arts. The program will culminate in a live performance, giving each student a voice to boost their confidence, which will inspire a lifetime of purpose-driven accomplishments. Students will perform the original play, "A. G. Gaston: The Man, the Mogul and His Mission", written by Alicia Johnson-Williams, under the direction of LaShanna R. Tripp, with choreography by Byron Bradley. $50 registration fee. For more information, call 530-3404. Through Aug. 7: Lobby projects: Bethany Collins. The Birmingham Museum of Art. Lobby projects is a new initiative by the BMA that invites contemporary artists to create site-specific commissions in the museum’s main entrance. A Montgomery native, Collins is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores how race and language interact. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 254-2565. Through Aug. 20: The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts present three art exhibits: MUST (AEIVA) “Yaacov Agam: Metamorphic,” an SEE exhibition featuring over 30 small works by the world-renowned optical and kinetic art pioneer; “María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Picturing/Performing the Self,” in which the artist explores her multi-layered cultural heritage in large-format Polaroid photography, video and mixed-media; and “American Sublime: Selections from the Jack and Susan Warner Collection of American Art,” featuring 17 works from the Tuscaloosa couple’s collection. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Free. For information, call 205-975-6436 or go to uab.edu/cas/aeiva.

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July 1-23: Local Color by Charles Buchanan. 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Naked Art Gallery. Admission is free. For more information, call 595-3553. July 1-3: “Damn Yankees.” Showtimes either 2:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. Virginia Samford Theatre. Middle-aged baseball fanatic Joe Boyd trades his soul to the Devil, also known as Mr. Applegate, for a chance to lead his favorite team, the Washington Senators, to victory in the pennant race against the New York Yankees. Mr. Applegate grants his wish, turning him into a 22 year old sports superstar who must go back to his wife before 9 pm on the final game day if he doesn’t want Mr. Applegate to get his soul. Based on the novel “The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant” by Douglass Wallop, DAMN YANKEES was a Broadway mega-hit and winner of 7 TONY Awards including Best Musical! A light, fastpaced, and devilishly clever romantic comedy, sure to please. Tickets $33-$38. For more information, call 251-1206.

July 1-3: “Wicked.” Showtimes vary. BJCC. Back by popular demand. Variety calls WICKED “a cultural phenomenon,” and it continues to break box office records and sell out in record time. Winner of over 100 international awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony Awards®, Wicked is Broadway’s biggest blockbuster. Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One – born with emerald green skin – is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for the most complete – and completely satisfying – musical in a long time. Tickets on sale through Ticketmaster. For more information, call 800-745-3000. July 7: Art & Conversation: Framing Early Photography and Its Discourse. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Birmingham Museum of Art. Photography has sparked controversy since its beginnings in 1839. Debates about the nature of the medium – its aesthetic potential and its documentary capability – shaped and defined 19th-century practitioners and their images. Highlighting works from our own collection, art historian Anna Dietz presents us with a brief history of these issues in early photography. Tickets $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers.

July 8-31: “The Little Mermaid.” Showtimes vary. Red Mountain Theatre Company. n a magical kingdom beneath the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Rated G. Tickets starting at $30. For more information, call 324-2424. July 8-31: Summer Film Series at the Alabama Theatre. There will be sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer MUST aperformance each film Fri., SEE July 8, 7 p.m.: before Grease (official singalong); Sun., July 10, 2 p.m.: Vertigo; Fri., July 15, 7 p.m.: The Goonies; Sun., July 17, 2 p.m.: The Wizard of Oz; Fri., July 22, 7 p.m.: All About Eve; Sun., July 24, 2 p.m.: Mildred Pierce; Fri., July 29, 7 p.m.: Mommie Dearest; Sun., July 31, 2 p.m.: Guys and Dolls. Tickets are $8. For more information, call 800-745-3000 or go to alabamatheatre.com.

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July 15-17: “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” Showtimes vary. Red Mountain Theatre Company. Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale of a boy, his insect friends, and their amazing journey across the ocean on a giant peach of fruit. Rated G. Tickets starting at $10. For more information, call 324-2424.

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July 21-Aug. 6: “Debbie Does Dallas (the musical).” 8-10 p.m. Theatre Downtown. A modern morality tale told as a comic musical of tragic proportions in the language of the rodeo-porno-football circus. The show is the coming-of-age story of an all-American small-town sweetheart named Debbie Benton. Doors open 1 hour before curtain, house opens for seating 30 minutes before curtain. General admission: $25 for adults; $20 for students. Further discounts and priority seating available with Season Ticket Flex Pass purchase. Opening Night features a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception after the show. Second Thursdays are Hobo Night when you only pay what you can afford with a modest minimum. First Fridays are Facebook Fridays: like our Facebook page and get a password that gets you in for $10. For more information, call 565-8838. July 28-Aug. 7: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” Showtimes vary. Virginia Samford Theatre. This classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. Featuring music from the Academy Award-winning animated feature by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. Tickets $25 for reserved seating; $15 for students 18 and younger. For more information, visit virginiasamfordtheatre.org or call 251-1206. July 29-31: “Legally Blonde Jr.” Showtimes vary. Red Mountain Theatre Company. A fabulously fun international award-winning musical based on the adored movie, Legally Blonde Jr., follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery, and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Adapted for younger performers and based on the popular movie, this show features an upbeat original score that’s sure to leave cast members and audiences alike seeing pink! Rated G. Tickets starting at $10. For more information, call 324-2424.

SPORTS July 2-3: WERA Regionals. Barber Motorsports Park will be the site of The WERA Sportsman Series, presented by Marietta Motorsports. WERA is one of the oldest, largest national sanctioning bodies conducting motorcycle races at road courses across the United States and offers rider schools and entry-level motorcycle racing for anyone with a motorcycle. Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. For information, call 967-4745 ext. 153 or go to barbermotorsports. com/moto-america.php. July 4: BTC Peavine Falls Run. Oak Mountain State Park. Welcome to the 35th annual Peavine Falls Run. Serving as the 3rd race in the BTC Race series, this iconic event is a Fourth of July tradition in central Alabama. The race starts and ends in front of the Dogwood Picnic Pavilion on Terrace Drive in Oak Mountain State Park. This race is a part of the 2016 BTC Race Series, a member benefit that is only available to current members of the Birmingham Track Club. For more information, visit runsignup. com/peavine-falls.

DISCOVER

July 15-17: World Deer Expo. The BJCC Exhibition Hall will be the site of this 33rd annual consumer hunting show, billed as the largest in the country and a must-see for anyone who likes hunting, fishing or other outdoor pursuits. The Expo features outdoor celebrities, competitions, hunting products and apparel, seminars by professional hunters, giveaways, door prizes and kids’ activities. Friday, 3-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Buy advance tickets and save $3. Adults, ages 12 and up, $10; children, ages 4-11, $5; children ages 3 and under are admitted free. July 30-31: NASA Mid-South Hotter Than Hell. The National Auto Sport Association presents this event at Barber Motorsports Park. NASA has created programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a safe and controlled environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs. Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For details, call 205-967-4745 ext. 153 or go to nasamidsouth.com/ event/hotter-than-hell-at-barber.

July 30: The Trak Shak Retro Run 5K. 7 p.m. Downtown Homewood. This is a chip timed event. Awards will be given to the top three in each age group, top three overall male and female, and top master male and female. Each participant will receive a shirt, packet and meal ticket and are automatically entered for the Retro Run Costume contest. Registration ends July 27 and costs $35. For more information, visit runsignup.com/Race/AL/Homewood/2014TrakShakRetroRun5K.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS (HOME GAMES AT REGIONS FIELD) July 1: vs. Biloxi, 7:05 p.m. July 2: vs. Biloxi, 6:30 p.m. July 3: vs. Biloxi, 6:30 p.m. July 9: vs. Jacksonville, 6:30 p.m. July 10: vs. Jacksonville, 3 p.m. July 11: vs. Jacksonville, 7:05 p.m. July 12: vs. Jacksonville, 7:05 p.m. July 13: vs. Jacksonville, 7:05 p.m. July 20: vs. Montgomery, 7:05 p.m. July 21: vs. Montgomery, 7:05 p.m. July 22: vs. Montgomery, 7:05 p.m. July 23: vs. Montgomery, 6:30 p.m. July 24: vs. Montgomery, 3 p.m. July 31: vs. Tennessee, 6 p.m.


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Iron City Ink July 2016  
Iron City Ink July 2016