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AUGUST 2016

VOLUME 1

ISSUE 3

IRON CITY

INK magic FINDING HIS

POWERS

Sloss Furnaces’ artist in residence Ajene Williams polishes raw talent as metal arts sculptor with support of community. 26

INSIDE

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

FACES

Eyes on East Lake

Mascot man of the ’ham

Merchants see a bright future for commercial district; boosters say the area could be the next Avondale. 6

Sports teams in this town may come and go, but Paul Scheuermann has always been ready to represent them. 20


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same crowds. If I look familiar, it’s not necessarily because I sold your parent’s home. Our children were on the same field trip to the Zoo. They’ve laughed together for years. 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

FACES

SIGHTS

AUGUST 2016

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

16 DISCOVER THE SECRET: Secret Stages’ lineup of up-and-coming acts guarantees a ‘unique experience.’

BUSINESS

HAPPENINGS

HOLISTIC HEALING: UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine offers patients an escape from medical stress.

ALL EYES ON EAST LAKE: Merchants see bright future for district; boosters say area could be next Avondale. 6

COMING SOON: Sidewalk Film Festival a mixtape for the city of Birmingham. 14

B’HAM BIZARRE

SIPS & BITES

REGGAE ROOTS: Annual Magic City Reggae Festival returns, bringing with it a taste of the Caribbean. 18

LIVING THEIR DREAM: Carrs bringing new vibes with downtown return of O’Carr’s restaurant. 10

FACES TAKING CLASSROOMS OUTDOORS: Fresh Air Family partners with Ruffner Mountain program. 21

24

ON A ROLL: For this class, sushi lovers leave intimidation 30

at the door.

NECK OF THE WOODS CENTRAL CITY: Birmingham Museum of Art joins the craze, becomes Pokemon hunting ground. 31 FIVE POINTS: Neighborhood to host statewide city revitalization conference. 32 EAST LAKE: Jazz history art exhibit opens at East Lake 34

Theatre.

DISCOVER

TRAIN FINDS ITS STATION: Ghost Train Brewing Company gets new home ready for business. 11 KINDRED SPIRITS: With gin joining vodka on shelves, Redmont Distilling now mulling what’s next. 12

IRON CITY

INK

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE: Randall Woodfin discusses the state of the city’s school system. 22

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

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

Community Reporters: Erica Techo Dan Starnes Sydney Cromwell Tara Massouleh Jesse Chambers Sam Chandler Interns: Alyx Chandler Kristin Williams Frank Couch Ali Renckens Page Designers: Cameron Tipton Heather VacLav Louisa Jeffries Shweta Gamble Sarah Cook

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ABOUT EDITOR’S NOTE

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here’s something about a really phenomenal photo that makes you stop in your tracks and want to know more. One of our freelancers, Patty Bradley, attended an event at Sloss Furnaces and captured a few shots of metal artist Ajene Williams. It wasn’t for an assignment, but Patty sent me the photos anyway to see if I was interested in writing a story on him. In the middle of the pictures was the one that stopped me — the young artist, with hands on his hips and helmet on his head, watching fire spit out of a small furnace in the midst of creating his next work of metal. The photo had all the right technical elements — lighting, framing, etc. — but it also captured Williams’ confidence and patience as he worked. Plus, a column of fire always makes a photo more eye-catching. I thought: “I need to know more about

this guy.” We sent Patty out to shoot some more photos. Then we sent a reporter to talk to Williams and write the story. When everything was completed, it only took a glance to know what our cover story should be this month. There’s plenty of good stories this month to catch your eye — from Sidewalk and Secret Stages to new restaurants and my own encounter with a sushi roll – but make sure you don’t miss the story of Ajene Williams.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS 20 Midtown (2) 24e Fitness (33) Addiction Recovery Program at UAB (5, 30) ARC Realty (40) Bedzzz Express (39) Birmingham City Council (27) Birmingham Family Dental (19) Brandino Brass (29) Children’s of Alabama (29) Counter Dimensions (aka Kitchen & Bath

Dimensions) (31) Dawson Music Academy (28) FastSigns (18) First Community Mortgage (25) Frame It (25) Garner Family & Cosmetic Dentistry (1) Highlands UMC (38) Hutchinson Automotive (31) Iron City Realty (25) Kirkwood By The River (8) Michelson Laser

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DISCOVER

EYES ON EAST LAKE

Merchants see bright future for commercial district; boosters say area could be next Avondale

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By JESSE CHAMBERS irmingham’s historic East Lake neighborhood — like many American inner-city areas — began to decay in the 1980s and 1990s as older residents died or moved away, and younger families fled to the suburbs. This decline, including crime, abandoned houses and a loss of local businesses, was reflected in the drab state of East Lake’s First Avenue North commercial strip. But the district — at least its traditional center in or near First Avenue’s 7600 block — is reviving, thanks to entrepreneurs who have started businesses, made cosmetic improvements and believe strongly that East Lake has an underserved population, overlooked opportunities and a bright future — just like Avondale and Woodlawn. There’s been a “major, positive change” in the district, said Ken Baldwin, owner of Urban Attic Fitness Center in the 7600 block. “It still has a ways to go, but compared to what it was five years ago, it’s 180 degrees,” added Vince Amaro, owner of Estate Liquidators and a key player in the nascent revitalization. Amaro opened his store about five years ago in a building his family had owned since the 1960s in the 7600 block. He later moved to a larger space a few doors away and now owns all but one storefront on the block’s south side. In 2014, Amaro and some partners gave the area a big boost when they bought an adult theater and adult bookstore on the north side of the block and got rid of those businesses. The adult-entertainment house — in the old College Theatre, formerly a neighborhood movie house — existed since the 1970s as a nagging symbol of decline. There is one other adult video store still open adjacent to Amaro’s properties on the north side. However, Amaro said he is hopeful that arrangements can be made soon for the store to relocate. Amaro has worked hard to upgrade his buildings along the south side. “They have plants, a whole new paint job,” Baldwin said. “It’s a major difference in the way people feel and look at East Lake.” The block has a public courtyard built on a small vacant lot in 2015 by merchants and volunteers coordinated by REV Birmingham. Amaro also has brought more businesses to the 7600 block. “At one time, almost all the buildings were vacant,” he said. The 2015 opening of East 59 Vintage & Café — a coffee house owned by East Lake residents Anna Brown and Amber Glenn Tolbert — “has been a catalyst for a lot of stuff

East Lake’s First Avenue North commercial district, in or near the 7600 block, is in the midst of a revival. The block includes a public courtyard built on a small vacant lot in 2015 by merchants and volunteers coordinated by REV Birmingham. Photos by Frank Couch.

that’s happened” on the block, said Robert Emerick of REV Birmingham. “They have brought in a whole new customer base … and that will hopefully attract other businesses that the area really needs and doesn’t have,” Amaro said. Those needs include “more eating places [and] more service-oriented businesses,” Amaro said. East Lake could use “more restaurants, a grocery store [and] entertainment options,” said Paige Jordan, director of development for the nonprofit East Lake Initiative. The businesses along the strip seem to be in good shape. “We have definitely seen business improving,” Brown said. Business at Massey Mercantile at 78th Street, which moved from downtown in 2005, “gets better and better every week,” co-owner Liz Whidden said. Perhaps more important, “perceptions of the area are improving,” Brown said. “When we first moved, it was bad, because people would call up and fuss, ‘Why would you move to a place like that?’” Whidden said. “Now nobody says anything.” Boosters fight an image that East Lake isn’t good for business, Emerick said. There’s a “perception among prospective business people when they are moving to Woodlawn, Ensley or East Lake that people don’t have money to spend, but they do,” he said. Main Street Alabama and Revive Birmingham are conducting an assessment of retail opportunities in the area, Emerick said, who

added there could be an opportunity for some “destination retail.” Amaro would like to see the old College Theatre, now called the East Lake Theatre, become a performing arts center that would draw people to the area, though he is taking suggestions for “alternate uses,” he said. However, it will take time and money to renovate the building, Amaro said. “We found some structural problems that have to be addressed first,” he said. “It will take a lot of engineering, analysis and repairs to get it where it can be used for anything.” Brown said she “would love to see some sort of anchor” in the area, referring to a large store or other attraction — perhaps the performing arts center, a music venue or art gallery — that could attract visitors. Brown and Tolbert, along with family investors — funded in part with $15,000 the

group won in the REV Birmingham Big Pitch contest — also are renovating a building on Oporto-Madrid Boulevard near First Avenue for use as an events center. Baldwin said he is optimistic about the business district. “We’re growing (and) new businesses are coming to the area,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities, a lot of buildings … all along First Avenue,” Amaro said. “When that finally clicks, it’s going to explode.” East Lake will benefit from a trend in which people are moving east and transforming Crestwood and Woodlawn, Whidden said. “It will trickle down here,” she said. “We need that one thing,” Amaro said, referring to the area’s need for a high-profile attraction, like Avondale’s Good People Brewing Co. “But it’s going to happen, and this place will pop.”


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AEC wants your old materials at its new Avondale location

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By SAM CHANDLER ince Alabama’s oldest nonprofit recycling center moved to a new location in the spring, its operators have been able to keep more of Birmingham’s trash out of landfills. After spending more than 30 years downtown on Second Avenue North, the Alabama Environmental Council opened the doors to its freshly renovated, Avondale-based recycling center in April. AEC Executive Director Michael Churchman said the location change was motivated by multiple factors, including limitations on collected materials — namely glass — and the need for a more spacious facility. “We started looking for a bigger site, some more space, which would not only bring glass recycling back, but expand the amount of materials and different kinds of materials that we can bring in and collect, because one of the big drivers is collecting the materials,” Churchman said. Sitting on nearly an acre of land, the new recycling center accepts more than 25 types of

recyclable materials, including plastic bottles, electronics and appliances. Plus, the acquisition of a refurbished pulverizer has renewed its glass recycling ability. Although the recycling center used to accept glass at its previous location a number of years ago, Churchman said it became an unsustainable practice. Now, the recycling center is one of the state’s only facilities capable of processing the material. While the recycling center accepts the majority of its approved materials for free, it does charge a small fee on glass, batteries, computer monitors and TVs. Since these items hold negative value, the fee helps cover associated recycling costs, Churchman said. Alan Gurgantus, AEC recycling director, said the center processed nearly 2,000 tons of recyclable materials per year at its previous location. In Avondale, he said he expects the total annual quantity to hover around that same mark, though he said he would welcome an uptick. Gurgantus said an increase in the amount of recyclable materials collected by facilities like the AEC’s can help reduce environmental impact while also stimulating the economy.

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DISCOVER Alabama Environmental Council Executive Director Michael Churchman, left, and Alan Gurgantus, AEC’s recycling director, at the recycling center in Avondale. Photo by Sam Chandler.

With 30 manufacturers throughout Alabama relying on recycled materials to produce consumer goods, demand far outweighs available in-state supply. Manufacturers are therefore forced to import the recycled materials, he said. “We have the world’s largest plastics recycler down in Troy, KW Plastics,” Gurgantus said. “If they relied solely on what we as Alabamians recycle, they would only operate two days out of the year.” Citing a 2010 study, Gurgantus said that if Alabamians recycled 10 percent more than they do, the added influx would create 1,400 new

jobs, $66 million in personal income and $3 million in state tax revenue. “We have a huge potential in Alabama, not only for the environment, but also for our economy as well. Recycling is one of the instances where it proves that a strong, healthy environment can also support a strong, healthy economy,” he said. The AEC Community Recycling Center, 4330 First Ave. S., accepts drop-offs seven days a week. For hours of operation, volunteer opportunities, a list of accepted materials and more information about the AEC, go to AEConline.org or check its social media accounts.


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BUSINESS

Eagle Solar & Light’s first Birmingham project was at the Alabama Environmental Council Community Recycling Center’s new facility in Avondale. Photo by Sam Chandler.

Eagle Solar & Light turning city sun into clean energy

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By SAM CHANDLER

rior to last November, Samuel Yates said the Birmingham metro area did not have a company devoted to solar energy power systems. The Mountain Brook resident has since helped start two of them. In November, Yates said he co-founded Vulcan Solar Power as the first business of its kind in the area. But after a benevolent split with his founding partner in late March, he said he decided to launch his own. On April 1, Eagle Solar & Light came to life. Located at 4005 Second Ave. S. in Avondale, Eagle Solar & Light specializes in the design, installation and service of solar energy systems for both residential and commercial use, Yates said. Essentially, Yates and his team provide a start-to-finish turnkey service that can switch a building to at least partial reliance on solar power. This is typically accomplished by outfitting the roof with a grid of rectangular solar modules, which convert sunlight into a usable form of energy. “It’s a tremendous renewable resource, and renewable because the sun’s going to keep burning for however many gazillion years it’s going to burn,” Yates said. The benefits of installing a solar energy system include lower power bills and reduced environmental impact. In addition to solar energy systems, Yates said Eagle Solar & Light focuses on the commercial and municipal installation of

LED lighting. Short for light-emitting diode, LED lights use a fraction of the energy, produce a fraction of the heat and last 10 to 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs, Yates said. “It’s just a very natural fit with renewable energy and energy conservation,” he said. Although Yates initially researched the solar energy industry in 2011, he said it wasn’t until 2015 that he decided to go all in. Yates said his interest was piqued last August after his daughter had a solar energy system installed on her home. “I observed it and asked a lot of questions and then dusted off my due diligence from 2011 and went back into it again,” he said. “After about two months of hitting nothing but green lights on everything that I studied and researched and people I talked to, I said, ‘I’m doing this.’” Eagle Solar & Light recently completed its first local project: an installation at the Alabama Environmental Council Community Recycling Center on First Avenue South. Yates said his company’s next confirmed installation will be on the climbing tower at Red Mountain Park. Eagle Solar & Light will equip the structure with three solar modules on top of the tower and LED lighting inside and outside of the tower so that it can operate at night, he said. “They can generate revenue from patrons at night on the zip line. It’s a perfect application,” Yates said. For more information on Eagle Solar & Light, call 202-2208, visit eaglesolarandlight. com or find it on Facebook.


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DISCOVER

living their dream Carrs bringing new vibes with eatery’s downtown return

June and Cameron Carr, above, are opening a new location of their restaurant, O’Carr’s, on 18th Street and Third Avenue North this summer. They plan to have a restaurant on the first floor, two loft spaces on the second floor and will reside in a third-floor loft. Construction workers Fred Thompson and Bunky Townsend, below, eat treats from the Carrs, who stopped by to check on the restaurant’s progress. Photos by Frank Couch.

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By TARA MASSOULEH

fter 41 years as business partners and 44 years as life partners, Cameron and June Carr, both 64, said they were ready for a change. Selling their business, Homewood’s longtime lunch spot O’Carr’s, was out of the question. So they decided on the opposite: expand. The Carrs brought their business downtown in mid-July with their second location on 18th Street next to the Alabama Theatre and across from the newly restored Lyric Theatre. The new location serves as a replacement for the 9-year-old Cahaba Heights O’Carr’s that closed at the end of April. In addition to hosting O’Carr’s, the downtown property will include two loft spaces on the second floor and the Carrs’ new home on the third. The couple lives in Southside and said now that they’re empty nesters, it seemed like the perfect time to downsize. “When June and I host meals for our friends, we usually do it in the restaurant,” Cameron Carr said. “And now that we’re downtown, it’s just going to be spectacular because we only have to come downstairs.” 18th Street isn’t O’Carr’s first experience in downtown Birmingham. Back in 2010, when the Carrs were dabbling in franchising, Birmingham lawyer Lew Garrison opened an O’Carr’s in the Title Building at the corner of Third Avenue North and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard. That O’Carr’s closed after one year, and the Carrs have been itching to get back downtown ever since.

“When we first bought the buildings, we thought it’d be great to open an O’Carr’s there,” Cameron Carr said. “Then we had some ups and downs, and we kept saying, ‘We’re going to do the project; no, we’re going to sell the building,’ and we went back and forth. Finally we decided we needed to quit overthinking and just do the project.” Now that the Homewood institution has planted roots downtown, the Carrs said there will be some changes fitting for the new location. For one, the restaurant will be double the square footage of its “postage stampsized” counterpart in Homewood. In terms of design, the downtown O’Carr’s will undergo a modern makeover with exposed brick, polished concrete floors and high open-beamed ceilings. As for the menu, the Carrs plan to expand from their signature lunch options of soups,

salads and sandwiches to include more hot items. Eventually, the couple plans to serve both breakfast and dinner in addition to lunch. Even with all its new bells and whistles, the main purpose and philosophy behind O’Carr’s will remain the same. “The thing about being a business here in Homewood is that we’re a neighborhood restaurant,” Cameron Carr said. “For downtown, it’s my goal that we become a neighborhood restaurant there, too.” For the Carrs, meals are vehicles for conversation, and they’ve had plenty of those over the past 41 years in Homewood. They said some of their best friends started out as customers. Walking into Homewood’s O’Carr’s, it seems Cameron and June Carr are, in fact, everyone’s best friend. Their work is continuously punctuated with greetings to friends

and customers (to the Carrs, they’re one and the same) who have stopped in for lunch. In addition to the friendships they’ve built, Cameron and June Carr have grown their family alongside their business. They said they raised their daughter as well as their granddaughter in the restaurant. Of their three grandchildren, two work in the restaurant, and most recently their great granddaughter, Junica, has caught the restaurant bug. She often visits the Homewood location and helps out by greeting customers, handing out menus, and doing her favorite job: sweeping. “When she comes in, the first thing she does is get her hair net and apron on,” Cameron Carr said. “Then she goes and talks with all the ladies for a second, washes her hands and starts sweeping up with her little broom. Just last week I asked her if she could help sweep some leaves at our house and she said, ‘Papa, sweeping is my life.’” With his wife as his business partner and the rest of his family involved, Cameron Carr said he’s learned quickly when to take 6-year-old Junica’s advice and just zip it. “The trick is if we’re having a problem here, you have to get it solved pretty quick because we’re living together, and the same goes if we’re having a problem at home,” he said. “Everything little can’t be a hill to die on.” The Carrs said the completion of their new project downtown is like a family finally building their dream home. “If someone told us to draw a picture of our dream house, this [the Homewood O’Carr’s] would have been it, but luckily we have the opportunity for our dreams to change,” Cameron Carr said. “And now this [the downtown O’Carr’s] is the realization of that.”


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Paige and Taylor DeBoers said they plan to have Ghost Train Brewing open in the former Cahaba Brewing location on Third Avenue South by mid-August. Photos by Frank Couch.

ghost

THE TRAIN FINDS ITS STATION

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By TARA MASSOULEH

n 1996, Paige DeBoer spent what she now describes as the best $5 of her life. She bought her future husband, Taylor, a home-brewing kit from the Lee County Flea Market in Opelika. “I bought it, because it was $5,” she said. “The product that came from it was awful, but it led to so much more.” Now, 20 years later, Paige DeBoer’s $5 has led to a brand-new brewery in Birmingham’s flourishing beer scene. After debuting its beers at Magic City Brewfest last June, Ghost Train Brewing is preparing to open its own tasting room in the heart of downtown Birmingham on Third Avenue South. The couple leased the space in February after nine months of scouring the market, only to come up disappointed. When the former Cahaba Brewing building became available, the couple said they didn’t waste any time. “When we saw this, we signed the lease within one day of talking to the landlord,” Taylor DeBoer said. “Looking at it I was like, ‘This is exactly what we need.’ Basically we came; we saw; we signed the lease.” Of course, this wasn’t the first time Taylor and Paige DeBoer had been up close and personal with the building. The two were original partners in Cahaba Brewing and personally took part in digging the building’s

plumbing system and installing its countertops. In fact, the floor-to-ceiling wood covering one of the brewery’s accent walls came from a giant oak tree in the couple’s Homewood backyard. “It’s kind of a homecoming,” Paige DeBoer said. “We’ve even had people tell us, ‘Welcome home.’”

COMMUNITY BREWERY

In addition to the connection the DeBoers had with the building, they said the location is the perfect fit because it’s the right size for their immediate needs and is central to many parts of the city. The brewery lies along a major route for Birmingham bikers and runners, a community the couple said they are eager to host again. To accommodate, they plan to install bike racks and a considerable outdoor seating area that is open to the brewery through the building’s three oversized garage doors. “We want it to be a walk in, bike in, community brewery,” Taylor DeBoer said. Up until now, the DeBoers have been operating Ghost Train on a contract brewing system through Crooked Letter Brewing in South Mississippi. Taylor DeBoer develops and tests all his recipes at home, then he makes the drive twice a month to do all the brewing and kegging in their facilities. Over the years, Taylor DeBoer said he’s probably brewed hundreds of batches and

tested 30 to 50 different recipes. For Ghost Train Brewing, he has come up with a selection of four beers: Go-Devil Golden Ale, their flagship hoppy blonde; Terminal Station Brown Ale, a Northern English-style brown ale; Switchman’s Stash, an India pale lager; and Dark Ride, a Belgian strong ale brewed with Alabama wildflower honey. They are all sold in Jefferson County, Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. In Birmingham they can be found at Hop City, Five Points Oyster House, The J. Clyde, Slice, Little Donkey, Piggly Wiggly, Target, Whole Foods and other locations depending on supply. However, once the new brewery and tasting room opens, the DeBoers said they’re excited to start brewing small-batch beers in a pilot system that will allow them to do something different all the time. “That’s something I really like is experimenting,” Taylor DeBoer said. “I don’t want to get stuck to being like, ‘Here’s our four flavors.’”

BUILDING OVERHAUL

Outside of experimenting with new beers, the DeBoers are planning a lot of big changes for Ghost Train in its new home base. They will transform the left-hand side of the building, a space previously occupied by an architecture office, into additional guest seating and a private event space. They also plan to add a wall-length bar along the right

side of the building and begin canning and packaging in house as soon as possible. “We’re going to be totally unique,” Taylor DeBoer said. “That’s one thing I like about breweries in Birmingham is they’re all totally different.” Part of the signature style of Ghost Train will be its emphasis on Birmingham as a city in the past, present and future. The name Ghost Train is nostalgic as it comes from commemorating the Birmingham of days past, but also looks forward to its future. “It’s about relics of the past,” Paige DeBoer said. “The idea of ghosts is that they’re things from the past that are still with you, and trains have that melancholy whistle in the night that you hear and identify with bringing back old memories.” One of these relics, the iconic Birmingham Terminal Station torn down in 1969, was the major inspiration for the Ghost Train name and ideology, Taylor DeBoer said. The couple plan to cover an entire wall of the brewery with a picture of the so-called Temple of Travel that now graces their Terminal Station Brown Ale packaging. As Ghost Train moves closer to its opening date, Taylor DeBoer said they’re focusing on one thing and one thing only. “It’s about Birmingham,” he said. “We want to really focus on Birmingham and over-deliver to Birmingham before we think about going anywhere else.”


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REDMONT’S KINDRED SPIRITS With gin joining vodka on shelves, distillers now mull what’s next

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By TARA MASSOULEH

hough its vodka has only been around for a little more than a year, Redmont Distilling Company already is making a name for itself among the plethora of new breweries and bars in Birmingham. Alabama’s first legal distillery since Prohibition has been hard at work this summer. It released its second spirit, Alabama Cotton Gin, at Slicefest on June 11. It became the official spirit of this year’s Sloss Music & Arts Festival on July 16-17, and it has done the same for the Secret Stages Music Discovery Festival on Aug. 5-6. Its owners, Florence natives Jake Hendon and Stephen Watts, said they’re excited to see the business take off after the long months they spent awaiting federal approval. They developed the idea for a distillery in late 2013 after

Jake Hendon and Stephen Watts formed Redmont Distilling Company in 2014 and spent the next year getting their equipment and real estate settled before starting the federal application process. Left: A bottle of Alabama Cotton Gin. Photos by Frank Couch.

Watts moved back to Birmingham from California. “We started thinking ‘Why can’t we take this big movement in the craft beer

scene and transition that into a distillery?’” Hendon said. “The more research we did, we found that it’s a pretty big movement across the country, and we


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SIPS & BITES thought Alabama was prime for that, especially Birmingham.” Redmont, named for Birmingham’s Red Mountain, was formed in 2014. The two spent the next year getting their equipment and real estate settled before starting the federal application process. To prepare for production, Hendon and Watts said they spent time touring distilleries across the country and attending distilling classes. They easily decided that vodka would be their first venture because it’s the quickest and simplest to produce. It is also one of the highest selling spirits nationwide. Unlike most vodkas, Redmont vodka is made with corn rather than wheat. Hendon said this gives the alcohol a clean aftertaste and a creamy texture. As an added bonus, the alcohol is gluten free. From vodka, they progressed into producing gin because it is made by re-distilling vodka through a gin basket filled with botanicals. Redmont’s Alabama Cotton Gin is a traditional gin with heavy notes of juniper and citrus, the owners said. So far, Birmingham has welcomed Redmont with open arms. Its spirits are sold in a number of Birmingham bars, restaurants and private liquor stores. Its vodka and gin also can be found at ABC liquor stores across the state, as well as in restaurants and bars in Florence, Muscle Shoals and Baldwin County near Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. In Birmingham, Hendon said they’ve

Redmont Distilling Company in the Lakeview district is the realization of a longtime dream of Jake Hendon and Stephen Watts.

received considerable support from high-end restaurants whose chefs build their menus around local products. “These local chefs get it,” he said. “They understand and see value in pushing a local brand.” Hendon also said Redmont has been helped by the general push for local products in Alabama. When he and Watts first wrote out their business plan, they identified their potential customers as the same people who

frequent Birmingham breweries. “I think we coincide with the breweries wholeheartedly,” he said. “The same people who go to a grocery store and buy a Good People IPA instead of a Budweiser are the same people who are going to go to an ABC Store and pick up a local made spirit.” Hendon and Watts’ plan is to grow the Redmont brand in Alabama until it is a household name, then begin distributing outside the state.

They also hope to add more spirits to their repertoire. Hendon said whiskey is likely to be next, but he’s holding out for his favorite, bourbon, somewhere down the line. Expanding the brand also means giving Redmont Distilling Company a permanent home — one that’s even open to visitors. After two years in their location on Fifth Avenue South, close to Trim Tab Brewing, Hendon and Watts said they are in no hurry to move. “We love the Lakeview District and all the developments that are around here, so hopefully this is home base,” Hendon said. They plan to add a tasting room to their 1,800-square-foot space and use its equally sized yard as part of the experience for visitors. They will run the operation similar to the way breweries like Avondale and Good People sell their beer right where it’s made, but on a much smaller scale. “We’re going to go for a more intimate, laid back lounge atmosphere where people can come enjoy our cocktails,” Hendon said. Though it might be a year or so until they can focus on opening a shop to the public, between developing new spirits, co-sponsoring events and marketing their goods, the guys of Redmont Distilling Company have plenty on their plates. “We think we’re here at the right time — maybe a little bit early,” Hendon said. “But we love Birmingham and the growth of the city, so we’re here to stay.”


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presented by:

Coming AUG 26-28 Soon Sidewalk Film Festival: A mixtape for the city of Birmingham

T 2015 Sidewalk Film Fest opening night pre-party. Photo courtesy of Leigh Sloss-Corra.

By ABBOTT JONES Story courtesy artsBHAM

he Sidewalk Film Festival will take over Birmingham’s Theatre District on Aug. 26-28 with a program of films, new venues and content formats and street parties. Creative Director Rachel Morgan, who is celebrating her 10th year with Sidewalk, talked with artsBHAM as she finalizes the film lineup. Morgan said she and her programming team are working hard to plan something for everyone at Sidewalk, whether you are a film buff or not. “A lot of people want to watch films one after the other, and they look at it like a sporting event [thinking], ‘How many films can I fit in?’ Other people want to watch a film and then take a break,” Morgan said. “We also recognize that some of the films can be pretty intense. It can be hard to go from a melodrama or a really intense documentary [straight into] a romantic comedy or slapstick; it can be good to take a break.” Besides the films, Sidewalk also offers a festival atmosphere in the streets, with live bands, activities and food. In fact, Morgan said, Sidewalk will increase the number of food trucks, pop-up stops and activities throughout the Theatre District, “so when you are walking between venues it doesn’t feel like you are leaving the festival. It will all feel like Sidewalk.”


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What to watch for Though the final program and schedule of films are still in the works, Morgan said indie film trends will highlight this year’s lineup. “There’s a lot of stuff that’s more experimental than usual,” she said. “There’s a lot of stuff that’s really dark, really funny but really dark funny. I guess that makes sense when you think about how crazy the world is right now.” Morgan said there also are more hybrid documentary-narrative works. “There’s a lot of stuff about acting and the filmmaking process right now,” she said. “Is it a doc or is it a narrative? That’s been interesting to me, and would be interesting for filmmakers, but that’s not always what’s going to be interesting to the general public.” Films announced thus far include: ► “The Master Cleanse:” A dark comedy featuring Johnny Galecki playing a man who embarks on a spiritual journey while on a juice cleanse and releases more than just toxins. ► “Little Men:” A drama featuring Greg Kinnear that tells the story of 13-year-old Jake, whose family moves back to Brooklyn after his grandfather’s death. Gentrification, the easily made friendships of youth and grown-up conflicts are seen through Jake’s eyes. ► “Holy Hell:” A Will Allen documentary providing an inside look at a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the ’80s.

Virtual reality In addition to new venues, Sidewalk also is embracing new content formats that are emerging in the film industry. Morgan and her team of screeners regularly attend film festivals in other cities to see what new modes of storytelling are being created, and then they try to bring those to Birmingham. “The programming spectrum has grown and, I think, will continue to,” she said. Last year, for example, Sidewalk added categories for episodic content and music videos. There are no new categories this year, but Morgan said she is working to add some virtual reality opportunities to the festival. “We are just putting our toe in the VR world this year, but next year we may do an open call for entries for VR projects,” she said. “We want to give people in Birmingham an opportunity to experience what they would have experienced had they gone to South by Southwest or Tribeca.”

Opening of the 2014 Sidewalk Film Fest. Photo courtesy of Preuit Holland.

Sidewalk will screen films in two new venues this year: the Lyric Theatre and First United Methodist Church downtown. “We are doing a retrospective screening of ‘Stay Hungry’ at the Lyric Theatre, because Arnold Schwarzenegger runs down in front of the Lyric in the

film. It’s also the film’s 40th anniversary this year,” Morgan said. “We are screening our Life and Liberty series, which is documentary and narrative films about human and civil rights, at First Church.” Each new venue gives Sidewalk another touch point on the festival path

The SHOUT Film Festival, which runs concurrently with and alongside Sidewalk, focuses on LGBTQ films. Though it is a separate “festival within the festival,” Morgan said she and her team work hard to make sure the content featured during the SHOUT festival is just as exceptional as the work selected for Sidewalk. And actually, Morgan said, there is a lot of crossover between SHOUT and Sidewalk films and audiences. “Just because a film has LGBTQ content doesn’t mean that people who don’t fit into that spectrum don’t want to see it,” she said. “Take [last year’s] film ‘Do I Sound Gay?’ — I bet if you had polled the audience, easily half the people in the audience who were loving that film were straight.” Morgan anticipates the SHOUT program will speak to and spark conversation about current events. “The last two years have been incredibly important for LGBT equal rights,” she said. “So you see a lot of that reflected in the films. For example, a lot of the films [submitted for SHOUT] this year are focused on transgender rights and living as a transgender person. Because of the particular environment, that topic will probably feature more prominently in the SHOUT lineup.” Morgan said she does not expect to see films directly focused on the recent events in Orlando during this year’s festival. It’s too soon for that, she said. “When these kinds of things happen in the midst of programming, it certainly switches the programming mindset,” Morgan said. “This is an important thing to talk about now, so [we might look for] films that touch on something similar, [or feature] a retrospective.”

Fest within a fest

New venues and helps create a continuous festival footprint, she said. “Even if you don’t want to watch a film [at a particular venue], you can stop in and see the space,” Morgan said.

Insider tips Film buffs take note: Morgan said she reserves the Sunday 11 a.m. time slot for something special. “I pick something that I absolutely love; one of my top 10 favorites of the festival, but one that is probably not for everyone. Because I want to see it in the Alabama Theatre on the beautiful, huge screen and with all that atmosphere. It can be hard to fill a 2,200-seat theater for a film that’s really unique, interesting, innovative or special in some kind of way. But the morning after the big Saturday night party is the perfect opportunity to do that,” she said. She wouldn’t reveal which film will take that special slot this year, but she offered this teaser. “I think I know what that film is going to be this year, and it is pretty terrific,” Morgan said. One other recommendation of note: Spring for the VIP pass. A VIP pass gives access to everything: the parties, the films and the VIP and filmmaker lounge. Morgan said the VIP lounge will be “extra special this year.”

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


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The main stage at Secret Stages 2014. This year’s Secret Stages will feature more than 60 artists representing multiple musical genres. Photo courtesy of Tyler Woods/Secret Stages.

discover the SECRET

Secret Stages’ lineup of up-and-coming acts guarantees a ‘unique experience’

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By JESSE CHAMBERS

TICKET INFO Secret Stages weekend passes are $40. VIP passes are $90 and grant access to all venues, including The ARC Realty VIP Lounge featuring complimentary beer, wine, spirits, food and “secret” performances. Day passes are $25. Single-venue passes — available at venues an hour before shows — are $15. At press time, there were a limited number of discounted “Rumor Tier” tickets available, with weekend passes for $35 and VIP passes for $75. To purchase tickets, go to secretstages.net/ tickets. Tickets will be available on the days of the festival, Aug. 5-6, at the box office in the parking lot between Pale Eddie’s and Rogue Tavern on Second Avenue North.

he Secret Stages Music Discovery Festival, to be held at several downtown venues Aug. 5-6, will feature acts from around the South and the United States — including Tucson, Arizona; St. Louis, Missouri; and New York City — and from right here in Birmingham. But the artists have something important in common, regardless of their place of origin. They are all exciting, up-and-coming acts on the cusp of making it big, said Sam George, the festival’s creative director and a co-founder. “Nobody has a focus on discovering music in the way we do,” he said. “We have a focus on bringing the best up-and-coming buzz bands, which means we provide a level of quality you have to find for yourself at a festival like South by Southwest, where there’s so much happening.” Longtime Secret Stages programmer and co-founder Travis Morgan said he believes the festival offers a “unique music experience that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.” “Our soul is built around the idea of discovery,” George said.

Birmingham music lovers who share a taste for new artists and new sounds will have ample opportunity to indulge at Secret Stages, which will feature about 60 artists in every imaginable genre including alt-country, honky-tonk, jazz, R&B, punk, pop, electronica and psychedelic rock. Secret Stages will, as always, feature many talented musicians from the Magic City — artists who often don’t get enough credit locally, organizers said. And Secret Stages is a walking festival, meaning the acts perform in seven clubs — all on First and Second avenues


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Buzz building for Secret Stages gig by ‘phenomenal’ rock-pop group Sleepwalkers

Photo courtesy of Sergey Golub/Secret Stages.

The upcoming Secret Stages appearance by Sleepwalkers — a buzz-worthy rock-pop band from Richmond, Virginia, known for its wild, energetic live shows — should be a festival highlight. “They’re phenomenal performers,” said Secret Stages programmer Travis Morgan, who also booked the band last year at Parkside in Avondale. “They really bring it.” Sleepwalkers is led by brothers Michael and Austin York, who have been compared to another pair of siblings — Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks — in their ability to crank out pop songs in multiple genres.

Sleepwalkers’ 2014 debut album, “Greenwood Shade,” — featuring the group’s upbeat, infectious melodies — earned the band at least one high-profile fan, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams. “They should be the biggest band right now,” he said. Sleepwalkers, according to examiner. com, has “created a sound that takes ’70s pop a la (Paul) McCartney and brought it into the synth-laden modern era a la Tame Impala.” The band has also drawn comparisons to such artists as Vampire Weekend, Real Estate, Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles.

Secret Stages organizers said they hope the third time will be the charm in their attempt to present the band. Sleepwalkers was scheduled to play the 2015 festival but had to pull out. In April, they were set to play a Secret Stages showcase at Syndicate Lounge before a band member fell ill. “I think people are going to be impressed with how good of a band they are,” Morgan said. For more about Sleepwalkers, go to secretstages.net or find them at Facebook and Bandcamp. – JESSE CHAMBERS

Birmingham’s Will Stewart in ‘complete control’ with new EP “Birmingham just feels like home,” said up-and-coming singer, guitarist, songwriter and Magic City native Will Stewart. “There’s so much amazing music going on under the radar.” And Stewart, who will appear at Secret Stages in support of his new multi-genre “Faultline” EP, is once again part of a growing Birmingham music scene. He moved back from Nashville after the breakup of his group, Willie and the Giant, which was named a “New band of the week” in 2015 by theguardian.com. And Stewart said he has enjoyed going

north between 22nd and 24th streets — allowing fans easy access and a chance to see these buzz-worthy artists in small, intimate settings before they become headliners. “For that one weekend, the Loft District … becomes a music haven,” Morgan said. Not only can festival-goers check out up-and-coming bands, “they can experience new genres they wouldn’t necessarily go out to see,” George said. And they can feel confident the performers have been carefully chosen. “We have found the very best of those specific genres,” he said. “We want people to feel they have seen something good, and it’s worth it to come down,” said festival event director and co-founder Jon Poor. The festival will include a dozen hip-hop acts chosen by DJ and Lobotomix founder Rashid Qandil. And for the first time, hip-hop will be spread across all of the festival’s venues. It has been kept to a single stage at past festivals due to the genre’s production needs, George said. And carrying out the theme of truly “secret” stages, the festival — as always — will have some secret sets that will be announced on social media a short time before the performances occur. Secret Stages — established in 2011 after the demise of the City Stages music festival — will once again serve as a point

solo. “I feel confident in being in complete creative control,” he said. “It’s liberating.” The music on Stewart’s “Faultline,” released in April, “is super catchy, exciting and energetic,” said music blog popmatters.com. Stewart is “one of the most important local (artists) to watch,” said Secret Stages programmer Travis Morgan. “Faultline” has three tracks, the powerful retro-rock tune “Keyhole,” the spooky mystery story “A Week Ago” (which Stewart says was influenced by Captain Beefheart and 13th Floor Elevators) and the disco-pop title song.

“What makes Will a great artist is that he is quite versatile,” Morgan said. “I like the slow stuff; I like the rowdy stuff and the material in between. His melodies have a haunting quality and a funkiness to them.” In addition to his solo work, Stewart plays with friend Janet Simpson-Templin (Wooden Wand, Delicate Cutters) in the indie-rock duo Timber. They appeared at a Secret Stages showcase in April. For more information, go to secretstages. net or willstewartmusic.com. – JESSE CHAMBERS

of pride for local music lovers and a chance to highlight the many great musicians who live and work in Birmingham, organizers said. The festival — along with other local venues and organizations — “are underscoring the fact that there is a music scene in Birmingham that is not to be ignored,” Morgan said. The value of Secret Stages comes down to something very primal for Poor, who is a working musician. “It all stems from that feeling you get listening to and discovering great music,” he said. “That’s the thing that’s driven me since I was a kid.” It’s that feeling — along with a desire to “give back” to Birmingham — which makes all the work to put on the festival worthwhile, Poor said. Secret Stages venues this year will include Das Haus, Rogue Tavern, Matthew’s Bar & Grill and Pale Eddie’s Pour House. The festival will begin with the Willie Perry Day/Secret Stages Kickoff Party at Old Car Heaven Aug. 3. The event will honor Perry, a Birmingham resident who died in 1985 and was known for dressing as a superhero and doing good deeds. Details, including musical performances, were not finalized at press time. For tickets and information, including a rundown of all the artists, go to secretstages.net.

Photo courtesy of Secret Stages.

Above: The Green Seed performs at Secret Stages 2014. Photo courtesy of Larry O. Gay/Secret Stages. Landlady performs at Rogue Tavern as part of Secret Stages 2015. Photo courtesy of Ginnard Archibald/Secret Stages.


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Birmingham Restaurant Week to feature new BRUNCH event

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By TARA MASSOULEH

irmingham foodies are gearing up for the seventh annual Birmingham Restaurant Week. This year’s 10-day event, put on by REV Birmingham, is expected to include 70 Birmingham-area restaurants featuring everything from steak dinners to gourmet sandwiches. With fine dining options like Ocean, Highlands Bar & Grill, Galley & Garden, Bottega and Perry’s Steakhouse, and more casual options like Wooden Goat, Slice, OvenBird, Rojo, Dreamland and Cantina, this year’s Birmingham Restaurant Week is expected to be the largest in its history. From Aug. 12-21, two- to three-course lunch and dinner prix-fixe meals will be available at participating BRW restaurants for $5, $10, $15, $20 or $30. Several menus will include beer or wine flights and other drink specials. This year’s Birmingham Restaurant Week comes off the success of last year’s event, where more than 18,000 BRW meals were sold from 60 participating restaurants to reach a combined total receipt sale exceeding $2.6 million. BRW was conceived in 2009 when REV district manager James Little attended Atlanta

Guests sample food from participating Birmingham Restaurant Week restaurants at last year’s Preview Party. Photo courtesy of Style Advertising.

Restaurant Week and set forth to bring something similar to Birmingham. After partnering with Style Advertising and securing sponsors like Regions Bank and Fox 6, the first Birmingham Restaurant Week was born in 2010. Little said it’s been amazing to see how much the event has grown from being an idea mentioned over dinner into a major part of Birmingham’s culture. “It unites our city’s diverse culinary scene and gives Birmingham foodies a chance to visit places they have never tried or revisit some of their favorites,” he said. “It has been an honor to be part of the culinary revolution

taking place here in Birmingham over the past seven years.” This year’s festivities will kick off with a ballpark-themed Preview Party held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Regions Field. During the evening, attendees will sample dishes from participating BRW restaurants, and all proceeds will be donated to the Urban Food Project, an initiative working to provide access, availability and affordability of healthy foods to residents throughout the city through various food vendors. Since 2010, more than $30,000 has been donated to local nonprofits through Preview Party donations.

A second Birmingham Restaurant Week event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Wine Loft downtown on Wednesday, Aug. 17. The Wine-o-ology event will feature a wine flight tasting, food from BRW restaurants and live music. Tickets for both events can be purchased online at bhamrestaurantweek.com. In addition to its two signature events, this year Birmingham Restaurant Week will introduce a new event to celebrate the growing brunch scene in Birmingham. BRUNCH will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, in Woodlawn’s SocialVenture and will serve as a cap to the week of festivities. During the event, attendees will sample brunch dishes and drinks, while enjoying live music and a local culinary vendor area. Every Friday leading up to the weeklong event, BRW will sponsor giveaways via the Birmingham Restaurant Week Facebook page. The ongoing “Free Food Friday” contest gives participants the chance to win gift cards to BRW restaurants. Birmingham Restaurant Week menus from each participating restaurant will be released on July 29. More information about Birmingham Restaurant Week 2016 can be found online at bhamrestaurantweek.com. Birmingham Restaurant Week is also on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.


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Musicians perform during the Magic City Reggae Festival. Photo courtesy of Sherman Sterling.

Birmingham’s reggae roots on show at annual festival

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By TARA MASSOULEH n 1969, Birmingham resident Sherman Sterling met Bob Marley at the University of Texas in Austin. Sterling told the pre-fame musician that his dream was to become an international reggae artist and promote reggae music. Four years later, Marley hit it big with the album “Catch a Fire.” Though Sterling didn’t achieve the fame Marley did, he did meet his second goal. In 1988, Sterling kept good on his word by creating Birmingham’s Magic City Reggae Festival. “That was my inspiration,” Sterling said. “He ignited me to want to do this.” The Magic City Reggae Festival, which has been in downtown Birmingham for the past 28 years, will return Aug. 6 to Boutwell Auditorium. Doors open at 7 p.m. with music beginning at 8 p.m. This year’s lineup includes about 10 local, regional and national reggae music artists. Artists include Jack Radics with Love & Laughter, Mishka with Dub Bassee, Angela Stewart, Stephen Foster, Aluta Continua, BHY2R and Sterling’s own group, Sherman & The Sterling Brothers. In addition to the Saturday performances, this year’s festival will include a Friday night street celebration. Festivities will kick off on Short 20th Street N. at 6 p.m. Performances from Stephen Foster, Angela Stewart, Monica King Slater, Conflux, and Sherman & The Sterling Brothers will begin at 7 p.m. Monica King Slater is a reggae singer from Birmingham, and Steve Foster is also from Alabama. Sterling said when planning the event, he made a point to book local artists. “I want to let Birmingham know that they do have roots, and we’re featuring

Birmingham talent,” he said. “That’s a big step forward — to show that it’s not just entertainers coming to do reggae music, but we have music coming out of the heart of Birmingham.” In addition to music, the Friday celebration will host vendors selling Jamaican jerk chicken and other Caribbean dishes and drinks. On Saturday, no food or drink is allowed in the Boutwell. “That’s why we’re doing this, so people can get a taste for what the Caribbean can be for them,” Sterling said. For Sterling, seeing reggae continue to have a presence in Birmingham each year has been a dream come true. “I like that it seems like a part of a regimen now that it’s been going for so long,” he said. “Knowing I’m engaging my organization in a direction toward bringing reggae music into the forefront — it makes me feel good.” Proceeds from the festival will benefit Sterling’s nonprofit group SLSExprrres, which provides scholarships to low-income students, and the Alabama Striders Youth Track program, a youth track and field club training K-8 youth. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be set aside to continue Sterling’s “Reggae in the School” program at Huffman Academy Elementary School. Tickets are $35 pre-sale and $45 the day of the event. Ambassador passes are $75 and include VIP seating, performer meet and greet passes and a Jamaican chicken, fried plantain and fritter meal. $5 raffle tickets for a 4-day Jamaican vacation are also for sale. The Friday celebration is free. Tickets are available online at tix66.com. For more information, go to facebook.com/ magiccityreggaefestival or email caribculture@yahoo.com.


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MASCOT MAN of

DISCOVER

the ’ham

Sports teams in this town may come and go, but Paul Scheuermann is always ready to represent them

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By SYDNEY CROMWELL aul Scheuermann might be one of the most recognizable faces in Birmingham for longtime residents and sports fans. Not because of his own face, but because of the many faces he has worn over the years. Since 1975, Scheuermann has been a mascot for nearly every athletic team that has popped up in Birmingham. That list includes the Bulls, Stallions, Vulcans, Fire, Barracudas and the Barons for their first season back at Regions Field in 2013. He also has donned mascot suits for the Birmingham International Raceway, the NASCAR Winston All Pro Series and the All American Bowl. “What’s cool to me is just everybody kept calling me every time the new sports come, that I was the guy,” Scheuermann said. A Redmont Park resident since 1978, Scheuermann made his living as a design engineer for Southern Company and Alabama Power. But his path to becoming Birmingham’s best-known mascot started before team mascots became popular. “To be honest, when I started mascoting in ’75, mascots were very rare, and even today I don’t think there’s any that I know of NASCAR mascots,” he said. As a senior at Auburn University in 1975, then-22-year-old Scheuermann qualified for the cheerleading team both at Auburn and for the brand-new Birmingham Vulcans football team. He chose to cheer with the Vulcans and came up with a Vulcan costume. He would wear the costume a couple times per game, complete with a torch that shone red or green depending on who was winning. “It was real popular with the fans, and it was cool because I got to wear the Vulcan mascot in the Hawaii stadium when we played Hawaii,” he said. The Vulcans only lasted for one season before folding, but then Scheuermann got a call from the Birmingham Bulls hockey team. They needed someone to put on a bull costume and entertain the crowds both on and off the ice. The bull suit, which Scheuermann still owns, would become one of the most recognizable mascots of his career. For about five years, Scheuermann was the Bull. He went beyond hugging kids and waving to the crowd, coming up with his own skits and stunts to perform at the rink. Whether he was pretending to eat the other team’s mascot or running around the stadium to entertain kids — without letting them get close enough to tackle him — the crowd went wild. “I just pulled all these stunts, and they’d never been done before. And I was making

Longtime Redmont Park resident Paul Scheuermann shows off a couple of costumes from his mascot-donning days for various Birmingham sports teams, including the Barracudas and Bulls. Photo by Frank Couch.

them up, and it worked and people loved it. So I just kept doing it,” he said. At the time, the San Diego Chicken mascot was rising in popularity. It gave Scheuermann the idea for his own slogan: “Why have chicken when you can have steak?”

GETTING HIS START

Scheuermann’s antics as the Bull had their roots in his childhood in Mobile, where his family frequently spent evenings at the roller rink and watched the annual Mardi Gras parades. His attempts to become a track and field star — which included setting up stacks of crates in his back yard — were Scheuermann’s first lessons in the stunt jumps that would later make him locally famous. His introduction to costuming started with a clown suit his mother made. With a little ingenuity, he used the costume to help sell doughnuts for a school fundraiser. “In 30 minutes I sold 30 dozen doughnuts,” he said. Scheuermann’s persona as the Bull caught the eye of the Birmingham International Raceway, which invited him to take his stunts off the ice rink and onto the racetrack. Scheuermann found an equally enthusiastic audience at the Raceway and later at Talladega, and his stunts easily transferred from ice skates to roller skates. Scheuermann said many of the people who applauded as he teased drivers and jumped over crates had no

idea the Bull was also a hockey mascot. “There’s a whole different set of fans that know me from stock car racing that have no clue that I did hockey,” Scheuermann said. “I’d be talking to Bobby Allison and Dale Earnhardt, and they would get involved in your skits with you, and that was just awesome.” Scheuermann has since worn many faces besides the Bull. He has been Zero the Fire Dog for the Birmingham Fire football team, Wicky Wood when the Barons played at Rickwood Field, the Legion Legend for the Birmingham Stallions football team and Barry Cuda for the Birmingham Barracudas Canadian Football League team. For the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Scheuermann was the official Sam the Eagle for Olympics promotion events in the South. In 2013, Scheuermann was Babe Ruff for the Barons’ first season at Regions Field. On several occasions, Scheuermann was also called up for local teams that would fold after a few games or before any had been played at all, such as the Birmingham Bandits basketball team and the Birmingham Thunderbolts XFL team. “In my mind I never stopped being a mascot; the teams just kept falling away,” Scheuermann said. Being a mascot also meant appearances outside of athletics, such as at the zoo or local hospitals. There, Scheuermann discovered why his characters were so popular.

“Every time you take the child by the hand, you get the parents by the heart,” he said.

MEMORY REEL

With 40 years as a mascot under his belt, Scheuermann has collected a lot of good memories in his various suits. He said traveling to Hawaii with the Vulcans was a highlight, as was meeting celebrities such as Dale Earnhardt and a 17-year-old Wayne Gretzky. One of Scheuermann’s vivid memories is a “bench-clearing” fight during a Bulls game, which left the ice rink and erupted in the hall outside Scheuermann’s changing room. “They met in that 8-foot-wide hallway right outside my room. I had the lock ready, and I got a front row seat to one of the best damn brawls I’ve ever seen,” Scheuermann said. “I didn’t want to miss it, but I didn’t want to get in the middle of it.” Scheuermann has collected a lot of physical memorabilia, too. Inside his home are albums of photos and newspaper clippings, cups, buttons, ashtrays and shirts from the different teams he has supported over the years. There are a few mascot heads around the house as well. And if another Birmingham team decides they need a new mascot? “I’d get my butt in shape and get out there as long as they’d have me,” Scheuermann said.


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taking the classroom

outdoors

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By ERICA TECHO

Jones Vick and Aiden Morales stand with “Timmy,” a millipede they found during Gross Out Camp. Photos by Erica Techo.

Above: Campers learn how to build a fire during Prepared Not Scared Camp. Below: A camper hides as part of an outdoor game at Ruffner Mountain.

he rise of technology has not affected the core themes of childhood. Fresh Air Family, a group geared toward getting kids and families outdoors, bases its classes and camps on this principle. “We like to think children have gotten more sophisticated,” said founder and executive director Verna Gates. “I’m here to tell you they’re not. You still have to pull them out of creek beds and mud puddles.” In the 10 years since its founding, Fresh Air Family, located in Crestwood, has hosted hundreds of classes and camps, and this fall, they are partnering with Ruffner Mountain. Fresh Air Family plans to take Ruffner Mountain’s existing education programming and incorporate it into the Compass System, a system that works to take new information and connect it to personally relevant information. An example is connecting a lesson on snakes to how good snakes can help keep away bad snakes in a family garden or keep down the rodent population, Gates said. “It’s completing a loop of how it reaches you personally,” she said. Programs Fresh Air Family plans to work with will include discovery hikes, animal interaction, lessons on forest ecology and information on Ruffner Mountain’s mining history. “Ruffner Mountain has done a great job of providing a wide array of school-based programs that tie into the mountain,” said Taylor Steele, Ruffner Mountain education director for Fresh Air Family. Steele began work on curriculum-based lessons for the fall programs in July. One goal of these programs is providing information about Ruffner Mountain’s history as a city resource and how it can continue to be a resource, he said. In addition to building on Ruffner Mountain’s existing programs, Fresh Air Family will fit some of its most popular camps into the Compass System. Gross Out Camp and Prepared Not Scared are two of Fresh Air Family’s annual weeklong camps. Gross Out’s tagline is

“It’s science but please don’t tell the kids!” The camp takes kids out into nature and teaches them about decomposers, macroinvertebrates and scientific thinking, all while they are playing outside and sometimes getting their hands dirty. “I don’t know very many schools that offer 40 hours of hands-on biology,” Gates said. Jasmine Martin, camp director for Gross Out, said the chance for kids to get outdoors and start interacting with other students is one of the camp’s best benefits. In addition to learning through exploring, campers are encouraged to ask group members questions before approaching a director. That interaction is not always present in other summertime camps. “If you’re doing arts and crafts all day, you don’t really have to talk to anyone unless you need a crayon,” Martin said. In all of the Fresh Air Family camps, Gates said a main goal is teaching critical thinking skills. Learning scientific processes helps encourage that type of thinking, Gates said, and can help students inside and outside of the classroom. “If you can think critically, we hope you can make better decisions,” she said. Prepared Not Scared also focuses on what Gates said are important life skills — safety and survival. After working as a journalist for several years, Gates said she continued to see stories on shooting incidents and realized most people did not know how to react or protect themselves. Prepared Not Scared incorporates lessons on gun safety with basic survival skills such as how to build a debris shelter, start a fire and extract water from plants. The camp helps present lessons, including how to tell the difference between a real and fake gun or how to react when you find a gun, in a manner that keeps kids engaged, Gates said. “Nothing is more fun than learning when it’s done right,” she said. Once the curriculum is established, the Ruffner Mountain programs and discovery adventures will be open for schools, organizations and families to take. Gates said she hopes families choose to come out and take the courses because busy schedules often limit the time parents and kids can spend together. Family-geared programs not only get families outside and working together, but Gates said she has seen relationships develop through the programs. Kids will oftentimes look toward their parents for answers and always return to show off what they have discovered. “Even though I see kids run ahead, they always come back to those parents,” Gates said. For more information on Fresh Air Family, go to freshairfamily.org.


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RANDALL WOODFIN: investing in the

FUTURE R

By SYDNEY CROMWELL andall Woodfin has stayed true to his Birmingham roots — as he puts it, “I’ve left twice, [and] I’ve come home twice.” Born and raised in North Birmingham, Woodfin continues to live downtown and works as an attorney for the city of Birmingham. The only times he has left his home city were to attend Morehouse College, where he studied political science, and to participate in a campaign management program in Washington, D.C. Here in Birmingham, he has worked with several community programs, including the Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services and Weed and Seed. Woodfin is now a member of the Birmingham City Schools Board of Education. Woodfin recently sat down with Iron City Ink to talk about the city he loves and the work he is investing in Birmingham’s children. Q: How has Birmingham changed from when you were growing up to now? A: We’ve had our spurts of so many different things. One, I think if you’re from Birmingham, you’re proud to be from Birmingham regardless of how you grew up. So I’m proud to be from Birmingham … Seeing the revitalization in the city, I find it quite compelling. I’d like to see it in North Birmingham, where I grew up. I would like to see it in downtown Ensley; I would like to see it in East Lake; I would like to see it in some other areas where you have historic homes. Q: What made you decide to come back? A: When I left for the first time, it was for undergrad. I went to college — Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia — and it’s a pretty unique place in that our varsity sport is leadership. What football is at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa is what student government is at Morehouse … It taught me a lot about leadership, but in addition to leadership, the second thing we pledge there — and that’s all students — is community service and this whole notion around giving back. So a lot of my classmates went to D.C. on Capitol Hill, a lot of them went to New York, Wall Street, a lot of them went into different graduate programs, but I was committed to coming back here. So I came home right away and got involved. Q: Can you tell us more about your time in the Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services and Weed and Seed? A: In Birmingham, there are a lot of youth issues.

North Birmingham native Randall Woodfin, a member of the Birmingham City Schools Board of Education, says a challenge confronting the system is a significant decrease in its population of students. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

Some of those issues spill from what’s not at home, what’s not in the community. Youth Services, in what I say, provided that bridge and/or closed that gap in offering things to youth, from different programs all the way up into summer jobs, to make sure we as a city were investing in our children, investing in our youth, keeping them off the streets and giving them a productive space for them to individually grow and collectively … The Division of Youth Services, of all the different departments, is one that’s a critical need for the city because, in my opinion, there’s nothing more important than investing in the youngest generation, and that’s what the Department of Youth Services did … Weed and Seed — that was pretty cool, too … Weed and Seed is a government program through the [U.S.] Justice Department that gives designated grants to different cities. At the time, it was designated for three areas of what they saw [as] either high crime or low investment … It was designed to weed out crime and seed in community efforts to rebuild those areas. Q: And what about your decision to run for Birmingham City Schools Board of Education in 2009 and again in 2013? A: I was unsuccessful in 2009. I was a young buck, and I had a notion of wanting to help. Did I know what I was doing? Absolutely not. Was my heart and mind in the right place? Yes … As a practicing lawyer, I’m not going to win every case. So it’s important that I treat my wins and I treat my losses the same way. But even in that, if I’m practicing the case, I actually learn more when I lose. So losing in 2009 taught me a couple things. One:

if there’s an opportunity in the legislative branch of government — school board, city council, county commission, state legislature, state senators, U.S. Congress — because it’s a team sport, because it’s a majority, you may want to work with other people because you don’t want to go there by yourself. In that space I created an idea in conjunction with some other people ... an organization called CARE (Citizens Are Responsible for Education). Our notion was simple; it came from a good place: Recruit other people to run for the school board. Let’s see if we can get certified school board training prior to being elected, so if we were elected, we can jump the learning curve of understanding our role. So, Alabama Association of School Boards, we partnered with the BBA (Birmingham Business Alliance). They provided those classes, and anybody from the public could attend. And it turned out, out of nine of us, five board members attended all those training classes prior to being board members. That was in board governance, policy, finance, ethics and just learning the role of being a board member. We find that to be beneficial. And then from a coordinated effort, we ran a campaign for those candidates in 2013 and had a consistent message across the city: “As board members, you want people with full-time jobs so they don’t have time to micromanage. You want people who are big picture because the school system is only as strong as the lowest performing school, so you need people to think bigger in their own district. And the third thing, you need people who understand teamwork.” Q: What made you interested in being part of the Board of Education?

A: When I came back [to Birmingham] in 2003, what I realized was I didn’t see a lot of intentionality around our youngest generation. And I think locally, state level and at a federal level, we get a space where people want to be elected officials out of some form of either selfish interest, selfish gain or they’re doing something just because … Being a school board member now, what I realize: In the board governance role, you know, there’s policy and then there’s a community half. But we have to be big picture and figure out a way to get all the resources — human capital and financial capital — on board to make our school system better, because there’s so many challenges for the city … The real rub is my love for the city of Birmingham. I believe and I know the main reason I ran is because I love Birmingham. Q: What are you most proud of from your time on the board so far? A: The biggest thing, believe it or not, is you don’t read about us. We’re not in the papers; we’re not on TV. We’re boring and functional, and I know that sounds silly until you think about it. When you look at a successful school system, you can’t name the school board members. You don’t know who they are. When you look at a successful school system, they’re not necessarily on the TV or in the news, so you don’t even know what they’re doing. So one of the things “out of sight, out of mind” to me equates that the business of educating children is going on. So being intentional, being boring and extremely functional and professional is a safe space for any board … Number two, we’ve hired a new superintendent


AUGUST 2016

who we believe has the passion, has the vision, has the communication skills and the wherewithal to move about the different stakeholder groups — students, employees, parents, other community stakeholders. And she has not been here a year yet, but I have full confidence that if anything is to be a constant, Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan should remain superintendent as long as possible to make a significant, tangible change in our system as it relates to the education performance of our individual students, our individual classrooms, our individual schools [and] our school system as a whole. The third thing would be the financial operational piece. Is it where we want it to be? No. Is it better? Absolutely. We’re not bleeding money … We’ve gotten better with our operational costs, but we still have a ways to go just from a strategic standpoint of how we allocate our resources. Q: What are some challenges in the school system you would like to take on? A: We took on the challenge of [adding] the pre-K [classes into schools]. We thought that was a pretty big thing to take on because what we find is with all the community issues, family issues at home, when children come into our system at age 5 and 6 … it’s possible that they haven’t had the opportunity to be on what I call a good foundational setting of at bare minimum being at grade level. So the concept of words, concept of numbers, being in some sort of structured program prior to entering our school system puts us on par with our children not being at grade level by first, second,

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The Division of Youth Services, of all the different departments, is one that’s a critical need for the city because, in my opinion, there’s nothing more important than investing in the youngest generation.

third, all the way up to 12th grade. We’re constantly playing catch up. In addition to our kids only being in school 180 days a year, I think you and I both know those days only equal six months, so we’re not spending enough time with our children. We thought it was important to figure out a way to expand our pre-K program to decrease the number of students not at grade level and close the achievement gap … Here’s another challenge we found, and this was at the high school level. You as a parent or a supporter or a graduate of high school would attend a football game on Friday night and then at halftime, you would see less than 40, 45 people on the field at the band performance. And that’s because we didn’t have music programs [in] K-8 … The third challenge that we’ve been able to overcome, [was] we’re decreasing our student population. We saw a space where we were losing a thousand students a year. You only lose students for one of two reasons, or both. One: the intangible, the perception that your schools are not safe and so safety is the

RANDALL WOODFIN

No. 1 concern. Two: academic performance. When you lose a thousand students a year, you’re going to lose millions in funding a year. But we’ve been able to stabilize our student population. I will tell any parent, I will tell any potential parent, I will tell anybody who hasn’t stepped in any of our schools in quite some time, their perception may not match the reality on the ground, which is our schools are safe. Q: What do you hope your long-term impact on Birmingham will be? A: That I’ve made a significant, legitimate, tangible — like you can touch it, you can feel it, you can see it — change in the quality of life of people. So if you finish our school system, what that looks like [is] you actually are college and career ready. For every high school graduation I attend — and since I’ve been a board member I intentionally want to attend all of them, shake our students’ hands, that’s probably a highlight of my job to see our students matriculate through our system — and the thing I’ve now processed in my mind is they have two hands.

Randall Woodfin, center, with children at Barrett Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Randall Woodfin.

I think we should be putting something in both of their hands. I think we’ve been putting a diploma in their hand. Let’s get to a space where we can put some sort of certification or certificate in their hand, and in that way if they choose not to go to college, they can go straight to the workforce. As a school system, as a city, we should be more intentional about that. Q: What are your plans for the future? A: I want to continue being involved here in the city. At what level, I am still trying to figure out. I do know I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

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with thread and needle, come

HEALING

U

By ALYX CHANDLER

AB artist in residence Lillis Taylor combats anxiety at the UAB Women and Infants Center with her weapon of choice: wooden embroidery hoops. In downtown Birmingham on most Tuesdays, a handful of women embroider gold and red thread in and out of white cloth to form the plump shape of Winnie the Pooh and his honey pot. Other women try their hand at Minnie Mouse, “Lion King” characters, Hello Kitty, some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a scene from “Lilo and Stitch.” But it’s the baby names stitched in cursive lettering the women and families here prize most. “A visible change will take over the room, and all the women get a very quiet and singular focus. It’s therapeutic,” Taylor said Taylor is an example of one of the artists in residence at UAB, all part of a pilot program in UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine (AIM). Started in 2013, the artists in residence offer their professional art experience to the patients, family and staff. Taylor specifically provides women of the High-Risk Obstetrics unit the opportunity to learn a new skill and talk with the other parents once a week. For some of the women, two hours out of their rooms and away from their anxiety-filled days can be what makes the difference in finding some mental stability and comfort. But also, as pregnant and at-risk Latoya Carlisle said, “It’s the only thing we can do.” For several weeks, she has been counting down her pregnancy on bed rest and cross-stitching Disney characters to make pillows for her unborn son. “Every time I do it my blood pressure goes way down. It’s like 101 — I’m just chilling, relaxing,” Carlisle said. Taylor said two years ago she found a sort of family emerged during their weekly cross-stitching class. Taylor and her cross-stitch partner provide printed out, ready-to-use character outlines, but the more artistically inspired women also customize their own designs. She then takes the finished cross-stitch patterns home, stuffs them with fluff and uses a sewing machine to make pillows and blankets. Taylor said she prefers the meditative quality of hand sewing because sewing machines can be intimidating. “Sewing is very slow,” she said. “But also there’s room to

Lillis Taylor, center, an artist in residence, teaches quilting to patients and families in UAB’s Women and Infants Center as part of UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine (AIM). Photos courtesy of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

cut up and laugh and talk to someone in a similar situation as you.”

‘A LITTLE FAMILY’

For a lot of women, Taylor said it can be lonely and difficult because they don’t have any family in the area. It’s common for women across the U.S. to come to UAB for treatment or at the Women and Infants Center, so the artists in residence provide an outlet for the isolation and anxiety that comes with the situation. “At first, I was really stressed out. I’m still worried but not super stressed about every little thing,” Stajah Hazel said, whose surviving twin baby was born 1 pound and 6 ounces. She said her cervix wasn’t strong enough to carry both of the babies. When the baby becomes the patient, as in Hazel’s case, the baby is often monitored in a temperature controlled setting where the mother can stay 24 hours a day, which Taylor said women often do for sometimes weeks or even months at a time. “I’m afraid to leave my baby because of all the complications, even complications in the middle of the night,” Hazel said. “If I stay in that room I go nuts, but I feel like a bad mom if I leave.” Hazel had her first daughter while inside a truck while traveling with her husband in California, where they lived. After being discharged, two days later she gave birth to the baby she calls her surviving “miracle son.” She traveled first to the University of Alabama in Huntsville and then to UAB so her baby could receive proper care. She knew no one in Alabama, and her husband had to continue his job as a trucker, so she came here alone. “Our [sewing] group kind of became a little family,” Hazel said. She has since completed several Winnie the Pooh-themed blankets. More than a hundred families or women are usually at the Women and Infant Center, but only about a dozen or fewer women usually come to the cross-stitching sessions

on Tuesday, Taylor said. Taylor often spends her Wednesdays and Thursdays checking in all the women staying in the hospital, handing out much-needed materials and extending the invite if they haven’t heard of it. She said some women prefer to cross-stitch in their room, which is why she checks up with materials. “When you learn a completely new skill, it increases the self-confidence,” said UAB Director of Arts in Medicine Kimberly Kirklin. “Many of the people were not sewers, but after they spent weeks and months at the hospitals, they’ve made these beautiful quilts and skills.”

MINISTRY OF PRESENCE

UAB AIM is a collaboration between UAB Medicine and the Alys Stephens Center in its 20th season. The artists in residence program is in its third year, but Kirklin said they’ve worked with almost all the artists more than five years, and AIM served more than 10,000 patients, families and staff last year. In total, seven artists in residence serve UAB Hospital, with each specializing in different areas such as bedside storytelling, dance, visual arts, creative writing, music, theater and sewing. Kirklin said everyone strives to address the needs of the mind and the spirit. “It’s all about something unexpected and out of the ordinary. We want to provide an experience that enhances healing,” she said. AIM is a relatively new field, Kirklin said, only existing for the last 30 years. The benefits so far include positive distractions, stress reduction, mood enhancements, reduction of time in the hospital and the reduction of pain medications. But Kirkland made clear the distinctions between artists in residence and licensed AIM therapists. While licensed art therapists pursue particular goals for patients, the artists in residence are professional artists who have been trained to work in the health care environment and to listen and provide “a ministry of presence.” “Plus, this way they can make something for their babies and tell them one day ‘I made this while you were in the hospital,’ which is something that most people can’t say,” Kirklin said.


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FACES

At communal workspace MakeBHM, boundaries the only thing not welcomed

B

By ERICA TECHO ruce and Scottie Lanier started MakeBHM as a way to break down barriers such as access to power tools for woodworking, ceramics or welding, monetary barriers or a lack of space. In April, they moved from a 4,000-square-foot space that mainly housed classes and workshops to their new space in Avondale. The approximately 21,000-square-foot complex includes a range of options, from traditional leases and office space to retail space to open-air workspace on the floor. There is also a ceramics workshop, woodworking shop and welding shop filled with tools needed for those media in addition to classes to help people hone their skills. Artists and craftsmen can rent a 9-by-9foot square to work in. That space might sound small, but on the shop floor of MakeBHM, it’s plenty, said Bruce Lanier. “A lot of people think they need more space than they actually do. ... If you don’t put walls around it, you have air space, you get freedom of movement,” he said. “You have air actually moving, and you’ve also got

Scottie and Bruce Lanier started MakeBHM as a way to provide tools and workspaces for creative people. The 21,000-squarefoot complex in Avondale offers, among other things, office and retail spaces plus workshops. Photo by Erica Techo.

access to this break room; you have access to bathrooms.” Even though the shop floor is divided into rentable 9-by-9 squares, there are no walls built around those areas and no dividers between workspaces. MakeBHM’s focus is on breaking down boundaries — both constructed and theoretical — to create an ideal workspace for creative minds. “What makes this space work in general is this idea of a shared experience,” Bruce Lanier said. “And this sort of collective experience of either being in a room together or being in a class.”

When someone enters MakeBHM, whether it is to take a class or work on ideas in the upstairs coworking space, the Laniers said they hope people will learn from each other’s processes and skill sets. “Some people are going to be energized, even if they’re going to work in an office, by being able to walk through a creative space where stuff’s happening or [to] look down on it,” Scottie Lanier said. MakeBHM has tenants in its office spaces indoors and is working to complete two retail spaces on the periphery of the building and a co-working space upstairs. There are also

plans to create a space in the front of the shop floor that can be used for events and pop-up shops. Spaces are still available for rent on the shop floor, but as MakeBHM grows, Bruce Lanier said they are careful to maintain a balance in the building. “We want people here in the space, and then we’re also looking for complementary uses,” he said. “So we’ve got a calligrapher and invitation designer; we’ve got a really nice ceramics operation here, so now we’re looking for [other] things instead of doubling down. … Now we’re trying to find things that pair into that, so that you end up with a dynamic and supportive community.” MakeBHM is also for-profit, which Scottie and Bruce Lanier said helps keep them aware of the community’s needs. As a nonprofit, they would have applied for a grant, purchased what they saw as necessary, and then opened shop. This way, they can see what the community responds to based on their finances. “Not making money is a really good metric [for need],” Bruce Lanier said.“It’s a work in progress, and it always will be.” For more information about MakeBHM, go to makebhm.com or email info@makebhm.com.


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FINDING HIS

POWERS

COVER STORY: Sloss artist in residence Ajene Williams polishes raw talent as metal arts sculptor. By MICHAEL HUEBNER

V Courtesy of artsBHAM

isions of life-size iron workers, goddesses, birds and small animals circulate through Ajene Williams’ imagination as he works in the cavernous casting shed at Sloss Furnaces. The Birmingham artist, who as a youngster began sculpting with Play-Doh, has been feeding his passion for sculpture at Sloss’ metal arts program, held in an open-air facility across from the visitors center at the historic site. “As a kid, I started making little sets and dioramas, little characters, little stories, little boxes, mermaids and Batman characters,” says Williams as a cool breeze wafts through the covered shed on a warm afternoon. “I used to make a lot of comics and tell stories. I liked magic, but I was never very good.” At the urging of Jena Momenee, his art teacher at Woodlawn High School, Williams (his first name, Ajene, is pronounced AH-je-nay) enrolled at Sloss’ Summer Youth Program, where he would learn the art of sculpting figures with wax and casting them in iron. “When I got here I had no talent,” said the shy 23-year-old. “I had no idea what I was doing, and I hated the feel of the wax. But [Momenee] pushed me. She drove me up here. She knew I would love it.” Marshall Christie, director of metal arts at Sloss, disagreed with Williams’ self-effacing assessment of his talent, discovering what he called “raw talent” while assessing the facilities with Sloss’s Furnace Master John Stewart Jackson. “We found 75 little wax pieces of his laid out on tables, tucked into every nook and cranny,” Christie said. “Ajene had been gone about a year. He had gotten frustrated with how things were going and left. When we learned that, we got back in touch with him and brought him back as an apprentice. Over the next year and a half, he worked his way up to artist in residence.” That Sloss could even support a paid artist-in-residence position represented a significant upswing for the program, which had eliminated resident artist positions following financial difficulties five years ago. “We had lost a lot of our grant funding because of what happened,” Christie said. “There was a lot of fence mending to do to get people back involved. We have a grant writer back this year, and we’re making facility improvements, programming and more outreach.” Many of the metal arts program’s goals are again being realized, including increasing access to local artists and helping students find a medium to work in, whether it’s art or industrial skills such as welding or blacksmithing. “It goes into a lot of different aspects where you can make a living,” Christie said. “It extends beyond art, especially in the summer youth program. Some kids are going to do art for a living, but a lot of them aren’t. Learning those skills

Metal artist Ajene Williams with Martha Council, who commissioned Williams to make the bird sculpture they hold at Sloss Furnaces. Council already had the driftwood to which Williams added bits of metal along with the bird. Photos and cover shot by Patty Bradley.

translates into other avenues. Some students get welding certification or go into architecture. There’s a creative element where they can express themselves.” Williams’ rise within the program is a prime example. Under Christie’s tutelage, he quickly realized his potential. “It starts from a real ability to create enough detail without overdoing it,” Christie said. “Building the initial shape, proportions are everything, especially with naturalistic, realistic pieces. Ajene has that eye for proportions. He builds shapes quickly, which allows him more time to spend on detailing, taking it to another level.” His artistry was on full display in April at the Magic City Art Connection, where he was the 2016 Emerging Artist. One of 200 local and international artists at the festival, he sold nearly every piece he brought to his booth. His talent caught the eye of Martha Council, a collector whose Forest Park home is filled with artworks, many of which she commissioned. She was especially attracted to a sculpture of a yellowhammer, Alabama’s state bird. It already was sold, so Council asked him to create another one. It would be Williams’ first solo commission. “It’s completed, and it’s beautiful,” Council said, who takes

pride in discovering local talent. “It’s sitting in my kitchen right now.” Council, who likes to get to know the artists she commissions, said she made three or four trips to Sloss to watch the process of wax sculpting through pouring. “It made it more valuable to me to see the benefits Sloss offers to the community that so many people aren’t aware of,” she said. For Williams, the metal arts program, the Magic City Art Connection and his first commission have been life-changing experiences. Sloss has instilled in him a sense of Birmingham’s history as a foundry city, and he said he hopes his work as artist-in-residence will lead to those lofty life-size characters he dreams about. “I was never good at magic as a kid,” he said. “I would try, but all I could find was my talent as an artist. That’s my magic.” Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


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Sushi class instructor Kelly Viall holds a student’s completed sushi roll during a class at Cahaba Brewing. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

For this class, sushi lovers leave intimidation at the door

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NECK OF THE WOODS

By SYDNEY CROMWELL

riends who have tasted my cooking know that putting me together with raw fish is a rather dodgy proposition. But let it never be said that I back down from a challenge. When I learned about Birmingham Sushi Classes at Cahaba Brewing Co. roughly once every six weeks, I began envisioning myself as a master chef capable of making delicate sushi rolls covered in delicious sauces. So even though my real cooking skills don’t extend that far beyond boiling water, I contacted class instructor Kelly Viall and signed up anyway. And in a twist I can either attribute to a great teacher or an

actual, real-life miracle, I did successfully make a sushi roll that night. Viall is a Birmingham resident and has a background in making sushi for restaurants, but she began teaching classes more than four years ago. She said the idea came after customers at sushi bars would ask her to demonstrate at their homes. “Most of them love to eat it,” Viall said of her students. “They don’t know anything about it.” Since January, she has taken her rolls on the road, teaching

classes around the Southeast from Texas and Arkansas to Kentucky, Tennessee and North and South Carolina. “Everybody wants to know how to make sushi, not just here,” Viall said. Between Birmingham and other cities, Viall estimates she has had “almost 4,000 people take this class and 4,000 people have been able to do it [make sushi].” Her location of choice in Birmingham is Cahaba Brewing, and Viall said she typically sets up at similar breweries in other states, as the venues


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B’HAM BIZARRE What’s going on? Know about something in Birmingham you consider bizarre, eclectic or utterly original? Let us know! Email information to sydney@starnespublishing.com. are a comfortable environment for her and the 20 or so people who come to each class. At the sushi class I attended, most of the participants said they had tried to make sushi at home and failed, while a few had taken Viall’s class before. From the start, it was clear Viall knew she was talking to a room full of beginners, and was confident anyway. “Y’all are not going to eat at the sushi bar much after this,” she promised before the nearly three-hour class began. I’m not going to give away Viall’s secrets here — if sushi is something that interests you, this class would be worth the investment. But I will say her lecture covered every aspect of sushi that I could imagine — where to buy ingredients, selecting and handling the fish, sauce ingredients, making sticky rice, rolling the sushi and even how to present the roll on a plate. There also were unexpected things I learned, like the purpose of ginger — to cleanse the palate between dishes — and why to avoid refrigerated sushi — it ruins

Above: Sushi class students prepare to roll their sushi. Above right: Instructor Kelly Viall’s jalapeño tuna roll.

the texture of the rice and the nori (seaweed) wrap. As we learned, I realized sushi might be even more delicate than I had imagined. My fingers felt enormous and clumsy as I tried to shape the sticky grains of rice without mashing them together, as well as when we rolled everything together to make sushi that, as Viall reminded us, needed to be small enough to eat each piece in a comfortable bite.

But throughout the entire process, I never felt like sushi was something unattainable. Viall kept it approachable enough for anyone to make a roll, even if there’s clearly a whole world of sushi techniques more advanced than what I learned. Having taught thousands of people, Viall said she knows exactly when her students are going to get excited and jump a step ahead, and when they’re going to tune her out

completely. For our class, just like all the rest she’s taught, we all lost focus the moment she told us to roll up our sushi. And a few moments later, the room was filled with the excited sounds of students unwrapping perfect rolls. I’m unashamed to say I was among them. “They think that it’s magic,” Viall said as students dressed their rolls with sauces and began perhaps the best part — eating them. “So many people think you can’t do it.” All it takes, Viall said, is patience and the right teacher. As she cleaned up rolling mats and bits of wasabi sauce after class, Viall expressed the same confidence as she had at the beginning. “Once these guys go home and do it twice, they’ll be old pros,” Viall said. Learn more at birminghamsushiclasses.com.


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‘Wacky Nanny’ encourages all at camp By ALYX CHANDLER For Alley Bulka, it’s natural that a lot of Crestwood kids don’t call her by her real name. Instead, they call her the Wacky Nanny, a name she felt fitting to go by after she created the Wacky Nanny Art Camp 11 summers ago. “It’s really off the wall, not what you would find in a typical camp,” Bulka said, and that’s why, she added, people like it so much. At the Wacky Nanny Art Camp, at the Community Education South Community School in Crestwood, children delve into the art of self-expression from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each day is filled with out-ofthe-box art projects focused on the creative process rather than the product, with separate classes for ages 3-5 and 6-12. “The artistic process is totally up to the kids,” Bulka said. “They’re in charge, and it’s about their imagination and letting them have the opportunity to create.” Bulka has worked with children for 33 years as a childcare provider, teacher and art instructor. Even though she still teaches an adult art class at ArtPlay, she said she couldn’t imagine

Photo courtesy of Alley Bulka.

a life without working with kids — even for a summer. “Cookie-cutter” projects aren’t her style, though. She said she’s just there to give everyone supplies and make sure they’re being safe and having fun. Each art camp session costs $125, with siblings and multiple sessions receiving a 10-percent discount. A snack and full lunch are provided each day. For more information, call 401-3622 or go to wackynanny.com.


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Birmingham Museum of Art now a Pokemon hunting ground By ALI RENCKENS Co-workers Rylee Foster, Vicki Clark and Morgan Turner came to the Birmingham Museum of Art on their lunch break. Not to look at the exhibits — which they did — or to have lunch at the Oscar’s café — which they also did — but because last week, the museum became prime hunting grounds for Pokemon. Nintendo launched the “Pokemon Go” app in mid-July, prompting players, “Pokemon trainers,” to explore new areas to find Pokestops and capture the fictional creatures. The museum holds about five “Pokestops,” places where players can gather eggs, which hatch into new Pokemon, or Pokeballs to capture new Pokemon. Last week, the museum alerted players through Facebook posts and tweets when “lures,” which attract Pokemon, were up at the museum.

The three co-workers have been wandering all over the city, enjoying new sights and places on their lunch breaks while on their quest to catch Pokemon. “It’s kind of a scavenger hunt, in a way,” said Clark. “And it leads to conversations with other people that you wouldn’t usually talk to. It just gets you outside.” “As long as you keep your head up long enough,” Turner added. “[Pokemon Go] is pretty cool, because it brings people together,” said Meigan Porter, who played the original, mid-90s game. “Usually Pokemon is a nerd thing, but everybody is playing it … Last night, I went to my local park and there were like, 200 teenagers there, no lie, all just gathered around, talking about Pokemon, running back and forth between the Pokestops and helping each other and battling.” Porter said she definitely would not be exploring the stunning museum grounds or

Pokemon hunters play the “Pokemon Go” app inside the Birmingham Museum of Art, which has set up “lures,” which attract Pokemon, at its facility. Photo Ali Renckens.

enjoying the more than 26,000 pieces of art at the museum if it wasn’t for the app. “I live way out in the country, so I didn’t even know there was a museum down here,” she said. “I would be sitting at home right now if I wasn’t catching Pokemon … It’s

made us want to come out here and look at all this.” The Birmingham Museum of Art is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m. Admission and parking are free.


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Brewery to open renovated Sour Tasting Room By ALYX CHANDLER Avondale Brewery is figuratively spicing things up by bringing sour beer into the mix. As of August, their newly renovated Sour Tasting Room will be open and only a two-minute walk from the brewery’s outdoor patio. “This is going to be dedicated to those styles of beers, and it definitely has a different kind of feel,” said Avondale Brewer Nate Darnell. Avondale Brewery’s newest addition features a cozy, wood-lined room with a cracked-glass ceiling that illuminates the bar where at least eight new beers will be up for grabs. The Funkatorium-styled tasting room shares a wall with Wasabi Juan’s Sushi Burritos and allows people to leave and enter through a new door. Darnell, who moved from Good People to Avondale Brewery about two years ago, said this has been a project he’s been working on for about a year, with some of the beers aging for more than nine months already. He’s personally been experimenting and

brewing sours on his own for several years as a hobby, he said. “These beers are kind of rare, but sours are getting popular,” Darnell said. “People are starting to really like them and realize how much experience it takes to make them.” The brewers of Avondale plan to line all the walls with booths, throw in some tables and chairs and then let the broad spectrum of beers offered — saisons, 100 percent fermented beers and barrel-aged sours — speak for themselves. Not all of the new beers are barrel-aged though. Some are kettle-sours, which combine a quick turnover rate with a tart, crisp taste. “Try it one month, then a month later it tastes particularly different,” Darnell said. In its entirety, the new tasting room, which includes a small outdoor patio, can hold about 50 to 60 people. Aug. 1 is the planned opening day, though Darnell said they might have to push it back a little bit. The new room plans to have the same hours as usual, but probably with a limited number of weekdays open.

Brewer Nate Darnell stands in the new barrel room where much of the beer for the Sour Tasting Room will be made. Photo by Alyx Chandler.

Neighborhood hosting city revitalization conference Five Points South will host the third annual aLABama Downtown Laboratory conference Aug. 22-24. The conference, hosted by nonprofit group Main Street Alabama, will bring downtown revitalization experts, historic preservationists and economic development professionals to discuss downtown redevelopment through better design with the theme “Good Design. Good Business.” This year’s conference focuses on design, one of Main Street’s four major initiatives for community development. Main Street works with 20 designated communities, larger communities that have undergone a five-month application and competitive selection, and 30 network communities, typically smaller communities that have just begun to explore a redevelopment program. Past aLABama Downtown conferences were in Montgomery, but Main Street Alabama Marketing and Communication Coordinator Marylon Barkan said it has always been a goal to host a conference in a designated community. Birmingham, she said, was a fairly clear choice. “We wanted to do it here because it

gives conference goers the chance to experience what we’re talking about in a real-life setting,” she said. “They can walk the footprint of the community and understand how McMahon these programs are working.” She said the Five Points neighborhood, in particular, fit the bill because of its social atmosphere and culinary district. This year’s conference will be at Hotel Highland, which is a two-minute walk from Highlands United Methodist Church, where most conference sessions will be. The three-day conference kicks off Aug. 22 with attendees attending sessions on popups in underutilized spaces, branding communities, design solutions for downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, rural trends in technology and adaptive uses of historic buildings. Featured speakers for the event include Ed McMahon, senior staff adviser for Urban Land Institute’s Building Healthy

Foundation offers free workshops to homeowners By TARA MASSOULEH

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Places Initiative, and Donovan Rypkema, principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm. Rypkema Designated Main Street Alabama communities will have the opportunity to participate in Shark Tank, during which design-oriented projects are pitched to a panel of potential funders and a live audience. The design panel, consisting of a landscape architect, traffic engineer, branding expert and architect, will work on the winning community’s project pro bono. Barkan said it is one of her favorite aspects of the conference. Tickets to the conference are $150. Tickets for the post and pre-LAB luncheons, as well as Awards for Excellence Main Street Dinner, can be purchased for an additional cost. For more information on the aLABama Downtown Laboratory conference go to mainstreetalabama.org.

Every third Saturday, Woodlawn residents gather at SocialVenture for Woodlawn Foundation’s homeowner workshops. The workshops, organized by Woodlawn Foundation Real Estate Director Kelleigh Gamble, are an extension of the Homeowner Rehabilitation Program that restored 44 Woodlawn homes from 2013 to 2015. The accompanying workshop series accomplishes two goals: teaching financial literacy and teaching do-it-yourself home improvement. The workshops typically go from 9 a.m. to noon and start with coffee and doughnuts over a presentation about the Homeowner Rehabilitation Program, as well as Woodlawn Foundation’s other programs. Gamble said this is important because it informs community members about initiatives and programs they might be able to benefit from in their neighborhood. During the workshop, representatives from organizations such as Operation Hope and Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham give tips on how to save, budget and become more financially stable. Gamble said something as simple as saving $25 each week for emergencies can make a huge difference for homeowners who are used to putting off home repairs due to a lack of funds. “This way you can call a contractor right away versus having to wait a couple weeks or a month for your next round of money to come in,” he said. “Instead, you have something in place where you’re able to handle the realities of what life’s going to bring your way.” In addition to learning about financial literacy, attendees are taught how to repair, maintain and improve their homes. Volunteers from Home Depot, one of the Rehabilitation Program’s partners, often lead the DIY sessions and offer giveaways for homeowners. From learning how to change washers to learning how to install insulation, homeowners are able to see ways they can personally maintain their homes. “It’s just giving folks some idea of what they’re able to do on their own,” Gamble said. For Gamble, the workshops are another way to serve homeowners beyond the ones chosen to have their homes rehabilitated by the program. The original $500,000 grant from the State Attorney General’s Office was to be used over two years on 30 houses. The program ended up working with 44 homeowners over two years, but Gamble wanted to do more. “Education and empowerment of an existing group of folks is one of the most precious things you can offer to them, especially to folks who have been in the neighborhood for quite some time,” he said. “They own their home; they take quite a bit of pride in what they’re doing and what they’ve been able to build but just might not be aware of what they have access to.”


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Jazz history art exhibit opens at East Lake Theatre

By TARA MASSOULEH Artist Craig Legg is bringing new life to East Lake’s most infamous theater with the opening of his art exhibit, “History of Jazz: An Exercise in Visual Storytelling.” The East Lake Theatre was originally opened as the College Theater in 1948. Later, the traditional movie theater took a turn when it was bought and became Cinema Blue, a pornographic theater. After years of abandonment, East Lake developer Vince Amaro purchased the theater, and began working with Legg to turn the old lobby screening room into a gallery. “History of Jazz” is Legg’s second art show in the space. His first, “The Sacred and the Mundane: Transforming the Worldly Discarded into Art of the Supernatural,” was held in summer 2015. For his new exhibit, Legg said he was inspired by Birmingham’s rich jazz history. He said though Birmingham hasn’t produced many nationally known jazz musicians, save his favorite, Sun Ra, the city is a jazz town nonetheless. “Birmingham is a huge jazz town because everyone here taught it in school,” he said. “Since they taught people how to read it and they knew the basics, [Birmingham musicians] would get jobs with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the big bands because everyone

Craig Legg at work on the History of Jazz art exhibit. Photo by Tara Massouleh.

knew people who trained in Birmingham knew what they were doing.” To prepare for the show, Legg spent nearly a year reading up on the subject. From its major player to its many sub-eras, Legg studied everything he could find on jazz. “This was the first time I really paid attention to the whole history and how it came together, and it was just fascinating from the get go,” he said. Legg’s 60 works range in size and go from small $20-$30 paintings to his largest, a 24-by-36-inch acrylic painting depicting

the bebop jazz era. The piece, Legg’s admitted favorite, will be priced at a few hundred dollars. “The history of jazz breaks down real easy into decades and styles, and bebop was a true revolution,” he said. In addition to size, Legg’s works also differ in medium. The exhibit features three major styles: acrylic painting on canvas, Styrofoam carvings covered in papier-mâché and constructions made from found objects. He said the paintings represent the meat of the show, but he’s most excited about the found object

LAKEVIEW

Sidebar adding beach volleyball court to spur friendly activity By ALYX CHANDLER Sidebar is bringing the beach to Lakeview. Owner John Davis Conner said he is hoping to offer customers the chance to get out in the sun and play beach volleyball tournaments and pickup games as soon as he gets approval from the city. He wants to offer locals the chance to make competitive teams as well as compete against other bars such as Innisfree and Tin Roof. Conner said providing active games while serving alcohol is becoming more popular around the country. After one of his friends gave him the idea, he did some research and discovered how successful neighboring cities were. “We’re getting into being a healthy society,” he said. In addition, he wants to start corn hole tournaments and life-sized beer pong games. Conner

section where he used objects like bottle caps, cans and automobile parts to create jazz instruments. The former poet, who has only been making art for the past 15 years, said that for him, the message behind the show is more important than the art itself. “I’m not trying to express myself; I’m too old for that,” he said. “I’m not much for art for arts sake. So the most important part is actually the text.” For this reason, a paragraph explaining the history behind the work and what it represents will accompany each of Legg’s works. Legg, who describes himself as a “history buff,” not only wants to share his art with the community, but also the history behind it. The East Lake resident said he hopes the show will draw people into the neighborhood so more positive activity will follow. “There’s a group of us who are trying to make something in East Lake,” he said. “I’m just trying to keep it going here.” “History of Jazz: An Exercise in Visual Storytelling” will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through August or by appointment in the East Lake Theatre Art Gallery Annex, 7606 First Ave. N. Admission is free. For more information email craiglegg@juno. com or call 410-7702.

SOUTHSIDE

Taco Mama coming to Waites By ERICA TECHO

Photo courtesy of John Davis Conner.

said that anyone 21 years or older can participate. People and regular groups who come to Sidebar have shown interest in wanting to exercise and drink beer, he said. But he also wants to install a raised deck that will be a viewing area for people who don’t want to get in the sand. “We hope to serve beer out there,” Conner said, but he added it depends on approval. He began the approval process in January but said projects like this take time. Already, he has gone through the zoning and building departments. He aims for the volleyball beach area to be ready in a couple of months. He met with the city on July 13 to take the final step. He’s also in the process of opening Sidebar on Sundays and asking food trucks to serve meals on some days. “I hope this is something the city can get behind, and I hope it will become as big as I think it will,” Conner said.

A new option for margaritas and tacos is coming to Southside. Taco Mama, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant, is opening its sixth location at the Waites development under construction. Founder and owner Will Haver said they have looked at moving downtown for a while, but wanted to wait for the best opportunity to open up. “Our main drive was to be part of downtown, but really be close to UAB because we felt like that could support us as downtown developed,” Haver said. The Waites development was fitting, he said, because it has its own parking and is close to the business and medical communities in downtown. They expect to start the build-out on Taco Mama in June 2017, when construction is set to be complete. “It gives it another year for it to develop even more, and a lot can happen in a year, especially in downtown Birmingham,” he said. After the space is turned over to Taco Mama, Haver said it should only be

about 90 days before they open. “Being that it’s a new development really gives us the leg up,” he said. “A lot of locations we go into we retrofit, and you’re dealing with a building that may be from the 1920s and has a lot of character … but when you go into a new development like this, it cuts some of that work out. It cuts some of the unknown out.” The space will be about 2,300 to 2,400 square feet and will have the same look as Taco Mama’s other locations. The feel of a Taco Mama is just as important as the food, Haver said. “We’re pretty set in our ways,” Haver said. “We always want those garage doors, and we will have them there. It will look and feel like most of the Taco Mamas.” The original Taco Mama location in Crestline opened in 2011, and the restaurant’s fourth and fifth locations in Edgewood and at The Summit opened in 2016. Haver said he credits Taco Mama employees, director of operations Robert Rodriguez and director of corporate development Dayton Miller with the restaurant’s success and growth.


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PUT THESE IN AUGUST’S BEST BETS

SECRET STAGES - MUSIC DISCOVERY FESTIVAL

Aug. 5-6. 6 p.m. to midnight Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday. Downtown Loft District

Secret Stages is a two-day walking music festival that takes place across downtown. For two nights a diverse group of music enthusiasts are treated to around 60 bands performing on the stages of neighborhood establishments. These acts were drawn from the nation, the region and our own backyard, and all are up-and-coming or buzz-worthy acts on the cusp of making a big splash. All venues are within a two-block radius, so patrons can come to the city center, park, and have walking access to dozens of bands, a variety of venues, and delectable restaurants. For more information, visit secretstages.net.

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LIVE AT THE LYRIC: LEWIS BLACK

Aug. 19. 7 p.m. Birmingham Museum of Art

Aug. 25. 8 p.m. Lyric Theatre

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 — including Sweet Crude this month — and downtown Birmingham businesses, Art on the Rocks presents a Friday night of art, music, performances, food and fun. Tickets $25 for nonmembers, $15 for members. For more information, call 254-2565.

Known as the king of the rant, Lewis Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world. Tickets range from $40-$55. 18 and older. For more information, call 252-2262.

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

18TH ANNUAL SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL

Aug. 26-27. Showtimes vary. Theatre District

The Sidewalk Film Festival has been named one of MovieMaker magazine’s “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” two years in a row (2014-15). Come be part of the magic of 200+ movies, parties, panels, workshops, music, food and more in the heart of Birmingham. For more information, call 602-3648 or visit sidewalkfest.com.

OFFICIAL BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL

third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

Aug. 1: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers.

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

Aug. 2: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. Aug. 8: Birmingham City Council Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Aug. 8: Birmingham City Council Governmental Affairs Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall,

Aug. 9: Birmingham City Council Public Improvements and Beautification Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A. Aug. 15: Birmingham City Council Planning and Zoning Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A. Aug. 15: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers.

Aug. 15: 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. Aug. 16: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor. Aug. 23: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

Aug. 23: Birmingham City Council Education Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Aug. 23: Birmingham City Council Utilities Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Aug. 24: Birmingham City Council Committee of the Whole. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Aug. 26: Birmingham City Council Administration/Technology Committee. 1 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.


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

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETINGS Aug. 8: Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Avondale Library, 509 40th St. S. Visit forestparksouthavondale.com for more information. Aug. 8: Woodlawn Neighborhood Association meeting. 5709 1st Ave N. Call President Brenda Pettaway at 593-4487 for more information. Aug. 9: 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. Aug. 11: Roebuck Springs Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. South Roebuck Baptist/Community Church. Call President Frank Hamby at 222-2319 for more information. Aug. 16: 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. Aug. 22: Crestwood South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. 1220 50th St. S. Aug. 22: Crestwood North Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Girls Inc. of Alabama. Aug. 22: Huffman Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Cornerstone School, 959 Huffman Road. Aug. 22: Five Points South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6-7:15 p.m. Southside Library, 1814 11th Ave. S. Visit fivepointsbham. com for more information.

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

COMMUNITY Every Saturday through September: Valleydale Farmers Market. 8 a.m. to noon. 4601 Valleydale Road. Come by and check out our wide selection of fresh produce, arts & crafts, entertainment and tasty samples. For more information, visit

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valleydalefarmersmarket.com. Every Saturday through Oct. 15: East Lake Market. 8 a.m. to noon. 7769 2nd Ave. N. East Lake Market offers fresh produce from local farmers and homemade jams, relishes, bread and more. Check back each week to discover new entertainment, health and wellness activities and volunteer opportunities. Rain or shine. For more information, call 836-3201. July 29: Percy Jackson Film Festival. 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Birmingham Public Library - Central Branch. In celebration of Percy Jackson’s upcoming August birthday, come to our Percy Jackson film festival in the Story Castle. Refreshments will be provided. Target audience: tweens. For more information, call 226-3654. July 30: Italian American Heritage Society hosts Summer Dance Party, presented by Italian American Heritage Society of Birmingham. Doors open at 7 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m. Old Car Heaven. Dance with the live band Total Assets. Light hors d’oeuvres provided. Tickets $40 per person. For more information, visit iahsbham.com.

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wine, and specialty cocktails, and enjoy delicious Southern cuisine. The night’s main event is the debut of paintings created by pets belonging to prominent members of our community (with a little help from well-known local artists). The live auction also includes an array of trips, dining experiences, jewelry and other unique packages. All funds raised enable Hand in Paw to carry out our mission to improve human health and wellbeing. Tickets $175. For more information, visit picassopets.com. Aug. 13: Beer Bands & Bullies, presented by Bama Bully Rescue. 4-10 p.m. Avondale Brewing MUST Company. Just a $10 donation SEE gets you in the door for a night of amazing music by some of Birmingham’s most talented musicians. We’ll have raffles on site, T-shirts and other merchandise at the bully booth. Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome! For more information, call 568-2660.

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across the U.S.! JOX Roundtable hosts will be the emcees for the night and Well Dunn Entertainment will provide the DJ for dancing the night away. Attire is summer cocktail. Admission $65. For more information, visit autismshinesgala. com. Aug. 20: Roller Derby! Tragic City Rollers home bout. Doors open at 6 p.m., whistle blows at 7 p.m. Zamora Shrine Temple. Come watch your Birmingham women’s roller derby league, the Tragic City Rollers. See ALL skaters involved with TCR as we play each other in a very competitive, intra-league bout. Our Uncivil War. Will you cheer for the Hot Quads or the Rollsheviks?! Get your tickets at brownpapertickets.com/event/2508667. Tickets $10 online, $15 at the door. Kids 8 and under always get in free.

Aug. 13: Babypalooza Baby and Maternity Expo. 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. BJCC Exhibition Halls. You will be connected to the local resources you need PLUS have the opportunity to visit with baby and July 30-31: Harry Potter Countdown to Midnight maternity exhibitors, learn about new products at Party. 8-midnight Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the Babies-r-Us Baby Registry, speak to childcare Sunday. Join us for a special Countdown to providers, visit with pediatricians and much more. Midnight Party leading up to the release of Harry Admission is free, but registration is required to Aug. 21: Southern Bridal Show. Noon to 5 p.m. Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two, a enter. For more information, call 440-2229. Fashion show at 4 p.m. BJCC Exhibition Hall. special rehearsal edition script book, which goes Brides are able to meet face to face with wedding on sale 7/31 at midnight. The party will feature a Aug. 18: Vino & Van Gogh, presented by UCP of professionals and find everything you need to special Muggle Wall where customers can share Greater Birmingham. 6-10 p.m. Iron City. Each create the wedding of your dreams! You can their favorite memories of Harry Potter as well as August, UCP’s Junior Board hosts Vino & Van see a photographer’s pictures, taste samples amazing giveaways and fun activities. On Sunday, Gogh. Vino & Van Gogh is a wine and art event of cakes and foods from the caterers, see your July 31, customers can return to Barnes & Noble featuring a silent auction and music. Local future gown and the tuxedo of your groom on the at The Summit to discuss the new book and wine vendors provide tastings, and heavy hors fashion show runway, listen to the music of your participate in special Harry Potter-themed events d’oeuvres are served throughout the event. All DJ, visualize the flowers that you will be carrying and activities, as a follow-up to the Countdown to proceeds from the silent auction benefit UCP. down the aisle, get ideas for your bridal registry, Midnight Party the night before. Wear costumes These proceeds provide programs and services plan your honeymoon and so much more. For and upload pictures using hashtags #BNHP such as inclusive preschool education, therapy more information, call 532-8917. and #ReadTheMagic. Admission free. For more services, outpatient physical medicine and information, call 298-0665. rehabilitation services, technology training, Aug. 26-28: Rick and Bubba Outdoor Expo. Times employment and independent living skills for vary. BJCC Exhibition Hall. Come see and enjoy Aug. 6: KultureBALL 2016. 6:30-11 p.m. The people with disabilities. Tickets $35 per person the top outdoor retailers and organizations in the Haven building. The ball will feature great or $60 per couple. For more information, call country, nearly 200 exhibitors, autograph and photo entertainment, an elegant dinner, a one-of-a-kind 944-3916. sessions with outdoor personalities, and more all live and silent auction, our amazing LifeWALK under one roof. For more information, call 458-8400. and also the chance to rub shoulders with tons Aug. 19: Chirps and Chips, presented by the of local and national celebrities. Tickets $99. For Alabama Wildlife Center. 7-10 p.m. Birmingham more information, visit kulturecity.org/kultureball. Botanical Gardens. A fun-filled casino-themed night Aug. 27: 10th Annual Fairy Tale Ball, benefiting that includes games, a silent auction, complimentary Childcare Resources. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Embassy Suites Birmingham-Hoover River Ballroom. Aug. 6: Pup Crawl. 1-5 p.m. Avondale Brewing hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. Tickets $50 per Guests of all ages can enjoy a formal night out Company. Join the Greater Birmingham Humane person. For more information, visit awrc.org. that includes fairy land activities and a silent Society for its final Pup Crawl of the summer. We will be imbibing in some of our favorite locally Aug. 20: Alabama Tour de Cure + Step Out: Walk auction, which features locally donated items, hand-crafted beers (or if you have more than to Stop Diabetes, presented by American Diabetes services, sports tickets and vacation packages. Enjoy dance music, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, two legs, a bowl of water). A $10 donation earns Association. First check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. entry into the event, as well as one entry for a $25 registration for cyclists; free registration for adult and children’s beverages, a “candy bar” and interactive entertainment. Your guests and you chance to win a pair of Adele tickets! For more walkers. For more information, call 870-5172. will delight in fairy tale characters and whimsical information, call 942-1211. entertainers. Family ticket (admits four - two Aug. 20: Autism Shines Gala, presented by Aug. 13: 16th annual Picasso Pets Animal Artist Autism Society of Alabama. 6-10 p.m. Birmingham adults per family) $200; child ticket (12 and younger) $20; adult ticket $90; children younger Debut and Auction. 6 p.m. The Harbert Center. Marriott Hotel. Guests will enjoy complimentary Guests can mingle with our star therapy animals, cocktails, a seated dinner, live and silent auction than 2 are free. For more information, call 945peruse a top-notch silent auction, sip craft beer, featuring local packages and awesome trips 0018, ext. 306.


AUGUST 2016

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

37

DISCOVER MUSIC

Aug. 10: Flow Tribe. Bar opens at 4 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. WorkPlay. Tickets $12.

July 29: JD Souther. 8 p.m. Forum Theater at the BJCC. Tickets $37, and all ages must have a ticket. For more information, call 800-745-3000.

Aug. 11: Jim Lauderdale. Bar opens at 4 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. WorkPlay. Tickets $15.

MFA at UC Davis. She has had numerous shows, for more detail see JuliaElsas.com, and her work has been exhibited at the International Print Center in New York City. Admission free. For more information, call 601-6980.

Aug. 13: The Black Jacket Symphony presents The Eagles’ “Hotel California.” Doors open at 7 p.m.; show starts at 8 p.m. Iron City. Tickets $25.

July 28-Aug. 7: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” Showtimes vary. Virginia Samford Theatre. July 30: BoomBox. Doors open at 7 p.m., This classic story tells of Belle, a young woman show starts at 8 p.m. Iron City, 513 22nd St. S. in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is Tickets $18-$20. For more information, visit Aug. 13: Donate Life Gospel Celebration. 3 really a young prince trapped under the spell ironcitybham.com. p.m. Lyric Theatre. This year’s performances of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to will feature some of the best gospel talent love and be loved, the curse will end and he July 31: Maxwell. 7:30 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. Birmingham has to offer. Prepare to hear the will be transformed to his former self. But Tickets range from $68-$122. All ages must have amazing sounds of Birmingham Chapter Gospel time is running out. If the Beast does not learn a ticket. For more information, call 800-745-3000. Music Workshop of America, Inc.Choir, Evelyn S. his lesson soon, he and his household will be Hardy Men of Distinction Male Chorus of Sixth doomed for all eternity. Featuring music from Aug. 2: 311. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; show starts Avenue Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church, the Academy Award-winning animated feature at 8 p.m. Iron City. Tickets $50. Angenetta Smith, Brother Jessie Champion by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, Omega Choral, Marvin Pullom & FWD and along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Aug. 5: Bards & Brews Open Trinesha & S.O.T.L. This event is free and open to Rice. Tickets $25 for reserved seating; $15 for Mic. 6:30-9 p.m. Birmingham the public. We hope that you will join us as we 18 and younger. For more information, Public Library - Central Branch. MUST celebrate beautiful gospel music and the amazing students visit virginiasamfordtheatre.org or call 251Bards & Brews is a spoken SEE gift of life. You must have a printed ticket for 1206. word poetry performance/ admittance to the concert. For more information, beer tasting event. The event call 731-9200. July 29: Summer Film Series at the Alabama is emceed by performance artist and poetry Theatre. 7 p.m. “Mommie Dearest.” Doors open events director Voice Porter. Live musical Aug. 14: Buffalo Springfield - A Tribute. Doors one hour before showtime. There will be a singperformances are held before the poetry open at 2 p.m. WorkPlay. Tickets $12. along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before performances begin. Craft beer is donated by each film. Tickets $8. For more information, call breweries from around the region. The staff Aug. 17: Jenny Lewis, presented by Birmingham 745-3000. from J. Clyde usually pours for the evening. Mountain Radio. Doors open at 7 p.m.; show starts You must be 18 or over to attend, and 21 or at 8 p.m. Iron City. Tickets $28.50-$30.50. July 29-30: The Savannah Disputation. over to drink. Bring your ID. Come early, as Showtimes vary. Birmingham Festival Theatre. these events are well attended. For more Aug. 19: NOYOKO. Bar opens at 4 p.m.; doors Two elderly sisters forget all about southern information, call 226-3671. open at 7 p.m. WorkPlay. Tickets $15. charm when a young door-to-door evangelist comes knocking. This theological comedy Aug. 5: Three On A String - 45 Year Reunion Show. Aug. 19: Hard Working Americans. Doors open blends Smith’s trademark sharpness of wit 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. at 7 p.m.; show starts at 8 p.m. Iron City. Tickets and depth of character, while telling a story in Lyric Theatre. Three on a String is a long-lived $26-$30. which a crisis of faith arises when seemingly bluegrass trio. Doors open one hour before similar beliefs are discovered to be worlds showtime. Tickets range from $22 to $40. For Aug. 24: Sawyer Fredericks. Bar opens at 4 p.m.; apart. Tickets $20. For more information, call more information, visit threeonastring.com. doors open at 6:30 p.m. WorkPlay. Tickets $20. 933-2383. Aug. 5-6: Magic City Reggae Festival. Music Aug. 26-27: Yacht Rock Revue. 7 p.m. Avondale July 29-30: Search Party! Showtimes vary. begins 7 p.m. both nights. In front of City Brewing Company. ‘70s light rock tribute band. Terrific New Theatre. Dolores Hydock is back, one Hall. Enjoy social service tables, art and craft Tickets $18-$22. For more information, call more time, before Carl Stewart retires July 30. vendors, live reggae bands Sherman and the 777-5456. Thirty years of TNT = 25 years of this Dolores/ Sterling Brothers, Reggae band featuring Steve Foater, Monica King, spoken word, Carl partnership, which includes 17 productions. Aug. 26: Tony Joe White. Bar opens at 4 p.m.; dance groups, African drummers and dancers, In this one-woman show, Dolores and characters doors open at 6:30 p.m. WorkPlay. Tickets $18. stilt walkers and more. Discount tickets Trudy, Crissy, Kate, Brandy, Tina and Susan go available for city and state workers. For more searching for God, human connection and signs information, call 267-3673. of intelligent life in a trio of favorite plays from her long theatrical collaboration with director Aug. 6: The Oak Ridge Boys. 7:30 p.m. BJCC. The Carl Stewart. For more information, call 328Oak Ridge Boys have achieved a decorated career, Every Tuesday: Positively Funny Improv. 7 p.m. 0868. winning five GRAMMY® Awards, and multiple Rare Martini. Discover Birmingham’s hidden CMA, ACM and Dove Awards for their cross-over comedy jewels live on stage every week. Great July 29-Aug. 28: lobby projects: Bethany Collins. brand of pop, country and gospel music that food and drinks and outstanding comedy in a hip Times vary. Birmingham Museum of Art. lobby spans multiple generations. Tickets range from intimate setting. $5 general admission. For more projects is a new initiative by the Birmingham $30-$60. For more information, visit ticketmaster. information, call 323-0008. Museum of Art that invites contemporary artists com or call 745-3000. to create site-specific commissions in the July 27-Aug. 14: Julia Elsas, Hey Friend! Museum’s main entrance. A native of Montgomery, Aug. 6: Will Kimbrough. Bar opens at 4 p.m.; Showtimes vary. PaperWorkersLocal. Julia Elsas Collins is a multidisciplinary artist whose doors open at 6:30 p.m. WorkPlay. Tickets $15. was born in Birmingham and works in Brooklyn. conceptually-driven work is fueled by critical She is a mixed media artist who incorporates exploration of how race and language interact. Aug. 9: Jerry Douglas Band. Bar opens at 4 p.m.; printmaking and papermaking into her art. She General museum admission is free. For more doors open at 6:30 p.m. WorkPlay. Tickets $20. graduated from Carleton College and earned her information, call 254-2565.

ICI

ARTS

July 29-Aug. 31: History of Jazz Art Exhibit. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. East Lake Theatre Art Gallery Annex. Art exhibit featuring fifty new works from Craig Legg, documenting the colorful history of jazz from 19th century ragtime roots to 1960’s Free Jazz improvisations. Admission is free. For more information, call 410-7702. July 29-Aug. 19: Electra: The Divinity of Light 1926-2016. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Electra is the 23-foottall, golden statue atop the eastern end of the tiled roof of the Alabama Power Building at 600 18th Street North. Originally entitled “Divinity of Light,” the statue was sculpted by Edward Field Sanford, Jr of New York. His design consisted of a graceful nude female holding six lightning bolts over her head. The 4,000 pound bronze casting was covered in gold leaf. The exhibit features photographs, historical stories and original art by Alabama artists in celebration of her 90th birthday. For more information call 257-2095. July 29-Aug. 20: Yaacov Agam: Metamorphic Exhibition. Times vary. UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. The exhibition will highlight works spanning multiple decades with a strong emphasis on Agam’s popular Agamograph technique, which utilizes lenticular printing to create different images in a single artwork when viewed from multiple angles. Admission is free. For more information, call 975-6436. July 29-Aug. 20: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Picturing/Performing the Self Exhibition. Times vary. UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. María Magdalena Campos-Pons explores the complexity of her heterogeneous Cuban identity in works that include large-format Polaroid photography as well as video and mixed media installation. Free admission. For more information, call 975-6436. July 29-Aug. 20: American Sublime: Selections from the Jack and Susan Warner Collection of American Art. Times vary. UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. Featuring seventeen works selected from the private collection of Jack and Susan Warner of Tuscaloosa, the exhibition will feature masterpieces of 19th and early 20th century American Art including works by Winslow Homer, Jasper Cropsey, Alfred Jacob Miller, Frederick Frieseke, Thomas Cole, and Frederick Edwin Church, among others. Admission is free. For more information, call 975-6436. July 29-Aug. 27: Fantabulous Summer Art Sale. Times vary. Naked Art Gallery. Up to 50 percent off on art. For more information, call 595-3553. July 31: Summer Film Series at the Alabama


38 BUSINESS

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SIPS & BITES

Theatre. 7 p.m. “Guys and Dolls.” Doors open one hour before showtime. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before each film. Tickets $8. For more information, call 7453000. Aug. 5: Summer Film Series at the Alabama Theatre. 7 p.m. “The Sandlot.” Doors open one hour before showtime. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before each film. Tickets $8. For more information, call 7453000. Aug. 7: Summer Film Series at the Alabama Theatre. 7 p.m. “Show Boat.” Doors open one hour before showtime. There will be a sing-along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before each film. Tickets $8. For more information, call 745-3000.

HAPPENINGS

FACES

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

Aug. 19-21: Cirque du Soleil presents “TORUK - The First Flight.” Showtimes vary. Legacy Arena at BJCC. When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands … So begins the adventure of Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK – The First Flight. The arena spectacular brings the world of James Cameron’s “Avatar” to Birmingham’s Legacy Arena for five performances. Tickets begin at $33. For more information, visit cirquedusoleil.com or call 4588400.

Aug. 19-Oct. 16: John DeMotte, New Works. 5:30-7:30 p.m. PaperWorkersLocal. This is a solo show of new work by John DeMotte, a significant Birmingham artist who works primarily in photography and printmaking, specializing in photo intaglio and engraving with monoprint. Aug. 12: Summer Film Series at the Alabama Theatre. 7 p.m. “Jaws.” Doors open one hour before Admission is free. For more information, call showtime. There will be a sing-along and Mighty 601-6980. Wurlitzer performance before each film. Tickets Aug. 30-Sept. 16: The Little Engine That Could, $8. For more information, call 745-3000. presented by the Birmingham Children’s Theatre. Showtimes vary. BJCC. Jean Pierce brings the Aug. 14: Summer Film Series at the Alabama Theatre. 7 p.m. “Gone With the Wind.” Doors open “The Little Engine That Could” to the stage in a delightful adaptation of the classic children’s one hour before showtime. There will be a singbook. Tickets $10 for children, $15 for adults. along and Mighty Wurlitzer performance before For more information, visit bct123.org/the-littleeach film. Tickets $8. For more information, call engine-that-could. 745-3000.

AUGUST 2016

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

SPORTS Aug. 4: WWE presents NXT Live. 7:30 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. Superstars like Austin Aries, Shinsuke Nakamura and Bayley will participate. Tickets range from $20-$75 plus fees. For more information, visit wwe.com/shows/wwenxt. Aug. 20: Second annual Just A Call Away 5K and Fun Run, presented by Crisis Center. 6:30 a.m. packet pickup and late registration; 8 a.m. 5K begins; 9 a.m. Fun Run begins. Uptown Entertainment District. The Crisis Center is asking “Who would you run for?” This 5K is chip timed and takes runners through Birmingham’s premier entertainment district. Just A Call Away 5K is a USAT&F certified event. Runners of all ages and abilities are welcome. Strollers and pets are welcome. Awards presented. Admission $15-$30. For more information, visit https://runsignup. com/Race/AL/Birmingham/ACallAway5K.

DISCOVER

Ward Park, and then loop back toward UAB on 11th Avenue. Following the race, we will have food, drinks, and music! Prices will be awarded to the fastest man and woman. This is a family friendly event and runners and walkers of all levels are welcome. There will be a Kids Zone and Kids Run for children of participants. Registration includes a race packet and T-shirt. Registration will close Aug. 18 at 10 p.m. There will be registration the morning of the event for $30. For more information, call 443-9051.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS (HOME GAMES AT REGIONS FIELD)

July 31: vs. Tennessee, 6 p.m. Aug. 1: vs. Tennessee, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 2: vs. Tennessee, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 3: vs. Tennessee, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 4: vs. Tennessee, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 11: vs. Chattanooga, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 12: vs. Chattanooga, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 13: vs. Chattanooga, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 20: Third annual EAB Heart+Sole 5K and Aug. 14: vs. Chattanooga, 3 p.m. Kids Run. 7 a.m. packet pickup and breakfast. 8 a.m. race begins. UAB Campus Green. Equal Access Aug. 15: vs. Chattanooga, 7:05 p.m. Birmingham is a medical student run free clinic in Aug. 17: vs. Jackson, 7:05 p.m. downtown Birmingham that provides free health Aug. 18: vs. Jackson, 7:05 p.m. care and education to uninsured members of the Aug. 19: vs. Jackson, 7:05 p.m. Birmingham Community. The race will begin near Aug. 20: vs. Jackson, 6:30 p.m. the UAB Campus Green, continue toward George Aug. 21: vs. Jackson, 3 p.m.


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Iron City Ink August 2016  
Iron City Ink August 2016