Page 1

NOVEMBER 2017

VOLUME 2

IRON CITY

ISSUE 6

INK FREEDOM TO

THRIVE Dynamite Hill-Smithfield nonprofit works to bolster community-led development initiatives. 22

INSIDE

BUSINESS

A reward for courage Literacy Council helps adults harness second chance at overcoming lifelong illiteracy. 20

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

FACES


4

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

ABOUT

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

NOVEMBER 2017

FACES

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

24 DIGGING IN DEEP: A sport similar to steeplechase, cyclocross carves out niche in central Alabama.

BUSINESS

FACES

HAPPENINGS

A BLIND LEAP: Hueytown native Jordan Reeves starts nonprofit to help LGBT people share their stories. 16

MORE THAN MEDICINE: Gilmer Drugs committed to Ensley’s revitalization, owner says. 6 REAL ESTATE: Transactions and developments slated for the metro’s real estate market. 8

SIPS & BITES

A JOURNEY IN DANCE: ASFA’s Teri Weksler has been a dancer, teacher, director and more. 12

ROCKING NERD-PUNK: Twenty years later, Nowhere Squares exploring their catharsis everywhere. 17

DISCOVER WORTH THE WAIT: Fero, the only fine dining, sit-down restaurant at Pizitz Food Hall, updates old-school dishes. 10

IRON CITY

INK

RETURNING TO ROOTS: Dia de Los uertos Festival returns for its 15th year but at a new location. 14

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

Dan Starnes Sydney Cromwell Jesse Chambers Kristin Williams Sarah Finnegan Erica Techo Alyx Chandler

NOVEMBER’S BEST BETS: Your quick guide to metro Birmingham music and events scheduled this month. 29

Community Reporters: Lexi Coon Sam Chandler Contributing Writers: Rachel Hellwig Loren Hopkins

Published by: Starnes Publishing LLC

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

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

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

Please recycle this paper.

Advertising Manager: Matthew Allen Account Manager: Layton Dudley Sales and Distribution: Warren Caldwell Eric Clements Don Harris Michelle Salem Haynes James Plunkett Rhonda Smith Vicky Hager Ellen Skrmetti

Advertising inquiries: matthew@starnes publishing.com


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

5

IRONCITY.INK

ABOUT

EDITOR’S NOTE

W

hen politics are so divisive on the national scale, it makes sense they’d be divisive at home as well. I want to congratulate Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin and both the new and incumbent members of the City Council and Board of Education who will be taking their seats in the new term. But back in early October, as the run-off election approached, a small part of my brain was saying, “I’m glad this is almost over.” Among local friends and Facebook groups, the election was the talk of the city — and for good reason. So often, however, discussion turned ugly and insults and unfounded arguments took over attempts to understand the other side. I’m no stranger to the fact that politics isn’t pretty, but it felt like déjà vu, like I was back in the exhausting cycle of the 2016 presidential election all over again. So now, the dust has settled. Your chosen candidate may have won and is preparing to take office, or perhaps they lost. And while I’d hardly call myself an idealist, I’d like to make a request of

Birmingham: Remember that what’s behind us isn’t as important as what’s ahead of us. Staying in that contentious frame of mind and dwelling on either your wins or your losses won’t get Birmingham to where it needs to be. That’s as true for the candidates as it is for those who voted for them. It’s also true that no mayor, council member or school board member is solely responsible for where this city goes in the next four years. You have a vision of what you want Birmingham to be, and that load is partially on your shoulders, too. Voice your support or voice your opposition to the agendas of those in power, and don’t stop until you’re heard. Petition, protest, volunteer, fundraise, show up to council meetings — it’s all needed. Just don’t stay stuck.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS Alabama Power (23) American Marketing Association (11) Avondale Animal Hospital (6) Avondale Common House & Distillery (10) Bedzzz Express (2) Bird’s Bar & Pizza (7) Birmingham Broadway Theatre League (32) Birmingham Festival Theatre (6) Budget Blinds (19) Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery (15) Children’s of Alabama (14) Christmas Village (10)

Cynthia Vines Butler, LLC (10) ElementsBhm (5) Enroll Alabama (9) Gaynell Hendricks - Tax Assessor (17) Hutchinson Automotive (15) Iron City Realty (14) Moss Rock Festival (27) Pies and Pints (13) Pitts & Associates Mental Health Professionals (17) RealtySouth (3) Sarah Caiola, Iron City Realty (5) The Maids (1, 11) United Way of Central Alabama (13)

FIND US Scan the QR code for a complete list of locations to pick up Iron City Ink: Want to join this list or get Iron City Ink mailed to your home? Contact Matthew Allen at matthew @starnespublishing.com.


6

BUSINESS Gilmer Drugs owners Karen and Jimmy Crane inside their store. Jimmy Crane said he is making Gilmer Drugs into a sort of general store and community gathering spot — a safe, pleasant spot for patrons to shop for convenience items, buy fresh produce or just sit at the front table and talk to friends or wait for a bus. Photos by Jesse Chambers.

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

MORE THAN MEDICINE Gilmer Drugs committed to Ensley’s revitalization, owner says

J

By JESSE CHAMBERS

immy Crane is the pharmacist and owner of Gilmer Drugs, a long-time institution in downtown Ensley. And like other business people, he has to make a living. But the store means something more to Crane, who grew up in Fairfield and has been a pharmacist for over 30 years. Gilmer Drug provides Crane and his staff with the opportunity to help people in an economically challenged community still reeling from job losses in recent decades at nearby U.S. Steel facilities. In fact, Crane is seeking to make the store — in existence for 118 years, he said — not just a place


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

7

BUSINESS for residents to fill their prescriptions. He is also making ilmer rugs into a sort of general store and community gathering spot for once-bustling nsley — a safe, pleasant place to shop for convenience items, buy fresh produce or ust sit at the front table and talk to friends or wait for a bus. The pharmacy staff also strives to help customers understand their medicines and navigate co-pays, insurance and the other issues of a comple health care system. “ t’s a mission,” Crane said of the store. “At my age and what ’ve been through, could be making more money at a chain, but chose a different way of life.” And ilmer rugs was recently honored for its community engagement with an award from the non-profit group Main treet Alabama, according to a news release from R V Birmingham. Crane and his wife, Karen, who grew up in Minor, decided about a year ago to invest more of their money in the store, Crane said. “ od put it in my heart, guess, but my wife and are committed to nsley,” he said. “We view it more as a ministry than a ob,” Karen Crane said. “We’re committed to staying here as long as od would have us here.” They’re making improvements to the nine-employee store, including the addition

of more merchandise such as grocery and household items. And it will be reasonably priced, Crane said. “ am not here to prey on this community,” he said. Plans for the store include health fairs, health screenings and other events, according to Crane. The store already features a produce stand as part of a R V Birmingham initiative. Crane en oys his work. “ love the interaction with the individuals,” he said. “ ’ve ust always been a people person.” One long-time employee, cashier and nsley resident ucilla Miles, also en oys that daily interaction. “ love my ob, and love talking to the customers,” said Miles, an employee of the store for 21 years. ong-time customer lizabeth Theresa Brown, who grew up in nsley and volunteers at the Wednesday clothes closet, likes the warm, friendly atmosphere at the store. “ verybody in here gets to know you by name and asks how you feel,” Brown said. That friendly vibe also makes it easier for Crane and the other staffers, including technician Chris Plan and technician ackie Key, to help patients figure out a solution when, for e ample, they have an e pensive co-pay on a badly needed medication. “ hope we bring that personal service,”

Jimmy Crane, left, talks to Elizabeth and Josh Brenneman, who run a pop-up coffee shop on alternate Wednesdays inside Gilmer Drugs.

he said. “We can help bridge that gap when there are issues with insurance.” Crane said he is “very hopeful” overall for nsley’s future, and he e pressed support for a city plan to create a combined public safety headquarters in the old McCormack office building in downtown nsley. “ think it would be phenomenal,” he said. He said the hundreds of employees and visitors drawn to the facility could help stimulate the need for “ancillary businesses,” including a restaurant, in the nsley retail core. osh and lizabeth Brenneman run a pop-up coffee shop at ilmer rugs on alternate Wednesdays, so that Crane can provide his customers with complimentary coffee. osh Brenneman said that he and his wife have en oyed being in nsley.

“ verybody here is a family,” he said, while making a tall Americano for a visitor. “There’s a tight-knit community with the businesses. They all work together.” Crane was surprised and pleased, but a little shy, about the store winning the Main treet Alabama award. “ like to be a low-key person,” Crane said. “ t’s ust a oint effort for a lot of people.” And Crane said he realized how much the neighborhood has given him. “ t’s not ust the store being a blessing to the community, it’s that this community has been a blessing to me,” Cranes said. He learned a valuable spiritual lesson working there. “ etting to know the people and understanding the struggles some of them had, ’m more sympathetic,” he said. “We need to help our neighbor get a fresh start,” he said.


8

BUSINESS

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

NOVEMBER 2017

FACES

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

C BJC

k Par

Sloss Furnaces

t Pos

. tN

e ffic

3rd

ue

n Ave

N.

var ule d t St 31s . tN

ree

. tN

tree hS

28t

tree dS

22n

tree hS

. tN

20t . tN

ue

n Ave

N. ue

n Ave

N. ue

N. e

enu

e enu

ont

C

.

1

. hS tree tN .

S. .

11

gto

rrin

eS

u ven th A

.

ue

n Ave

dA

5th

S.

tN

ue

n Ave

.

ue S

en h Av

10t

tree

4th

dS

Av

har

10

ld

s Fie

ion Reg

S.

e enu

Ric

2

3rd

S.

24t

ue

n Ave

23r

2nd

ark dP

roa

Rail

26th St

reet N.

. Bo n Jr

6

Niazu

var ule

ma Av

d

A small commercial building at 400 41st St. S. in Avondale will soon be converted for use by up to four retail or office tenants. Construction is e pected to begin in mid-November and be complete in April 2018, according to developer Adam Thrower. The design for the project has received final approval, Thrower said. The renovated facility, which once served as a gas station, will measure about 4,000 s uare feet. Prier Construction is the contractor.

4

reet N.

tN .

3

Highland .

ve th A

10

Arlington Avenue

8

ue

ven hA

S.

Location not on map

12t

Construction continues on the new $37.5 million UAB Collat School of Business on University Boulevard between 12th and 13th Streets South. The projected time of completion is now June 2018, according to UAB edia Relations. Brasfield & Gorrie are the contractors. .J. Harris Construction Service began 8 construction on the long-awaited new UAB College of Arts and Sciences Building in early ctober, with completion scheduled for arch 2019, according to UAB edia Relations. The 160,000 s uare-foot facility, at the corner of 10th Avenue and 14th Street South, has price tag of about $39.5 million. The ne t major phase in the construction of the $4.66 million Kiwanis Centennial Park on Red ountain got underway in ctober, according to a news release from Vulcan Park and useum. The work involves the complete replacement of the lighting systems at Vulcan, in-

9

Avenue

S nue

7

7

enue

22nd St

tree

Wyatt General Contractor is overseeing construction of the new UAB Police headquarters, an $8.2 million, 28,000-s uarefoot facility in the 1100 block of 14th Street South, adjacent to the e isting police building. The roof has been installed, and work on the e terior masonry and interior utility rough-in continued at our press time, according to UAB edia Relations. Scheduled completion is February 2018.

6

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

hS

Construction Update

rd

20t

The Birmingham Design Review Commit5 tee gave approval in ctober for e tensive renovations to Freedom Manor, an aging property of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District located in the 1600 block of Fifth Avenue North in the Civil Rights District, according to AL.com. In addition to an upgraded e terior, the renovation will include improvements such as better lighting and security features. Construction is e pected to start in late spring and last about a year.

ue

n Ave

eS

u ven st A

tN

Av

13 m lair

. tN

tree hS

. tN rris

Mo

18t

Av 1st

dal rmo Inte acility F

N.

tree hS

2n

tree hS

13t

ven dA

19t

3rd

UAB held a groundbreaking on ct. 12 for 3 construction of its new intramural fields in the 1100 block of Fifth Avenue South. The scheduled time of completion is April 2018, according to UAB edia Relations. The fields will be the new home for our intramural outdoor sports, and also the home site for practices and games for our seven outdoor club sport teams, said Director of Campus Recreation Sean Ries in a news release.

N.

. Bo n Jr

New Construction

ue

n Ave

gto

N. 4th

5th

rrin

ue

n Ave

N.

5

. tN

5th

ue

n Ave

ly Kel m ra Ing rk Pa

tree hS

. eN

u

n Ave

ts igh il R e Civ stitu In

6th

dA

. tN

N.

15t

6th

tree hS

16t

ue

n Ave 7th

ce

Pla

har Ri c

. tN

2

N.

use

. tN

1

tree hS

In an effort to unite two of Birmingham’s biggest breweries, Good People Brewing Company, 114 14th St. S., recently purchased Avondale Brewing Company and its assets from Avondale Holdings, according to media reports. The location and the name of Avondale Brewing is planned to remain the same.

o Wo

17t

am

rah

. Ab Rev

tree hS 18t

d

r eva

oul

r. B ds J

t ho

. tN

n Lin k Par

ue

n Ave 7th

. tN

r Cou

tree hS 19t

u

n Ave 9th

ni arco k Par

tree hS 28t

oA

BM

ll

twe

Bou

. eN

a

rah

. Ab Rev

tree hS 24t

Harris & Harris, a law firm, recently 1 moved from the BB&T Bank building on U.S. 280 to the Wells Fargo Tower on 20th Street downtown, according to media reports. J.H. Berry & Gilbert represented the firm in leasing about 4,500 s uare feet of office space in the building.

d

r eva

oul

Jr. B

. tN

Bought/Sold/Moved

s ood mW

ree t St 31s

Real Estate Transactions & Development

16th

e S.

u Aven

Vulcan Park

cluding the lighting on the pedestal and the statue itself, with new LED lights. The work will continue through December. Part of the new Kiwanis project includes the installation of a sophisticated, computer-driven light show for Vulcan.

Construction continues on a major e pansion and renovation of the Ronald McDonald House at 1700 Fourth Ave. S., with completion e pected by mid-December, according to Stephanie Langford of the Ronald cDonald House Charities of Alabama. Contractors have finished the brick and the building’s e terior, and work had begun on the playground at our press time. Flooring on the first two floors was e pected to be complete by the first of November.

10

Openings/Closures 11

Farm Burger, a fast-casual burger joint offering grass-fed and locally sourced meat, opened its second Alabama location ct. 9

at The Waites, a new retail and residential development at Seventh Avenue and Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South, according to a new release from the company. Farm Burger was named among Food & Wine’s picks for Best Burgers in the U.S. Taco ama opened at The Waites in September. There are a total of eight retail spaces in the development. The Jaybird, a new community space for art, music and creativity, held its grand opening in Crestwood in late September. The facility is located in a storefront at 4911 Fifth Ave. S. The Jaybird is open Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and hosts yoga classes on Sundays, 4:30-5:30 p.m., according to the facility’s Facebook page.

12

Coming Soon Work continued at our press time on a new location of Seeds Coffee in Lakeview, at 2808 7th Ave. S. The store held a pre-opening event and open house ct. 6.

13


10 BUSINESS

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

WORTH THE WAIT

Pizitz’s only sit-down restaurant, Fero, updates old-school Italian dishes

E

By ALYX CHANDLER

Fero, a new restaurant in the Pizitz Food Hall, features “a modern take on rustic Italian.” Customers are given individual clean plates so they might share dishes amongst their table. Photos by Sarah Finnegan.

ven though it took Fero a little more time to open than the rest of the Piz itz Food Hall, the wait was well worth it. Fero, the only fine dining, sit-down restaurant at the Piz itz Food Hall, officially opened in uly. t has since received a positive response to its one-ofa-kind talian food, “rustic with a modern twist,” as Nicky Vann, Fero’s e ecutive general manager, said. The delay in the opening was largely due to construction and gave them more time to iron out decisions

on the new restaurant. “There’s a lot of love that’s gone into every single decision we have made,” Vann said. o far, Vann said Fero has been popular to locals and Birmingham visitors, as well as large business groups. The space has a cool and refined atmosphere, with wooden table and chairs, along with low-lighting and candles. Vann said it’s a popular date destination, but it’s still casual enough for people to not be intimidated to come in. They also offer bar seating where people can watch the food being made. “People find us and wander in. t’s an adventure to come in here and try the food,” Vann said. “Plus it’s a little se y, with cool lights, cool music. “ The restaurant specializes in offering updated versions of old-school dishes. All the pastas and sauces are made by hand with ingredients that are sourced within 20 miles of the restaurant.


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

11

SIPS & BITES “These are Italian dishes that have been happening for hundreds of years,” she said. “So we take new techniques and ingredients, and we get to play around with them.” Vann said they encourage the Italian culture of family-styled food. They offer several sharable starters, including the crab toast, vitello tonnato, burrata, fritto misto and classic oysters. The menu is split up by starters, pasta, mains and vegetables. “This is the only restaurant I’ve worked at where I eat there every day that I work,” said Seama Khan, assistant general manager. A few of the popular dishes, Khan said, include duck breast, which is made up of potato risotto, castelvetrano olives and bone marrow; asparagus carbonara, made with tarragon, egg yolk, brown butter and haz elnut pesto; and free form ravioli, made from braised lamb, harissa and smoked ricotta. Vann said her love for fine dining started with her interest in hospitality and the culture surrounding it. That’s why, she said, the entire wait staff was hand-chosen. “This is a home, I wanted to know that I could invite all these people that work with me into my home,” Vann said. “I want customers who come here to feel warm and welcome and natural.” W hen dining at Fero, Vann wanted to make sure each and every customer felt the genuine

love for hospitality and the food that is served. espite the spike in Birmingham’s fine dining food scene, Fero is one of the few restaurants where the chef is not a native of Birmingham. Even though 2 6-year-old Chef Akhtar Nawab went to the Culinary Institute of South Carolina, he spent the last several years navigating his career as a chef in the fast-paced food scene in New Y ork. Last spring, he opened his first sit-down restaurant in New Y ork, called Alta Calidad, and he has been behind other up-and-coming food places in the area like Choz a Taqueria and India Fresh. W hen he and other New-Y ork-based chefs realiz ed there was a booming food and beverage scene in Birmingham, the idea of Fero — which in Italian means iron — was born. This November, Fero will be switching up some menu items to use seasonal fall ingredients, and will offer seasonal dessert and cocktail menus, in addition to more falldriven recipes. Fero is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m., with the same lunchtime hours on Friday but remaining open until 11 p.m. On Saturday, it is open from 5-11 p.m., and Sunday from 5-10 p.m. To learn more or to make a reservation, visit ferorestaurant.com.

Fero chef Akhtar Nawab bastes some quail during a Thursday evening. Nawab, 26, went to the Culinary Institute of South Carolina and spent the last several years navigating his career as a chef in the fast-paced food scene in New York.


12

IRONCITY.INK

IRON CITY INK

NOVEMBER 2017

A journey IN DANCE BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

FACES

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

ASFA’s Teri Weksler has been a dancer, teacher, director and more By RACHEL HELLW I G

T

Courtesy of artsBHAM

eri W eksler’s journey in dance has taken her from Maryland to New Y ork City to the Magic City. Along the way, she became a founding member of the famed NY C-based Mark Morris Dance Group, artistic director of Southern Danceworks and a teacher at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Her roots in dance go back to her childhood in Baltimore. “My parents loved music and I remember dancing around endlessly to Tchaikovsky’s ‘ Swan Lake,’” she said. “That was the beginning.” Growing up, W eksler couldn’t get enough of dance. “Ballet class was the highlight of my day,” she said. Lessons, enthusiasm and hard work paid off. W hen it came time for college, she was accepted into Juilliard. There, she delved into ballet and modern dance as well as New Y ork City’s cultural scene. “Down the hall to the right was the theater — you could open a door and find Robin W illiams improvising. To the left was New Y ork City Ballet. Honestly, every day was thrilling,” she said. After graduation, W eksler performed in the repertory companies of Daniel Lewis and 5 By 2 , as well as with Hannah Kahn Dancers — where she met modern dance legend Mark Morris. “W e had an immediate connection and became very close friends,” she said. “He basically started his company from all his friends. Pretty quickly we all realiz ed something very big was afoot and things snowballed into the major company it is today. It was a dream to be part of that trajectory, and now, part of the history of the Mark Morris Dance Group.” W eksler is still connected to the company today. She has taught company classes, summer intensives and performed as Lady Montague in Morris’s version of “Romeo

Alabama School of Fine Arts dance faculty Teri Weksler said she realized “at this age, students are fresh and malleable,” and that high school is “a great time to train and nurture talent.” Photo courtesy of Katie Dudley.

and Juliet.” “I also recently staged a 70-minute opera at BAM,” she said. “I had been Mark' s assistant when he staged it at Tanglewood. That was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, and an incomparable opportunity.” Over the years, W eksler has also performed in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s W hite Oak Dance Project and as principal dancer with Rome Opera Ballet in the Philip Glass-Robert W ilson work, “the CIVIL warS.” Weksler first came to Birmingham when her husband, a former dancer who went on to attend Columbia, became CFO of Cobb Theatres. In the Magic City, she became artistic director of the modern dance group Southern Danceworks, which gave performances in the city throughout the years. “W ith the amaz ing executive direction of Rosemary Johnson, we presented and commissioned a lot of great dances,” she said.

As artistic director, part of W eksler’s job was to create dances. “Music typically drives my work,” she said. “I’m a formalist, so I love structure, design, rhythmic complexities.” Southern Danceworks now teaches Dance for Parkinson’s at the Lakeshore Foundation. The program is based on upon classes that Mark Morris Dance Group created with the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. In 2 009 , W eksler’s career took a different turn when she substituted for an injured teacher at ASFA. “I got hooked,” she recalled. “I realiz ed at this age, students are fresh and malleable, a great time to train and nurture talent.” She also credits the support of fellow faculty members W es Chapman and Martha

Faesi. “I’m surrounded by fabulous artists in all disciplines, and the dance department is stellar,” she said. “To be an influence on these students’ lives, especially to watch them develop into young artists, is a gift. Dance is such a rigorous discipline both physically and mentally, it holds wonderful lessons, even if one doesn’t pursue a dance career.” Some of her favorite advice to give young dancers is to “work hard, work harder, be expressive and, most of all, dance together and find the oy in it.” W hat’s up next for W eksler? Not surprisingly, it’s a project related to Mark Morris. She will be staging an early Morris in Miami at the New W orld School of the Arts in January.

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


14 BUSINESS

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

Dia de los Muertos returns to roots

B

By ERI CA T ECHO

irmingham’s Dia de Los Muertos Festival is returning for its 15th year this month. The event, which is put on by 01 c 3 nonprofit Bare Hands Gallery, will be in the streets of Pepper Place on Thursday, Nov. 2 , from 4-10 p.m. The event started in 2 003 as a time of remembrance for Birmingham photojournalist Spider Martin. On Nov. 2 , 2 003, less than 100 people gathered at Bare Hands Gallery to honor Martin in a Day of the Dead-inspired art memorial, called an ofrenda — an altar with mementos, photos and other items representing the departed. The event has since continued to grow, and about 6,500 people came to the 2 016 event. “For me, it’s the most beautiful festival that happens in Birmingham all year,” said Matt Layne, an organiz er of the event. Last year, the event took place at Cahaba Brewing Company, but this year’s festival will return to its roots by moving back into an open space, Hontz as said.

FACES

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

The festival will spread throughout 29t h Street South and Second Avenue South in Pepper Place, with food and beer vendors, ofrendas, a kid’s area and live music from Conjunto Los Pinkys with guest Grammy award winner Flaco Jimenez . Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and older, $5 for ages 7-12 a nd free for ages 6 and younger. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. For tickets, information on setting up an altar or other details, go to barehandsinc.org.

DISCOVER

Restored Holocaust violins to appear in ASO performance

N

By SYDNEY CRO MWE

Birmingham residents celebrate Dia de Los Muertos on Nov. 2, 2016, at Cahaba Brewing Company. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

NECK OF THE WOODS

LL

ext spring, Birmingham residents will have the chance to hear the Alabama Symphony Orchestra perform with a set of violins recovered and restored from the Holocaust. The Violins of Hope began as the work of Amnon W einstein, who moved to Tel Aviv, Israel, with his family as a child after W orld W ar II. He repairs violins and, since 1996, W einstein has taken on restoration projects for violins that survived the events of the Holocaust, many of them played in concentration camps. They have become an educational tool that travels around the world. W einstein and his wife and son will bring the violins to Birmingham on April 10-14, 2018. D onellan said their time in

Amnon Weinstein at work restoring a violin. Photo courtesy of Dianne Mooney.

Birmingham will include youth programs at the Alys Stephens Center and student and teacher workshops, as well as a community lecture at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on April 11 and a Sabbath service on April 13. There will be two ticketed events to hear the Alabama Symphony Orchestra perform with the violins: a lecture and chamber music performance April 12, a nd a performance at Alys Stephens Center, followed by an exhibit and reception, on April 14.


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

15

IRONCITY.INK

HAPPENINGS

a i ity a f arat o i fi is s i sid Photo courtesy of Magic City Half Marathon.

io s i d

i

i at a

o

o

Pair of premier races on tap for downtown in November

T

By SAM CHANDLER wo of Birmingham’s premier road races will take place in November. Local runners can mark their calendars for the Nov. 4 Vulcan Run 10K and the Nov. 19 M agic City Half Marathon. Both races offer priz e purses that annually attract top-notch competition. This will be the 43rd edition of the Vulcan Run, which starts at 8 a.m. near Linn Park. The USA Track and Field-certified course winds through downtown, Highland Park and Five Points South before concluding next to the start line. The first 200 runners across the line will receive a top finisher T-shirt. Kirubel Erassa of Atlanta won last year’s race in 2 minutes, 31 seconds. oan Aiyabei of Lansing, Michigan, was the top female finisher in 34 1 . A post-race celebration featuring food, beverages and adult refreshments will be held from 30 to 11 a.m. in the Boutwell Auditorium. Registration costs 0 and can be completed online at runsignup.com until Oct. 31. Packet pickup will be held the Thursday and Friday prior to the race at the Trak Shak in downtown Homewood. Race day registration and packet pickup will begin at 30 a.m. in the Boutwell Auditorium.

For more information or to register, go to runsignup.com and search the event name. The Magic City Half Marathon, which also includes K and 1-mile races, is entering its seventh year. The half marathon will begin at a.m., the K at 1 a.m. and the 1-mile run at 4 a.m. All races traverse U ATF-certified courses that start ne t to Regions Field and finish inside the stadium near home plate. Half marathon runners will follow a course that passes through Avondale, Central City and College Hills, among other areas. Legion Field, Rickwood Field and Railroad Park are positioned along the route. Nicholas Too of Arlington, Texas, won last year’s half marathon in 1 0 0 . rica Speegle of Birmingham was the top female finisher in 1 1 2 . Post-race awards ceremonies for the K and half marathon will take place after the conclusion of each event. Until Oct. 31, half marathon registration costs 0 and K registration costs 40. The price for both races will increase by starting Nov. 1. Walk-up registration will be available at Regions Field the day before the race and from to 30 a.m. on race day. Registration for the 1 mile is 1 in advance and 20 on site. To register or for more information, visit magiccityrun.com.


16 BUSINESS

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

JORDAN REEVES, LGBTQ ACTIVIST

leap

a blind

Jordan Reeves starts nonprofit to help LGBTQ people share their stories

By JESSE CHAMBERS

in the trendy W illiamsburg neighborhood, featured powerful coming-out stories from MANHATTAN – W hen author ric Marcus, trans activist Melissa Hueytown native and former Sklarz , AIDS activist Michelle Lopez and downtown Birmingham resident Jordan attorney Cesar Francia. Reeves decided in 2 010 to move to New The experiences they shared “spoke to Y ork — a city he had never visited — he the courage and persistence of the continual faced doubts from loved ones. fight for equality,” said emcee aura oeh“It truly was a blind leap and one I rke, a Brooklyn storyteller and producer think my family and friends were betting And the roughly 2 00 stories from around against,” he said. “Nobody thought I was the world collected so far by VideoOut help going to last.” advance that effort, according to Reeves. Reeves admits they had valid reasons. “W e’re dismantling misconceptions,” he “I didn’t stick with piano lessons, the Boy said. “W hen you hear someone, see their Scouts or the W alt Disney College Program,” he face and hear their story, you can’t help but said. “New Y ork City should be no different.” empathiz e with them.” But it was. Not only is Reeves passionate about In fact, New Y ork is now home for VideoOut, he loves New ork. Reeves, who graduated from UAB in 2 009 “The culture, the diversity of people and in theater and was encouraged to give the the overwhelming sense of opportunity is big city a try by some of his college friends what keeps me here,” Reeves said. who had moved there. However, despite In New Y ork, the city’s diversity, Reeves worked for the Reeves — even nonprofit group T , coming from the Deep The culture, the producers of the T South — learned an diversity of people Talks, and co-founded important lesson. and the overwhelming their T - d educa“Prejudice exists tion initiative. And everywhere,” he said. sense of opportunity he’s now founded He referred to the is what keeps me here. a nonprofit, Vidfact that he has faced JORDAN REEVES eoOut, which seeks more overt anti-gay to amplify LGBTQ prejudice in New Y ork voices by building the than in Birmingham. world’s largest online “I was never video library of coming-out stories. harassed, accosted physically or verbally Iron City Ink met Reeves in New Y ork abused in Birmingham,” he said. “I moved this summer — at Madison Square Park in to New ork, and the first week was here, Manhattan and at Brooklyn Brewery, where someone called me a [ anti-gay slur] on the VideoOut co-sponsored an event, peakOut street.” Stories of Pride. Reeves said that he wants to make VideoReeves told us that the big, bad city of Out “a global phenomenon” that allows gay New Y ork has welcomed and nurtured him. people — no matter where they live — to He has savored the city’s culture and built both share their own stories and find the a large network of friends and contacts. inspiration they need from others. Best of all, he’s able do what he believes “I think the biggest thing, especially is important work — using the power of coming from Hueytown, is that when you story to help provide support and a sense of are not part of a large community, and you community for gay people in America and don’t recogniz e that there are many voices around the world. around you that are like your own, you can SpeakOut, held on a warm summer night feel isolated and feel that you are fighting a

Hueytown native Jordan Reeves stands outside of Madison Square Park in New York, which he’s called home since 2010. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

battle on your own,” Reeves said. Storytelling is the one universal art form, according to Reeves. “ verybody can tell a story,” he said. “Stories have this power to bring us together and make us relate to one another.” Despite his love for New Y ork, Reeves also expresses affection for Birmingham, which he said was “a great place” for him to come out. “That’s surprising to many people, but I found a strong, close-knit community of friends and chosen family in Birmingham that I could count on,” he said. He also misses a lot of things about home. “The food,” he said. “The hospitality. The open spaces. The trees. The smiles. The slower pace. Most of all, my family.”

However, Reeves said, New Y ork is home now. “New Y ork can seem scary, but if you set your mind to it, you can do it,” he said. “I have had amaz ing experiences, and it has allowed me to grow into the kind of adult I’m proud to be.” Reeves has a cool apartment in W illiamsburg with his partner, Joshua Holden, an award-winning puppeteer and producer. He enjoys what he called “an incredible group of friends and chosen family.” He loves Broadway plays — especially musicals — and has seen about 70 of them, including Bette Midler in “Hello Dolly.” In fact, Reeves may be a New Y ork “lifer.” “No matter where I go, NY C will always have an undeniable magnetism,” he said. “I was born to live here.”


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

17

FACES

Nowhere Squares exploring their catharsis everywhere

T

By LO REN HO P K I NS he way the band Nowhere Squares got started hardly sounds like a start at all. “ t was at an office Christmas party. The band that was hired to do cover songs was taking a break. Justin [ Cordes] and I just wandered up and started messing around on the instruments. The rest is history,” lead singer Paul W ilm said about the band’s conception. Other than Wilm, the band consists of ustin Cordes guitar and vocals , Andy izemore bass and vocals , ennifer Freehling keyboard and the newest addition, Mikey Williams drums . Roughly 20 ye ars later, after a few lineup changes and 12 albums to date, Nowhere quares is still rocking in their gritty, nerd-punk way locals have come to know and love. “Our music and lyrics speak to the geek in everyone, saying it’s OK not to be cool and hip 24 hour s a day,” W ilm said. “W ho cares if you don’t look your best or have odd little quirks that are exposed from time to time for all the world to see? Be proud of them! Show them off! ” “The Cavemen We Become,” their latest album released on tep Pepper Records, incorporates the same high-energy sound, but with a tighter and brighter feel. “With the eventual personnel changes, and the passage of time, our sound eventually strayed away from our garage-y roots and evolved into more of a raucous halfpunk, half-new wave monster,” Wilm said. “Keyboards were added, and our songs definitely became more melodic, more spastic and harder to define.” Aside from a slightly different sound, “The Cavemen We Become” is also the closest Nowhere quares has come to a conceptual album. Reflecting the times, the

The band Nowhere Squares has been performing in Birmingham for about 20 years. In July, they lost their drummer, Spencer, Shoults, to cancer. Photos by Loren Hopkins.

band’s newest album takes a political turn. “Musically, we found ourselves breaking into new territory, whilst lyrically the various characters and protagonists of each song struggle with issues of internet privacy, self-image, smartphone culture the list goes on,” W ilm said. At the end of the day, Nowhere quares hopes the album helps listeners cope with current political and societal problems. “We view music as a form of therapy and catharsis. Our music helps us stay sane,” Wilm said. “ The Cavemen We Become’ will hopefully be a cathartic e perience for those listening and keep them dancing at the same time.” W hen he isn’t playing with Nowhere quares, Wilm can be found e pressing himself in a different, yet ust as creative, way on the buildings of Birmingham. Murals have become something Wilm is quite familiar with and his work can

be seen anywhere from the bathroom at easick Records to the sprawling wall of University Place Apartments. “ ike music, painting is a very cathartic e perience for me,” Wilm said. “When decide on what images ’m going to paint, realize that can make others smile or laugh. t’s the same with writing lyrics.” Wilm’s work has not gone unnoticed. Along with the mural at University Place, W ilm has two window installations at the Pizitz Food Hall and was asked to paint on the side of Crestwood Tavern in the hoppes of Crestwood. “Painting these two murals has really opened up a sort of ‘ mural door’ for me this year. Not only am I doing a few more murals for University Place, but ’ll be also painting murals for the Birmingham Recycling Center and the nightclub aturn,” Wilm said. Though his work is more visible around town, W ilm is not the only one making

a mark of his own. Cordes owns an iron design business called Toro-Cordes ron Arts, and Freehling is a by the name of ezebel. Nowhere Squares has taken a brief hiatus from playing shows due to the death of their original drummer and close friend, pencer hoults, who died following a battle with cancer in uly. Their most recent album is the last he played on and, in a way, a last tribute to him. The band said it’s read usting and plans to be back soon. Updates and upcoming shows can be found on their website, nowheresquares. com, and their Facebook and Vimeo of the same name. Wilm’s work and contact info are on his website, paulcordeswilm.com. “The Cavemen We Become” is available in town at easick Records, Renaissance Records and Charlemagne Records. t can also be purchased on their Bandcamp page, nowheresquares.bandcamp.com.


18

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

GOULASH COMEDY:

BIG laughs

IN THE BIG CITY

Comedian Chris Ivey performs at a recent Goulash Comedy event. Each Thursday at the Syndicate Lounge for the past two years, Goulash Comedy Showcase features a set from a performer across the country that Ivey books to come into Birmingham for the night. Photos by Alyx Chandler.

Comedy program gives locals a chance to open for national acts

F

By ALYX CHANDLER our years ago, comedian Chris Ivey was attempting sets in front of several full-length mirrors each night at his Allstate Insurance office, which had previously been used as a children’s dance studio. After everyone left the office to go home, he would stick around for hours and practice his okes over and over, tweaking them in-between open mics. Ivey, now the creator of the Birmingham Comedy Festival and Goulash Comedy, has come a long way since then. Originally, he was interested in directing movies and TV shows, but when he made the move to Birmingham from Memphis four years ago, vey decided to take an improv class to meet people. Eventually, he found himself at an open-mic set at the Rare Martini, where a host was asking him to sign up to do a set that night. “ remember he told me if he didn’t get enough

comedians, he wouldn’t get paid that night,” Ivey said. “So, I said, ‘ Sure, I’ll do a set.’” He walked onstage and took the mic with absolutely no material prepared. Ivey laughs at the memory, comparing it to trying to make a fancy recipe without any idea of the ingredients. “ t was awful, ust really, really bad.” till, he said he remembers thinking to himself afterward, “ guess if this is the worst ’m ever going to be, and it only gets better from here could do this.” From there, Ivey started pursuing comedy in Birmingham, throwing himself into developing bits and okes, going to two open mics every week and practicing every day after work. “ was like, really want to be good at this, or at least OK at this,” he said. t took him three months of bombing on-stage to finally have a set he was proud of, where people laughed when they were supposed to. “Oh, man, it was an incredible feeling,” he said. He was hooked. “Now, love bad shows. know that sounds weird, but if

it wasn’t for the bad shows, the good shows wouldn’t feel as good as they do. That’s how knew ’d probably be doing stand-up for the rest of my life, regardless of where it goes or what do, because even when it’s not great, love it,” Ivey said. ven though he still works a pretty intensive day ob as an Allstate sales manager, he said comedy comes pretty close in intensity. “ t’s kind of like get done with work then ’m doing comedy, then I pass out, go to sleep, then I’m up going to work — it’s one of those things. love doing it,” vey said, adding that he spent a lot of time, before he found comedy, chasing various passions. “Y ou get a really good idea of how it’s tough being an artist, a writer, a painter, a comedian or anything really, doing the actual work of it and figuring out how to monetize and make money from it is really hard.” As Ivey made his way into the comedy scene, he saw a lot of comedians leaving town to get more set time and follow bigger opportunities or open for more well-known acts. vey


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

19

FACES

Stand-up comedian Billy Wayne Davis, who has previously performed on “Conan,” performs at Goulash Comedy.

said it can be tough if a comedian gets booked for a show in Atlanta, or even further, and has to drive there after work, perform the show till 1 a.m., then drive back and catch a few hours of sleep before work. That sort of commitment isn’t worth it for everyone. That’s part of the reason Goulash Comedy was born, to give Birmingham comedians more local stage time. “Far too often, people are like, ‘ I just can’t do comedy and live in Birmingham, right? ’ Or ‘ I can’t do this or that and live in Birmingham,’” Ivey said. “W ell, I think you can. W e’re a big city, we have a lot to offer, so why not? ” The other reason Ivey created Goulash Comedy was to

give the Birmingham community a chance to see new or well-known comedians from all across the country. A few times a month at the Syndicate Lounge for the past two years, Goulash Comedy Showcase has featured a set from a performer across the country that Ivey books to come into Birmingham for the night. Local comedians open and then the headliner performs for about an hour. Now, Goulash Comedy includes the Funny Free Fridays at Good People Brewing, which features several out-of-towners on the first Friday of the month, as well as the Magic City T’Night Show once a month at Saturn. vey said he put absolutely everything he had into the first Goulash Comedy Showcase, using his best jokes. It was a huge success. “Then it hit me — Oh my God, I have to do this every week,” he laughed. The beginning booking process was time-heavy, he said, and took a lot of getting the hang of little tips and tricks by chance. He had no experience drawing up contracts or making offers, so he learned as he went along. By now, Ivey is proud to have local comedians able to say they’ve opened for big-name acts, some with Netfli pecials like Myq Kaplan, Sean Patton, soon-to-be Tony Bell or TV show stars like Liz a Treyger and several others. “If I’m going to tell someone to pay money for a show, I’m going to do my part and make sure it’s produced well, it’s tight,” Ivey said. “I want to give people in the city a way to see these [ comedians] for not a lot of money, to actually see up-and-coming comedy.” Recently, Goulash Comedy added an open mic Tuesday, run by local comedian Peter Davenport, where anywhere

from a doz en to two doz en performers sign up for 5- to 7-minute slots, Ivey included. Ivey said a lot of cities only give 3-minute open mics, so 7 minutes can be a decent time to sort out some new material and jokes. The open mic is free to everyone and lasts about 9 0 minutes. “Comedy is one of those things you only get better the more you do it. And we have more opportunities than we did, but we could have more,” he said. Ivey said he still thinks the best thing that people can do for the comedy community is to start their own show. In the meantime, the Goulash Comedy open mic is a great place for first-time comics to practice. He said most of the audience is performers worrying about their own performance, so they aren’t thinking that much about others’ performance. Plus, he said, open mic time allows different Birmingham voices to be heard each week. A lot of people fall in love with comedy just like Ivey did, he said, so it’s important for the Birmingham community to know they have local comedy outlets. “Comedy allows for you to talk about whatever you want. If you come to an open mic, you tend to hear issues that people are having in their own life or society or different things, and it kind of gives you a pulse for how the city is feeling about things. Also, you get to laugh,” he said. Upcoming comedians performing in November include Gwen Sunkel, Carson Tuey and Josshua McLane. Sean Conroy, from Comedy Central, is performing on Dec 1. “Give us a chance, come out to a show,” Ivey said. “I promise you that you’ll enjoy it.” Go to the Goulash Comedy Facebook page for more.


20 BUSINESS

a id ay s or s it d atio t i if

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

is t tor at t it ra y o s rr t y a r sid t at t

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

i s do to offi s ay s o d to ir i a a f rot r rya issio do to as r o rs fro dr

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

o t s a o a d is ass s at t it ra y o addi tio Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

i ar

art of a s o d

DISCOVER

a

ot o y i

REWARDING COURAGE Literacy Council helps adults harness 2nd chance at overcoming lifelong illiteracy

O

By SYDNEY CRO MW ELL

pening a book can take a reader to another world. But for some adults, the pages might as well be blank. Illiteracy is more than just deciphering the letters on a page. Adrienne Marshall of the Literacy Council of Central Alabama said they see people struggling with all types of literacy issues

walk through their doors. “Some of the folks who come in don’t know the sounds and names of all their letters, and then some people can read everything you and I can read. But if you ask one question about it, they may not know what you’re talking about. So they may not remember or understand it,” Marshall said. Statistics on literacy vary depending on how narrow a definition of reading level and comprehension is used, but the National Center for Educational Statistics estimates

about 15 percent of Alabama is “functionally illiterate.” A 2 013 study from the U.S. Department of Education reports that 14 percent of Americans are below a basic reading level. For many adults, illiteracy and problems with reading comprehension feel like an embarrassment they have to hide. Marshall and Literacy Council Vice President of Communications and Development Missy Burchart said people come into the center who have hidden their literacy issue from spouses, bosses or other family members. A few have even put their own kids through college, while having to rely on others for simple things such as reading the mail or filling out paperwork at a doctor’s appointment. “Y ou just don’t know it because some

people are experts. Imagine becoming an adult with this problem since you were a child, and you’re out here functioning in the world. Y ou kind of become an expert at hiding this thing,” Marshall said. “They’re out here working, and working just as hard as the person next to them.” The Literacy Council serves about 100 people in its adult literacy, English language and GED programs in its downtown location at 2 301 First Ave. N., # 102 , and around 3,000 in all five counties it covers in Central Alabama. That includes students from 19 years old all the way up to 87-year-old Fred Oliver, who is taking classes so he can write his life story “that you will never believe.” “The majority of them, no matter what they’re coming here to seek, it’s really a


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

21

FACES

Above left: Director of Adult Literacy Programs Adrienne Marshall and Vice President of Communications and Development Missy Burchart at the Literacy Council. Above right: Tyler Compton is one of the adult learners at the Literacy Council. He’s improving his reading skills so that he can become a better volunteer at the Birmingham Zoo.

second chance,” Burchart said. “A second chance at gaining their sobriety, a second chance at moving up in their job or just getting a ob, getting a better ob, finally being able to read to their children.” David Hayes moved to Birmingham a few months ago, and his classes at the iteracy Council are part of a second chance not only in education, but in life. He’s currently a resident at the Brother Bryan Mission downtown, as he recovers from drug addiction. “ did graduate high school, but feel like was ust basically given a diploma. My reading level was more on a si th- or seventh-grade level, would say, before got here. This place right here has really helped me a lot,” Hayes said. “ used to hide my reading problem, didn’t want nobody to know about it.” He comes to the iteracy Council three days a week. Those classes have allowed him to spend more time reading the Bible and participating in activities at the mission, even volunteering to stand up in a group and read verses without feeling embarrassed. “ feel like, more than anything, it’s given me more confidence that can get in front of people and not trying to hide my reading problems. noticed ’m picking up better words,” Hayes said. “My sentences are getting better when start to read. That’s ust amazing to myself.” The iteracy Council, which is affiliated with United W ay, started out in 19 9 1 as a referral service connecting people with city programs that served their needs. The number of calls they received showed there was a need for reading and tutoring services, but often the places they recommended would not be open when people needed them. “ omeone who struggles with reading and has had an illiteracy issue through their lives,

I feel like, more than anything, it’s given me more confidence that I can get in front of people and not trying to hide my reading problems. ... My sentences are getting better when I start to read. That’s just amazing to myself.

there’s a lot of shame that’s involved on their end. They’re very embarrassed by it. o it takes a whole lot of courage ust for them to pick up the phone and call us. o if they call us, they found that courage and we send them somewhere where there’s yet another dead end, it’s ust not good. t’s demoralizing to them, and we’re not serving our purpose,” Burchart said. ince 2012, the iteracy Council has provided its own tutoring services in-house. Burchart said they choose locations, such as their downtown office and the Kingston Community Center, to be easily accessible by pedestrians, bus lines and drivers. They regularly have learners from shelters such as the immie Hale Mission, Firehouse helter and Aletheia House. t was also important to the council, she said, that their services be free. “A lot of our folks are working very hard and every penny that they earn, they need to focus on their family. We don’t want the cost of the program to be another impediment for them not to get what they really need,” Burchart said. Marshall started as a volunteer in 2012 before becoming the director of adult literacy programs in 2013. Their tutors typically try to find reading materials that will interest

DAVID HAYES

individual students, such as newspapers or particular topics, to make lessons more fun. One of Marshall’s regular students, Tyler Compton, loves volunteering at the zoo and wants to improve his reading level so he can do volunteer training and tests independently. Right now he is reading ack ondon’s “Call of the Wild,” a novel about a wolf, since it fits so well with his interests. “ can see you making progress already,” Marshall said to Compton, who has been attending tutoring sessions for a few months. “There will be no gaps in his knowledge as we build up and make his foundation more solid.” There are some success stories that stand out to Marshall and Burchart, like a mother who completed her and now felt like she could tell her children about the importance of doing well in school. “ t was really important for her to be a role model to her children,” Marshall said. “When you talk about breaking a cycle, she was really intent on doing it.” Birmingham native Callie Rena Bell was able to read, but not “on the level that wanted to.” he recalled trying to read books but struggling with comprehension and words she didn’t understand. he’d keep

stopping to look up words. “ would get frustrated,” Bell said. “Then wasn’t interested anymore.” When she had some time off from work in 2013 due to an in ury, Bell began taking classes at the iteracy Council. he had gone to other tutoring services before, but she saw more progress with the hands-on approach the iteracy Council tutors took. “ t was ust a different e perience. To me, for somebody to take their time out and volunteer and help me learn, is awesome,” Bell said. “ came a long way, doing it that way.” That tutoring means Bell is no longer nervous about reading in front of others at work, church or in other situations. “ have more confidence in myself now,” Bell said. “ don’t feel like ’m going to mispronounce a word. n the past, was real shy about reading in front of people.” t also means books hold a newfound interest for her. “ can sit down and read now and don’t get bored. still look up words, but not as much as I used to,” she said. lliteracy “really kind of forces you on this path where you’re retreating” from the world and not seeking out new e periences, Marshall said. Reversing that path can set off a chain reaction. Burchart recalls one woman who took classes at the iteracy Council and read her first novel, Harper ee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Reading the book prompted her to see the play. The woman asked her tutor for more nutrition-related reading, which encouraged her to start healthier cooking and join a gym. “These are all things she would have never done,” Burchart said. “She said it was like a door opened, and once she went through, she couldn’t go back.”


22

IRONCITY.INK

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

COVER STORY: Nonprofit works to bolster community-led development initiatives.

FREEDOM TO THRIVE

Juliet Easlick, a member of Friends of Dynamite Hill, spends a Saturday helping clear plots for DH-SCLT. She also provides the group with resources, food, funding and labor. Photos by Alyx Chandler.

D

By ALYX CHANDLER

ynamite Hill- mithfield Community and Trust founder usan iane Michelle is eager to see the mithfield community embrace a renewed spirit — a spirit she said the community once held close. “The kind of spirit for creating for themselves,” said Michelle, the head of one of only two community land trusts in the state, “needs to come back.” The mithfield area is a collection of five neighborhoods on the west side of the city, about 10 minutes from downtown and right by Parker High chool, made up of appro imately ,100 people. t is also known as part of “ ynamite Hill,” a traditionally black area where more than 40 bombs were set off between 1 4 - 0, most of them by the Ku Klu Klan and all of them threatening lives and the fight for civil rights. till, people in the area were resilient and fought for land. “Historically, mithfield has been a self-sustaining business community,” Michelle said. “We want to return to that with our cooperative economic model; we want people to thrive, this time in the freedoms of civil rights.” Michelle said that even though people keep raving about the growth in Birmingham, she said she doesn’t think every community feels like it is benefiting from it. “ t’s furthering an elitist culture,” Michelle said. “This effort is to hold our space mithfield in place. We want it to be better when you put the land in the community’s trust.” The ynamite Hill- mithfield Community and Trust H- C T was founded in 201 , and Michelle said they applied for nonprofit status in 201 . t is now an official nonprofit organization established by Michelle and other mithfield community members to seek possession and use of empty plots of land for both commercial and residential purposes. The land, she said, will eventually aid the community through asset-based community development. Asset-based community development is slightly different from what nonprofits usually do, Rev. Ma adi Baruti, the community engagement director for H- C T, said. “A lot of nonprofits and people try to tell us what to do,” he said. “But they also don’t understand the community, they don’t understand what we are. We know ourselves best. We know what our needs are.” By having the land trust organize the gifts and assets from the community they inhabit, they keep the efforts entirely

Rob Burton (left), a member of Friends of Dynamite Hill, and Majadi Baruti work on clearing one of the eight plots.

community-led and based, which is a crucial part of a land trust. Michelle and Baruti said they aren’t surprised that the mithfield community is skeptical of their promises, given that leaders in the community have promised aid in the past without following through. “People lie to them all the time,” Baruti said. “But we aren’t going to break their hearts again.”

WORKING TOWARD PROGRESS

o far, H- C T has adopted eight lots, measuring about 2. acres total, from the Birmingham and Bank Authority. These are vacant, overgrown plots of land at the side of houses or buildings that are uncared for and ta -delinquent. They can be adopted — which means they have been taken off the speculative market and put into the community’s hands to utilize — for two years at a cost of 0.

“ ou see, land banks have a disposition problem, and community land trusts have an acquisition problem,” Baruti said. ince early August, Michelle, Baruti and a couple of dozen volunteers have spent their weekends slowly and steadily working to clear and ready the eight messy and overgrown plots of land. These volunteers are part of a partner organization, Friends of ynamite Hill, which is a group dedicated to volunteering support and fundraising to H- C T. After the two-year adoption, then H- C T can fully purchase each lot for a flat fee of 3, from the Birmingham and Bank Authority. Baruti said H- C T is currently getting the local government and city officials on board with the land trust, as well as with buying land for the Birmingham and Bank Authority. Baruti said he hopes that the city gives them advice, funding and some needed resources. “Another key thing, one of the more important parts, is that cities, governances, are supposed to work with community land trusts,” Baruti said. Baruti said they are hopeful about working with the city and also plan to fundraise on three levels connecting with political allies, applying for various grants and pursuing a grassroots effort. n the meantime, Michelle said H- C T is collaborating with the community during the two-year adoption period to use the plots for pro ects like pollinator and community gardens, open gathering spaces where education can take place and, eventually, permanently affordable housing, which is one of H- C T’s ma or initiatives. Permanently affordable housing means that the community land trust retains ownership to the actual land and leases the land to a home owner for an affordable, nominal fee. This process allows low-income families to be able to afford housing. “ o the community is collectively deciding who to sell property to and how to use it, and that’s the purpose of affordable housing,” Baruti said. Currently, they plan for two of the lots to be for affordable housing.

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Michelle said for the last year, she and Baruti have been learning about the housing crisis through working for AmeriCorps, a nationwide civil society program that engages adults in public service work and meeting the needs of communities.


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

IRONCITY.INK

23

FACES Last year, she worked for Interfaith Hospital Housing, and Baruti worked for One Roof. Both Michelle and Baruti recently signed on for their second year of AmeriCorps Birmingham, this time working at Urban Ministry as the workforce and skills coordinator and the volunteer coordinator, respectively. Michelle said she decided to continue so that she could expose herself to the right contacts, learn about the housing crisis and gain the right community training — all necessary information for heading a community land trust. “It crystalliz ed for me that this work is true and good, and we will one day have permanently affordable housing,” she said. Other primary goals for the land trust are to regenerate urban agricultural cooperative and to establish popular education. Urban farming focuses on growing maximum yields from a minimum area of land, while still encouraging biodiversity and sustaining the fertility of the soil. Baruti emphasiz ed “a democratic form of schooling” in the public education initiative, involving small groups where everyone contributes knowledge and someone is chosen as the facilitator. This form of schooling comes from a movement called Universidad sin Fronteras.

GOING FORWARD

Each weekend, they clear another plot. Each weekend, they plant another round of seeds. By spring, there will be sunflowers planted. Michelle trusts more and more in a

renewed spirit of the mithfield community. This year, the Sierra Club gave a $3,000 donation that they have been using in these beginning stages, as well as some other donations by individuals. Michelle knows soon they will need more money to continue progress. Their plans are focused on readying the plots for the pollinator gardens and community gathering places, where they can invite vendors and focus an event on food and education about land and the mithfield community. If community members want to get involved, Michelle said she encourages any and everyone to help. One way she suggests for people to get involved is by coming to one of the work days organiz ed by the Friends of Dynamite Hill. They need not only people’s time and physical strength, but also donations and help accessing tools and equipment. “ o hopefully ne t time this year, this area will be filled with flowers — sunflowers, other flowers, a symbol of regeneration,” Michelle said. “ unflowers have the ability to pull out toxins [ from soil] . W hen I learned that, I knew would like sunflowers to be our symbol for regeneration. They can be products of the community growth.” To get involved, go to their Facebook page at Friends of Dynamite Hill. To learn more about the land trust, go to the ynamite Hill- mithfield Community and Trust on Facebook.

Majadi Baruti, the community engagement director of CHSCLT, encourages Birmingham residents to get involved.


24 BUSINESS

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

DIGGING IN

deep

A sport similar to steeplechase, cyclocross carves out niche in central Alabama

I

By SYDNEY CRO MW ELL

t’s more technically challenging than a road bike race. It’s more aerobically intense than mountain biking. And in the middle of the race, you might have to carry your bike over a series of hurdles or up a set of stairs. The sport of cyclocross, which is often compared to steeplechase, has carved out a small but passionate niche in Birmingham. “It’s kind of a nice combination of digging deep and using all your muscles to the extent possible, but there’s also a technical component to it,” said Maaike Everts, a UAB pediatrics and infectious diseases professor who has participated in cyclocross for more than a decade. “It’s always a good time when you show up.” Cyclocross combines elements of both road and mountain bike races, along with natural or manmade obstacles for racers to cross on wheels or on foot. The races are only about an hour long and are designed on short courses, which five-year Know about participant Jonathan Crain said something in makes it more spectator-friendly. Birmingham you “It can be a lot of different consider bizarre, things … I think that’s why I eclectic or utterly like cyclocross the most because original? Let it’s the most varied of any of the us know! Email disciplines of racing,” said Crain, information to who works for the Z Y P bikesydney@starnes share’s fleet operations. “ t’s ust publishing.com. fun, it’s a cool atmosphere.” “It’s really compact so it’s really spectator-friendly,” Everts said. She added that those on the sidelines are typically rooting for each other, but there’s also some occasional good-natured heckling. Crain, who has participated in several other bike-centered sports as well, said he got to experience that community at its best during a race at Sloss Furnaces. He crashed in the middle of the course when a wheel came off, but was unexpectedly rescued. “ flopped off the track, but also because it’s cyclocross there’s a lot of people hanging out and somebody ust hands me a bike over the tape,” Crain said. “ o finished that whole race on someone else’s bike.”

What’s going on?

Cyclocross competitors race over barriers by either carrying their bikes or “bunny hopping” them. Photo courtesy of Sara Walker.

At a recent race at Red Mountain Park, I saw clusters of people at every turn on the course, many of them still wearing helmets and cycling gear from their own races that day. They hollered and urged on friends and strangers with nearly identical enthusiasm as the cyclists passed by. And as they sped down straightaways or huffed and puffed up hills, most cyclists managed a brief smile or even a thumbs-up for their temporary fan club. The cyclocross “season” runs from about September to February, and the racers range from serious competitors with special cyclocross bikes to beginners with the mountain bike they brought from home. As Crain puts it, a common cyclocross motto is “run what you brung.” “Y ou don’t need to be a spandex-clad aerobic machine to do it,” verts said. “ ou sometimes ust feel super silly.” In the Birmingham area, races are regularly held at Red Mountain, Ruffner Mountain, Sloss Furnaces, Railroad Park, Avondale Park, Oak Mountain State Park and other locations around central Alabama. Each course is a different experience, Crain said. Some courses might require racers to get off their bikes four or

five times; others might not require it at all. “It’s really up to the creativity of the race designer,” Everts said. “Y ou can kind of make a cyclocross wherever you have enough space.” Cyclocross is most popular in Europe, particularly countries with a strong cycling culture. Everts moved to Birmingham from the Netherlands, which is where she first got to see the sport in action. “In the Netherlands everybody, of course, bikes. Y ou’re born and you [ are] put on a bike,” Everts said. “I never even owned a car until I moved to the United States.” She also had the opportunity to race in the W orld Championships in Louisville. “It was like 10 degrees when we did our race,” Everts said. “It didn’t go very well, but it was a cool experience.” Cyclocross doesn’t have the same popularity and name recognition in Birmingham as it does in the Netherlands, but Everts said there’s a committed “core group” in the area. “It’s a really niche sport, so it’s not huge, but I would say it’s very strong,” Crain said. Learn more about cyclocross on the Bamacross Facebook page.


NOVEMBER 2017

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

CENTRAL CITY

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

25

IRONCITY.INK

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

Holiday opportunities for donors, volunteers and shelters

By JESSE CHAMBERS The holidays are meant to be a joyous time of fun, food and fellowship, and for most of us, they usually are. However, this isn’t always the case for the homeless. That’s where the non-profit shelters downtown come in. “Being homeless does not negate the pleasures of the holidays,” said Anne W right Rygiel, executive director of Firehouse Shelter. “W e are dedicated to making each guest feel like the special, important person they are.” And anyone in the city can, in some capacity, help fulfill that mission. The following is a guide to the winter needs at the largest downtown shelters: ► F irehou se Shel ter, 1 5 0 1 T hird Ave. N. : Volunteer groups provide lunch, a snack and dinner daily at Firehouse, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to Rygiel. To lean more, email kwallace firehouseshelter.com or go to the website. Firehouse also accepts donations of Christmas presents for the men, as well as clothing, shoes, hygiene items and bus passes. They also need food in large # 10 cans, as well as meat, spices, eggs and other dairy products. 2 2- 1. firehouseshelter.com. ► Brother Bryan Mission, 1 6 1 6 Second Ave N. : Volunteers can help serve

A guest at the Jimmie Hale Mission eats a holiday meal. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission.

Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, according to Jim Etheredge. “W e try to give the holiday meal a festive atmosphere, and the more people we have there, the better,” he said. The facility needs donations of blankets and winter clothing, especially coats. They also need canned vegetables. 32 2 -009 2 . bbmission.com. ► Jimmie Hal e Mission, 3 4 2 0 Second Ave. N. : Volunteers can help serve special meals on Thanksgiving eve and Christmas Eve, and again at lunch and dinner on both holidays. They can also deliver meals to seniors and shut-ins. The mission also requests financial donations, which it uses to buy food in bulk.

“Just $1.9 5 provides a full meal, and $2 0 provides three hot meals and a night of shelter,” mission spokesperson Bonnie Hendrix said. They also accept canned goods, preferably in large siz es, as well as shoes, clothing and new socks and underwear. People can also make donations for Jessie’s Place, the mission’s shelter for women and children. 32 3-5878. jimmiehalemission.com. ► F irst Light Shel ter, 2 2 3 0 F ou rth Ave. N. : First Light, a women’s shelter, does not serve special holiday meals but provides dinner seven nights a week and breakfast on weekends year round, courtesy of groups of volunteers. For more information, contact volunteer coordinator Deborah Everson.

AVONDALE

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Hand in Paw facility in Avondale. Photo courtesy of Hand in Paw.

Hand in Paw nears fundraising goal for renovations at 38th Street site By JESSE CHAMBERS Hand in Paw, a Birmingham nonprofit founded in 19 9 6, has been quite successful in using pets as therapeutic tools with both children and adults. The group’s volunteer handler and animal therapy teams serve more than 100 hospitals, non-profits and public agencies in North Alabama, such as St. Vincent’s Hospital, The Bell Center and Birmingham VA Medical Center. And the demand for Hand in Paw’s services continues to grow, according to the organiz ation. But Hand in Paw’s current facility lacks the space and capacity to train and manage enough therapy teams to meet that demand. So the group recently carried out a capital campaign to fund some ambitious renovations and additions at its facility on 38th Street South in Avondale. At Iron City Ink’s press

time, Hand in Paw’s fundraising was near its goal of $2 million. “W e’re a whisker away from completing Phase 1” of the campaign, Paige Staylor, Hand in Paw director of marketing and community relations, told Iron City Ink. And the Hand in Paw staff is excited about the changes coming to the building. “W e will be building a very special place for our volunteers and the community,” Hand in Paw founder Beth Franklin said in a news release. “W e’re transforming our 0.75-acre property, from what is now only an administrative building to what we know will be a bustling campus featuring a brand-new volunteer training center,” Staylor said. The present administration building will be renovated, and the training center will be new construction, according to Staylor. The

First Light accepts donations of bras, women’s underwear, warm socks and slippers, hygiene items and twin-siz ed blankets. The shelter also accepts donations of new Christmas gifts for children, including toys, clothing and sporting goods. She asked that people call ahead before making donations. 323-42 . firstlightshelter.org. ► Chu rch of T he Reconcil er, 1 1 2 1 4 th St. N. : Area churches prepare hot meals at the facility each day of the year, including the holidays, so no additional volunteers are needed, according to Senior Pastor Adam Burns. However, the church also needs winter coats, as well as new socks and underwear for men and women. The website also contains a list of needed personal hygiene items. 32 4-6402 . churchofthereconciler.com ► Sal vation Army, Center of Hope, 2 0 1 5 2 6 th Ave. N. : The Salvation Army was scheduled to move in October to the new Center of Hope campus near Finley Boulevard. Volunteers can sign up at the website beginning Nov. 1 to help serve the Thanksgiving or Christmas meals. Donations needed include personal hygiene items, diapers, new socks, undergarments, coats, gloves and hats for men, women and children. The organiz ation also needs non-perishable food. “The demand for food during the holidays typically increases,” Cork said. 32 8-2 42 0. birminghamsalvationarmy.org.

facility will also get updated landscaping, new signage and fencing. The training center will include a simulation of a Children’s of Alabama hospital room. “It will take the role-playing portions of our training to a whole new level,” Staylor said. The expansion will increase training opportunities, provide space for evaluations and enable Hand in Paw to increase its number of volunteers, according to the organiz ation’s website. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2 018, according to Staylor, who said they’re not yet sure how long the work will take. Hand in Paw has chosen to make the bustling neighborhood of Avondale its “permanent home,” according to Staylor.

“It is not only convenient to the medical district — our most-served partners are Children’s of Alabama and UAB Health System — but it also offers an opportunity to contribute to neighborhood rebirth,” she said. The expansion will allow Hand in Paw to better engage the surrounding communities by hosting camps, speakers, educational programs and other events and also “simply sharing the space,” Staylor said. The campaign was boosted by two $500,000 gifts, one from local philanthropist Ken Jackson and one from an anonymous donor. Hand in Paw hopes to raise another $2 50,000 in a Phase 2 to build and sustain programs Staylor said.


26 BUSINESS

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

CRESTWOOD

To help local boys find greater opportunities both in and beyond the confines of a classroom, a new school recently opened in Crestwood: The Renaissance Academy Prep School for Boys. Located at 12 2 0 50th St. South, TRA Prep caters to grades 5-12 and is the only private, Christian, all-boys school in Birmingham. Jay Callins, co-founder of TRA Prep, said he and his wife Alisha initially began by running a mentoring program for inner city athletes in 2 012 . Both Jay and Alisha Callins said they previously taught for Birmingham City Schools, but after becoming frustrated with the inconsistencies of BCS and seeing a disconnect between the faculty and the students, they chose to open their own school. TRA Prep held its first day of classes Aug. . “W e felt there was a need for this type of program that caters to young men,” Jay Callins said. W ith the help of a diagnostic test to learn

EAST LAKE

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS Teacher Mary Vain discusses a lesson plan with students at TRA Prep, which had its first day of classes Aug. 9. Photo by Lexi Coon.

All-boys prep school opens on 50th Street By LEXI CO O N

NOVEMBER 2017

A stop on the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail, East Lake Park is a great place to see songbirds, birds of prey or waterfowl, including the herons who have a rookery on the lake’s small island. And there’s a new interpretive sign at East Lake — thanks to the Birmingham Audubon Society Urban Bird Habitat Initiative — that gives visitors information about birds that live or make migratory stops at the park. The sign was installed in eptember, ust north of the piers along the lake’s eastern edge, and offers photography of birds and Q R codes that allow visitors to go online for more information. “W e hope this sign will help the visitors to East Lake appreciate the wildlife that calls the park home,” said Andrew Coleman,

HIGHLAND PARK

Dexter Kennedy. Photo courtesy of ORS.

each student’s — or “achiever’s” — current proficiencies, Alisha Callins said the school then devises an individualized Achiever Learning Program, or ALP. The program helps teachers, whose class sizes are never greater than 1 , create lesson plans to cover varied learning styles. Alisha Callins said they also use a “carousel classroom,” which creates student-centered environments and allows teachers to work with small groups. “The teachers here, they actually care more. They actually try to help you more,” senior Keshun W ells said. W ells said he already knows the school is helping him. “This school right here actually makes me want to go to school and learn.” TRA Prep, which is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International, focuses on education that will lead their students beyond primary school, such as offering an apprenticeship program and focusing on early ACT and SAT preparation. “It’s good they’re preparing us for the ACT,” sophomore W illiam Summerville said. “They’re trying to go ahead and let us

know that it’s a real world out there and stuff isn’t going to be handed to you.” As the Hornets, TRA Prep plans to compete in the Alabama Independent School Association in baseball, basketball, lacrosse, track and field, tennis, golf, rowing and bass fishing, and ay Callins said they will introduce their football team next fall. Practices fall in their school hours of 7:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., during which students not only attend class but also participate in morning devotion, weekly chapel, school electives, clubs, tutoring and volunteer opportunities. They also have a monthly mandatory Saturday school in the mornings to help achievers stay on track. W hile TRA Prep currently had 2 5 students enrolled at the start of the year, Jay Callins said they have big hopes for the future, and would like to install a new playground and on-site garden and continue to grow. “We’re ust trying to be the best all-male private school this side of heaven,” he said. To learn more about TRA Prep and available scholarships, or to donate to the school, visit traprepbham.org.

New interpretive birding sign installed

By JESSE CHAMBERS

DISCOVER

Audubon Society program and science director, who said birds are drawn there by the lake and nearby Village Creek, as well as numerous pines and hardwood trees. East Lake is also easily accessible, and birders “don’t have to have a spotting scope or binoculars,” said Society president Joe W atts. “It helps, but you don’t have to have them to see the wildlife.” Funded in part by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, UBHI focuses on such goals as improving bird habitats and getting the public engaged with helping to preserve them. “At East Lake, we focus on education and outreach, so people understand the asset that is here in their backyard,” said uzanne Langley, Society executive director. Learn more at birminghamaudubon.org or at Facebook @bhamaudubon.

The birding sign was installed by both the Birmingham Audubon Society and the Urban Bird Habitat Initiative. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

Organ Recital Series, a tradition since 1965, returns to Independent By JESSE CHAMBERS Independent Presbyterian Church will present its popular Organ Recital Series in November, a church tradition since 19 65. And the four free concerts, as usual, will feature some of the instrument’s top international stars. “W e always get the best,” said Jeff McLelland, PC director of music and fine arts. The concerts are held each Sunday in November at 4 p.m. in the church sanctuary. ► Nov. 5 : Thomas Murray. This specialist in romantic music is a professor at Y ale and “one of the legends of the organ world,” McLelland said. ► Nov. 1 2 : Dexter Kennedy. A widely acclaimed musician, Kennedy won the prestigious Grand Prix de Chartres organ competition in France in 2 014. ► Nov. 1 9 : Jens Kendorfer. This German-born organist has won competitions, recorded CDs and played around the world. ► Nov. 2 6 : Jonathan Ryan. A winner of si first prizes at ma or international competitions, Ryan is “a brilliant performer,” McLelland said. The concerts also feature another big star — the church’s Joseph W . Schreiber Memorial Organ. Built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders and installed in 2 012 , the pipe organ is one of the best anywhere, according to McLelland. “The design of it is symphonic, classic and it has an enormous variety of sounds,” he said. “Everybody who plays this organ raves about it.” Admission to the series has always been free, according to McLelland. “It was offered as a free gift to the community from the church,” he said. The hourlong recitals are followed by receptions. For details, go to ipc-usa.org/ worship music-fine-arts.html.


28 BUSINESS

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

LAKEVIEW

SPARK@Sloss initiative gets $100K from NEA By ALYX CHANDLER In the next few years, the space at Sloss Furnace is going to have a whole new look — and spark — to it. The city of Birmingham, the Alabama School of Fine Arts and Sloss Furnaces are partnering together to develop a master plan for arts and culture at the historic Sloss Furnaces National Landmark site. The initiative, called SPARK@Sloss, aims to transform the Sloss Furnaces site by building new facilities and renovating existing facilities to turn the site into an arts and technology hub. Recently the initiative was awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. Renee Kemp-Rotan, the director of the mayor’s initiative SPARK@Sloss Master Plan in Birmingham, said that over the course of the next year, they will be offering workshops and inviting community members to take part of the process and submit ideas for the plan. On Sept. 18, architects, urban planners, students and Birmingham community members were invited to take part of the opening lecture, “Imagine the Possibilities” at the Birmingham Art Museum. The hope is to have more innovative studios and art residences built in the 30 acres by Sloss that the city of Birmingham already owns. Since Sloss is a Historic National Landmark, Kemp-Rotan said planning will not interfere with any historic elements. “The idea is at end of lecture six, what will happen is all of the students that participated will give their design programs, and then try to put together an international design competition,” Kemp-Rotan said. Eventually, the grant money will be used to renovate Sloss Furnaces through winning designs. “It is an exploration; we are not set on any one idea,” Kemp-Rotan said. “Really, what we are trying to do with this is see how many creative minds we can bring on,” SPARK@Sloss is focusing on four quadrants, which include fine arts, particularly a focus on expanding the current metal arts program and adding glass blowing and ceramics; new media and robotics; industrial design and visual arts; and experimental performance arts. The SPARK@Sloss website is currently under construction. Stay tuned for it to launch in upcoming months.

SIGHTS

IRON CITY INK

FACES

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

FIVE POINTS

4th annual Vulcans Awards ceremony on Nov. 2 By JESSE CHAMBERS When the Vulcan Park Foundation began giving out The Vulcans Community Awards in 2014, the organization saw a need to recognize citizens from all walks of life in the seven-county Birmingham metro who were “exemplifying civic pride, progress and leadership,” according to Morgan Black, director of marketing and PR at Vulcan Park and Museum. The latest group of 14 honorees — people making what Black called “Vulcan-like contributions” to their communities, chosen by an independent citizens panel — were announced in late September. They’ll be honored at a fourth annual awards dinner at The Club on Thursday, Nov. 2, with WBRC-TV anchor Jonathan Hardison serving as emcee. “It’s such a special night when we’re able to come together and learn the stories of the people who are making Birmingham a better place to live, work, stay, visit and

play and may or may not be recognized for it otherwise,” Black said. The winners are as follows:

THE VULCANS

► Lifetime Achievement: Charles A. Collat Sr., Mayer Electric CEO and community volunteer. ► Servant Leadership: Keiah Shauku, community outreach and education programs director for the Birmingham Bar Foundation. Shauku also works with Urban Avenues, a nonprofit that helps start social ventures in Birmingham. ► Hero: Jesse Frank, a teen community volunteer in St. Clair County. ► Game Changer: Thomas W. Thagard III, Kiwanis Club of Birmingham president. ► Newcomer: Kevin Callahan, a community volunteer in Walker County.

THE SPEARS

► Servant Leadership: Sheriff

John Samaniego, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office; Michelle Bearman-Wolnek, co-founder and executive director of Heart Gallery Alabama in Birmingham, a nonprofit that works to find “forever families” for Alabama’s foster children. ► Heroes: J.D. Simpson, co-founder of Three Hots and A Cot, a Birmingham non-profit that helps homeless veterans transition from the streets; U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Aaron Causey (Ret.). ► Game Changers: Hatton Smith, a major backer of UAB football; Giles Perkins, one of the visionaries and organizers who helped create Railroad Park. ► Newcomers: Drs. Julian Maha and Michele Kong, UAB and Children’s of Alabama physicians and co-founders of KultureCity, a nonprofit group that seeks to educate the community about autism; Dan Drinkard, co-founder of Seasick Records in Crestwood and a major booster of Birmingham music.

WOODLAWN

Red Mountain Makers eyes larger office or warehouse space By JESSE CHAMBERS Red Mountain Makers, a nonprofit co-operative workshop and laboratory (also known as a makerspace), has operated on the first floor of Woodrow Hall in Woodlawn since it began in 2013. But RMM — with about 40 members — has outgrown the 5,000-square-foot space, formerly a medical clinic, and needs a larger facility, according to John Rhymes, a maker and a member of the group’s advisory circle. “Our front room is our main activity room and our classroom, so if we have a class, we don’t have that space to work,” Rhymes said. The makers are seeking a facility with at least 6,000-7,000 square feet and a more open floor plan than the old clinic, according to Rhymes. “We need an office or warehouse setting, but with parking for 20-30 people if we have a class or a group,” Rhymes, a coder and programmer who is an internal auditor for Southern Company. The group would also like to be more centrally located, perhaps downtown, according to Rhymes. Makers would like more room to spread out, including “clean areas” for electronics and “dirty areas” for welding or woodworking, Rhymes said. RMM provides space for such diverse activities as fiber arts, woodworking, computers, software and plant-based medicines. The rent for the new space will have to be affordable, according

John Rhymes and Kat Steel at Red Mountain Makers’ current home in Woodlawn. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

to Rhymes. “We are all-volunteer, all self-funded,” he said. Rhymes appeared before the Birmingham City Council on Oct. 3 to ask if the city could help the group find a new facility. Councilor Valerie Abbott asked Rhymes if he could supply members with more information about RMM. To contact the group, write to info@redmountainmakers.org.


NOVEMBER 2017

BUSINESS

SIPS & BITES

HAPPENINGS

SIGHTS

PUT THESE IN NOVEMBER’S BEST BETS

DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS

Nov. 2, 4-10 p.m. Pepper Place, 2829 Second Ave. S.

The Bare Hands nonprofit presents its 15th annual festival to commemorate The Day of the Dead. Celebrate the lives of those that came before and those that are still with us through music, memorial roll call, jazz street parade, the Frida Kahlo Ceremony, dance, food vendors, the Corona Beer Garden, art, kids’ activities and most importantly the altars erected to those we have loved. Admission $10 for ages 13 and older; $3 for children ages 7-12; those younger than age 7 are admitted free. For information, visit barehandsinc.org.

IRON CITY INK

FACES

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

INK

LIGHT THE NIGHT

Nov. 9. Railroad Park, 1600 First Ave. S.

At Light The Night aims to bring light to the darkness of cancer through research and cures. Light The Night is a series of fundraising campaigns benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Registration begins at 4:30 p.m.; pre-walk ceremony at 6:45 p.m.; walk begins at 7 p.m.; fireworks at 7:30 p.m. Rain or shine. For more information, visit lightthenight. org/events/birmingham.

29

IRONCITY.INK

NATIONAL VETERANS DAY PARADE

Nov. 11, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Beginning at Linn Park, 710 20th St. N.

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

DISCOVER

ICI

MUST SEE

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

THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N.

A holiday mash-up for the entire family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is an eveninglength production based on the Tchaikovsky classic and performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, DJ and violinist. The event features special guest emcee Kurtis Blow, one of the founders and creators of recorded rap. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $33-$53. 800-745-3000. alabamatheatre.com.

OFFICIAL BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL Nov. 6: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, council chambers. Nov. 7: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Nov. 14: Birmingham City Council Public Improvements and Beautification Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A. Nov. 14: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

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

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

Nov. 13: Birmingham City Council Governmental Affairs Committee. 2 p.m.

Nov. 20: Birmingham City Council Planning and Zoning Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City

Hall, Conference Room A. Nov. 20: Citizen Advisory Board. 7 p.m. City Council Chambers, Birmingham City Hall, third floor. The Citizen Participation Program is designed to achieve improved communication, understanding, and cooperation between Birmingham citizens and city officials through increased personal contact between City Hall and neighborhoods and communities throughout the city. The public is welcome to attend.

of the Whole. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Nov. 24: [[CHECK]] Birmingham City Council Administration/Technology Committee. 1 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E. Nov. 28: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City Hall, third floor.

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

Nov. 28: Birmingham City Council Education Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

Nov. 22: Birmingham City Council Committee

Nov. 28: Birmingham City Council Utilities


30 BUSINESS

IRONCITY.INK

SIPS & BITES

Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third floor, Conference Rooms D and E.

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETINGS Nov. 7: Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Avondale Library, 509 40th St. S. Visit forestparksouthavondale.com for more information. Nov. 9: Roebuck Springs Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. South Roebuck Baptist/Community Church. Call President Frank Hamby at 222-2319 for more information. Nov. 13: Woodlawn Neighborhood Association meeting. 5709 1st Ave N. Call President Brenda Pettaway at 593-4487 for more information. Nov. 14: Highland Park Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Upstairs meeting room of the Highland Park Golf Course clubhouse. eeting notices are sent out to recipients of the Highland Park email list. If you wish to be included on this list, email President Alison Glascock at alisonglascock gmail.com. Nov. 21: Central City Neighborhood Association meeting: 6-7 p.m. Linn-Henley Library, Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium. Neighborhood social to follow at Tavern on 1st, 2320 1st Ave. N. Nov. 27: Crestwood South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. ARC of Alabama. Contact association Vice President Virginia Volkert at 592-7966 for more information. Nov. 27: Crestwood North Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Girls Inc. of Alabama. Nov. 27: Huffman Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Cornerstone School, 959 Huffman Road.

HAPPENINGS

IRON CITY INK

SIGHTS

FACES

COMMUNITY Nov. 1-4: Christmas Village Festival. BJCC E hibition Hall. any mothers, daughters, sisters and friends begin their holiday shopping by meeting in Birmingham the first weekend in Nov. to enjoy a variety of gift ideas in one location. Wednesday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Adults $12; children $5; kids age 5 and under admitted free. 836-7178. christmasvillagefestival.com. Nov. 2: The Vulcans Community Awards, presented by Vulcan aterials Company. The Club. This program recognizes citizens who e emplify civic pride, leadership and progress just as Vulcan has symbolized for 113 years. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 6:30 p.m. For more information, email Ashley Thompson at athompson visitvulcan.com. Nov. 3: Harvest of Hope. Barber Vintage otorsports useum. Benefiting Cornerstone School. Bid on student and local art work, an e uisite selection of jewelry and accessories, gift cards from upscale local businesses and one of kind collector’s items and vacation packages. 5:45-9 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit csalabama.auction-bid.org/ microsite/register. Nov. 4: E tra Life Game Day, benefiting Children’s Hospital of Birmingham. E tra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s iracle Network Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, E tra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids. Sign up today ate tra-life.org and dedicate a day of play for kids in your community!

Nov. 27: Five Points South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6-7:15 p.m. Southside Library, 1814 11th Ave. S. Visit fivepointsbham. com for more information.

Nov. 4: Alabama School of Fine Arts pen House for prospective students. 1800 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Sessions at either 9, 10 or 11 a.m. No appointment is necessary to attend. eet in the ASFA lobby a few minutes before the session. For more information, visit asfa.k12.al.us.

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

Nov. 5: Patriotic Tribute. Alabama Veterans emorial Park. 1 p.m. For more information, visitalabamaveterans.org/veterans-day-events -2017.

Did we miss something? If you would like to have your neighborhood association meeting mentioned in ne t month’s calendar, email the meeting info to kwilliams starnespublishing.com.

Nov. 5: JDRF ne Walk. Railroad Park. When you participate in your local JDRF ne Walk, the money you raise supports life-changing breakthroughs that give hope to everyone impacted by this disease. And, you’ll have a great time doing it! That’s because you’ll walk with a committed community that is

NOVEMBER 2017

B’HAM BIZARRE

NECK OF THE WOODS

passionate about doing whatever it takes to help turn Type ne into Type None. Checkin begins at 1 p.m.; race at 2 p.m. For more information, visit www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Walk/ AlabamaChapter4000?pg entry&fr id 6939. Nov. 6: BA Bingo. Birmingham AIDS utreach, 205 32nd St. S. BA hosts its bingo fundraiser on the first onday of each month. 7-9 p.m. Cash prizes. 322-4197 e t. 107. birminghamaidsoutreach.org. Nov. 8: Fifth annual Education Symposium And Teacher’s Workshop, presented by Birmingham Bar Foundation. Vulcan Park and useum. This one day workshop will focus on methods of teaching historical and contemporary public issues, and activities to encourage students to become involved in service-learning projects will be provided. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit http://visitvulcan.com/event/ annual-education-symposium-and-teachersworkshop/ .WePAUhNS A. Nov. 10: The Children’s Ball. The Club. The Children’s Ball will feature a silent auction, a live auction and a fabulous dinner. We are looking forward to a night of fun, with the best view in Birmingham. Black tie event. 6 p.m. For more information or to buy tickets, visit thechildrensball.com.

DISCOVER

MUSIC Nov. 1: Bad Suns. Saturn, 200 41st St. S. A fourman alt-rock band from Los Angeles, touring to support their second album, Disappear Here. 8 p.m. $18-$20. 703-9545. saturnbirmingham. com. Nov. 1: Service of Choral Evensong. Independent Presbyterian Church, 3100 Highland Ave. This Service of Choral Evensong, a Service for All Saints, features the IPC Choir performing choral works of 21st-century composers, including the Litany of IPC Saints. 6:30 p.m. Free. 933-3700. ipc-usa.org Nov 1: Reg’s Coffee House 20th Anniversary Show. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. North. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats will perform to help Scott Register celebrate the anniversary of this legendary radio broadcast. 7 p.m. For ticket prices and other information, call 800-745-3000 or go to alabamatheatre.com. Nov. 3: Bruce Hornsby. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The pianist, vocalist and pop star has worked with such legends as Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and rnette Coleman. 8 p.m. Tickets $48, $58 and $68. 975-2787. alysstephens.org.

Nov. 11: Purple Pumpkin Walk. Railroad Park, 1600 First Ave. S. This walk benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama, which strives to create a better uality of life for those with seizures. 9 a.m. $20 To register, go to eventbrite. com. For more about the foundation, call 800626-1582 or go to efala.org.

Nov. 3: Celebrate usic. Alabama School of Fine Arts. 1800 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Let ASFA’s usic Department entertain you with this wonderful program! It features our talented orchestra, choir, jazz ensemble and ladies’ vocal ensemble. For more information, visit asfa.k12.al.us.

Nov. 11: Sharon Heights Run to the Son. 520 Bivens Brookside Road. The main purpose of RTTS is to raise money for foreign and local missions and effectively be able to spread the gospel throughout the world. 8 a.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/ RunToTheSon.

Nov. 4: Roots of a Rebellion. Zydeco, 2001 15th Ave. S. Roots of A Rebellion are a jam band from Nashville, playing reggae, rock and dub. r. B and the Tribal Hoose will open. 9:30 p.m. $8. 933-1032. zydecobirmingham.com

Nov. 11: Contra Dance. WCA Birmingham, 309 23rd St. N. Presented by F T AD, Birmingham Friends of ld-Time usic and Dance, these regular events primarily feature contra dancing, s uare dancing and waltzes. 7-10:30 p.m. Adults (over 18) $10; college students $8; children ages 13-18 $4; children 12 and under admitted free. 979-3237. footmadbirmingham.org. Nov. 11: World Peace Luncheon. Sheraton Birmingham Ballroom, 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. Presented by National Veterans Day Foundation. For more information, visit nationalveteransday.org/event/world-peaceluncheon.

Nov. 4: The Beach Boys. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. North. ne of the most influential rock or pop bands of the 1960s, The Beach Boys are still touring. 7:30 p.m. $55-$75. 800-7453000. alabamatheatre.com Nov. 5: Emmylou Harris. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The legendary singersongwriter and winner of 13 Grammy awards is a Birmingham native. 7 p.m. Tickets are $56, $66 and $76. 975-2787. alysstephens.org Nov. 5: The Lone Bellow. Iron City, 513 22nd St S. Birmingham ountain Radio presents this popular three-person folk-pop band. 8 p.m. $22.50-$80. 202-5483. ironcitybham. com.


NOVEMBER 2017

IRON CITY INK

31

IRONCITY.INK

DISCOVER Nov. 8: Bon Iver. BJCC Concert Hall. This popular indie folk band will appear with opening act Aero Flynn. 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $33.50-$123.50 plus fees. 800-745-3000. bjcc.org Nov. 10: The Black Dahlia Murder. Zydeco, 2001 15th Ave. S. This rock band will appear with Suffocation, Decrepit Birth, Necrot and Wormwithch. 6:30 p.m. $22. 933-1032. zydecobirmingham.com Nov. 10: Dionne Warwick. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The acclaimed pop vocalist has won five Grammy awards. 8 p.m. Tickets $56, $66 and $76. 975-2787. alysstephens.org Nov. 11: Dirty Lungs. The Nick, 2514 10th Ave. The long-popular Birmingham garage-surf band will appear with verlake, Sister Sniffle and Burley Starns. 10 p.m. $8. 252-3831. thenickrocks.com Nov. 12: Modigliani Quartet. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The acclaimed group brings its distinctively French style and technical finesse to the ASC to perform some string quartet masterpieces. 2 p.m. Tickets $35 and $55. 975-2787. alysstephens.org Nov. 14: Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Independent Presbyterian Church, 3100 Highland Ave. The ASO will present Baroque Explorations: Music for Trumpets, Timpani, Violin & Organ. 7:30 p.m. $29. 975-2787. alysstephens.org Nov. 15: Cults. Saturn, 200 41st St. S. This indiepop band is from New York City. Their newest album is called Offerings. 8 p.m. $16-$18. 7039545. saturnbirmingham.com Nov. 17: Johnnyswim. Iron City, 513 22nd St S. 202-5483. Called “21st century troubadours” on NPR, Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez are based in Nashville and Los Angeles. 8 p.m. $25-$85. 202-5483. ironcitybham.com Nov. 17: The ASO presents: Justin Brown Conducts Beethoven. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The ASO will be led in this daytime event by Brown, its music director. For ticket prices, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org. Nov. 17 and 18: The ASO Presents: Justin Brown Returns! Mozart & Beethoven. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The ASO’s music director will appear as both conductor and pianist. He will conduct Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony and play piano on Mozart’s Concerto no. 27. 8 p.m. For ticket prices, call 975-2787 or go to alysstephens.org.

Nov. 18: John Prine. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. North. The singer-songwriter, winner of two Grammys, has seen his songs covered by such artists as Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, the Everly Brothers, Ben Harper and Kris Kristofferson. 8 p.m. Tickets range from $59$350. 800-745-3000. alabamatheatre.com. Nov. 18: Live at the Lyric: Shawn Colvin. Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Ave. N. Singer-songwriter and storyteller Colvin appears with her band as part of her 20th anniversary A Few Small Repairs tour. 8 p.m. Tickets range from $32$125. 800-745-3000. lyricbham.com Nov. 22: Skoolie Escobar. WorkPlay, 500 23rd St. S. This rapper from Bessemer has an East Coast Flow with distinctive Southern tones. Also appearing are K.L.U.B. Monsta and Jazzmine. 8 p.m. $20. 380-4082. workplay.com Nov. 22: Caddle. The Nick, 2514 10th Ave. Birmingham band Caddle blends classic country and bluegrass with a rock ’n’ roll attitude. They will appear with Alabama Rose and Five Shot Jack. 10 p.m. $8-$10. 252-3831. thenickrocks. com

ARTS Nov. 2-18: THE BIG EAL (by Dan LeFranc). Teriffic New Theater. This comedic-drama, by award winning playwright Dan LeFranc, tells an extraordinary story about an ordinary family. For more information, call 328-0868 or visit terrificnewtheatre.com. Nov. 3: Darren Knight. Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. N. Knight, from Munford, Ala., is a social media star and Southern-style comedian. 7:30 p.m. $27. 800-745-3000. alabamatheatre.com. Nov. 3-12: The Taming of the Shrew. Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th St. S. Following the success of last season’s Twelfth Night, David McMahon returns to the VST to direct this Shakespeare classic. Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. General admission $25; students $15. virginiasamfordtheatre.org Nov.3-5: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Kids. RMTC Cabaret Theatre, 301 19th St. N. This is billed as a fun show based on one of the most popular Disney animated films and featuring many memorable songs. Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. For ticket prices, call 324-2424 or go to redmountaintheatre.org. Through Nov. 4: Midnight Dreary. Theatre Downtown, 2410 Fifth Ave. S. The theater

presents this spooky adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe stories. Thursdays through Saturdays, 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct 29, 2 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults and $12 for students. 565-8838. theatredowntown.org. Nov. 9: Magic Men Live. BJCC Concert Hall. This performance, based on the hit movie, is billed as the “sexy night out your squad has been longing for.” For mature audiences ages 18 and up. 8 p.m. $25. 800-745-3000. bjcc.org. Nov. 10: The ASO Presents: Tribute to Martin Hamlisch. Samford Wright Center. 800 Lakeshore Drive. Join us for an evening that celebrates the life and career of this superb composer and conductor, winner of Emmy, Grammy, scar, and Tony awards along with a Pulitzer Prize. Local leading lady Kristi Tingle Higginbotham and pianist Rich Ridenour will be featured in music Hamlisch wrote for Hollywood and Broadway – along with popular medleys from his personal library. 7 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://my.alysstephens.org/single/SYOS. aspx?p=943. Nov. 10: American Stories Tour. Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Ave. N. This national tour features music and storytelling and celebrates American values. This performance will feature Mac Powell and guests. 8 p.m. $45-$50. 800-7453000. lyricbham.com. Nov. 10 and 11: Hot Southern Turkey. Theatre Downtown, 2410 Fifth Ave. S. The Extemporaneous Theatre Company, a veteran Birmingham improv group, will revive this Thanksgiving favorite, a unique show that blends improvisation with a Tennessee Williams-style story. No two shows are alike. 8 p.m. For tickets and more information, go to etcbham.org. Nov. 11 and 12: Fine Crafts Show. Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Road. Now in its 45th year, this annual event brings together featuring over 50 of Alabama’s best artisans, offering such items as jewelry, glasswork, stained glass, woodwork, printmaking and leatherwork. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $3, children ages 12 and under admitted free, and the children’s craft area is free. alabamadesignercraftsmen.com. Nov. 16-19: A Charlie Brown Christmas. Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th St. S. This play is based on the classic Peanuts TV special. Thursday & Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Admission $20 for adults, $15 for students. 251-1206. virginiasamfordtheatre.org

Nov. 17: Kevin Spencer. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. A world-renowned illusionist, Spencer is also a teacher and speaker who believes in believes in creating inclusive communities. 7 p.m. Tickets $10 and $15. 9752787. alysstephens.org. Nov. 18-19: Dolores Hydock Silence: The Adventure of a Medieval Warrior Woman. 301 19th St. N. A wickedly funny, plot-twisting tale of greed, lust, deceit, revenge, and the rewards and sacrifices that come from finding your true voice. Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets start at $15. 324-2424. For more information or to buy tickets, visit http://redmountaintheatre. org/medieval-warrior-woman. Nov. 29: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical. BJCC Concert Hall. 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special as they come to life in this adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. For more information, visit rudolphthemusical.com.

SPORTS UAB FOOTBALL (HOME GAMES AT LEGION FIELD) Nov. 4: Rice University, 2 p.m. Nov. 25: University of Texas—El Paso, 2 p.m.

BSC FOOTBALL (HOME GAMES AT KRULAK STADIUM) Nov. 4: Millsaps, 1 p.m.

UAB MEN’S SOCCER (HOME GAMES AT BBVA COMPASS FIELD) Nov. 3: South Carolina, 7 p.m. Nov. 4: BTC Vulcan Run 10K. Linn Park, 710 20th St. N. Now in its 43rd year, this popular road race has attracted more than 1,500 runners in recent years. It follows a scenic route from downtown through Highland Park and Five Points South. The event is also the RRCA Alabama State 10k Championship Race. 8 a.m. Race fee after Sept. 30 is $45. For details, go to birminghamtrackclub.com/vulcan-run-10k.php. Nov. 19: The Magic City Half Marathon, 5K and 1-Mile Runs. Railroad Park. Our events benefit the Ruben Studdard Foundation for the Advancement of Children in the Music Arts. Half marathon begins at 8 a.m.; 5K begins at 8:15 a.m.; and fun run begins at 8:45 a.m. For more information, email jdavis@setupevents.com or visit magiccityrun.com.


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

Iron City Ink November 2017  
Iron City Ink November 2017