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MAY 2017

IRON CITY

VOLUME 1

ISSUE 12

INK THE PRICE OF GROWTH X

1st in a series: Investments in future by students, university go hand in hand. 24 INSIDE

BUSINESS

A life of pure magic Author and Alabama School of Fine Arts’ Ashley M. Jones on teaching, poetic activism and her ‘Magic City Gospel.’ 16

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HAPPENINGS

FACES

Robots in the workforce Businesses non rofits prepare for a job market impacted by automation and say you should, too. 20


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O Adrenaline rush and yes real fire fuels uminarts fire erformance trou e.

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BRINGING THE HEAT TO LAKEVIEW: O ner of uscaloosa i a bar ho es to attract even more eo le energy to B ham neighborhood. 12

BRIGHT AND BOLD: hirley Ferrill su lies atrons ith vibrant air at Ferrill African Wear. 6 REAL ESTATE: ransactions and develo ments slated for the metros real estate market. 8

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FACES THE FUTURE, BROUGHT TO YOU BY ROBOTS: on rofits businesses re are for a ob market im acted by automation and say you should too. 20

HAPPENINGS CURATOR AT HEART: With retirement ahead ail Andre s re ects on time at Birmingham Museum of Art. 14 PARTY ANIMALS: o ah ay back for music et arade. 17

th year ith

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AN UNSEEN NEED: Red ot Pro ect challenges community to fill void of feminine hygiene donations. 22 THE PRICE OF GROWTH: nvestments in future by both students university go hand in hand. 24

DISCOVER SUMMER OF SPICES: With aatar Vestavia native brings Mediterranean tastes to Pe er Place. 10

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MARKING HISTORY: mages from Birmingham ivil Rights ational Monument dedication ceremony. 18

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MAY’S BEST BETS: our uick guide to metro Birmingham music and events scheduled this month. 36

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EDITOR’S NOTE

W

hen you’re a kid, May is an exciting month — school’s almost over, and summer’s on the way. I can easily recall that feeling of lightness as you walk out that last classroom door of the day, with only the imagination of summer plans to worry about. Even as an adult, I get a little reminiscent twinge of summer excitement when May comes around. While we as adults don’t get threemonth breaks every summer anymore, there’s still plenty about May to be excited for. Do Dah Day returns this month, along with a comedy festival, an opera competition and a performance of “Dreamgirls.” This month we’ve also begun a fourpart series about UAB’s interaction with the city of Birmingham. We think there’s

a lot to explore as this university grows, and I hope you’ll stay tuned for the entire series. And I have to put a personal plug in for one of my stories this month, about a local non rofit that is all about the future of the job market as robotics and technology advance. Nobody knows for sure what the future economy of Birmingham holds, but the possibility of technology re lacing some career fields is something I think is worth considering. Hope you enjoy all this month has to offer, for adults and children alike.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS 20 Midtown (2) 24e Fitness (17) 30A Realty (37) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (9) ALDOT (9) ARC Realty (40) Bedzzz Express (23) Birmingham City Council (7) Budget Blinds (19) Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery (1, 27) Children’s of Alabama (38)

EZ Roof & EZ Restoration (35) Hanna’s Antiques (32) Hutchinson Automotive (16) Ingram New Homes (32) Iron City Realty (33) Jeff Richardson - Brik Realty (11) LAH Real Estate (13) Pies and Pints (19) Pitts & Associates Mental Health Professionals (17) Highlands UMC (31) RealtySouth (3) Red Mountain Theatre Co. (38)

Rozar’s Paint Supply (5) Savoie Catering (33) Seasick Records (27) Shades Valley Dermatology (26) Skin Wellness Center of Alabama (11) The Altamont School (26) Tower Homes (15) Truck Stop Event Park, LLC (17) UAB Center for Exercise Medicine (13) Vulcan Park and Museum (5) Watts Realty (16)

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Bright AND bold

NECK OF THE WOODS

Shirley Ferrill supplies atrons ith vibrant air at Ferrill African Wear

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By AL Y X CHAN D L ER

few months ago, a man came into Ferrill African Wear and said he needed something “low-key” to wear. Store owner and African clothes collector Shirley Ferrill welcomed him right in but laughed as she said, “You’re in the wrong place.” She describes her Ferrill African Wear store as a representative sampling of African clothing and items from a variety of regions, which inevitably means there is little in the way of solid or dull colors. “African culture is bright, bold. There are so many patterns; I’ve always loved that,” she said. Still, Ferrill wants nothing more than to find e actl what someone is looking for, be it knowledge of African culture or a certain clothing item. She’s a store owner in the Ensley community known for her casual, nonj udgmental nature. “People always asked, ‘ C an you get this? C an you get that? ’ For a long time, it was a hobb , errill said, one that she let fill most of her closet. It quickly became a habit to buy two of whatever African clothing item she found, then sell one to someone who really wanted it. Eventually, she started special ordering from Africa. Though Ferrill has sold African wear since college, she onl first opened her official storefront, errill frican ear, last year after her retirement. “[ Making this store has] been like this is a community proj ect,” she said. A year ago, she said, the building she bought was a complete mess, with roof troubles, spiderwebs, dust everywhere and no lighting or plumbing. Even in this state, she knew it was e actl the space she needed. With the months-long help of friends, volunteers, former customers and Ensley community members, the place was transformed to include si dressing rooms down a sweeping, naturally lit hall, a big clothing and display room, as well as a community room with a kids’ reading area off to the side, all books free for the taking. Ferrill spent more than 20 years working as a social worker in protective services for children in the J efferson C ounty area. She said she often spent her time supervising kids across the state, which kept her constantly on the move and working late and irregular hours. After working for a bank for some years, she got tired of “doing the same thing over and over again,” and she knew

Shirley Ferrill in her Ensley store, Ferrill African Wear. Photo by Alyx Chandler.

that in her retirement, she needed a j ob that would keep her on her toes. She now spends her time selling African clothes, fabrics and designs, including the now-popular wa prints, intricate lace wrappers, grand boubous, basket weave patterns, bright cotton skirts, mud cloths, hand-woven ba in, ow caftans, traditional kufi hats, damsk headdresses and more, all of which she’d be happy to tell anyone about. She sells all kinds of African clothes for men, women and children, ranging from highly traditional formal wear to modernized designs. O ften, people come in not only seeking clothes, but knowledge on the culture. “I’ve really enj oyed being here; people get e cited and drive from all over ust to

DISCOVER

get one piece,” she said. Ferrill has a calendar booked to do fashion shows and community events with organizations from all over Alabama, including colleges and venues in Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Sylacauga and Birmingham. Although she doesn’t have money to pay models, she has more than a few customers and model friends who are ecstatic to put on her pieces and head wraps for a day. O ftentimes the organizations also provide models, or fashion show audience members get the opportunity to wear clothing from their African roots. “There’s a runway, African music and some commentary, so it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “O ne customer, she’s in her early 20s,

she has a ver dark comple ion, one of the ‘ darker’ girls, she has been modeling with me. Back then, we were supposed to be as light as possible, and she said the first time she came in here, she felt so empowered by the African wear.” Ferrill said she tries to order her merchandise from the specific regions where women in Africa are trying to make a living selling their culture’s fabrics and clothes. “Part of what I’m trying to do is also educate our people that this is a part of our culture that was stolen from us, because we aren’t allowed to keep up with our own language, clothing, gardens, traditions,” she said. “People come in and say they feel ignorant, and they don’t know, and I tell them, ‘ Then I’ll tell you, and you’ll know.’” Most African garments for women come with a headpiece, she said, especially since many areas are predominantly Muslim, and the women in those areas are required to wear a headdress. They are made out of different fabrics and traditionally tied different ways to denote regions. She said she has customers come in all the time begging her to teach them how to do what they consider “elaborate” head wrap designs. “I always laugh because I have never tied any two head wraps the same way,” Ferrill said. “I come in here and get creative, and if you don’t like it, then we will recreate it. You know it’s done when it’s pretty to you, and it stays on your head.” lthough different colors re ect different regions, errill is still learning the specific regions. It is common, however, for cultures from desert areas to re ect desert colors, like reds, browns and yellows. C ultures from coastal areas re ect coastal colors, like greens, blues and purples. Another common tradition is for families to dress in the same fabrics to identify as a “family unit.” Ferrill said it isn’t unusual for her to have customers who aren’t from African descent. She welcomes everyone in, regardless of their race or culture, and is happy to talk about the clothing and sell them items. She loves for new people to learn about African culture. “We need to get rid of a whole lot of foolish notions in our society. We tend to try to do it without talking about it and discussing,” she said. “We have to tell and share.” he is e panding her shop to include clothing from more regions and will be present in the upcoming C aribbean Festival. Ferrill is also a spoken word poet, a onewoman show performer, actress and singer, and hosts different events at her store. For more information, go to Ferrill African Wear on Facebook.


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Officials held a groundbreaking in A ril for a new $8.2 million headquarters for the UAB Police Department. The two-story, 28,000-square-foot facility will be located in the 1100 block of 14th Street South, adjacent to the existing police building, according to a UAB news release. TurnerBatson Architects designed the facility. Wyatt eneral ontractor ill oversee construction which should be complete in 15 months.

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Construction began near the end of February on a major expansion of the Ronald McDonald House at 1700 Fourth Ave. S. Construction is expected to take about 10 months, with completion near the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018, according to Stephanie Langford of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. A new three-story wing will add additional guest suites, family living rooms, laundries, extended stay a artments and a family center. Brasfield orrie is the general contractor.

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Construction should begin soon on a large retail and residential project that is the third phase of the 20 Midtown development on a full block between 20th Street South and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard and Second and Third avenues south. Developer Dick Schmalz told the BBJ that demolition on the site was complete, and construction should begin by mid-May.

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A $32 million renovation and expansion of the UAB School of Nursing is underway on University Boulevard between 16th and 18th streets south. Construction began in October 2016 and is expected to take 20 months, according to UAB Media Relations. The completed project will consist of approximately 50,000 square feet of renovated areas and a five oor s uare foot addition. The contractor is M. J. Harris Construction Services. Architecture and design are by Williams Blackstock Architects and Payette.

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The $32 million BJCTA Intermodal trans4 portation terminal is expected to open in May or June, according to a report at AL.com. The BJCTA has expanded and transformed the BJCTA Bus Transfer Facility on Morris Avenue into an integrated transportation center linking intercity rail, intercity bus, public transportation, taxis, car/van pools and bicycles. When complete, Amtrak reyhound and MA ill be consolidated in a single complex.

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Work continues in Parkside on the 1 120-year-old Powell Avenue Steam Plant, an Alabama Power facility. Roof and window installation and other stabilization work are being completed to prepare the building for a future mixed-use development, according to Alabama Power spokesman Michael Sznajderman. Hoar Construction is the contractor.

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Openings/Closures Covalence, formerly Depot/U and owned by tech firm Platypi, was scheduled to move to offices on the fourth oor of the raves Building at 1818 Third Ave. N. by mid-April, according to a company spokesperson. Appleseed Workshop is restoring the historic building, formerly the home of Lichter’s Furniture. Other tenants are to include Wheelhouse Salon.

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Eyewear retailer Warby Parker opened its 8 first Alabama location A ril at he Pi it Bayer Properties’ $70 million, mixed-use renovation of the old Pizitz department store. The Standard, Alabama Biscuit Co. and Mo:Mo also have opened at The Pizitz, according to a spokesperson for Bayer. Apartments and commercial spaces are now leasing at Thomas Jefferson Tower, a renovation of the historic, 19-story Thomas Jefferson Hotel at 1623 Second Ave. N.

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Good Grit magazine will be housed in a commercial CEO, Chase Carlisle. ue S. Aven Walls s ace on the first oor according to Jennifer 16th Vulcan Park the building's community manager. Roots & Revelry Savoie Catering, at 3625 Eighth Ave. S. 12 in Forest Park, recently began opening to restaurant opened in February, and Carmen Winfield the restaurant s event coordinator is booking the public once a week for its Wednesday events for the tower’s ballroom, Walls said. Night Supper Club pop-up dinners. The company — owned by chef Richard Bishop — has operated Club Pilates will be a tenant in The Waites, its catering operation out of the 4,000-square-foot 10 a retail and residential project under con- space since summer 2016. struction at the corner of Seventh Avenue South and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard. Other tenants announced by developer Retail Specialists include Blaze Pizza, Taco Mama, Farm Burger, Developers Parkside 15 LLC and Restoration 13 Properties LLC received approval from the Smoothie King and Roll Up, a sushi concept. Retail tenants will open beginning this summer. This will Birmingham City Council in March to have be the third Club Pilates location in Birmingham two parcels of land in the booming Parkside rezoned but the first do nto n. A artments in the building from heavy industrial district to mixed-use downtown are pre-leasing and will be available in June. district. Retail office and residential com onents are planned for the parcels at 15 12th St. S. and 1230 Road Runner Moving, based in Cahaba First Ave. S. Kyle Kirkwood, an architect at Williams 11 Heights since 1979, opened a second Blackstock, represented the developers and told the location in early April at 1509 Third Ave. council the rezoning was “consistent with all the . across from Regions Field according to the firm s positive development that is being done in the area.”

Bought/Rezoned


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SUMMER OF spices Ashley Tarver outside her restaurant Za’atar. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

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With Za’atar, Vestavia native brings Mediterranean tastes to Pepper Place

By EMI L Y F EAT HERST O N

a’atar, sumac, Aleppo pepper and berbere are herbs and spices most American cooks are likely to be unfamiliar with. But for Ashley Tarver, they represent the vibrant culture of the Mediterranean. “What differentiates cultural cuisine are the spices used,” Tarver said. his summer, arver will open her first restaurant, a atar Bar and K itchen at Pepper Place on 29th Street South. The restaurant will feature small plates that explore the avors of the more than countries that make up the editerranean region. “Everything from Tunisia to Morocco to Israel to Syria,” she said. D iners will be able to create a custom meal of various small plates, from hummus and baba ghanoush to vegetable, meat and seafood dishes. There will also be a diverse beer, wine and cocktail menu for guests to pair with their foreign tastes.

The idea, Tarver said, is to bring a piece of the culture she was able to experience to Birmingham, where many may not otherwise have the opportunity to try certain dishes. “I really fell in love with all of these herbs and spices that I’d never ever seen before,” she said. “That has kind of led me on this ourne of e ploring and finding the most e otic spices that can find Tarver grew up in V estavia Hills before attending Rhodes C ollege in Memphis. After studying abroad in Argentina and Spain, she said she decided to attend culinary school in Buenos Aires. he then did a stage — an internship-like program — in pain, where she was able to work in two three- ichelin-star restaurants In Birmingham, Tarver has worked at Hot and Hot Fish C lub as well as Highlands Bar and Grill. She later began her own catering business, cooking for small dinner parties hile catering, arver began concocting her own avor-infused olive oils, and eventuall she was able to begin selling them at Pepper Place Market. “I was surprised how well they did,” she said. Now,

opper ot itchen products are available in stores nationwide. As her businesses grew, Tarver’s home kitchen quickly became too small, and finding a suitable space was a challenge. Tarver said she knows there are many other entrepreneurs in the city who also struggle with a lack of space. That’s why in the mornings before service, Z a’atar’s kitchen will be open to aspiring chefs and food business owners to use. “That’s j ust time that the restaurant is not being utilized, and I want to do it as a way to give back to my fellow food makers,” she said. a atar is planning to open this summer, and those interested can follow the restaurant on Instagram at @ zaatarbar for updates and information. In the meantime, Tarver said she wanted to thank the community that has supported her throughout her career thus far. “I want people to know how thankful I am to have the opportunity to be at Pepper Place,” she said. “I think it’s j ust such a special place in Birmingham.”


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BRINGING THE HEAT TO LAKEVIEW Co-owner of Tuscaloosa pizza bar hopes to attract even more people, energy to B’ham neighborhood

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By JESSE CHAMBERS ernardo Targett, one of the founders of Heat Pizza Bar in Tuscaloosa, said he is excited to open a second location of the popular college eatery in Birmingham’s Lakeview neighborhood — likely by mid-May or the first of June — and believes his establishment can bring even more energy to that already bustling entertainment district. ”We’re trying to bring more business and more people with good prices and good food and atmosphere,” he said. “It’s going to attract a ton more people. It’s going to be great for the whole area.” Targett and the new location’s general manager, Homewood native Elliott Salls, said they believe the formula, which has worked for them since the first Heat opened in Tuscaloosa in 2016, will translate well to Birmingham. That formula involves quick service, affordable prices and a relatively simple menu of pizza, salads and signature cocktails. And the new location of Heat Pizza Bar — in the heart of Lakeview in the old Rare Martini space — also will offer another option for late-night street food, as well as entertainment, for the area’s weekend revelers, Targett said. Salls said Heat serves three general types of pizza: traditional, including such old favorites as pepperoni; specialty, including Thai chicken and Greek; and “exclusive,” such as the cordon bleu and the Reuben. “We’re big on fresh ingredients,” Salls said. “You can taste each individual ingredient.” “My ultimate favorite that resonates on every pizza is our dough, our crust,” Targett said. “Even people who don’t eat the crust … won’t leave a piece on the table.” Salls and Targett also bragged on their salads. “I can eat one of our salads, and I’m full,” Salls said. “Again, you stick with fresh ingredients.” Heat will offer gluten-free pizza and beers. Heat in Lakeview also will become a nightclub on weekends, with a DJ, lighting and special events, according to Targett. He said he “fought tooth and nail” to secure Heat’s space in the historic, 1920s-era brick corner building where they now lease 6,000 square feet. A native of Argentina who has lived in the United States for 20 years and Birmingham for four years, Targett said he has a sentimental connection to Lakeview, which he frequented when he first moved to town, including such popular spots as Innisfree and Nana Funks. “I love this community,” he said. “It means a lot to me. It has a really cool vibe to it.” And the area has continued to grow, with new apartments and more restaurants, Targett said. He said he also likes the vintage brick walls in their building, which remind him of the Tuscaloosa Heat location.

Heat Pizza General Manager Elliott Salls, left, and co-owner Bernardo Targett outside their Lakeview storefront in a historic, 1920s-era brick corner building currently under renovation. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

Targett said the renovation he supervised involved stripping away years of excess on everything to reveal the beauty of the building. “It makes it warm and inviting,” he said. Heat will serve mini-pizzas from a walk-up window Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 11 p.m., according to Targett. He hopes the mini-pizzas will complement the area’s existing weekend options for street food, including a food truck and hot-dog stand. “We want to help increase the mobile food industry in Lakeview,” Targett said.

Heat Pizza Bar • WHERE: 2839 Seventh Ave. S. • HOURS: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. • CALL: 323-0008 • WEB: heatpizzabar.com


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AT HEART

With retirement ahead, ail Andre s re ects on time at Birmingham Museum of Art By RACHEL HEL L W I G

A Courtesy artsBHAM

fter more than 4 0 years with the Birmingham Museum of Art, director Gail Andrews is set to retire in the fall, though she plans to stay involved with the institution. O riginally from C alifornia, Andrews first came to the agic it in to work as s assistant curator for decorative arts. “Initially, I viewed the position as a great opportunity and adventure since d never been in the Deep outh, she said he museum s decorative arts collection was already stellar — the Wedgwood, English silver and erman cast iron — and was accompanied b a passionate group of museum supporters and a community that was warm and welcoming he said the museum staff was small at the time, but pursued ambitious pro ects including organi ing and mounting changing e hibitions a ear and e panding educational initiatives for the communit he said it was an e citing time with an all hands on deck feel emaining in irmingham wasn t part of her long-term plans at first, but that began to change e pected to be here for a few ears, and then move somewhere else, but instead found more and more reasons to sta , ndrews said developed deep friendships, felt more and more committed to the community itself and truly fell in love with the museum became dedicated to its growth and success ndrews assumed the role of interim director in and became director in During her two decades leading , the museum s collection more than doubled, e panding from , ob ects to above , ut growth is about more than numbers for ndrews ore than that, m so pleased b the wa the collection has developed in terms of qualit , she said ur collection of edgwood is not ust the largest in the countr , but one of the finest in qualit and breadth e ve received international attention for our ietnamese ceramics ur contemporar holdings have grown b leaps and bounds, and we ve been intentional in our acquisition of works b women and

Gail Andrews, director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, is set to retire after 40 years with the organization. Andrews assumed the role of interim director in 1991 and became director in 1996. Photos courtesy of Birmingham Museum of Art.

“ frican- merican artists ndrews likewise said the museum s communit engagement has strengthened over the years. “As arts education has disintegrated in the classroom, the museum has become a vital resource for our state of the representation of cultures from around the world, she said here else in labama will ou find Japanese samurai suits of armor and Native American headdresses in the same place as ceremonial masks from frica and impressionist paintings from rance o take a trip to our museum is to take a trip around the world, and we work hard to continue to provide a trul global e perience for our visitors O ver the years, Andrews also witnessed the growth of the agic it s art scene he evolution of the arts scene in irmingham fits into a much larger transformation of our cit , she said e have become a much more diverse communit , with both the impressive growth of UAB attracting professionals from across the globe and the migration patterns of the outh itself he increasing mi of cultures, backgrounds and traditions is making irmingham a more vibrant and stimulating environment he most significant change since m

Where else in Alabama will you find Japanese samurai suits of armor and Native American headdresses in the same place as ceremonial masks from Africa and impressionist paintings from France? To take a trip to our museum is to take a trip around the world ... GAIL ANDREWS

arrival has occurred since the opening of ailroad ark and rediscover of our beautiful downtown and ad acent neighborhoods here is a new optimism and sense of possibilit that is palatable and energi ing hat s ne t for ndrews he is looking forward to traveling with her husband, spending more time with her famil and returning to to co-curate an e hibition of folk art that will open in m a curator at heart, she said area of e pertise is te tiles and folk art, so m thrilled to have the opportunit to continue m work at the museum Editor’s note: This article was produced in partnership with artsBHAM. To learn more about them, visit artsbham.com.


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Opera competition spotlights new voices

UAB to hold 11th annual Fiesta Ball

G

By AL Y X CHAN D L ER

et read for a fiesta during inco de a o this ear he th annual iesta all is a from to p m at ron it irmingham, hosted b the oung upporters oard of the omprehensive ancer enter ickets to the iesta all include e ican food, drinks, a silent auction and live music b ivewire ll the proceeds go to support the ar nn Harvard oung nvestigator rants, a grant for oung scientists conducting cancer research at the niversit of labama at irmingham he grant is e tremel competitive he oung upporters oard was established in to prioriti e the importance of cancer research and awareness to the ne t generation of labamians he funds from the silent auction benefit the board s patient and famil services

Photo courtesy of the Young Supporters Board of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.

activities ithout communit support, we couldn t provide the resources that are needed, said harlie dams, president of the ancer enter s oung upporters oard e host man pro ects and fundraisers throughout the ear including the annual inco de a o iesta all to go toward oung investigator grants he iesta all has a goal of , o far, more than percent of that goal has been reached eople who can t attend can still donate online ickets are in advance and at the door or tickets or to donate, go to uab edu fiestaball

O

By SY D N EY CRO MW EL L pera irmingham hosts its annual vocal competition again this month, as singers from around the countr come to irmingham to show off

their talent his is the th annual competition, and pera irmingham usuall receives more than applications from potential competitors throughout the opera world he competition is open to an one ages to with var ing degrees of opera training or e perience he competition is a chance for oung singers to launch their careers, and the best performers are usuall added to a short list to be considered for future roles in pera irmingham productions revious competition winners have gone on to national careers he competition also includes , in total cash pri es rom the applicants, semifinalists

Photo courtesy of Opera Birmingham.

will be selected to perform a at s Hulse ecital Hall, beginning at a m ive will move on to the final competition a at p m at estavia ountr lub he final competition includes a cocktail hour prior to the concert and an awards dinner afterward his ear s udges are pera irmingham eneral Director eith olfe, en enson of en enson rtists and entuck pera conductor Joe echavich he vocal competition s awards dinner also acts as a fundraiser for pera irmingham ickets to the semifinal competition are , and tickets to the finals and dinner are o to operabirmingham org vocal-competition for more information


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PURE MAGIC Author Ashley M. Jones on teaching, poetic activism and ‘Magic City Gospel’

By REBECCA CAI N E

A Courtesy artsBHAM

shle Jones first book of poetr , agic it ospel, was released in Januar , but it alread has received national attention n a piece for he ew orker, dwidge Danticat compared the irmingham native to wendol n rooks and angston Hughes, two of the most in uential poets of the th centur t is clear that for Jones, who has received a ona Jaffe riter s oundation ward and a - etro usion ward at onl ears old, this is ust the beginning

agic it ospel is part memoir, histor lesson and social commentar t amounts to an e amination of civil rights in irmingham entwined with Jones own vivid coming-of-age memories Jones grew up with her famil in a creative household n particular, the music Jones listened to with her parents made an impact on the poet as a child ospel bu es with allusions to am ooke, ina urner, rince and amm Davis, Jr Hearing these voices all the time as a little kid, getting to learn what rh thm could be and how to dance and all that kind of stuff ust reall made life fun and magical, Jones said keep sa ing magical, but so much of m life has been pure magic

Ashley Jones discusses a series of poems with her creative writing class in March at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Jones is a graduate of the school. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

don t know how else to describe it sked if ospel is protest poetr like Danticat described, Jones answers without hesitation es, she said write as a form of

activism, in addition to writing because like it, and to converse with the world he poet is no stranger to lending her voice to enact change, which makes it even easier to see the comparison drawn to


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HAPPENINGS Brooks and Hughes. “I think that using poetry as activism is something that people don’t always think about,” J ones said. “When you say ‘ activism,’ you think of people protesting, of people chaining themselves up to something or whatever. That’s not necessarily who I am as a person.” J ones began writing “Gospel” while a graduate student at Florida International University and homesick for the city she grew up in. “I started to appreciate home in a way that I never had before,” J ones said. “Around that time when I was coming back, things were starting to pop up in Birmingham.” She wanted to contribute to the “renaissance” happening in her hometown and began teaching creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, her high school alma mater. “There’s something special about a high school creative writing student,” J ones said. “They’re really j ust discovering writing for the first time, and they’re right at the beginning of their career. To see that awakening happen is so inspiring as a teacher and as a writer because it reminds me of how exciting it is to write.”

For J ones, shaping the next generation of writers is a collaborative learning process involving both teacher and students. “Really, I’m j ust a guide,” J ones said. “Yes, I’m bringing you some knowledge, but you’re also bringing me knowledge, and that kind of makes it a little easier, I hope, for them to do what they want to do and make their voices powerful.” “Gospel” is a testament to the power J ones found in her own voice after years of writing, stud ing and finding confidence in her identity. “Everything that I wrote, I was tying it back to the home that I missed so much and the identity that I had grown to love so much as I was coming into myself as a black woman. And the poems came,” she said. “The rest is history, I guess.” Find out more about J ones and “Magic C ity Gospel” at ashleymichelle j ones.wordpress.com.

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

D

Do Dah Day back for 39th year with music, pet parade By JESSE CHAMBERS o D ah D ay returns to C aldwell and Rhodes Parks in Southside on May 20 with its wacky but family-friendly event that uses a pet parade, live music and a spring-festival atmosphere to raise money for local animal welfare groups. The annual event is in its 3 9th year. The festive, colorful D o D ah D ay Parade will begin at 11:01 a.m., and organizers — on the event’s website — have issued a call for all sorts of participants, including mimes, clowns, dancers and marching bands, as well as anyone who wishes to walk in the parade with a pet. The event will offer kids’ activities including basketball, bungee j umping, face painting and hair weaving. Festivities begin the night of May 19 with D o D ah Eve — an event at Blue Monkey

Photo by Patty Bradley.

Lounge on C obb Lane featuring some of the people campaigning to become D o D ah D ay K ing and Q ueen. The event, which began in 197 9, is staged by D o D ah D ay Inc., an all-volunteer nonprofit that has raised more than million since 1992. For more information — including parade prizes and entry fees, how to become a vendor or volunteer and details regarding D o D ah Eve and musical acts — go to dodahday.org.


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MARKING HISTORY The National Park Service added Birmingham’s civil rights sites to its register in J anuary. A dedication ceremony was held in front of the Birmingham C ivil Rights Institute on April 15. To see more coverage of the dedication ceremony, visit ironcity.ink.

Photos by Alyx C handler and Sydney C romwell.


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the

future, brought to you by robots on rofits businesses re are for a ob market im acted by automation and say you should too

S

By SY D N EY CRO MW EL L ometimes Taylor Phillips feels like he’s wearing a tinfoil hat. When he tells people robots could be coming for their j obs, it sounds like a movie premise or a doom-and-gloom prediction. But the risk is real, and Phillips believes it could happen in the next decade. “You need to start thinking about your j ob and how easy it is to do. And is there an app or something that can help you do your j ob a lot easier now? Because that’s where we are today. In 10 years, that app could be doing your j ob,” Phillips said. hillips is the creator of utureproof ama, a nonprofit to educate people about the existence of technological unemployment — the replacement of human j obs with machines and software — as well as to help Birmingham and the rest of the state get ready for the maj or shift he believes is coming for the j ob market. The idea came from his own work for a company called AutoGov, where he created an algorithm that can collect and verify information independently to determine whether a person is eligible for Medicaid. “In doing that, I always kind of had in the back of my mind, ‘ Wow, this could potentially displace a lot of people,’” Phillips said. As he began reading about technological unemployment, Phillips found studies that could spell serious trouble for the

Alabama economy. Among 4 0 j obs the Alabama D epartment of abor identified as growth areas b , hillips said 16 of them have a higher than 5 0 percent chance of being replaced by software or machines, according to a stud published b the ford artin rogramme on Technology and Employment. “As a state, we are so grossly unprepared for the next 10 years,” Phillips said. he ford artin stud , written b arl enedikt re and ichael sborne, estimates that percent of employment is at “high risk” for automation in the next two decades. A paper published in March by the National Bureau of Economic Research, written by D aron Acemoglu of MIT and ascual estrepo of oston niversit , said that for every robot per thousand workers, up to six people will lose their j obs. While many of the people he talks to imagine robots and software taking over factory or fast food j obs, Phillips said the impact will reach both blue and white collars. J obs highly susceptible to technological replacement include accountants, mechanics, truck drivers, personal care aides, clerks, dental hygienists, customer service, manufacturing and more across agriculture, health care and other fields If a j ob requires a lot of repetitive tasks, Phillips said, eventually there will be a machine that can do it with fewer costs and no human error. J oseph Baker, the creator of the Facebook group “I Believe in Birmingham,” has a strong interest in the future

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER Taylor Phillips speaks at a Futureproof Bama event. Phillips is the creator of Futureproof Bama, a nonprofit to educate people about the existence of technological unemployment — the replacement of human jobs with machines and software — as well as to help Birmingham and the rest of the state get ready for the major shift he believes is coming for the job market. Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

of technological unemployment and compared it to a new Industrial Revolution. Like individual craftsmen who were replaced by faster and cheaper factories, advancing technolog could cause career fields to drasticall shrink, leaving thousands unemployed. “When they are [ replaced] , that’s going to be pretty darn disruptive because the incentive is going to be there for companies to absolutely automate and take away those j obs,” Baker said. “If you can replace your four $ 8 0,000 a year accountants with a piece of software that will do the same thing they do and better, you have a pretty huge incentive to do that.” Fetch, a Lakeview recruiting company that opened in Jul , has embraced automation for what the feel is a better way to connect businesses and potential hires. hief echnolog fficer Jason Hutson said their website is driven b an algorithm to match ob hunters profiles with j ob postings. “We’re basically taking the need for recruiting out of hiring, Hutson said By relying on an algorithm rather than human recruiters, Hutson said, etch s overhead is much lower than a traditional recruiting agency, and their lower fees make Fetch more attractive to companies. e believe full in automation, etch founder hase Morrow said. etch has allowed hillips to use their office for utureproof presentations because they see themselves as part of that next wave of business. Morrow said while it’s hard to


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a orro an a on t on at t n t a o n t a to at

t a r r tn

art r at n an a or t

predict exactly how much automation will take hold, he doesn’t doubt that it’s coming. He pointed to travel agencies as an industry that has shrunk due to the growth of websites offering those same services. areer fields that tend to have a lower chance of automation or technological replacement are those that depend on traits of a person that are hard to replicate such as creativity, social awareness, personal relationships and perception, Phillips said. However, even Birmingham residents in safe obs will feel the effects if technological unemplo ment reaches the point that Phillips expects. “What happens when all of those [ unemployed] people are gone? What happens when they stop coming downtown because they don’t have a reason? What does downtown become? ” Phillips said. Phillips and Baker both see technological unemployment as a certaint — and a fast approaching one, at that ationwide, some who stud and discuss technological unemplo ment believe it will be a short-term problem, as previousl unimagined j obs will appear in the wake of new technology to replace disappearing fields thers believe that machines will become so efficient that there will be a long-lasting decline in the need for human labor, and cities and countries will have to grapple with the needs of a fundamentally altered society. At Fetch, Hutson and Morrow are optimistic that as automation takes away some j obs, they’ll be replaced with new career fields relativel quickl n their own industr , Morrow said he would expect to see recruiters moving into

t n a a a o rat r t an an r r t r

p to

t

rofi

or

more internal roles working for single companies rather than agencies. Hutson said since many of these new careers will require re-training for the unemplo ed workforce, ob training itself could grow as an industry. think it s where the world is headed for sure, and don’t think that’s a bad thing,” Morrow said. Whether the effects are short or long term, Baker, who was part of the steering committee for the cit of irmingham s comprehensive plan, believes the cit s preparation for the future j ob market is “abysmally low.” Phillips’ solution is somewhat counterintuitive: Rather than hitting the brakes on technology advancements, he believes irmingham needs to innovate as quickl as possible f ou start tr ing to fight technological unemplo ment, the only way to really do it is to say, ‘ Let’s stop automating things.’ And if you stop automating, then everybody else in the world is going to start. So if you don’t do it, and you don’t do it quickl , ou re going to get left in the dust, he said f irmingham can position itself as a home for companies that are advancing technolog in different fields, hillips believes the city will have a chance to capture the next wave of j obs in software development, robot maintenance and other “fringe j obs” that will appear as machines are put to use in more places. “Finding out what those j obs are is going to be what saves us in the long run,” Phillips said. “We need a massive, truly massive investment of capital into technologies that are going to be the technologies of this centur , aker said f we re one of the places that has a lot

t r proo pr

ntat on

a

t

t

a part o t at

of research and development and startups in those fields, then we re going to increase our in uence and our af uence With Futureproof Bama, Phillips fully expects his nonprofit might not even e ist in ears, as automation ma have become a realit b that point n the meantime, however, he s spending the nonprofit s first ear ust getting the word about technological unemployment out to as many people as he can. here s more than one option to help prepare irmingham for technological unemployment, and Phillips said he s still figuring out which combination of tactics he plans to take e-training programs for adults in the workforce could help with short-term ob loss b showing them how to transition to new fields if their obs are replaced ducation programs from elementary school to college could be more effective in the long-term, b teaching irmingham s ne t generation to identify technologically “safe” careers and the fringe j obs that come with new innovations. utureproof ama could also be a tool to find and encourage Birmingham companies that are advancing technology, in order to keep those potential j obs in the city. The effects and reach of technological unemployment are hard to predict, which makes finding the right response even more difficult However, hillips is hoping to spread enough awareness that Birmingham residents can be prepared for the future, whatever that looks like. “The way you view life and the way you view your j ob is not exactly how it’s going to be,” Phillips said. For more information, go to futureproofbama.org.


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AN UNSEEN NEED

Red

ot Pro ect challenges community to fill void of feminine hygiene donations

B

By SY D N EY CRO MW EL L

Boutwell Auditorium for Heart to Table, an organization of restaurants that provides irmingham’s homeless meals to the homeless on nights when residents have a regular the city’s warming stations are open. list of needs: food, a place D ale said they have donation boxes to sleep and seasonally set up at businesses across the city, appropriate clothes. But including Ruffner Mountain, Silvertron women living on the restaurant, Winslet and Rhys, Alchemy street have an extra need that’s often 213 , C harm and RealtySouth’s C restline overlooked: pads and tampons. office “What a huge issue this is for homeMarco Morosini, the owner of Silverless women,” said Holly D ale. “It’s j ust tron, said he decided to host a donation not a need that’s addressed.” box because it was an out-of-the-box D ale, with the help of Forest Park wa to fill a need haven t heard ver resident K atelyn Foote and Avondale many people that think about providresident Raghela Scavuzzo, started the ing female hygiene to the homeless,” Donations of feminine hygiene products Red Spot Proj ect in late August 2016. Morosini said. “When you can think to the Red Spot Project. Photo courtesy of Katelyn Foote. Their goal is to collect feminine hygiene about how to make people more comitems to distribute to local shelters and fortable … that’s a big plus.” raise awareness of the need for these D ale said their partner business products to be donated. owners will often text them pictures every time a donation “The biggest thing is dignity. It j ust seems so ridiculous to comes in. The momentum is building, but Scavuzzo said there’s me that people don’t see it as a need,” D ale said. “I think it’s still a lot of work to be done to get enough donations to meet the j ust that we don’t realize it. I didn’t think about it, and I’m a need they see. woman.” “People immediately donate money when they think about it, O ne of the reasons feminine products frequently don’t make but getting the traction and keeping the traction hasn’t necessarthe list of donation items for shelters, Scavuzzo said, is there’s ily been the easiest yet,” Scavuzzo said. a taboo around talking about periods. Food or coat drives are And the need is there. So far, the Red Spot Proj ect has been popular — and needed — but pads and tampons are often out of in contact with the Lovelady C enter, Firehouse Shelter and First sight, out of mind. Light, but Scavuzzo said donations aren’t regular enough to “You’re kind of brought up in a society where you don’t talk completely supply those shelters. “We have shelters calling and about things like that … but it’s something that’s so important asking for it and wanting it,” she said. and something that’s a basic necessity,” said Scavuzzo, whose D ale said they also want to be prepared for emergency full-time j ob is with REV ’s Urban Food Proj ect. situations, such as natural disasters and extreme temperatures in That’s one part of the Red Spot Proj ect’s goals: to take away summer and winter, when the need for feminine products might some of the stigma around menstruation and treat it as a medical temporarily increase. fact. “This is something that happens, and this is something “The idea is to be able to consistently gather enough through people need j ust like medicine and food and toilet paper and the grassroots donations to keep the shelters supplied and use everything else,” D ale said. “Being able to have those converevents and fundraisers to build up a surplus for disaster relief,” sations and having them in an adult manner is so important and D ale said. helps de-stigmatize it.” As the Red Spot Proj ect establishes itself, D ale said she’d And since she began approaching people to donate, D ale said, like to create more hygiene packets, containing about a month’s she’s been pleasantly surprised by how many people are willing worth of various supplies that homeless women “could easily to have that conversation. take with them.” She also wants to hold a bra donation drive in “I had so many people who do so much good in this commuO ctober. nity say, ‘ I j ust never thought about that,’” D ale said. “I expected Even further in the future, D ale said she would like to create it to be weirder.” a school system program to discreetly provide donated hygiene “I think it’s something too that is j ust becoming more visible products to female students who can’t afford them. nationwide. There’s a lot of other cities that are doing proj ects Before they grow to take on more than one need, D ale said like this. I think there is more talk about what it’s like to be a she wants to “start simple and try to do it right.” Ultimately, she woman on the street,” Foote said. would like to see the Red Spot Proj ect’s model duplicated in Even for women who have never been homeless, D ale said other cities. it’s a relatable need. A pack of tampons, she said, can give Prior to starting the Red Spot Proj ect, D ale said she would dignity. have j ust assumed someone else in Birmingham was taking “Every woman has probably been in a situation where you’re care of this need for homeless women. Instead, she, Foote and somewhere and you don’t have a pad or a tampon. It’s embarScavuzzo have stepped in. rassing; it’s scary,” D ale said. “Everybody has the right to basic human needs, and someThe Red Spot Proj ect held a kickoff donation event as well as body has to be there to help with that. So if I can be there to be a donation drive for aton ouge ood victims with m the that advocate, I want to be,” Scavuzzo said. Bomb, a Birmingham women’s blog. They also brought donations to Find the Red Spot Proj ect on Facebook.

Holly Dale. Photo courtesy of Holly Dale.

Raghela Scavuzzo. Photo courtesy of Raghela Scavuzzo.

Katelyn Foote. Photo courtesy of Katelyn Foote.


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COVER STORY: Investments in future by both students, university go hand in hand

Students walk toward the Hill Student Center, commonly referred to as “the living room of UAB,” which opened in January 2016 at University Boulevard and 14th Street South. Photos, cover image by Sarah Finnegan.

THE PRICE OF GROWTH THE PRICE OF GROWTH his is the first in a four art series e amining the interaction bet een UAB students and the city of Birmingham. n the June issue of ron ity nk look for an in de th e amination of the cost uality and availability of housing for UAB students both on cam us and off.

T

By JESSE CHAMBERS

he University of Alabama at Birmingham, the largest employer in the state, has made a huge cultural, economic and even physical impact on the city of Birmingham since the 1960s. That impact shows no sign of lessening, given UAB’s continued, aggressive expansion. UAB posted a record enrollment of 19,5 3 5 in fall 2016. School President Ray Watts has set a target of 20,000 students by 2018 . And enrollment could be well beyond that number within about five ears, according to Bradley Barnes, UAB’s vice provost for

enrollment management. This rapid growth is part of a long-term strategy, one driven in part by the university’s need for revenue, Barnes said. While managing this growth is not easy, Barnes and Barnes other school officials believe they are planning for and handling it effectively. This includes the task of providing adequate facilities for this larger student body, as well as

retaining students — and helping them thrive academically — once they are enrolled. Perhaps most importantly, the UAB students ron it nk contacted seem satisfied with the school — both socially and academically — though many of them also complained about such recurring headaches as parking, housing and transportation. n this, the first in a series of stories about UAB’s growth and its impact on downtown Birmingham, we examine the reasons behind the school’s push for higher enrollment, the selling points that make the school attractive to students, the steps being taken to increase retention and graduation rates and the apparently fruitful relationship between the campus and the city.


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FACES BY THE NUMBERS: UAB ENROLLMENT Total enrollment for academic year beginning with year listed: 20,000 19,535

18,698

18,750

18,568 18,333 17,999 17,543

17,500

17,575

16,874

16,250

15,000

16,246 16,149

2007 ’08 ’09

’10 ’11

’12 ’13 ’14

’15 ’16

SOURCE: Office of Planning and Analysis Facts and Figures annual re ort

IN SEARCH OF REVENUE

Enrollment on the Southside campus could possibly reach , within five ears, according to arnes hat s a loft goal, but in terms of campus infrastructure and the wa we are growing and e panding, that would be a reasonable goal, arnes said ne important reason to foster this rapid growth is simple, according to arnes the need for revenue ike other public universities in labama, has suffered from declining state funding n fact, labama is one of nine states where per-student funding is down b more than percent since the start of the reat ecession in , according to he enter on udget and olic riorities o make up the shortfall, needs more mone from tuition — especiall that paid b international and out-ofstate students on-residents pa higher fees than labama residents — sometimes twice as much, depending on their ma ors — arnes said cademic factors also drive the quest for non-resident students, according to arnes scores in labama are below the national average, and high school graduation rates in the state are plateauing, arnes said o increase enrollment with qualit , high-pa ing students, more universities are looking to out-of-state markets, he said ut remains committed to making a place for in-state students, according to arnes ne reason we are going for out-of-state students is because in-state students are a priorit to us, he said utof-state students help subsidi e some of the e penses for in-state students f we did not have out-of-state students attending , in-state tuition would be much higher n addition, arnes said, is committed to making room for students from the cit and Jefferson ount ,

Planned growth projects such as the College of Arts & Sciences, the Collat School of Business and the School of Nursing should adequately address faculty-student ratios and classroom space, according to UAB’s Bradley Barnes.

including those whose high-school academic performance was less than stellar he universit also brags on the racial and ethnic diversit of its universit communit , which includes staff, faculty and students from 110 countries, according to edia elations has one of the highest frican- merican populations of an universit in the countr , about double that of he niversit of labama , arnes said

LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD

ince starting his ob in , arnes, who formerl worked at the niversit of labama, has taken a number of steps to boost recruitment and enrollment and to level the pla ing field with the large schools in the state n addition to the focus on out-of-state markets, conducted a realignment of scholarships, which arnes said allows the universit to compete more for students in labama and around the nation e now award the value of tuition to students with a and a or higher n the past for those scores, a student ma have onl received partial tuition his allows us to target prospective students to a greater e tent based on the qualit of academic programs and less on the cost of tuition, arnes said also upgraded its campus tours, adding an air-conditioned bus that allowed prospective students and their parents to see more of the campus without walking for blocks in the labama heat, according to arnes his allows us to leverage the cit of irmingham and the medical district in wa s we have never done before, he said also is attracting students b adding the amenities e pected on a traditional residential campus, such as new dorms, a recreation center and a new student center on-traditional students, including part-time students and graduate students, are still crucial to s success, arnes said ut we can create an environment more conducive to

traditional students, he said arc ooker, e ecutive director of housing and dining, grew up in ell it and said is now viewed differentl than in the s “It was a medical school, and if you weren’t in medicine, it was sort of like high school part two, he said ou could sta at home and commute to campus because Booker it was in irmingham The new facilities on campus, including the ampus reen, have changed that perception and made more competitive with other campuses in the outh — be the traditional or urban — according to ooker ou ve got something here in irmingham that ou can e perience, he said is ver affordable, and think a lot of students are drawn to it more today because of the other things that the can do outside the classroom, he said

STUDENTS GENERALLY SATISFIED

tudents seem to appreciate the new campus amenities Hill tudent enter is wonderful, said adia Harden, a sophomore from ittsburgh, enns lvania, with a double ma or in theater and health care management like to call it the living room of hen give tours, like to tell students that ou can sit on the ampus reen and not reali e that ou re in the biggest cit in labama, said li sser , a unior from olumbus, eorgia, ma oring in industrial distribution love the new facilities, added dim remani, a unior from Hoover ma oring in information s stems remani chose over the niversit of labama and uburn niversit , in part because he grew up visiting the


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BY THE NUMBERS: COST OF ATTENDANCE AT UAB, UA, AU For full-time undergraduates enrolled in the two semesters of the 2016-17 school year (cost includes tuition, fees, books/supplies, housing, transportation and miscellaneous/personal expenses): In-state

Out-of-state

$50,000

$47,256

$40,000

$30,000

$29,668

$29,636 $24,301

$20,000 $15,840*

$15,229

$10,000

0

UAB**

U. of Alabama

Auburn University

*Low-end of estimate **Cost depends on student’s major/course selection SOURCE: UAB, University of Alabama, Auburn University

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campus while his sisters went to school there. He said he likes “the direction UAB is moving in,” adding that the school is becoming “another state school — like Alabama or Auburn — but it’s still inner-city, and it still has that diversity.” “The culture that UAB has is very different than the other state schools,” he said. Premani is not the only student drawn to UAB at least in part because it is located in Birmingham — a city that is becoming a popular destination for food, music and other amenities and also provides students with a large selection of j obs, internships and volunteer opportunities. ndrew hitfield, a senior ma oring in mechanical engineering, is from Tuscaloosa, where most of his friends attended labama he cit has ever thing, hitfield said, noting the diversity of Birmingham’s population and the variety of different neighborhoods. A sophomore pre-med student from Hoover maj oring in public health, Hassan Sadruddin enrolled at UAB because of its good reputation as medical school. However, he admits he was not e cited at first about attending UAB. “I didn’t think I would get the college experience I wanted, but when I got to campus and was in Birmingham on a daily basis, I realized that it was very underrated,” Sadruddin said. “I really fell in love with it — not j ust UAB but the city of Birmingham itself.” J oanne J acobs, a j unior biology maj or from Flowery Branch, Georgia, approves of the attempt to make UAB a more traditional campus. “I think it is a good move for the university, considering how much our school is expanding,” J acobs said. But she acknowledges there are some limitations.

NECK OF THE WOODS

DISCOVER

“It is still a very young university, so it’s in that normal, awkward phase of transitioning from a commuter campus to a more residential campus,” she said. And it isn’t fair to compare UAB to the other large, long-established schools in the state in terms of campus life on weekends or the number of on-campus residents, according to J acobs. “It’s exciting that it is becoming a more traditional campus, but you can’t compare it to the other campuses as of yet,” she said. However, J acobs noted that, beyond the campus itself, the city of Birmingham offers students plenty of weekend diversions. “The university is as much a part of the city as the city is part of UAB,” she said. This is not to say that the students had no complaints about UAB. Like many other students, Premani, Sadruddin, Harden and hitfield e pressed complaints about on-campus parking. Sadruddin and Harden also had concerns about housing, including the difficulties students can face when searching for adequate lodging off-campus.

IS IT AFFORDABLE?

The students said they have found UAB to be a pretty good bargain overall. “With all the amenities, I think it’s very affordable,” said Ussery, who added UAB boasts “some of the top professors” and that a degree from the school “has a lot of value.” “I would say it’s way more affordable than [ the University of labama, hitfield said For the two semesters of the 2016-17 school year, UAB tuition for an in-state, first- ear freshman taking credit


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FACES hours per semester ranges from $ 15 ,8 4 0 to $ 19,3 4 0, which includes fees, books and supplies, a meal plan, housing and parking estimates. n out-of-state, first ear freshman can e pect tuition costs to be about $ 29,668 for 12 credit hours ( again, including fees, books and supplies, a meal plan, housing and parking estimates) . Tuition costs at UAB also depend on the student’s maj or and course selection — for e ample, the schools of health professions, public health and nursing cost slightl more In comparison, an in-state, full-time undergraduate attending the niversit of labama will pa an estimated $29 ,63 6 ( including fees, room/ board, books and supplies, transportation and miscellaneous costs) . An out-of-state, full-time undergraduate could see their bill for the same items reach $ 4 7 ,25 6. t uburn niversit , an in-state, full-time undergraduate is e pected to pa about , including tuition, fees, room/ board, books and supplies, transportation and personal e penses n out-of-state, full-time undergraduate will pa around $ 24 ,3 01 for the same items. sser , remani, Harden and hitfield all said has, in hitfield s words, a ton of scholarships available, with man students putting together a web of smaller scholarships from different sources, including alumni and various academic departments. Harden, who applied for do ens of scholarships her senior ear in high school, said is reasonabl priced compared to man other schools However, she said she believes scholarships make it more feasible to attend. here are also man students taking out federal student loans and a significant number working part- or full-time

obs or work stud programs to pa for school, according to remani, who has federal loans and also works hours a week in the information technolog department at the Division of reventive edicine sser said there are hundreds of different wa s for students to find or earn mone , but the must be proactive in their search tudents have to be their own advocates, he said ou have to sell ourself o one will ust hand ou mone

BOOSTING RETENTION, GRADUATION

nce students come to , the universit does ever thing it can to keep them there, despite the cost of retention programs, according to Barnes. etention is such a critical part of this growth strateg , not ust enrollment, arnes said etention overall increased b a rate of percent from 2015 -16, according to a UAB news release. he freshman residenc program, which began last fall, allows the universit to consistentl target students throughout their first ear and help them get the resources the need to succeed academicall , arnes said here is also the la ing tart retention program for first- ear students at the ulcan aterials cademic uccess enter UAB will also seek to boost graduation rates through a new program called inish in our f the agree to finish in four ears, the school will guarantee the can get the classes to do that, arnes said he universit also plans to revamp its tuition structure, which was designed for non-traditional students and considered 12 hours of coursework a full-time load, even though students must take at least 15 hours per semester to graduate

in four ears n average, our students take about , so it s not hard to see wh our graduation rates are low and wh so man students leave, arnes said e are looking at our tuition structure to incentivi e them to take closer to hours per semester

DEMANDS OF TRANSFORMATION

he universit certainl faces some challenges in managing enrollment growth, successfull reshaping its ph sical footprint, changing its long-established identit as a commuter school and creating a campus that can accommodate more than 20,000 students. Barnes said the concerns include parking and transportation, sources of man student complaints he universit must also provide enough dining facilities and residence halls e can t ask , freshmen to live on campus if we don t have adequate housing, arnes said must maintain proper facult -student ratios and provide enough classrooms, too. The latter concern should be adequatel addressed b new or e panded facilities for the ollege of rts ciences, the ollat chool of usiness and the chool of ursing, according to arnes nd that goes back to planned growth, he said, citing an updated master plan for campus development adopted b the stem oard of rustees in ebruar t also involves e tensive collaboration and advanced planning b staff and facult in a wide variet of departments, according to Barnes. e re alwa s meeting and talking, and if we didn t have that level of communication, this would be a big, d sfunctional famil , and students would suffer, he said


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A BURNING PASSION Adrenaline rush and yes real fire fuels uminarts fire erformance trou e

R

By SY D N EY CRO MW EL L

o o a art t o fir tro p at an on a

o o

r fir p r or an op r o t n t r a Photos by Sydney Cromwell.

nart

obbie Lewis and Paige Marmole o will be the first to tell ou their hobb is prett dangerous hen ou pla with fire, ou re going to get burned — and the have the singed hairs to prove it t has a rush about it, ewis said ire has that same essence of getting our adrenaline up and it s like, ow, did reall ust do that

s long as the burns aren t severe, the re prett blas about the possibilit of losing a few hairs to the ames ou don t even know until ou re done spinning fire , and ou smell burned hair, armole o said ve never seriousl burned m self ecause the re so calm about stepping onto the stage with a hula hoop, staff or other prop set abla e, armole o said man times their audience assumes there s a trick or illusion s that real fire is a common question that


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B’HAM BIZARRE I get a lot. People j ust can’t believe that you would really be playing around with real fire, armole o said eople ask that a lot with fire eating, too he re like, hat s the trick to it nd m like, t s not necessaril a trick m actuall e tinguishing the ame with m mouth ewis, a helsea resident, and armole o, a outhside resident, are the founders of the uminarts fire performance troupe, which came together in ctober he , along with newest troupe member and len ris resident manda uth ampbell, came to fire arts first through hula hooping. hen ou start hula-hooping, that s when you learn that people who have been doing it, the also dabble in fire hooping and then ou learn other props like poi balls set on the end of ropes , ewis said t ust opens a whole other world of ow, and being able to move and having a prop as our dance partner nd when ou add fire, it ust illuminates the e perience here s more than one wa to pla with fire Hoops and poi are the most common, but members of the uminarts troupe can also breathe or eat fire, as well as perform with a staff, fire Know about fans or unusuall something in named props like Birmingham you a dragon staff or consider bizarre, pupp hammer eclectic or utterly armole o, original? Let who was in a fire us know! Email troupe in l aso, information to e as, before sydney@starnesmoving to irpublishing.com. mingham, said the general rule is to practice with j ust the prop until ou would feel comfortable performing with our e es closed hen, ou light it on fire ver one — e cept for manda — usually practices with a regular prop and the graduate to the fire prop o ou don t necessaril want to start learning with something on fire t s a process, ewis said ewis said she has seen ampbell s skills progress significantl since the met o see manda when she first came, she was ver rough nd had the constant fear that she was going to catch her hair on fire — which ou did, didn t ou ewis said did, ampbell replied nd ou put me out a few times s seems to be t pical for fire performers, ewis described those instances as small fires, ou know, manageable he uminarts troupe was born out of the ommunit ireJam, held at vondale rewing once a month for novice and e perienced fire performers to practice their skills and learn from each other t also became the place where uminarts found its first troupe members

What’s going on?

The FireJam includes a different DJ every month, occasionally joined by members of the Birmingham Community Drum Circle. Luminarts has performed at The Happening at Trim Tab Brewing, UAB Latin Fest, Atrox haunted house and private events and parties.

e would tr different wa s of bringing communit together and some of those efforts would dwindle, so we were alwa s looking for something new, ewis said of the ireJams, which began in ugust he also entertain the crowd that usuall gathers in the brewer s patio area ire spinning through the air tends to get people’s attention. t creates that element of wow for the audience, which is reall fun, ewis said he recalled the first time she set a hoop on fire, when not onl the heat but the noise of the ames surprised her he ireJam includes a different DJ ever month, occasionall oined b members of the irmingham ommunit Drum ircle uminarts has performed at he Happening at rim ab rewing, atin est, tro haunted house and private events and parties. ewis said performing with fire has added fun and warmth and danger to her life t s a balance of being comfortable enough to take the risk, but not so comfortable that the get in ured through carelessness. ve alwa s been quiet, but dance is a wa can e press without having to speak, which makes me nervous nd it s ust fun, and it s good e ercise, armole o said aige reall comes alive when she gets fire t s like she becomes a completel

different person he beams, ewis added ampbell said fire performance has a similar effect on her he fire, ou can feel it in our soul and something about it, no matter how sad or upset or weird the da has been, ust go

and spin fire, and ever thing s better have all this o and this peace, and actuall feel serene in these moments when m doing cra tricks that are dangerous, ampbell said t s definitel one of the best parts of m life


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AVONDALE/FOREST PARK

Art of mechanical clock preserved in digital age By JESSE CHAMBERS Mechanical clocks may seem like quaint, even useless relics in a digital age, but don’t tell Wesley Pyle, owner of Pyle’s C lock Shop in Avondale. Pyle — a former car and motorcycle mechanic — has made his living for 15 years cleaning, repairing and restoring clocks. In doing so, Pyle is preserving a tradition of craftsmanship, indulging a lifelong love of old things and helping his customers continue to enj oy obj ects of both practical and sentimental value — even in a time of cellphones and disposable watches. In fact, Pyle said he and others like clocks precisely because they’re not ultra-modern gadgets. “A lot of people are interested in clocks because they’re a useful piece of gear, but they’re antiques,” he said. “You can still wind them up every week, and they tell time.” “It’s the same with motorcycles,” Pyle said. “All the motorcycles I have are old. I don’t like dealing with newer stuff.” A native of West C hester, Pennsylvania, Pyle, 5 6, started working on motorcycles in Tuscaloosa when he was 13 , later working for Smith’s Sport C ycles for more than a decade. He was also 12 or 13 when he fell in love with clocks during a vacation trip to his grandparents’ Maine cottage, where a previous owner had left some old timepieces. ver summer started fiddling with them, le said t

became an obsession, something I’ve always had an interest in.” When Pyle and his wife moved to Birmingham in 2000, he began doing repairs for Payne’s C lock Shop in Homewood. When Payne’s closed in 2001, Pyle opened his own shop. “I was tired of working on cars,” he said. In 2008 , he moved the shop from English V illage to his quaint, 1900-vintage Q ueen Anne cottage on Fifth Avenue South — an appropriate location for his repair bench and large menagerie of old timepieces. There are kitchen clocks, vintage French and American wall clocks and a lot of grandfather clocks — even one from 198 4 that pla s the niversit of labama fight song The attraction is simple, according to Pyle. love machines, he said can look at something, figure out how it works, figure out what s wrong with it, take it apart and fi it guess that s m gift also love antique furniture. C locks are a really cool combination of antiques and machines.” Repairing clocks is largely a dying art, according to Pyle, but he stays busy, repairing about 4 00 or 5 00 clocks last year. ost of the clocks he works on are not e tremel valuable, according to Pyle. “They’re often old family pieces,” he said. “A lot of times,

Merchants form new group to push commercial growth East Lake’s commercial district is showing some life after a long decline, and a group of merchants and property owners have formed a new group to help accelerate this positive trend. The East Lake Business Alliance, currently with 10 members, was formed in November, according to V ince Amaro, owner of Estate Liquidators on First Avenue orth he group is not et organi ed officiall as an or nonprofit, but that hasn t hindered it so far, Amaro said. “There' s no president or anybody in charge,” he said. “We are all equal. We are pretty much on the same page about everything.” Amaro pushed to start the group, along with Robert Bouchillon of Burch C orporation on O porto Madrid Boulevard, and said he hopes all of the merchants in the area will j oin. O ther members include V ance Ballard

the work I do costs more than the clock is worth, but the clocks have a lot of sentimental value, and it’s worth it for [ customers] .” Pyle, who also makes house calls to clean or repair large grandfather clocks, said he hopes to continue in the trade for another 20 years. “It’s a lot easier on my back than leaning over a car engine,” he said.

PARKSIDE

EAST LAKE

By JESSE CHAMBERS

Wesley Pyle, owner of Pyle’s Clock Shop, has made a living for 15 years working on clocks. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

Vince Amaro, left, and Ed Finton. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

of B& B C onstruction and D r. T.C . Branch of O porto Animal C linic, Amaro said. The group has a clear purpose, according to Amaro. “We don’t want to have parades or events,” he said. “We are trying to address issues, solve problems and do something positive for the commercial area.” The group, which replaces a now-defunct merchants association, can fill a need to network different businesses in the neighborhood together,” said Ed Finton, owner of Four C orners Equipment on Fifth Avenue North. “It’s about working with the city to eliminate blight in the neighborhood,” Finton said. “We’re trying to get the area cleaned up where people are enticed to come in.” For more information, call 296-67 7 0.

26th annual Arty Party a fun event for a serious cause By JESSE CHAMBERS Birmingham AID S O utreach will host its largest annual fundraiser, the 26th annual Arty Party art auction, at B& A Warehouse in Parkside on May 7 at 3 p.m. roceeds will help , a nonprofit founded in 198 5 , continue providing a variety of free services, including HIV testing, prevention and education. But despite the event’s serious purpose, “it’s not a quiet, ‘ uptight’ art auction,” said J amie Whitehurst, BAO development director. “Arty Party is fun.” The event will feature about 25 0 pieces — including paintings, mi ed media, sculpture, lawn art and j ewelry — from more than 100 local and regional artists in a silent auction and about dozen more in a live auction. Attendees can sample hors d’oeuvres and enj oy entertainment from D evyani D ance

Photo courtesy of Birmingham AIDS Outreach.

C ompany, a belly-dance troupe, and String Theory, an eclectic pop band that plays everything from D ave Brubeck to Radiohead. Birmingham painter Tré s Taylor — a longtime Arty Party supporter — is the featured artist, according to Whitehurst. O ther artists include Paul Wilm, Frank Fleming, C hris D avis, V eronique V anblaere and D arrell Ezekiel. The auction serves as a reunion for BAO supporters, many of whom recall the horrific s D epidemic, according to Whitehurst. “Longtime friends and acquaintances reunite and share stories, hugs and laughter,” he said. “This common thread of being affected by HIV / AID S bonds us together in a very special way. “ Tickets are $ 5 0 and available online and at the door. C all 3 22-4 197 or go to birminghamaidsoutreach.org.


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Artisan tea company turning over a new leaf

By AL Y X CHAN D L ER At 5 3 63 First Ave. N. in Woodlawn, dozens of Mason j ars hang in a doorframe area re ecting sun n less than a month, a living garden will greet iper eaf ea customers — in addition to a strong whiff of freshly picked fruit and new loose-leaf tea creations nside, co-owner onnor napp is e cited to bring Birmingham a more permanent taste of his famil s local tea compan e like to reall embrace and appreciate the histor of the place, he said iper eaf is an artisan tea compan that creates and sells gourmet blends and brews of herbal, black and green tea, usuall in their signature reusable ason ars hen deciding to add a storefront in irmingham, napp and his famil co-owners said the knew the didn t want to be another high-end coffee or tea shop he wanted to provide opportunities locall and be part of embracing a bigger communit development or iper eaf, oodlawn is perfect e ve run into people who moved awa because there were no opportunities, but people are changing the face of what we see

Connor Knapp inside Piper & Leaf’s new Woodlawn location. Photo by Alyx Chandler.

here in oodlawn now, he said Not only is it down the road from J ones eaching arm and epper lace arket, it s also in a place that napp said people grew up in but had to leave because of the lack of ob opportunities iper eaf opened their first storefront shop in Huntsville , while continuing to host pop-ups and catering events napp, who came from a militar famil and was used to moving around, wanted to e plore the communit that made Huntsville unique

fter a brief stint selling compost tea and homemade drinking tea there, the high demand for the famil s fresh ussian samovar-inspired drinking tea grew rapidl napp and his famil used fresh fruits and herbs from their family garden to blend the tea, with no chemical-based s rup oon, the quickl eliminated the compost component and started hauling a trailer with , gallons of tea a week to the Huntsville farmers market and other communit events ven from the beginning, napp said people were all about the tea “People were standing in line for two blocks, and we kept having to go minutes awa to bring each new hot tea container back b hand, he said e kept noticing the people in line were happ the would ump into the service and bar area and start helping us out t was important to them it was important to the communit ince then, the opened their first brickand-mortar store at owe ill in Huntsville he now sell tea at seven local places around Birmingham, and for the past three years, iper eaf has also traveled on aturda s to sell tea at the epper lace armers arket

he ve developed close ties with local farmers and ensured the are paid market rate big part of opening a store in irmingham also includes reeducating people about their impression of iper eaf ven though their social media and website persona might allude to corporate gleam, as napp said, the are still a famil -owned business that works hard and occasionall laughs at the fact that no one has an real e perience in tea-making, photograph or social media ven last summer, the onl broke even from farmers market sales He said the value relationships over profit, and although the compan has had some opportunities to go big, that s not reall what the core values of iper eaf are about e re a grass-roots movement, he said e re about bringing together the communit iper eaf s new irmingham storefront should open around ugust o far, it s had two soft openings and will continue to be at epper lace arket for the farmers market o learn more about the iper eaf coming to irmingham, go to piperand leaf com


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ENSLEY

HIGHLAND PARK

Graduation an indication of academy’s success

United Ability fundraiser to feature nighttime golf

By JESSE CHAMBERS

By JESSE CHAMBERS

Hansell Gunn, chancellor of Gunn C hristian Academy in Ensley, has been a coach, teacher and administrator in elementary, middle and high schools for 4 4 years. In fact, Gunn said he could have “easily retired” a few years ago and played golf, but felt God called him to help at-risk kids with personal or academic struggles who had been kicked out of public schools. So Gunn, now 69, founded GC A in 2013 . “That’s why I’m sitting here. Because I care about those kids,” he said. GC A, according to its website, offers a challenging curriculum designed to prepare students for college or the j ob market. The faith-based school in the Green Acres Middle School annex will mark the end of its fourth year with a graduation ceremony at Bessemer C ivic C enter at 6 p.m. May 23 . Twelve seniors will graduate, along with

Marvin Johnson with instructor Reba Cunningham. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

20 students who have completed GC A’s Independent Adults Study Program, which allows people 19 and older to earn their highschool degrees, according to Gunn. GC A offers all 12 grades and will offer kindergarten in the fall i t -five students in the regular grades, plus 8 0 adult study students, were enrolled this spring, Gunn said. Gunn said he experiences strong emotions at graduation ceremonies. he first thing is tears, because know what [ the students] have come from, because they share with me… and they’re tears of j oy, because I’ve made a difference in the lives of those kids, and that’s priceless,” he said.

If you don’t think you can play golf at night, think again. At D riving After D ark, an unusual fundraiser hosted by the J unior oard of the irmingham nonprofit nited Ability, you can do j ust that. The annual event takes place at Highland Park Golf C ourse from 3 -11 p.m. May 25 . Attendees play nine holes in daylight, then play the back nine in the dark using D ayGlo painted golf balls. D riving After D ark is a “unique experience, said Jennifer Dowdle, nited bilit marketing director. n the first nine holes, ever one is tr ing to play a usual golf game, but once the sun goes down, all bets are off,” D owdle said. “Even the best player will undoubtedly lose a ball or slice a stroke when playing in the dark, but they seem to have so much fun that they don’t even mind.”

Photo courtesy of United Ability.

nd for the first time, this ear s fundraiser includes round-robin tennis at the Highland Park Tennis C enter — an addition organizers said they hope will widen the audience, according to D owdle. Players will break for dinner from Taziki’s Mediterranean C afé at 6:3 0 p.m. The break will include a raf e for door pri es At Tiki holes around the course, players can play such games as tin cup and corn hole. The event will also feature longest-drive and closest-to-the-hole competitions. Beverages will be provided to players on the course. roceeds support nited bilit , which helps 3 ,000 infants, children and adults with disabilities. For tickets, contact Lee Thrash at 94 4 -3 909 or lthrash@ unitedability.org.


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NECK OF THE WOODS Some of the proceeds from the May 16 inaugural Taste of Five Points will go to Vulcan and some to a Five Points improvement project, according to REV Birmingham’s James Little, who said at least 25 merchants will take part. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

Taste of Five Points preps for festive celebration of area’s 130th anniversary By JESSE CHAMBERS O n May 14 , Five Points South will celebrate its 13 0th anniversary. And on May 16 from 5 :3 0-7 :3 0 p.m., V ulcan Park & Museum — along with the area’s retailers, bar owners and restaurateurs — will mark the anniversary by hosting the inaugural Taste of Five Points event, where attendees will be able to sample the celebrated cuisine and trendy retail that make the neighborhood one of Birmingham’s most vibrant. “O ur goal is for attendees to have a better understanding of the people and businesses that make up the culture of the Five Points neighborhood and, in turn, go to visit those establishments,” said V ulcan spokesperson Morgan Black. The event will be on V ulcan Plaza as well

MAY 2017

as inside the museum, according to Black. Taste of Five Points, sponsored by Alagasco, will serve as the culmination of the exhibit, “Patience, People and the Plan: The Revitalization of Five Points South,” on display at V ulcan through the end of May. Some of the proceeds will go to V ulcan and some to a Five Points improvement proj ect, according to REV Birmingham’s J ames Little, who said at least 25 merchants will take part. Those participating

merchants include O rbit Salon, Starbucks, Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega C afe, iiis optical shop, C hez Fonfon, Mellow Mushroom, Buck Mulligan’s, D ave’s Pub and more. D ave’s Pub is creating a Five Pointsthemed cocktail, “The Storyteller,” that will be served at the event and at other participating area watering holes. Admission is $ 3 5 ( $ 3 0 in advance) . C ouples pay $ 5 5 ( $ 5 0 in advance) . C all 93 3 -14 09 or go to visitvulcan.com.

CRESTWOOD

Many North C restwood residents are sick of the noise made by the 60 freight trains that rumble through their neighborhood each day. The noise has worsened in recent years due to an increase in freight traffic and federal safety rules that require train operators to sound four-blast signals at each at-grade crossing. And there are three crossings in less than 1,000 feet between 5 6th and 5 9th streets South. “Train noise is a serious problem that affects the community’s quality of life,” according to a report from the Regional Planning C ommission of Greater Birmingham. But that report presents four options to make the each crossing safe enough to become a “quiet zone” with limited use of

LAKEVIEW

Photo courtesy of Locked In Birmingham.

Locked In offers entertainment seekers an unusual ‘escape’ from typical challenges By JESSE CHAMBERS

North Crestwood residents look to reduce train noise, create area ‘quiet zone’ By JESSE CHAMBERS

DISCOVER

horns, according to North C restwood neighborhood president D arrell O ’Q uinn. “The options are basically to close some or all of the crossings or reconfigure the remaining crossings with gates, curbing and supplemental safety measures,” O ’Q uinn said. “The crossings that remain open would have to be upgraded so that they would actually be safer without train horns than they are currently.” The change could have a positive economic impact on C restwood. O ’Q uinn said there s sufficient data demonstrating that train horn noise depreciates property values.” The noise also negatively affects Woodlawn businesses, especially those with outdoor activities, he said. It could cost the city several hundred thousand dollars to change the crossings — depending on the plan chosen — but

A freight train passes through North Crestwood. Photo by Jesse Chambers.

uinn said he believes cit officials are aware of the issue and the are tr ing to find the money, perhaps through a U.S. D epartment of Transportation grant. The city applied for the funding before but did not receive it, the RPC report said. The next step for residents — after further coordination — is to make a presentation to the C ity C ouncil and request the mayor file a letter of intent with the ederal ail Administration, according to O ’Q uinn.

In the middle of Lakeview, with its bars and restaurants, fun-seekers can find another, more unusual diversion: Locked In, a facility that’s part of a growing entertainment genre called escape games. Locked In is described as a fun, challenging game for groups of two to eight friends, family members or co-workers who work together to find clues and solve pu les in order to escape from a locked room in 60 minutes or less. “It’s something unique and different to do,” said Phoenix Mann, one of the facility’s co-founders. And Locked In has another selling point in the electronic age. “It gets people away from their phones and back to face-to-face interaction,” Mann said. “It’s a great way for humans to have fun with humans again.” Located on Seventh Avenue South, the facility opened in 2015 and was named the fourth-best escape room in America in 2016 by USA Today. Mann and co-founder Bill K ervaski are Birmingham-area natives who bring an interesting skill set to game creation. Mann is a forensic scientist, and K ervaski is a veteran and entrepreneur with a strong technology background. They have a second location in Louisville, K entucky, with more planned. For more information, go to birmingham. lockedin.com.


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Belly dancer practices tribal fusion in ‘welcoming’ space By AL Y X CHAN D L ER Even though Southside resident Lauryn Gallagher has performed tribal fusion belly dancing for more than 17 years, she’s only recently decided to seriously entertain the possibility of adding her two corn snakes, C aihiro and C rowly, to her performance. Right now, she said, they’re still a little too young. Gallagher, who grew up in Birmingham, moved back about four years ago. She said she’s noticed that the community is more open than it used to be in embracing lesser-known art forms, which in her case, is a newer form of belly dancing. Tribal fusion belly dance refers to a more modern Western form that combines American cabaret and American tribal style belly dancing. She said what speaks to her about this form of belly dancing is how it’s typically “very individual and unique,” and still evolving, with various forms of Lauryn Gallagher, who practices in a studio space in unconventional music. Gallagher Southside, has been doing tribal fusion belly dancing has danced to everything from for over 17 years. Photo by Alyx Chandler. heavy metal to French music, from the Black K eys to Beats Antique. occasionally gets booked and paid to per“It’s empowering for me because it’s celebrating your body and what form at events, often with her troupe. She was you can do,” she said. “It involves all body previously part of the Gypsy Red Tribe and shapes, all ages, all school levels, sometimes has recently shifted to the Ultra Hip Review live animals, bells, swords, canes; it can be troupe. Each week, Gallagher usually practices solo, duo, trio.” Gallagher said the dance movements are for three-hour sessions twice a week in the “structured improv,” where people have the Southside studio she calls “The Wolf’s D en,” same basic framework across the U.S., but as well as practicing in her apartment at least the dancing itself is more about planning to an hour each day. It’s all very welcoming and do certain things at certain times, then getting open, she said, especially to newcomers who are interested. creative with filling in the gaps “Beyond dancing and the creativity “It’s a whole language,” she said. Gallagher said she still gets reactions of involved in creating dances, there’s also the surprise when she tells people about her belly styling, the music, picking out the costumes,” she said, adding that she makes most of her dancing. “It used to have a stigma where it was own belts and costumes. “It also makes you kind of unsavory, dancing barefoot, a lot of feel beautiful.” She also has traveled to O regon to take coin bras,” she said. But in the Birmingham community the last few years, she said it has world-famous workshops with Rachel Bryce become a great way to collaborate with other — the woman who coined tribal fusion belly artists. The Happening at TrimTab Brewing dancing — and meet a community of belly C ompany, which she performed at several dancers from all over the world. If you want to catch Gallagher dancing or times, is a great example. Even though Gallagher has an office talk more about her art, she will be at The j ob with regular workday hours, she also Happening in May.


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BIRMINGHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL May 19-22

Alabamas first and only comedy festival is back, and this year the Magic City welcomes more than 20 of the best national and regional comedians. More than 20 shows will span four days in May. Festival passes include access to all comedy shows; access to all podcast tapings; access to all after-parties; and information on all secret shows throughout the weekend. Passes for the entire weekend are only $40, but there are limited supplies. facebook.com/ birminghamcomedyfestival.

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DO DAH DAY

May 20, Caldwell Park, 26th Street South and Highland Avenue

Since 1979, Do Dah Day — featuring the South’s craziest parade — has raised almost $1.5 million for animal charities. The petfriendly event features food, arts and crafts, kid’s activities and live music. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. For details, including parade entry fees, go to dodahday.org.

WE EAT TOGETHER FUNDRAISER May 25, Kress Building Roof, 301 19th St. N.

5:30-7:30 p.m. The annual WE Eat Together fundraiser is returning with an evening of music, a silent auction, food from WE Community Cafe and community fun overlooking the beautiful landscape of downtown Birmingham. $50 per person. weeat.swellgives.com.

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

RICKWOOD CLASSIC

May 31, Regions Field, 1401 First Ave. S.

The 22nd annual Rickwood Classic will pit the Birmingham Barons against their Southern League rival, the Chattanooga Lookouts, The game will celebrate “The Fabulous Fifties,” particularly 1953-56, when the Barons were a New York Yankees farm club. Former All-Star pitcher and Baseball Hall of Famer Juan Marichal will be the guest of honor and will sign autographs. 12:30 p.m. $10. Groups tickets available. 988-3200. rickwoodclassic.com.

OFFICIAL BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL

third oor onference Rooms and .

May 1: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham ity all third oor council chambers.

May 9: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City all third oor.

May 2: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City all third oor. May 8: Birmingham City Council Economic Development, Budget and Finance Committee. .m. Birmingham ity all third oor Conference Rooms D and E. May 8: Birmingham City Council Governmental Affairs Committee. 2 p.m. Birmingham City Hall,

May 9: Birmingham City Council Public m rovements and Beautification ommittee. p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A. May 15: Birmingham City Council Public Safety, Transportation Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham ity all third oor council chambers. May 15: Birmingham City Council Planning and Zoning Committee. 4:30 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, Conference Room A.

May 15: Citizen Advisory Board. 7 p.m. City Council Chambers, Birmingham City Hall, third oor. he iti en Partici ation Program is designed to achieve improved communication, understanding, and cooperation between Birmingham citi ens and city officials through increased personal contact between City Hall and neighborhoods and communities throughout the city. The public is welcome to attend. May 16: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City all third oor. May 23: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City all third oor.

May 23: Birmingham City Council Utilities Committee. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third oor onference Rooms and . May 23: Birmingham City Council Education Committee - fourth Tuesday every month. 2 p.m. Birmingham ity all third oor onference Rooms D and E. May 24: Birmingham City Council Committee of the Whole. 4 p.m. Birmingham City Hall, third oor onference Rooms and . May 26: Birmingham City Council Administration/Technology Committee. 1 p.m. Birmingham ity all third oor onference


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DISCOVER Rooms D and E. May 30: Birmingham City Council. 9:30 a.m. City all third oor.

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETINGS May 2: Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Avondale Library, 509 40th St. S. Visit forestparksouthavondale. com for more information. May 8: Woodlawn Neighborhood Association meeting. 5709 1st Ave N. Call President Brenda Pettaway at 593-4487 for more information. May 9: Highland Park Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Upstairs meeting room of the Highland Park Golf Course clubhouse. Meeting notices are sent out to recipients of the Highland Park email list. If you wish to be included on this list, email President Alison Glascock at alisonglascock@ gmail.com. May 11: Roebuck Springs Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. South Roebuck Baptist/Community Church. Call President Frank Hamby at 222-2319 for more information. May 16: Central City Neighborhood Association meeting: 6-7 p.m. Linn-Henley Library, Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium. Neighborhood social to follow at Tavern on 1st, 2320 1st Ave. N. May 22: Crestwood South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. 1220 50th St. S. May 22: Crestwood North Neighborhood Association meeting. 6:30 p.m. Girls Inc. of Alabama. May 22: Huffman Neighborhood Association meeting. 7 p.m. Cornerstone School, 959 Huffman Road. May 22: Five Points South Neighborhood Association meeting. 6-7:15 p.m. Southside ibrary th Ave. . Visit five ointsbham. com for more information. May 23: 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.

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

COMMUNITY May 1: BAO Bingo. Birmingham AIDS Outreach, 205 32nd Street S. 7-9 p.m. This popular monthly BAO event features bingo with cash and door prizes, packages available ranging from $15 to $25 Visit birminghamaidsoutreach. org. May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31: Pub Quiz (Trivia Night). Rojo, 2921 Highland Ave. S. The Pub Quiz, with a variety of hosts, is each Wednesday. There are silly prizes, and the winning team gets a $120 Rojo gift card. 7:15 p.m. Free. 328-4733. rojobirmingham.com. May 5: Cinco de Mayo party. TrimTab Brewing Company. 2721 Fifth Ave. S. 3-11:45 p.m. 7030536. trimtabbrewing.com. May 6: First Light Gala. Haven, 2515 Sixth Ave. S. This fundraiser for the First Light shelter for homeless women and children will feature food, drinks, music, and silent and live auctions. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Individual admission $150. Reserved table for four, $750; reserved table for six, $1,125. For more information — including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities — call or go to firstlightshelter.org. May 6: Epic City Rush. Railroad Park, 1600 First Ave. S. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The second annual MUST Epic City Rush is a mad-dash SEE scavenger race through the streets of downtown Birmingham. Teams of four will have a chance to explore the Magic City like never before. Whether on bike or on foot (no cars allowed!), your team will try to solve clues, complete challenges and race back to Railroad Park before time runs out. This is a fundraiser in support of REV Birmingham’s Zyp BikeShare. Tickets available at eventbrite.com/e/epic-cityrush-2017-tickets-33511350351.

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May 6: Party of the Parks. Railroad Park, 1600 First Ave. S. 4-6 p.m. Make plans to join Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries (ABCH) for our third annual Party at the Parks event! This is a free event and an afternoon that everyone in the family will enjoy. Come en oy in atables hotos ith rincesses and superheroes, face painting, yard games, snow cones, music, and popcorn! alabamachild.org/ patp. May 6: 13th annual Mudbugs & Music. Cahaba Brewing Company, 4500 Fifth Ave. S. 2-7 .m. ra fish from hindigs kid s activities silent auction and great live music. We’ll be turning up the heat to beat arthritis, the


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nation’s leading cause of disability. Proceeds from Mudbugs & Music fund arthritis research, education and programs in the Birmingham community. facebook.com/ events/1259127544142213. May 7: Arty Party. B&A Warehouse, 1531 First Ave. S. This annual art auction MUST benefits Birmingham AIDS SEE Outreach, with work from local, regional and national artists. 3-6 p.m. Admission $50. 322-4197, ext. 107. birminghamaidsoutreach.org.

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May 13: Workout for Water, hosted by IronTribe Fitness. Avondale Brewing Company, 41st St. S. 8 a.m. to noon. This year’s Workout for Water will feature teams of four people completing three mini-challenges, separated by running/ jogging/walking between stations. ALL e ercises can be modified for individuals of ALL ability levels. Also, you can form your team before you come, or grab a group when you get to the event, so don’t hesitate to join! Workout for Water benefits everthirst an international non rofit that seeks to bring clean ater sources to the underserved. facebook.com/

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events/194660177715841. May 13: Contra Dance! Birmingham YWCA, rd t. . n oy an evening of contra dancing, square dancing and waltzes. Presented by Footmad (Friends of Old Time Music and Dance). 7 p.m. Adults (18 and up) $10; students $8; children (ages 13-18) $4; children 12 and under free. 979-3237. footmadbirmingham.org. May 13: Adventure Hunt Birmingham. Adventure Hunt is a fun and adventurous modern day treasure hunt to win GoPros, loads of adventure gear and a free trip to Panama for two! You’ll be adventuring all over Birmingham and the surrounding area completing epic challenges to earn clues that will lead you and your teammate to buried treasure! Registration closes Friday, May 12 and spots are limited. https://adventurehunt.co/products/birmingham. May 13: 2nd annual Bikerz for Bullies. Cahaba Bre ing om any Fifth Ave. . oon to 5 p.m. Come out and join us for the second annual Bikerz for Bullies, hosted for us by Punishers MC Alabama Chapter. We will have a ride a raf e silent auctions and food trucks. All roceeds ill benefit Bama Bully Rescue.

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It will be $25 per bike, plus $5 for additional riders. Registration will start at noon, and the ride will start at 1 p.m. facebook.com/ events/1004818502984923.

drew on horror movies, vaudeville and garage rock to pioneer a theatrical brand of rock designed to shock. 8 p.m. $49.50, $59.50 and $74.50. 800-745-3000. alabamatheatre.com.

May 20: entrification A ee er ook. Beloved Community Church, 131 41st St. S. 1-4 p.m. entrification has become a hot to ic in Birmingham. The purpose of this event is to dig deeper into the process. The event will consist of four 20-minute-long case studies with 10 minutes after each for discussion. There will be an hour after all of the case studies are presented for discussion. This event is free and open to the public. facebook.com/ events/1854368741472284.

May 4: Hurray For The Riff Raff. Saturn Birmingham, 200 41st St. S. Hurray For The Riff Raff is the PR acclaimed singer Alynda ee Segarra, who plays American roots music. 8 p.m. $15 in advance; $18 day of show. 703-9545. saturnbirmingham.com.

MUSIC

May 5-6: Alabama ym hony Orchestra B O Masterworks Series. Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. S. The symphony will play works by Barber and Bartok to celebrate the 40th birthday of conductor Carlos Izcaray. Daniel Szasz will play the violin. 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$74. 975-2787. alabamasymphony.org.

May 1: Silversun Pickups, with Kiev. Iron City. 513 22nd St. S. The Silversun Pickups are a popular alt-rock band from Los Angeles with hits like a y ye and Panic itch. .m. $30-$33. 202-5483. ironcitybham.com.

May 5: Overlake, with Lasting Impressions and Burley tarns. he ick th Ave. S. Overlake is an alternative/shoegaze band from Jersey ity .J. .m. . . thenickrocks.com.

May 2: end the ight ith Alice oo er. Alabama heatre hird Ave. . oo er

May 5: Jesse Payne, with Bunch. The Syndicate Lounge, 433 20th St. S. Payne is one of


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DISCOVER Birmingham’s best singer-songwriters. 8 p.m. . . ticket y.com. facebook.com thesyndicateloungebham. May 5: Unkno n inson ith Flat uo Jets. ydeco. th Ave. . inson is the self described King of the ountry Western roubadours and the voice of arly uyler on V s uidbillies. Flat uo Jets are a legendary sychobilly band from ha el ill orth arolina and Athens eorgia. .m. . . ydecobirmingham.com. May 6: Opera Birmingham Vocal om etition emi Finals. MUST UAB Mary ul ulsey Recital SEE all th t. . enty young singers from around the nation com ete for a chance to sing in a finals concert for more than in cash ri es and a chance to star in an O era Birmingham roduction. a.m. .m. Adults students . . operabirmingham.org.

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May 9: Brian Wilson resents Pet ounds he Final Performances. BJ oncert all. Wilson and his band celebrate the th anniversary of the Beach Boys groundbreaking Pet ounds album originally released in . hey erform Pet ounds as ell as other Beach Boys hits and Wilson s solo material. .m. ickets and lus fees. . b cc.org or brian ilson.com. May 11: Alabama ym hony Orchestra lassical Masters eries. yric heatre hird Ave. . Works by Rameau Foss and aydn. .m. and . . alabamasym hony.org. May 11: Balkun Brothers ith Underland ress. he ick th Ave. . Balkun Brothers is a high energy funk blues rock band from artford onnecticut. .m. . 3831. thenickrocks.com. May 12: Alabama ym hony Orchestra Red iamond u erPo s eries. Alabama heatre hird Ave. . he A O resents a salute to olly ood blockbusters led by conductor hris onfessore. .m. and . . alabamasym hony.org. May 18: Fare ell Argentina. Work lay rd t. . his all female country band features four vocalists dynamic song riters and su erb multi instrumentalists. .m. . . ork lay.com. May 19: Alabama ym hony Orchestra offee oncerts. Alys te hens enter th Ave. . he A O led by conductor hristo her onfessore resents ebussy s Prelude to

the Afternoon of a Faun and ersh in s oncerto in F ith ianist errence Wilson. a.m. ickets and . . alabamasym hony.org.

do nto n. he city s monthly first hursday art event featuring art entertainment and food. .m. Admission free. . birminghamartcra l.com.

May 19-20: Alabama ym hony Orchestra B O Master orks eries. Alys te hens enter th Ave. . he A O erforms orks from ebussy ersh in and ibelius. .m. ickets . . alabamasym hony.org.

May 4-27: rimes of the eart. Birmingham Festival heatre th Ave. . BF resents the Pulit er Pri e inning lay by Beth enley directed by llise Mayor. For sho times and tickets call or go to bftonline.org.

May 20: Alabama ym hony outh Orchestra ring oncert. Alys te hens enter th Ave. . A O erforms orks by Bi et olst and rieg. .m. Admission free. . alabamasym hony.org. May 20: UAB Piano ay. Alys te hens enter th Ave. . UAB Music ill resent a master class ith ianist akov Kasman at a.m. and the Bach and Friends Poly honic Music Festival at .m. Admission free. For more information email tatianakasman yahoo.com. . May 20: Wanda Jackson. aturn Birmingham st t. . his legendary country and rockabilly artist as inducted into the Rock and Roll all of Fame in . .m. in advance day of sho . . saturnbirmingham.com. May 21: Viva ealth tarlight ala. Alys te hens enter th Ave. . he event features violinist t hak Perlman ho has on rammy A ards and four mmy A ards. .m. . . alysste hens.org. May 23: Primus ith nsects Vs. Robots. ron ity. nd t. . Primus is a legendary alt rock metal funk band from an Francisco. .m. . . ironcitybham.com. May 25: Alabama ym hony Orchestra lassical Masters eries. yric heater. he sym hony ill erform orks by Res ighi Vivaldi and travinsky. .m. and . alabamasym hony.org.

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ARTS Through May 14: anas aughty Knickers. heatre o nto n Fifth Ave. . A farce by Katherine isavino in hich a young oman stays ith her grandmother and is sur rised to find that the old girl has a business on the side. hursday aturday .m. unday May .m. Adults students . . theatredo nto n.org. May 4: Birmingham Art ra l. Various locations

May 11-13: MOM . Alys te hens enter th Ave. . Kno n for ork of e ce tional inventiveness and hysical beauty MOM is a com any of dancer illusionists that has erformed around the orld. hey have a eared on V often including PB . .m. . . alysste hens.org. May 12-28: reamgirls. RM abaret heatre th t. . elebrate the advent of R B in the s ith a Moto n ins ired score and dynamic erformances in this o erhouse musical. hursday aturday .m. aturdays and undays .m. ickets start at . . redmountaintheatre.org. May 17: Julianne and erek ough Move Beyond ive On our. BJ oncert all. he star dancers ill resent a sho ins ired by the elements earth ind fire and ater ith a ne stage and stunning choreogra hy. .m. ickets . and . . . b cc.org or moveliveontour.com. May 18: Ja ouse Poetry. nsley Ja ouse A. . allins Associates. th t. nsley. he o en mic at the Ja ouse is back allo s anyone to read recite or erform hatever they d like. oors o en at .m. first erformer at .m. ickets . For information or to order tickets call or go to facebook. com events .

SPORTS May 19-21: Barber Historics. Barber Motors orts Park Barber Motors orts Park ay eeds. he event ill feature racing from museum uality cars including the M A

series. Porsche R R to atsun issan P Ma da R orvette and amaro. n addition to the racing s orts car clubs ill dis lay their cars and there ill be a s a meet and ine tastings. a.m. .m. For ticket rices call or go to barberracingevents.com. May 20: th annual Miles for Marine Mammals. he Birmingham oo ahaba Road. a.m. K begins at a.m. in the oo arking lot and finishes in rails of Africa and the kids races begin at a.m. in the Junior eague of Birmingham ugh Kaul hildrens oo. All artici ants receive free admission to the oo ith the o ortunity to urchase additional discounted admission tickets for family good for day of the race only a s ecial shirt and more facebook.com events .

UAB BASEBALL (HOME GAMES AT YOUNG MEMORIAL FIELD)

May 5: Old ominion .m. May 6: Old ominion .m. May 7: Old ominion .m. May 9: Auburn at Regions Field . .m. May 18: Rice University .m. May 19: Rice University .m. May 20: Rice University .m.

First Ave.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS (HOME GAMES AT REGIONS FIELD) May 3: Mississi i Braves .m. May 4: Mississi i Braves .m. May 5: Mississi i Braves .m. May 6: Mississi i Braves .m. May 7: Mississi i Braves .m. May 18: ennessee mokies .m. May 19: ennessee mokies .m. May 20: ennessee mokies .m. May 21: ennessee mokies .m. May 22: ennessee mokies .m. May 30: hattanooga ookouts .m. June 1: hattanooga ookouts .m. June 2: hattanooga ookouts .m. June 3: hattanooga ookouts .m.

BIRMINGHAM HAMMERS (HOME GAMES AT SICARD HOLLOW) May 13: nter ashville F

.m.


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Iron City Ink May 2017  
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