Filed under: Birmingham Alabama, Birmingham, AL, Erik Jambor, film festivals, films, Movies, music, MySpace, people, Reg's Coffeehouse, Sidewalk
One figure takes a step back…
Let’s recap shall we… we’ve already talked about the demise of the X at 100.5 earlier this week for a sports talk station. If you didn’t keep up with the City Stages stuff on Tuesday night, click here and then here. I’m still waiting for a great excuse to post my Shula rant, though it’s becoming somewhat moot now.
Then this evening I get a text message from a certain blogger. It was a simple note; “Jambor resigns as director of Sidewalk film fest.”
UPDATE: Wade has more information about the actual announcement on his site.
I dug a little deeper and visited the world of MySpace. Two clicks later, I felt confident enough to be able to lead this post off with this story. Erik Jambor is one of the best examples of our young professionals and the type of work and accolades that they are able to produce for our (and their) city. The added bonus of Jambor being from metro Birmingham should give hope to those that think that the system is completely broken. Improvements like the ones seen at this morning’s ribbon cutting at Woodlawn High School are only the beginning of things to come in the area. Erik will be alright. Sidewalk should hopefully survive as well. The questions on many of our minds will be answered soon.
…Another says thanks for the support
I hope that Reg doesn’t mind that I repost this. I found it on his MySpace page this evening as well and felt that those that are fans would want to read this message from him. For those not familiar with Reg’s Coffeehouse, the show originated here in Birmingham, Alabama on the X at 100.5, which ceased broadcasting yesterday afternoon.
Here’s his message:
Reg’s Coffee House Listeners Rule!
We can’t thank you enough…either of you, for making living in Birmingham that much better.
Enjoy the day.
Filed under: art, Birmingham Alabama, Birmingham, AL, Civic Engagement, Photographs, preservation, theater, urban issues, Woodlawn, Works Progress Administration
Today was a great day at Woodlawn High School. The school’s longtime home along 1st Avenue North celebrated the completion of its extensive renovation project with a ribbon cutting taking place on campus this morning. Among the dignitaries present was Mountain Brook mayor and Woodlawn High alum Terry Oden. He spoke passionately about the 1939 mural that serves as the frieze for the building’s auditorium. A group of alumni listed on this page describing the project, have been successful thus far of raising $85,000 of the estimated $190,000 it will take to return this landmark piece to excellent condition. It was the largest Works Progress Administration project of its kind ever completed, with the mural painted on canvas and then secured to the wall in a way that prevents it from being removed for rehabilitation. The original funds for the renovation project did not include monies to complete the renovation, leading to the effort under way through alumni.
We’ve written about this school in the past, mentioning the effort. Now that the renovations have been completed, it only makes sense for the mural to receive the attention that it deserves. Mr. Oden had several cards available for interested people to fill out and provide was is a tax-deductible donation for the project. That information is available at the Woodlawn High alumni website. While students are enjoying an incredible renovation of their academic home away from home, I think that if not now in the future they will appreciate a truly completed effort with the restored mural. I’d like to thank the individual from Volker that was kind enough to provide me an image to go along with this post.
There’s also a play opening tonight at the Playhouse Costume co-op across from the Alabama Theatre. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is the first production for Theater Downtown, a group formed to provide “downtown theater for downtown Birmingham.” Click here to view the activeculture.info posting for the event that runs through next week. It should be a great opportunity to support local theater and keep one more thing going. If you know have any ideas for things to cover, let me know.
Enjoy the day.
Filed under: "red mountain park", Birmingham AL restaurants, Birmingham Alabama, Birmingham, AL, Bottletree Cafe, Cities, Civic Engagement, civic/service organizations, music, music venues, MySpace, parades, Photographs, Random shots, Wild Sweet Orange, yp events
It’s been a long time since we’ve focused on the world of the young professional in Birmingham. It feels like a long to me at least, especially in the last month. I could not resist a last ditch plug for tonight’s Bad Dates and Chocolate event being held by YP Birmingham at Twenty Six. Mr. Arik Sokol has built a new MySpace page for the networking group (one that will be updated for the Magic City MySpace page this evening, along with the countless other updates and tweaks I’ve been wanting to do in the last two months that I’ve been too swamped to consider). He’s also anxiously awaiting the chance to play Kickball one more time before the weather gets just plain ridiculous (that’s this Sunday – this time I should finally be able to play).The event this evening is going from 9-11 p.m. and the cost of admission is one (1) old cell phone (hopefully still in usable shape) that will be donated to HOPELINE.
Our friend Michael Mahon has also been quite busy; he’s helped organize a fundraiser to help with the efforts to acquire and create Red Mountain Park (for our first post about the park, click here). This Friday the action will be at the Bottletree Café (complete with its newly opened kitchen offering a rare vegetarian option for diners in Birmingham as well as a 3-8 p.m. Happy Hour). NOTE: Don’t forget to check out the Bottletree’s poster gallery; I was lucky enough to find one of the Man or Astroman? show posters at Kentuck this fall. Three of the region’s favorite local bands will be there to provide entertainment:
Check out the poster by clicking here; I’ll actually post it on Friday. What better way to help become the #1 mid-sized city per capita for green space in the United States.
I’m just hoping that someone takes pictures of the show. We’ll be in Atlanta that evening watching Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers play against the Hawks. I’m at least hoping that some people will be able to take pictures and share. As I said before though, it will be one half of a 101 in 1001 item and there are retro uniforms involved as well as one of my favorite basketball players of ALL TIME (and it’s not Jordan).
Mr. Sokol also provided the following information; help out if you can:
I’m sending this letter out to all of you to ask for your help. If you’re involved in the local filmmaking scene, you have probably heard that David Brower’s daughter, Devin suffered a brain hemorrhage about two weeks ago. Devin seems to be holding her own right now, but it’s going to be a long road for her and her family with lots of re-hab before she recovers completely.
With insurance covering 80% of the medical expenses, the remaining costs are staggering. Michael Fulmer and the folks at Reel People have decided to try to help by establishing a fund in order to collect a little to assist with bills.
I know that this is a difficult time of year to be asking people for money, but please give what you can afford.
Make your check to:
The Devin Brower Fund
Send your check to:
1827 1st Ave N.
Birmingham, AL 35203
Attn: Devin Brower Fund
Or you may also make a deposit at any Amsouth Bank
The Devin Brower Fund
Thank you! Enjoy the evening. And the Thanksgiving pictures (finally) by clicking on the flying Grover.
Filed under: Birmingham Alabama, Birmingham, AL, music, radio, Reg's Coffeehouse, The Ticker, WBHM, WRAX
Apparently late night dismissals are becoming commonplace here in Alabama the Beautiful. The late night firing of Crimson Tide coach Mike Shula on Sunday is now followed by the announcement last night that the X at 100.5 will have ceased to exist by noon of today.
It will have been replaced with an FM simulcast of WJOX, a sports talk station. At first glance, the decision appears to be one of common sense, considering the buzz associated with the recent coaching carousel that is set to go into motion. This is definitely a state and a city that prides itself on its sports teams, leading to a sound business decision. A closer look though reveals that Birmingham, AL may in fact be losing one of its last vestiges of uniqueness, at least on the FM dial. Not that all of it was as great as it has been, though I’m not quite sure I’d go as far as 3choBoomer went in his post earlier today, which includes the text from the Birmingham News article. For all of it.
One of the attendees to last night’s City Stages meeting suggested having the organizers choose a station that could cater to the eclectic mix of music currently available at the festival. I’d actually left that suggestion out of the list (I think). Stations that provide even a taste of diversity continuously disappearing into the noise (or lack thereof) of digital radio, iPods and downloads. More and more stations being gobbled up by media conglomerates, making the station you listen to in the Magic City sound eerily like that one in Atlanta or the Big Apple. It will also make the hopes of that individual become harder to realize. The idea of relying on streaming broadcasts is predicated on the notion that most people have continuous access to the internet; something that I know is not true here in Birmingham, though I may like to think that these writings are known to the majority of the Magic City Nation.
We lose Mark A.D., Beaner and Ken and our local broadcast of Reg’s Coffeehouse. I’m not really sure that’s fair. Then again, neither is business. Those who love their diversity in music have the benefit of Bottletree Café and similar venues to check out acts, though they’ve lost Moonlight this year. They also have Tapestry on WBHM and those online outlets if applicable. Those looking for another way to look at the situation insofar as the YP movement are concerned in our region; we’ve just lost another selling point for the city. There are few alternative stations left, and in its heyday, The X was considered one of the best in the region if not the country. The city won’t suffer a long painful loss of the station, at least not in the way that one would first think of it. The long term effects, including how it impacts the local music scene and what other stations choose to do, will be watched.
Enjoy the day. And thanks to all over at the X; you will be missed.
Filed under: Birmingham Alabama, Birmingham, AL, city stages, Civic Engagement, music, music venues
Thirty-two people were in the Arrington Auditorium at the Birmingham Public Library this evening as Elizabeth Sims, of Catalyst and Region 2020, moderated a town hall meeting about City Stages. Many more will be able to hear of the results of the meeting when the comments and suggestions are posted on the Sustain City Stages website in the coming days.
While I was not the official scribe, I did decide to take some notes on the laptop during the discussion. For some reason my “new” used iBook (courtesy of my little brother – thanks) was not able to be recognized by the WiFi cloud in the building. So I’ll try my best to read the notes I typed and list them here for you. I’m also going to make sure that any comments posted here or that I’m aware of end up in front of the people who need to see them as soon as possible.
The meeting consisted of those in attendance providing answers to two questions. Since I was fighting with said laptop I have horrible notes for the first one “What do you enjoy about City Stages?” For the record, there was a page of answers, (I just didn’t try to take them down; we’ll have to rely on the notes from the meeting when they’re posted – I’ll provide a link). I will list a couple though just because they’re in my head:
Diversity (all levels)
Sense of reunion (seeing friends from long ago)
This past year’s smaller footprint
Here are the notes I took for the answer to the second question with paraphrasing when possible (I apologize for anyone that I misquote; we’ll rely on that link for corrections):
How can we make City Stages better?
Missing opportunity to showcase local food at festival
Incorporate a “Taste of Birmingham” type event into festival (separate ticket price)
VIP section is money pit – unattractive experience – get rid of VIP section
Get radio stations to stop blasting music
Further reduce the number of squares at the festival
Provide compilation CD (or download) of past festival performances
Hold events throughout the year- providing continued presence similar to Sidewalk
Investigate after hours events at local venues (i.e., WorkPlay, Speakeasy, etc.) – provide stronger economic benefit
Bring back the arts and crafts area – added interest for another group
Using more big screens for acts during festival
Investigate use of Railroad Reservation Park in future
Look at transportation options (MAX park and ride from outside of festival area)
Have more local children’s groups perform
Leverage downtown/loft dwellers pre and post parties
Improve communication with festival goers to help determine what they really want
As we’ve seen earlier today, both here and at Wade’s site, there are ideas out there and comments and suggestions. Perhaps because of the job that I have, I’m driven to look for solutions and stress the positive. I’ve gone to this festival for most of the past 8 years (I’ve said before that it was the first thing that ever got me here), and plan to continue to go and pay my money to enjoy good music and good friends, so long as there is a festival to attend. If it is meant to go, then it has provided many good memories for people, despite all of the problems that it has.
As mentioned earlier, the results of this meeting will be posted on the Sustain site, where other comments and suggestions will be encouraged. The board from City Stages will be presented with the suggestions and they will hopefully look at which of them will be feasible. I will say that they are willing to receive criticism, though one of the representatives did become defensive about some of the options. I think that they’ve become so used to defending themselves (whether or not they were right) that they are almost not sure of what to do when someone is trying to offer constructive criticism. I guess we’ll see what happens. We need to demand excellence of this festival. Demanding it should be par for the course. We’ll see what they do with these suggestions and comments; will they right the ship? I hope that they do.