Fwd: What's News In Birmingham - April 2013
What's News In Birmingham http://birmingham.tekgroupweb.com/
Birmingham, Ala.-----What a sweet April this promises to be, a month jam-packed with high profile events. But before we tackle all the goings-on, let's first have some verse. As you can imagine, the choices for April poetry are near endless, but the editor gets to choose, and she chooses this:
"Spring slattern of seasons
you have soggy legs
and a muddy petticoat
is your hair your
eyes are sticky with
dream and you have a sloppy body from
being brought to bed of crocuses
when you sing in your whisky voice
the grass rises on the head of the earth
and all the trees are put on edge
of the excellent jostle of
and the superior"
---E. E. Cummings, Spring Omnipotent Goddess Thou
The editor adores E.E. Cummings. Now on to the news....
50th Commemoration Moves Forward
As Birmingham continues the year-long marking of the civil rights campaign that took place here in 1963, residents and visitors are enjoying a broad range of commemorative events. Among them are:
- Marching On: The Children's Movement at Fifty - Sponsored by Birmingham Coca-Cola, this exhibit tells the story of The Children's Crusade, when young black students of Birmingham took to the streets for the cause of civil rights. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute through November 30
- A Place of Our Own: The Fourth Avenue District, Civil Rights and the Rise of Birmingham's Black Middle Class - Birmingham's historic black business district played a major role in propelling the success of the Civil Rights Movement in the city. Vulcan Park and Museum through September 30
- Letter from Birmingham Jail - The acclaimed Red Mountain Theatre Company presents this one act play based on the letter Martin Luther King Jr. wrote during his incarceration in 1963. Red Mountain Theatre Company Cabaret - April 11-14
- Untold Stories, Ordinary Voices -Come tell your story of where you were when the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed on September 15, 1963. Comments recorded with permission. Smithfield Branch Library - April 11
- Dedication of Historic Marker - Dignitaries and civil rights leaders will be on hand for the official dedication of the historic marker at the Birmingham jail, where Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous letter to the city's clergy. Birmingham City Jail (425 6th Avenue S) - April 15
- Esperanza Spalding in Concert - The University of Alabama at Birmingham presents the Grammy Award-winning jazz singer, bassist and composer in a free performance. Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center - April 15
- Theaster Gates: 'Tis So Sweet or I Need Sugar Lawd - Artist, activist and urban-planner Theaster Gates performs with The Black Monks of Mississippi. The ensemble of musicians, representing a range from spirituals to Buddhist chants, connects the performance to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. Birmingham Museum of Art - April 25
- Our Mockingbird - This documentary film was inspired by Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. A moderated panel discussion with director and cast members follows the screening. Birmingham Carver Theater - April 28
For a complete list of scheduled events, go to www.50yearsforward.com.
Barons in New Digs
Ah, baseball season---when the smell of popcorn, hot dogs, nachos, cold beer and excitement fill the air. The baseball season in Birmingham takes it up a notch this month as the Birmingham Barons find a home at the new $64 million Regions Field. Located downtown adjacent to the very popular Railroad Park, the stadium seats 8,500 fans. Games are set against the city's skyline behind right field and towering Red Mountain behind left field. Local flavor adds interest to stadium concessions with Dreamland BBQ and Good People brew on the menu. Take us all out to the ballgame! http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t247
Biopic Nice Complement to Baseball Season
In tandem with the opening of Barons baseball season is the premier of the Jackie Robinson biopic "42." Birmingham guests get a VIP screening April 11. Parts of the movie were filmed in Birmingham last spring, including scenes at Rickwood Field, the country's oldest baseball park. Chadwick Boseman stars as Robinson, who became the first black player in professional baseball in 1947 when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and wore the number 42. Harrison Ford plays Dodgers executive Branch Rickey. Hundreds of local extras make appearances as well. The movie opens nationwide April 12. www.42movie.warnerbros.com/
Racing Toward the Indy Grand Prix
You may have waited too late to purchase a primo parking spot, but time remains to buy your tickets for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. The event, along with thousands of race fans, is on its way to the Barber Motorsports Park April 5-7. Stars of the Indy Racing League will be on hand to challenge defending champion Will Power. Race fans who've never been to the Barber track are in for a treat; the 2.38 mile circuit with 80 feet of elevation changes has been called "the Augusta of race courses." Birmingham is the only Deep South city to host an Indy event. www.barbermotorsports.com
And While You're at Barber...
Take note of all the strangers around you! A recent survey of visitors to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum shows that 80% of museum visitors come from outside the Birmingham region. More than 60% come from out of state---with a third of those from outside the South---and eight percent come from other countries. Located adjacent to Barber Motorsports Park, the 140,000-square-foot museum has one of the world's largest and best collections of vintage motorcycles and Lotus race cars. www.barbermuseum.org
Boil 'Em, Baby!
Birmingham's most popular music event, the Schaeffer Eye Center Crawfish Boil, is set for May 4 this year. (Down here we pronounce it like it rhymes with "saw." Y'all can pronounce it any way you want to though.) The festival sprawls itself across the huge field just outside the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Mountains of mudbugs are served up along with a half dozen musical acts. Proceeds from this year's event will be used to establish scholarships for at-risk youth. The scholarships will bear the names of the four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae Collins. The Crawfish Boil is the place to be and be seen, so get your tickets and grab a bib. www.schaeffercrawfishboil.com
If Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers...
It must be time for the popular Pepper Place Saturday Market. Yes, the market opens its spring season April 13with local vendors from a geographic range of about 100 miles. All farmers on hand to sell their produce are the actual growers, and it's not unusual to find three generations working the market together. Locals and tourists alike fall in love with this farmers market where they find fresh fruits and vegetables, live music, cooking demonstrations, all manner of crafts, and home baked breads and cookies. The spring market, which runs through May when the summer market begins, is a great place too for buying local seedlings and young plants for spring gardening. Visitors should also look for fresh strawberries and other early crops. www.pepperplacemarket.com
Make the Connection
Hook up with art April 26-28 at the 30th annual Magic City Art Connection in downtown Linn Park. Highly respected in the festival community, this event draws nationally and internationally recognized talent in the visual and performing arts. The juried contemporary art show attracts 30,000 people annually from around the Southeast for what has become a must-be-there Alabama event. Visitors can expect to see the works of more than 200 of the finest local, national and international artists and participate in more than 40 interactive art activities for children and adults. Corks & Chefs, a component of the festival, gives registered participants a taste of Birmingham's top restaurants and eateries. More than 100 wines are uncorked for patrons to taste. www.magiccityart.com
Forbes Likes Downtown Birmingham
Forbes.com is fond of the way things are looking in downtown Birmingham these days. The site named 15 cities across the country with emerging downtowns, Birmingham among them. Among the reasons for inclusion were the increasing number of downtown residents, a new downtown baseball stadium for the AA Birmingham Barons, and the success of Railroad Park, a beautiful green space that once was an industrial site. The Forbes recognition follows close on the heels of more than a half dozen national acknowledgments from high-profile sources including National Geographic magazine, Zagat restaurant guide, USA Today and U.S. News. http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mhj45eddgl/birmingham-ala/
IN OUR BRIEFS:
Tell It Like It Is
The Grammy-Award-winning master of R&B and soul, Aaron Neville, comes to the Alys Stephens Center April 13 for a solo show. That means only that the other Nevilles won't share the stage; instead, he'll be backed by his own touring band. In his just released solo album "My True Story," Neville looks back at his role in the first family of New Orleans music. That falsetto...is there anything sweeter? www.alysstephens.uab.edu
Fifth Time's a Charm
Birmingham chef Frank Stitt's Highlands Bar and Grill is one of five finalists for the James Beard Foundation Award for the most outstanding restaurant in America...again.
This is the fifth year in a row the popular dining room has been nominated for the award but has yet to win. We'll know when the announcement comes in May, but surely this is Frank's year! www.highlandsbarandgrill.com
Once again Birmingham is in a runoff for the South's Best Foodie City. The city most recently was in the Southern Living competition, and now ConventionSouth magazine is calling on readers to vote for the Southern city with the best dining. As we used to say here in the South, vote early and often. Go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/foodiecities.
Don't Go If It Hurts to Laugh
Otherwise, don't pass up the opportunity to have a side-splitting evening at Virginia Samford Theatre's "Sand Mountain Saturday Night," April 5-14. The six members of the multi-talented group, The Dill Pickers, play 24 characters and a slew of instruments in the original installment of their musical trilogy. www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org
Why We Come to Work: Activities at the Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Tourism Department has scheduled its quarterly "Attraction Chat" for April 9. The meeting brings together area attractions and other industry representatives to discuss what's going on, what's not going on, and what should be going on. It's a lively and productive gathering. The department continues to conduct the "WOW Ambassador Program" for frontline personnel in the hospitality industry.
On the travel schedule for the Convention Sales Department is the Helms Briscoe Annual Business Conference and Partner Fair. More than 300 associates representing 2,500 meetings will be attending the marketplace. A department representative will be in Alexandria, VA, later this month for the Association of Meeting Professionals. This is an opportunity to spend time with more than 200 meeting planners to cultivate new business for the Birmingham area. The month wraps up with the Georgia Chapter of Meeting Professionals International in Atlanta. Their Meetings Exploration Conference is the largest regional educational conference specifically for meeting professionals and another good place to develop additional meetings business.
The Marketing & Communications Department is wrapping up work on a new ad campaign for 2013. The new ads focus on single individuals engaged in various activities such as cooking, meeting, sightseeing and playing sports. Their singular focus is a standout design and is accompanied by handcrafted type in headlines. The new ads translate well into web banners that have been placed primarily in the convention market and in promoting 50th commemoration events. The department has also been coordinating an update on the very popular IN app. Added are more IN spots along with updated features to make the app even more interactive. Visiting journalists this month were writing for The Los Angeles Times, The Group Travel Leader, The Houston Tribune, The Local Table and Reuters.
The Birmingham Shop now carries a wide selection of 50th Civil Rights Commemoration merchandise such as t-shirts, coffee mugs and ball caps. Located in the main CVB office at 2200 9th Avenue North, the shop is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Or order online at www.birmingham.travel. Click on The Birmingham Shop under the heading Quick Links.
Company's Coming: Conventions & Events for April
American Society of Safety Engineers
Alabama Public Health Association
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Alabama Judicial College
UAB Continuing Medical Education
African Methodist Episcopal Church
2013 Grand Prix of Alabama
Grand-Am Rolex Series - Porsche
Team Magic Double Oak Duathlon
AAU Super Region Volleyball Tournament
ABC Supply Company
National Computer Forensics Institute
Alabama Power Company
Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Conference
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Southern Conference of Language Teaching
Future Business Leaders of America/Phi Beta Lambda
Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship
Southern Region Volleyball Club Tournament
Super Regional Boys Basketball Tournament
Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem
Greater Birmingham Youth Lacrosse Association
Spring Shootout Basketball Tournament
United States Fastpitch Association
Lutheran Churches in Mission for Christ
Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety
West Virginia University - US/China Clean Energy Workshop
National Baptist Publishing Board/R.H. Boyd Publishing Corp.
Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety
Steel Tank Institute
Alabama Staffing Association
United States Green Building Council
National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association
Alabama Parent Teacher Association
Hoover Havoc Soccer Tournament
Southern Region Volleyball Association
Alabama Skills USA
Greensboro Chamber of Commerce
UAB Department of Neurobiology
National Guard Association of Alabama
Sweet Peppers Franchise Systems, LLC
Miss Alabama Pageant Workshop
Magic City Art Connection
Alabama Association for Legal Professionals
SAA Men's & Women's Golf Championships
Red Mountain Writing Project
The Prayze Factor People's Choice Awards
United States Specialty Sports Association
Continental Societies, Inc.
UAB Center for Health Services Continuing Education
April 26-May 4
State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Filters Examining Board
Alabama Society of Traditional Bowmen
Association of Related Churches
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
McAllister Software Systems
April 30-May 2
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
April 30-May 4
Gtr Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau | 2200 Ninth Avenue n | Birmingham | AL | 35203