As the only local agency exclusively focused on Birmingham’s creative industries, Create Birmingham plays a unique role in growing the creative sector, including performing arts, visual arts and crafts, culture and heritage, media and film, design, and culinary arts.

Create Birmingham’s mission is to invest in imagination and invention. Through our programs, we construct and support diverse avenues for commercial and nonprofit creative success. Through our advocacy, we work to ensure that Birmingham’s creative industries are recognized not only for their cultural impact but also for their contribution to the greater Birmingham area’s economic development.

Our organization was originally established in 2004 as the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham, based on a recommendation of the Cultural Master Plan for the Greater Birmingham Region, a comprehensive document addressing cultural needs and recommended strategies to address those needs.

By 2013, the creative landscape in Birmingham and the region looked very different than in 2003, and so we embarked on a new initiative to map a growth plan for Birmingham’s creative industries, the sum of both commercial and nonprofit creative work in the community. The launch of our new name, mission, and organizational model followed the 2014 release of our report Stoking Innovation in the Magic City: Birmingham’s Creative Industries.

Birmingham’s creative economy is only as strong as the spirit of community that supports its development, and we hope that you will join us in our efforts.

We want to be clear. Create Birmingham is an anti-racism organization. We strive, entrepreneur by entrepreneur, to build an inclusive and just economy in which Black business ownership is equitably resourced and purposefully nurtured. We intentionally spotlight and celebrate Black thought, contribution, and achievement in the arts and all creative work, and we will continue to seek out ways to amplify Black voices.

We believe that all humans are born with a spirit of creativity and a desire to outwardly express what is felt inward. It is a national sin to allow that spirit to be suppressed or extinguished.

The legacy of slavery perpetuates poverty and its accompanying disparities for our Black citizens. It is shameful.

We’re thankful that the spirit of the indomitable Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth is alive in Birmingham today, and we actively commit ourselves to the righteous cause of justice and equality.