Create Birmingham envisions a region where art plays a key role in creating a more inclusive and vibrant community. We believe that community arts projects should center artistic impact and experience while also advancing equity.
Each community arts project is an opportunity to bring local artists and community members together to create context and connection in the present while celebrating our rich history and shaping our shared future.
Create Birmingham also offers free professional development for local artists and nonprofits and serves as a key creative partner for local organizations, businesses, and municipalities. In addition, we provide resources and information on local, regional, and national opportunities for Birmingham area artists.
This grant program will support four community arts collaborations that benefit the City of Birmingham with grants of $10,000 each. Each collaboration supported will be a partnership between an artist or arts organization and a community organization. Funded projects will use the arts to address an issue impacting the City of Birmingham and must be accessible to the general public. Collaborations eligible for funding include workshops, performances, concerts, festivals, demonstrations, screenings, and readings. Projects may be first-time collaborations or continuations of existing work. The Eligibility Check is due August 18 by 11:59 pm and applications are due September 15 by 11:59 pm, for projects taking place between January 1 and December 1, 2024. Applications will be reviewed by a community panel consisting of one representative from each of the City of Birmingham’s nine districts, selected by their respective Birmingham City Council members.
Create Birmingham, in partnership with the City of Birmingham and funded by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and The Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Committee of the Birmingham City Council, invites Birmingham-based poets to apply to be Birmingham’s inaugural 2024-2025 Poet Laureate. The City of Birmingham Poet Laureate will serve as an ambassador for poetry in Birmingham. This is an honorary position and roles and responsibilities include making local appearances, facilitating public and educational programs, and building advocacy and community through poetry. The poet laureate will receive an honorarium of $5,000 over the course of their term. Additional funds will be available for materials and other approved costs associated with community engagement programs that the poet laureate facilitates. Applications are due October 2 by 11:59 pm.
In partnership with CreateHubs leaders Eric Pertilla and Kristena Hatcher, Create Birmingham holds a monthly comic strip competition and publication for students in Jefferson County. This initiative encourages creatives of all ages to explore job opportunities and career pathways in creative industries. In an effort to better engage with role models in the industry, we share all submissions with an outstanding group of industry leaders who serve as judges. Using a Four-Panel Comic Strip template, we encourage everyone to tell a story with a new prompt every month, with a $50 prize offered in each of the three age group categories: 8-12,13-16 & 17+.
Join us for Coffee with Creatives, an in-person morning meet-up for Birmingham’s creative community! Brew new ideas, forge collaborations, and gain insight from artists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. Meet-ups take place once a quarter on Friday mornings from 8:30 - 10:00 am. This program is free and open to the public. Capacity is capped at 100 participants, so make sure to register in advance. Our next Coffee with Creatives will be Friday, November 17th with Willie Williams.
Create Birmingham is partnering with The Curb to present a community arts event and makers market, showcasing outstanding creative work by artists and makers from across the area in Trussville. We co-hosted two markets in 2022 to support artists and makers, one on Saturday, June 4th and one on Friday, November 25th. Selected artists will receive mini-grants ranging from $150-$500 to underwrite their costs for participating in the market. This year, we will co-host one market during the holiday season. The new market date and the application for interested artists and makers will be announced later this year.
Little Amal - whose name means "hope" in Arabic - is a 12-foot puppet of a refugee Syrian child who has traveled to 13 countries. She began her journey from the Syrian border and carries a message of hope for displaced people everywhere, especially children who have been separated from their families. Her urgent message is simple – "don't forget us." Amal will journey 6,000 miles this fall from Boston to San Diego. She will be welcomed by 1,000+ artists at 100+ events in 35 towns and cities.
We were proud to welcome Amal to Birmingham in October!
The ARPA Creative Industries Recovery Grant Program is made possible by the City of Birmingham’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation, with funds made available by The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Committee of the Birmingham City Council. Grants will provide financial assistance to creative ventures that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty grants of $5,000 each will be awarded to City of Birmingham-based small businesses and nonprofits in the creative industries, including culture and heritage, culinary arts, design, media and film, performing arts, and visual arts and crafts. To be eligible, applicants must have annual revenue of under $1 million, have been operating in the City of Birmingham prior to March 2020, and provide documentation of financial hardship due to the pandemic. Applications are due June 30 by 11:59 pm, with notification in September and funds disbursed in December.
ALABAMA PREMIERE of Thumbs Up for Mother Universe: Stories from the Life of Lonnie Holley, a Film by George King
In 2022, in partnership with the Birmingham Museum of Art, Create Birmingham presented the Alabama premiere of this documentary, which traces the dramatic life of American artist Lonnie Holley from his impoverished beginnings and educational opportunities to becoming a revered visual artist and musician. The film also reveals Holley’s creative process—his insights into conservation, ecology, and the environment, and his sources of deep inspiration rooted in the spirit, southern life, and African American history and culture.
Create Birmingham served as the arts partner for the City of Birmingham on a public art project in the Smithfield neighborhood to enhance the intersection of 8th Avenue West and Center Street, working in collaboration with Smithfield stakeholders, the Smithfield Public Library, and local visual artist Lydia Walker. Made possible by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies' Asphalt Art Initiative, the collaborative installation of a new intersection mural took place on Saturday, October 15th, with a new sidewalk mural and improved lighting added to the Library Plaza in 2023.
The World Games 2022 and Create Birmingham created a workshop series to help young entrepreneurs develop their marketing skills. Students attended five virtual workshops and developed business strategies to implement during The World Games. Each student had a booth at The World Games Merchant Market, with the opportunity to showcase and sell products to an international market.
Film Birmingham / Create Birmingham supported GRAFFICA LIVE!, a free public event on April 23, 2022 that was held in conjunction with and funded in part by the Magic City Poetry Festival. The evening, hosted by T. Marie King, featured live performances by artists from the film including Artist/Creator/Director Yogi Dada; African Drum Company Sahi Ohn Ko Djony; and dancers from ASFA performing choreography by Germaul Barnes.
Create Birmingham joined the 39th Magic City Art Connection as a premier Cultural Partner on April 22 - 24, 2022. This partnership helped to provide a professional platform for the region's artists, leadership appointments for young adults, volunteer and exhibition training for high school and university students, and a place for our best nonprofit cultural organizations to meet an enthusiastic audience.