“This is one of the most creative places in the country; we’ve got a lot of serious practitioners in the performing arts, literary arts, visual arts, culinary arts—people that have gotten national and even international attention from right here in Birmingham… And that’s something our curators and educators have really been focusing on—underscoring the talent within our own community and bringing artists onto our walls and our pedestals and our stages who are from this city.”
“A lot of other cities build parks that are designed for tourists. But the primary focus of Railroad Park has always been our residents… We wanted to make sure that if you live in Birmingham, you know that this park is for you.”
“In life, we can only go forward, and sometimes it passes us by so quickly. When I’m behind the lens, I’m forced to pay attention to the present. I get to press pause on what I see and what I feel and create something that maybe lasts forever.”
“At the end of the day, I want to know that I’ve done something to make this city a better place to live. Birmingham has so much to offer. We keep growing and getting better. It’s a city where we suffer the sins of our fathers, but we can keep working to change peoples’ attitudes and outlooks. You can’t change everyone, but if you can change one person you’ve done something worthwhile.”
Alana Baumann and Samra Michael are the creators of She Well Read, a podcast with the mission of empowering women by encouraging them to invest in themselves and others. The best friends share their love for reading by discussing their book picks chapter by chapter, mixing in anecdotes from their personal experiences and engaging with guests about current events. In this conversation, the pair talk about how they’ve cultivated their own creative passions before and
Jeff Nixon is Festival Co-producer and the event coordinator for Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema and serves on the Board of Directors for AIDS Alabama. The seasoned event producer shares with us how 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted his work at the end of what would normally be a busy month of organized gatherings to celebrate PRIDE, the shifts Sidewalk has made in their programming, and how our community can continue to support
Dr. Adrienne Starks is the founder and CEO of STREAM Innovations, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering young innovators, particularly in underserved schools and communities. The CO.STARTERS graduate shares with us her passion for science and the arts and her work as an AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Ambassador focused on spotlighting women working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in the media.
Erica Chisolm is a fine artist and muralist who has a vision of bringing art, beauty, and inspiration to pedestrians in Black communities — highlighting surrounding businesses, encouraging walkability, and adding value to the neighborhoods Erica describes as “culture-rich and art poor.” With a mission to help others realize their opportunity to dream, the Urban Impact fellow and National Black Arts Festival award recipient is painting her way through Birmingham’s historic Fourth Avenue Business District.
Eunice Elliott is a standup comedian, writer, and journalist. Formerly a sports public relations expert and news anchor, Eunice decided to pursue her passion for bringing people together through comedy and her series of children’s books based on her two dogs, Sugar Baby and Bella, that teach lessons of empathy and inclusion for all ages. Eunice hosts a podcast called “Oh No, Girl Yes” about her experiences and observations on dating as a single woman