This free program is helping pre-K children learn valuable vocab skills in a unique way

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Vocabby's World event
Vocabby’s World is a free program teaching young children vocabulary words and more in Birmingham. Photo via Heath Mixon, photos were taken prior to the pandemic

Yellow taxi cabs aren’t just for hoofing it around New York City. In Birmingham, one of them sings, dances and provides local pre-K children with resources to grow their language and development skills. Vocabby’s World, a local vocabulary program sponsored by PNC Bank, is teaching new concepts to little learners through a fun mascot and community partnerships.

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The Holi Festival and 3 other events are safely bringing live entertainment to Bham from now through Apr. 9

Holi Festival
Photo Via Birmingham Museum of Art

It’s no secret that Birmingham has a thriving entertainment scene. From musical theater to live concerts, there is something for everyone. Due to the pandemic, Birmingham venues have had to find creative ways of providing us with live entertainment, while adhering to safety guidelines and making sure we are comfortable. Check out these four events that will provide you with quality live entertainment, while in the comfort of your home or vehicle!

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Eric Essix and Holiday Soul presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Center

Savor the holiday spirit with guitarist Eric Essix at a LIVE Virtual Drive-in concert, Sunday, Dec. 13, on the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus.

“Eric Essix and Holiday Soul” is presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. The 7:30 p.m. concert is sold out. A 5 p.m. concert has just been added.

Tickets are $25 per person; children under 12 are admitted free. Virtual Arts Pass subscribers can watch the concert at home with a live-stream link. Become a Virtual Arts Pass subscriber starting at $29 per month and enjoy this concert and other exclusive VAP events from the comfort of your couch. For full event information, or to purchase tickets, visit AlysStephens.org or call the ASC Box Office at 205-975-2787.

The event will be in the parking lot adjacent to the Hill Student Center and across from the Campus Green at 1500 University Blvd. The lot will open at 4 p.m., and vehicles will be parked in order of arrival. Chez Fonfon is the official drive-in restaurant partner for the ASC’s LIVE Drive-in concert series. The Alys Stephens Center wants you to show your holiday spirit; arrive early to sing carols, wear your holiday gear, decorate your car and get a car photo with Santa.

Through more than 30 years and 25 full-length album releases, Essix has maintained a steady flow of new music that continues to push the boundaries of contemporary jazz, and he has no intention to stop. That is evident with the most recent album release, “Songs from The Deep,” nine compositions all written, arranged and produced by Essix. This latest effort revisits the artist’s favorite theme, his Birmingham, Alabama, Southern roots. It is a project that reveals the soul of the man and his music as he continues to reconcile love for his homeland, its culture and people with its history, according to his artist’s bio. He takes pride in his Southern roots, which inspire a lot of his compositions. His music reveals his life’s many passions: faith, celebration of heritage and culture, and racial and gender equality. Essix draws on the power of his faith and music to create moving, spiritual jazz.

For the last 24 years, his primary melodic voice and trademark sound have emerged from his red Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion model guitar. Essix is a graduate of Berklee College of Music.

This new law could help Birmingham’s performing arts organizations survive COVID + how you can help

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra and ASO Choir before COVID
Oh what a spectacle: a full choir, a full symphony and a full house. Photo via The Alabama Symphony Orchestra

On Tuesday, September 1, from 9PM-midnight, look for the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Iron City, The Alabama Theatre + The Lyric lit up in red. Together with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (ASO), they’re joining other theaters and event venues across the continent for the #RedAlertRESTART campaign. The goal? To shine a light on the industry’s current COVID-related struggle.

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7 ways people with roots in South Asia are shaping the future of Birmingham today

South Asian influence Birmingham - people in art museum sculpture garden
Members of the Indian Cultural Society at the Birmingham Museum of Art in the Sculpture Garden. Photo via Indian Cultural Society at the Birmingham Museum of Art’s Facebook page

In 690 days, Birmingham will be hosting The World Games 2022. As we prepare, we decided it was a good time to explore the rich international influence of different groups who live here. We’re starting with how people and organizations from the Indian subcontinent have been shaping the cultural conversations here for years.

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Alabama Ballet, ASO + more host first Birmingham Arts Drive-In July 30-31

Get ready for a night of performances with some of Birmingham’s most beloved performing arts organizations. Photo via ASO on Facebook

On July 30 and July 31, multiple Birmingham performing arts organizations are joining forces to bring a night of inspiring sights and sounds to the Magic City with the first Birmingham Arts Drive-In. If you’ve missed the performing arts as much as we have, keep reading to find out how you can see the show—plus, more ways to support the arts in Birmingham today.

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NPR Tiny Desk winner and disability rights advocate Gaelynn Lea to play UAB concert on February 8

NPR Tiny Desk winner Gaelynn Lea will be playing at UAB on Friday, February 8 at the Alys Stephens Center. Photo Credit: Richard Carter. Courtesy of UAB

In 2016, NPR held its annual Tiny Desk Contest, as part of their popular Tiny Desk Concert series, which has been viewed on You Tube more than 2 billion times, and has millions of loyal followers on radio. Out of more than 6000 contest video entries from all over the world, a jury of high profiled musicians came back with one unanimous winner – Gaelynn Lea.

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Steve Vai to rock with Alabama Symphony Orchestra at Sound Edge Festival 2018. Get tickets for 3 unique performances Oct. 30-Nov. 2.

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Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Sound Edge Festival, Steve Vai
Steve Vai. Photo submitted

Gripping tangos, modern soundscapes, a new composition by Alabama native Martin Kennedy—and Steve Vai? One of the great guitarists of all time? You bet. Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s annual Sound Edge Festival expands the definition of a night at the symphony to our surprise and delight. Grab your tickets for three evenings of music at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, Oct. 30, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.

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Like French cuisine, Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s Bolero is rich and unforgettable

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Alabama Symphony Orchestra
Carlos Izcaray, photo courtesy of Alabama Symphony Orchestra

If you ever have the pleasure to experience French cuisine, its the attention to detail, the rich flavors, diverse ingredients and the art of pulling it all together that sets it a part from dishes around the world.

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This week in Birmingham: New Year’s edition!

birmingham alabama string theory
Meet String Theory! – via stringtheorybhm.com

My family has a Christmas tradition: bacon and orange rolls for breakfast.  That leaves us all feeling a little woozy from the sugar high, but we still love it!  If you’re looking to recover from your own Christmas tradition, check out this week’s guide to what’s going on in Birmingham! Continue reading “This week in Birmingham: New Year’s edition!”

This week in Birmingham: December 14-20

mutt cracker birmingham alabama
This week in Birmingham: dog ballet! – via artsbham.com

If you read this on Tuesday, December 12th, then go vote!  I won’t tell you who to vote for because you probably already know who you prefer, but just go and vote!  10 events and an anti-event are highlighted this week.  Let’s go ahead and get the anti-event out of the way: “All Birmingham Public Library locations are closed December 14 for Inventory Day.”  Now on to the fun stuff! Continue reading “This week in Birmingham: December 14-20”