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People, Places and Things

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By Gwen DeRu

TODAY…

**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Get all the latest news!

**COMEDIAN MARIO TORY at the StarDome Comedy Club.

FRIDAY…

**COMEDIAN JAMES GREGORY at the StarDome Comedy Club.

**MOVIE NIGHT: Check out some old, but good flicks/movies and show on a sheet in the backyard for the young and young at heart. Fun in the outdoors…any day!

SATURDAY…

**BOOK SIGNING – Dzire and the Vault Bar & Lounge is hosting a book signing ‘THE FOURTH WIFE’ by local author MEME WILLIAMS, 4- 8 p.m. at the Vault Bar and Lounge.

**COMEDIAN JAMES GREGORY at the StarDome Comedy Club.

**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitaire. Weeding the pretty flowers in the beds, cutting the grass, cleaning the grill or just sitting outside if the weather permits. Things are changing soon.

SUNDAY…

**COMEDIAN JAMES GREGORY at the StarDome Comedy Club.

**FAMILY TIME AND GOOD FOOD. Grilling in the backyard, movies in the backyard, parties in the backyard.

MONDAY…

**PLANNING AND MORE CATCH UP. Pull out that long to-do list and see what can be done during the week or weekend ahead. Making plans for the future and getting back to normal as best as you can.

TUESDAY…

**READ A GOOD BOOK… There are a few on the bookshelves, just lying around …or you can get an e-book.

WEDNESDAY…

**COMEDIAN DREW THOMAS at the StarDome Comedy Club.

**WEATHER WATCHING FOR THE WEEK AND WEEKEND. Looking for the weekend and thinking of what to do that depends on good weather outdoors. Getting out of the house even if going nowhere…. Take a walk if the weather is good.

NEXT THURSDAY…

**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!

**COMEDIAN DREW THOMAS at the StarDome Comedy Club.

NEXT FRIDAY…

**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com.

**COMEDIAN BRUCE BRUCE at the StarDome Comedy Club.

THINGS TO DO…

…VACATIONS WITH BOOKS AND VIRTUAL TRIPS…. When you need to get away from ‘whatever’, the best way is with a good book. Well, maybe the next thing to being there in the person. Many families are eager to get out of the house and hit the road for a summer trip. Make your summer travel plans safe and successful.

FOR BOOK LOVERS…

Here are a couple of books to read anytime, after washing your hands, before the news reports, during your down time or just to keep boredom away (with so much going on).

 
**BOOK SIGNING: THE FOURTH WIFE – Dzire and the Vault will present a book signing, Saturday, 4-8 p.m. at the Vault Bar and Lounge. The book ‘The Fourth Wife’ written by MEME WILLIAMS is a memoir that leads one to imagine meeting the love of your life and everything is going great, until it’s too late. Finding yourself trapped into a marriage you can’t seem to get out of. From lies and turmoil to triumph, MeMe found a way out to find her true self. Discover the powerful story about the dangers of a narcissistic relationship. MeMe is a mother, an entrepreneur, business owner and author.  She is a published model and is well versed in the entertainment industry. MeMe loves giving back to her community and helping people. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, exotic vacations and going to the beach.

**BOOK: GIRL IN THE MIRROR – The Book ‘Girl in the Mirror- Three Generations of Black Women in Motion’ written by NATASHA TARPLEY is a memoir that traces her grandparents’ move from Alabama to Chicago, her mother’s relocation to Boston after her father’s death and her own trip to Africa and back. From runaway slaves to the Great Migration, Black people have uprooted themselves in search of a better life. Migration has also meant loss, rootlessness, and separation from family, disconnection from ancestors and the past. Tarpley emerges in the lives, struggles and loves of those Black people who have traveled the road before her. The book offers a hopeful vision of how one can use the past to move forward.

**BOOK: ALABAMA NOIR – The book ‘Alabama Noir’ edited by DON NOBLE is one in the series of original noir anthologies launched with Brooklyn Noir in 2004. Each book comprises all new stories set in a distinct location. Alabama Noir is known for its fertile deep-south perspective and encounters troubles and foibles galore as well as darkness in many forms. The stories range from the deadly grim to some that are humorous. There is desperate behavior on the banks of the Tennessee River, in the neighborhoods of Birmingham, in the affluent suburbs of Mobile, in a cemetery in Montgomery and on the deceptively pleasant beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the authors are Thom Gossom, Jr. (Avondale, Birmingham), Anita Miller Garner (Florence), Suzanne Hudson (Fish River), Kirk Curnutt (Pike County), Wendy Reed (West Jefferson County), Carolyn Haines (Downtown Mobile), Anthony Grooms (South Titusville, Birmingham), Michelle Richmond (Point Clear), Ace Atkins (Gu-Win), Rani Howard (Escambia County), Tom Franklin (Clarke County), Brad Watson (Gulf Shores), D. Winston Brown (Ensley, Birmingham), and Marlin Barton (Montgomery)

FOR TRAVELERS OF ALL KIND…

**VIRTUAL TRIPS – Travel online – A virtual trip can be a great way to explore destinations you might consider for a future vacation, or it may be a chance to see remarkable sights around the world that you wouldn’t get to experience otherwise.

**BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDEN VIRTUAL TOUR – Explore the Japanese Gardes at nwww.youtube.com/watch?v=VRC3m1AsMig&feature=youtu.be. For more, go to www.bbgardens.org.

FOR BUSINESS LOVERS…

**SMALL BUSINESS WEEK July 13 – 17)  – Monday kicks off a week of workshops for small businesses – MONDAY (REV & Reginald Smith) – IDEATION WORKSHOP: Innovating Your Business for Future Growth, TUESDAY (Birmingham Biz Hub & Blackstd) – CIRCLE MAKER: How to Build Meaningful Collaboration & Engagement Amongst Entrepreneurs, WEDNESDAY (Black Girl Venture & Birmingham Improv Theatre)  – SO YOU THINK YOU CAN PITCH?: How to Effectively Present and Share Your Business Utilizing Improv Techniques. THURSDAY (Tate & Associates LLC & ISeek Solutions) – HOW TO SCALE: Systems and Processes for Success and FRIDAY (Uphill Consulting & Ace Graham of Alchemy)– COMMUNITY X CULTURE X CUSTOMER SERVICE: The Art of Customer Service Growing & Maintaining An Inclusive Customer Base. REV kicks off these noon events daily. FREE. Register at https://oed.birminghamal.gov.

FOR THE COMMUNITY…

**BIRMINGHAM INITIATIVES – Here are a couple of initiatives that are taking place supporting the Birmingham community. Visit the links and learn how you can contribute, support or volunteer in the efforts. *To support Black and locally owned businesses in Birmingham, visit www.wokevote.us/restore. *Join the community in supporting Mayor Randall Woodfin and the City of Birmingham to re-envision a new monument in Linn Park – one that represents a vision for an inclusive future. Donate today to be a part of something monumental.  www.gofundme.com/f/monumentalbhm.

**JOB SEEKERS – Looking for a job…*GOOD JOB is a site for job seekers looking for employment match up. *YWCA is a site for job seekers looking for employment. * SERVISFIRST BANK is a site. *ALABAMA SAWYER is a site. *HALF SHELL OYSTER HOUSE is a site. *HINKLE METALS AND SUPPLY is a site. *EBSCO is a site.

**COVID-19 TESTING SITES…Here is an update on the testing sites in Birmingham…

ONGOING –  *LEGION FIELD: MONDAY – FRIDAY 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, CALL 205-92-COVID (205-922-6843) …*UAB Downtown Testing Site: TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, CALL (205)-975-1881 (2117 University Blvd South, Birmingham, AL 35205) …*Cahaba Medical Care, West End Clinic: TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, CALL (205)-679-6325 or visit cahabamedicalcare.com (1308 Tuscaloosa Avenue, Birmingham)

FOR LOVERS OF FOOD…

**FARMERS TO FAMILIES FREE PRODUCE WEDNESDAYS – Avondale Samaritan Place, 3829 5th Avenue South is offering FREE fresh produce to families through July 22 starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays.

**FOOD AND FARM FORUM -The 2020 Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN) Forum is scheduled for December 10-12 at Camp Beckwith in Fairhope, Alabama. There is a Youth Food and Farm Forum, as well. Sessions are 50 minutes or two hours in length, and can be anything from a panel discussion to hands-on demo, roundtable discussion to a traditional presentation. Categories for topics include: Farming (Beginning and Advanced levels), Farm Business / Marketing, Community Food Systems / Food Movement, and “Green Living”. Submit your proposal at :
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc2rfoAVJCN2dLUQA6HNzBYulqMCo9xCPPp6WqQC-l-7xP-YQ/viewform. ASAN is a grassroots network of producers and supporters of locally, ecologically, and ethically raised food from throughout Alabama.

FOR COMEDY LOVERS…

THURSDAY…

**COMEDIAN MARIO TORY at the StarDome Comedy Club. Mario M. Tory, an up and coming comedian. Funny, witty, and down to earth, this ambitious comedian has had his opportunity to host, feature and involve himself in many outrageous open mic nights. Since his first appearance on stage at the Original Uptown Comedy Corner open mic night Tripping on Tuesday, featuring Grand Hustle, this talented young man hit the ground running! He was featured in a televised UPN talent showcase in his first month. In the months to follow Mario recorded his debut DVD entitled “I Ain’t Lyin”, at the famous Comedy House in Columbia South Carolina. He held down one of the longest running comedy nights in the southside of Atlanta at The Gate. He is also a graduate and a member of the Black Top Circus Improve Group (one of the few Black improve shows).

FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY…

**Comedian JAMES GREGORY -The Funniest Man in America returns! For over twenty years, the unforgettable caricature of veteran comic James Gregory has stood grinning: his blue shirt untucked, his arms outstretched, a carefree welcome to a down-home, hilarious storytelling experience. The trademark caricature is the essence of James Gregory´s comedy: whimsical reflections on life from the front porch.

FOR ART LOVERS AND YOUTH…

**NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK SOUTHERN ARTISTS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE – A part of the Surdna Foundation’s “Radical Imagination for Racial Justice” initiative, this new program supports projects that connect artists of color with local partners and residents to collaborate and co-design with a community-driven objective. This grant opportunity will provide $25,000 project grants to artists of color engaged in social change in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. NPN’s Southern Artists for Social Change endeavors to build relationships between artists, individuals, institutions, and communities with the vision of advancing racial and cultural justice in the arts and philanthropy. A select set of grantees may also have the opportunity for a Participatory Action Research (PAR) component that focuses on a grantee project, in collaboration with the Highlander Research and Education Center, Othering and Belonging Institute, and/or Southwest Folklife Alliance. The deadline for application is August 1, 2020. Learn more npnweb.org/programs/southern-artists-for-social-change/.

**SOUTH ARTS EMERGING LEADERS OF COLOR PROGRAM – With the goal of fostering representative leadership, diversity, and equity in the arts, South Arts’ new Emerging Leaders of Color Development Professional Development Program has created a professional development opportunity for arts and culture professionals to establish networks that support their careers. Focused on the southeastern United States, this program aims to engage diverse emerging leaders and build a cohort of cultural torchbearers who are committed to the advancement of arts. Selected individuals will participate in a 3-day, 2-night executive-level professional development and team-building workshop at no cost to themselves. The deadline for application is September 15, 2020. Learn more at www.southarts.org/programs-conferences/emerging-leaders-color.

**OUR TOWN – The National Endowment for the Arts – Our Town – The NEA’s annual creative place making grants program supports projects that integrate arts, culture, and design with the goal of strengthening communities and effect social change. By partnering with local government and cultural nonprofit organizations, grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 are available. Our Town projects endeavor to bring attention to and elevate community issues, voices, history, and cultural infrastructure and are committed to artist support, diversity, equity, inclusion, and supporting respect for diverse beliefs and values. Our Town FY2021 invites creative placemaking projects and innovative partnerships that respond to evolving and emerging local community needs. These may include efforts to support artists and cultural organizations in addressing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, artist unemployment, racial inequity, and other needs that may not be clear at this specific time. The deadline for application is August 6, 2020. Learn more at www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/grant-program-description.

**SUMMER ART CAMPS – Space One Eleven registration is open for students in rising grades 2 – 12.  *GRADES 2-5 – July 13 -17, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. *GRADES 6-12 – NOW, June 22 – 26 and July 6 – 10, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The camps are a great way for young artists to learn a new art form and improve their art skills. Families may qualify for FREE or REDUCED tuition. To register, visit www.spaceoneeleven.org/summer-art-camp-registration.

FOR MOVIE LOVERS…

**BLACK LENS FILMMAKER GRANT – The shared goal of amplifying Black voices in film, the Law Firm of Stacey A. Davis and Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema have partnered to offer a new grant that will award a $1,000 cash prize, a one-year Director’s membership to Sidewalk to the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema (a $2,500 value), and one free year of access to Sidewalk’s education/outreach programs. This opportunity is open to filmmakers at any stage of their careers who reside in Alabama, identify as Black, and are over the age of 18. Applicants must be in development, pre-production, production, or post-production on a motion picture project.  The deadline for application is August 1, 2020. Learn more at sidewalkfest.com.

AT THE SIDEWALK FILM CENTER + CINEMA…

**SIDEWALK HOME VIDEO – To rent/watch go to www.sidewalkfest.com/even.

**SIDEWALK VIDEO –JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, directed by Dawn Porter is a documentary film, 1 hour 36 minutes long…
Using interviews and rare archival footage, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE chronicles Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 80 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life.
Immediately following the feature, there will be a pre-recorded discussion between Representative Lewis and Oprah Winfrey, filmed last month and being made available exclusively for virtual cinema and in-theater engagements of the film. This is a wide-ranging, informal, 16-minute conversation that’s a perfect follow-up to the documentary, and could not be more relevant.

**TODAY….Additionally, all ticket-buyers are welcome to stream a live panel discussion presented by the Freedom Rides Museum of Montgomery, Alabama, featuring Freedom Riders Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Rip Patton in conversation with director Dawn Porter. In partnership with the Capri Theater. The live panel begins at 7:30 p.m. EST / 4:30 p.m. PST and will also be archived to watch afterward.

COMING SOON…

**JULY 17 – ALABAMA JAZZ FESTIVAL at Railroad Park.
**JULY 18 – FUNKIEST FUNKY FOOD TRUCK FEST at Cahaba Brewing Company
**AUGUST 8 – WOODLAWN STREET MARKET
**AUGUST 29 – FAIRY TALE BALL with Childcare Resources.
**SEPTEMBER 6 – IPUSH FOODIE & MUSIC FEST at Ensley,.
**OCTOBER 9-11 – BARBER VINTAGE FESTIVAL at Barber Motorsports Park.

Well, that’s it. Tell you more ‘next’ time. People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu is a weekly column. Send comments to my emails: thelewisgroup@birminghamtimes.com and gwenderu@yahoo.com.