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Cornell Wesley, Director of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity (IEOP)

GWEN DERU

TODAY…

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

**GRAYSIN SLADE, RUMBLESTEIN & POSEIDON at the Nick.

**COMPUTER CLASSES AT THE FIVE POINTS WEST LIBRARY every Tuesday and Thursday.

**MOVIES EVERY THURSDAY at Sidewalk Fest.

**KARAOKE, 5-9 p.m. at Courtyard Alabaster Bar and Grill.

**THIRD THURSDAY BLUES JAM, 7 p.m. at True Story Brewing.

**TASTEMAKER THURSDAY – Every Thursday at Blaze Ultra Lounge, 228 Roebuck Plaza Drive, 8 p.m.- 12 a.m. with DJ Ace Twon (95.7 JAMZ) in the mix hosted by Audio Life and GMC Promo.

**THIRSTY THURSDAY at Hookah 114 17th Street No.

**TEQUILA THURSDAY at the Vibe Bar & Lounge.

**THROW BACK THURSDAY at Tha Vibe Bar & Lounge, 3801 Richard Arrington, Jr., Blvd.

**FILMMAKER HAPPY HOUR-Every 3rd Thursday, at Sidewalk Film Fest with other filmmakers and discuss your newest projects.

FRIDAY…

**QUE’S BAR & GRILL GROOVIN’ on 19th Street in Ensley.

**LIT FRIDAYS WITH RIPCORD, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 4501 Gary Avenue in Fairfield.

**TRIBUTE TO SADE AND FAITH EVANS with VOCALIST SHARRON COLLINS at Perfect Note.

**SUN NOT YELLOW with SUNDAY COMICS AND YANCEY at The Nick.

**AFRO CARIBBEAN NIGHTS (Every Friday Night) at Ash’s on 2nd, 7 p.m. until with Reggae, Afro Beats, Dancehall and Top 40 Hits.

**FIREBALL FRIDAY at Tha Vibe Bar & Lounge.

**FRIDAY NIGHT RAP, Every 1st and 3rd Friday at Crescent Cultural Center, 1121 Tuscaloosa Avenue, W.

SATURDAY…

**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

**WINE DOWN HAPPY HOUR, 4 p.m.- 9 p.m. at Saferoom Lounge Bar.

**MS. JOHNNIE AND THE JAMMERS Live After Five, 7-10 p.m. at Bistro on 19th located at 109 19th St. N., Bessemer. EVERY 2nd and 4th SATURDAY!!

**UNDEAD CROW with SOLID HOLLOW AND DRIVER at The Nick.

**NOTHING BUT THE BLUES with DENNIS MITCHELL at Perfect Note.

SUNDAY…

**WORSHIP AT THE SIXTH, 9:30 a.m. at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.

**SUNDAY FUNDAY for the grown Folks Kickback at Tha Vibe Bar & Lounge.

**SUNDAY/HAPPY HOUR, 2-5 p.m. at Sidewalk Film Fest.

**SOULFUL SUNDAY with SAXOPHONIST DELON CHARLEY at the Perfect Note.

**DRAG NIGHT at the Nick.

MONDAY…

**BIRMINGHAM BANDSTAND at the Nick.

**EVERY MONDAY is MONSLAYYY – THE CARIBBEAN WAY, 8 p.m. at the Vault with TRINI and BRENT TRINI-FRESH PIERRE. FREE.

TUESDAY…

**COMPUTER CLASSES AT THE FIVE POINTS WEST LIBRARY every Tuesday and Thursday.

**DIAPER GIVEAWAY every Tuesday, 10 a.m. at the Titusville Library.

**EVERY TUESDAY – TRUE STORY BREWING JAZZ SESSIONS, 7- 10 p.m., 5510 Crestwood Blvd.

**TASTY TUESDAYS at Platinum of Birmingham.

**EVERY TUESDAY LIT AND JAZZ with DAVID TALLEY AND FRIENDS, 7 p.m. at Lit on 8th, 518 Rev. Abraham Woods Blvd.

**FAT TUESDAY at Tha Vibe Bar & Lounge.

**VALENTINE’S NIGHT POCKET at The Nick.

WEDNESDAY…

**INTERFAITH NOONDAY PRAYER SERVICES every Wednesday, Noon at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham.

**WORKOUT WEDNESDAY at Five Points West Library at 10:30 a.m. for chair yoga and other chair exercises.

**WEDNESDAYS WEEKLY JAZZ JAM, 7- 10 p.m. at True Story Brewing Company, 5510 Crestwood Blvd. Food until 9 p.m. Music until 10 p.m. and Drink until 11 p.m.

**EVERY 4th WEDNESDAY at FACE’S LOUNGE KARAOKE hosted by ARETTA, 6:30 p.m. at 7070 Aaron Aronov Dr. in Fairfield.

NEXT THURSDAY…

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

**SHELLY FAIRCHILD with JADA CATO at the Nick.

NEXT FRIDAY…

**QUE’S BAR & GRILL GROOVIN’ on 19th Street in Ensley.

**LIT FRIDAYS WITH RIPCORD, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 4501 Gary Avenue in Fairfield.

**TRIBUTE TO TROMBONE SHORTY AND JEFF BRADSHAW with TROMBONIST CORD BRADLEY at Perfect Note.

**12 ELEVEN with ZYX & BLOOD MOON RIOT at The Nick.

IT’S 2023! NEWS TO USE…

**CONGRATULATIONS TO CORNELL WESLEY NEW DIRECTOR AT IEO – Recently named the Director of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity (IEOP) Cornell Wesley started his new position in January. Wesley started his firm Emblem Strategies, an economic development consulting firm in 2019.

FOR PERSONS INTERESTED IN HEALTH…

**NIH RECOVER INITIATIVE is a $1.5 billion national research effort to develop lasting treatment strategies for Long COVID, a debilitating condition affecting millions of people and their families. Learn as much as you can about Long COVID and what efforts are underway to begin testing potential treatments for Long COVID. COVID has hit minority communities the hardest and Long COVID is likely to, as well.

FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH …and full of everything!!

**LIFT EVERY VOICE Black History Month Festival – February 10-12 at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre. It is a FREE event open to all ages for three days celebrating and honoring achievements of Black artists in our community through theater, dance, music, poetry, art, literature, panels, talk backs, and workshops. A variety of performances and workshops will be offered from collaborating Black artists, educators, and organizations with a specific focus on making an impact on how we celebrate Black history.

**BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL with PHOTOGRAPHY OF KWAME BRATHWAITE OPENING RECEPTION, TODAY, 6- 8 p.m. at UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts with GUITARIST ERIC ESSIX.  Known as the “Keeper of the Images,” Kwame Brathwaite deployed his photography from the late 1950s through the 1960s as an agent of change.

FOR LOVERS ON VALENTINE’S DAY – Share something with those that you love. Show some love!!…DON’T FORGET IT!!!

AT BJCC…

**THIS SATURDAY…AN EVENING OF LOVE – THE LOVE REUNION featuring RAHEEM DEVAUGHN plus SUNSHINE ANDERSON & CALVIN RICHARDSON, 7 p.m. at BJCC Concert Hall.

**JAZZI’S ON 3RD VALENTINE’S DAY – Jazzi’s On 3rd Music Gallery is hosting it’s COUNTRY FRIED LOVE celebrating love’s holiday, Valentine’s Day, 6 p.m. with super crooner JAY LAMBERT AND THE SHOW with southern fried chicken dinner fm Creative Catering by Ambrosia. Go to tickets@jazzison3rd.com.

**WILL DOWNING and MAYSA + HANK STEWART at Alys Stephens Center.

FOR MARDI GRAS…

**MARDI GRAS PAINT AND SIP, next Saturday, 2 p.m. at Cahaba Brewing Company.

**MARDI GRAS CHICKEN PARADE, 4 p.m., next Saturday, at Mom’s Basement, 4411 Third Avenue South, by Redemptive Cycles.

**MARDI GRAS – PHAT TUESDAY EXTRAVAGANZA, February 21, 6 p.m. to midnight at the Boutwell Auditorium.

**FAT TUESDAY, February 21, 12 p.m. at Avondale Brewing Company.

FOR BUSINESS LOVERS…

**BIRMINGHAM URBAN LEAGUE IS HOSTING THE PRATT CITY BUSINESS ASSOCIATION INTEREST MEETING. The March 14 meeting is 6-7 p.m. at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church of North Pratt, 1330 Beall Street. If you are looking for support and to be involved with a team that protects your business, the Pratt City Business Association is preparing to form a board of dedicated individuals with your best business interest at heart.

**GENER8TOR PARTNERS WITH BRONZE VALLEY TO LAUNCH NATIONAL ACCELERATOR FOR DIVERSE STARTUPS – Global venture firm and startup accelerator, gener8tor, in partnership with Bronze Valley, a Birmingham-based early-stage venture fund, kicked off the inaugural Bronze Valley Investment Accelerator cohort which is focused on serving founders from backgrounds that historically have been excluded from access to capital. The Bronze Valley Investment Accelerator recruited startups nationally for the inaugural cohort. The five companies selected are 8 Myles, Athyltic, Major Care, Productions.com, and Promoshare. The VentureLab provides advisory services and intensive programming to people of color, female, and other underrepresented entrepreneurs to create pathways for their companies through ideation, investment, and scale through HBCU accelerator programs, one-on-one advising and support, and six-month accelerator programming that includes the Bronze Valley Investment Accelerator’s intensive three-month program. The Bronze Valley Investment Accelerator is held once per year with five companies accepted to ensure a high level of individualized attention. At the end of the Bronze Valley Investment Accelerator, startup founders will pitch their companies to investors, community partners and the public at a showcase event, April 27th at 5:30 p.m. at Lumi, which is located at 2201 2nd Ave. S., Suite 202, in Birmingham. Startup companies and founders interested in learning more about the Bronze Valley Investment Accelerator and resources or applying to a future program are encouraged to visit gener8tor.com/bronze-valley-venture-lab.

AT ALYS STEPHENS CENTER…

**FEBRUARY 20 – RITUAL + COMMUNITY HEALING.

**FEBRUARY 23 – RANKY TANKY with LISA FISCHER.

**FEBRUARY 28 – TAKE AN ARTPLAY CLASS.

**MARCH 19 – PATTI LABELLE.

**THROUGH MARCH 25 – DONTE K. HAYES – OBJECTS OF TOMORROW.

FOR THE YOUTH…

**APPLICATIONS FOR SUMMER 2023 INTERNS WITH REP. SEWELL – U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell’s Washington D.C. and district offices are now accepting applications for summer 2023 interns. College students and recent graduates interested in government and public service are invited to apply for a chance to spend the summer learning about Congress and the inner workings of a congressional office. Throughout the summer, interns will work closely with Rep. Sewell’s staff on a variety of important legislative, communications, and administrative tasks. Applicants must be enrolled in a college or university (rising juniors and older) or have recently graduated. Throughout the summer, interns will have the opportunity to research legislation, draft letters, compile media clips, answer constituent calls, and attend legislative hearings, briefings, and seminars. Candidates should be proactive, professional, dependable, and have an interest in federal policy and the legislative process. Candidates should also possess strong written and oral communication skills, the ability to multitask, attention to detail, and a willingness to learn. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 31, 5 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. ET. For more information including how to apply, visit https://sewell.house.gov/internship-opportunities.

**HBCU CULTURAL HERITAGE STEWARDHIP INITIATIVE – The Grant Deadline is extended to February 28. The program provides technical assistance and funds new Cultural Heritage Stewardship Plans. Funding empowers HBCUs with the resources to protect, preserve and leverage their historic campuses, buildings and landscapes, ensuring these academic institutions and symbols of African American pride are preserved to inspire and educate future generations. Funding will be provided in two categories: *Campus-wide Preservation Plans for the institution’s buildings, landscape and cultural assets, including but not limited to cemeteries, art and archival collections and monuments. Grants will be $150,000. *Preservation Plans, such as a historic structures report, a conditions assessment, or rehabilitation plan, for individual buildings or sites on the campus. Grants will be $60,000. For more info, go to: forum.savingplaces.orgactionfundgrants@savingplaces.org or grants@savingplaces.org.

FOR MUSIC LOVERS…

**LITTLE BIG TOWN: FRIENDS OF MINE TOUR – The tour will kick off in Birmingham at the BJCC Concert Hall on April 13 with Emmy Award-winning group, Little Big Town consisting of members KAREN FAIRCHILD, PHILLIP SWEET, KIMBERLY SCHLAPMAN and JIMI WESTBROOK.

AT SIXTH AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH

…SEE YOU AT THE SIXTH …

**EVERY MONDAY MORNING MEDITATION WITH PASTOR CANTELOW, 7:15 a.m. Contact the church at (205) 321-1136 or (205) 321-1137.

FOR BUSINESS LOVERS…IN ALABAMA…

**APPLICATIONS FOR SINGING RIVER TRAIL BUSINESS COMPETITION – Applications are now being accepted for the second Singing River Trail Launch Tank business competition. The competition is open to entrepreneurs in eight counties: Colbert, Jackson, Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison, Marshall and Morgan. Singing River Trail Launch Tank is a collaboration between Singing River Trail and the Launch2035 Entrepreneurship pillar. Applications will close on Feb. 24. To learn more and to apply, go to http://launch2035.org/launch-tank.

AT BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART…

**NOTINEE DARSHAN DANCE PERFORMANCE, February 26, 2 – 4 p.m.

**HAND-HELD: THE FOUR SEASONS IN CHINESE PAINTING through March 5.

**WAYS OF SEEING: SPORTS AND GAMES through May 21.

**WALL-TO-WALL: RICO GATSON through July.

AT OPERA BIRMINGHAM…

**HANSEL & GRETEL – Hansel and Gretel is April 21, 7:30 p.m. and April 23,2:30 p.m. at Alabama School of Fine Arts.

FOR FILM LOVERS…

AT SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL…

**KISS ‘EM OR DISS ‘EM: CALL ME BY MY NAME, Friday at 9:16 p.m. and Saturday, at 11:30 p.m.

**25th SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL is AUGUST 21-27 in the Downtown Birmingham’s Historic Theatre District.

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