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PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS WITH GWEN DERU
TODAY…
**MAGIC CITY BLUES SOCIETY at Perfect Note.
**COMEDIAN CASIO KID at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Get all the latest news.
**WATCH LOTS OF MOVIES …after dinner and with the family and friends. Check out the Sundance Film Festival.
**LAST NIGHT FOR MOVIE: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI at Sidewalk Cinema. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!!
FRIDAY…
**TRIBUTE TO ISLEY BROTHERS featuring RYAN KEYZ at Perfect Note.
**COMEDIAN SHUAN JONES at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**ENJOY THE DAY …the food, reading books, watching movies, taking a nap or just talking with loved ones and friends on the phone.  Get outside! Get some sun if you can!
SATURDAY…
**DRIVE-IN CAMPAIGN KICKOFF with MAYOR WOODFIN, 11 a.m. at George Ward Park, lower parking lot.
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
**WINE DOWN HAPPY HOUR, 4-9 p.m. at Saferoom Lounge Bar.
**COMEDIAN SHUAN JONES at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitaire, Shopping, Eating. Times are changing soon.
**CHARLIE WILSON – KEITH SWEAT TRIBUTE w/DAVID MITCHELL at Perfect Note.
SUNDAY…
**COMEDIAN SHUAN JONES at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FAMILY TIME, GOOD FOOD AND MOVIES.
MONDAY…
**READ A GOOD BOOK…There are a few on the bookshelves, just lying around are some to read …or you can get an e-book. BOOK: LEAVING PIPE SHOP-MEMORIES OF KIN on February 6, 6- 7:15 p.m. an online event.
**LIVE FROM THE STARDOME with RICKEY SMILEY KARAOKE.
TUESDAY…
**READ A REAL GOOD BOOK…You might like cookbooks, to-do books, game books, picture books. You might like: JOEY: THE STORY OF JOE BIDEN. Check it out!
WEDNESDAY…
**INTERFAITH NOONDAY PRAYER SERVICES every Wednesday, Noon at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham.
**IT IS WET AND IT IS COLD …focus on NEW RESOLUTIONS, HEALTHY EATING HABITS and so much more. A NEW YEAR, A NEW DAY!!
**COMEDIAN RONNIE BULLARD at StarDome Comedy Club.
NEXT THURSDAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!
**COMEDIAN RONNIE BULLARD at StarDome Comedy Club.
NEXT FRIDAY…
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com. Don’t miss ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…and other movies at Sidewalk Cinema.
**COMEDIAN RONNIE BULLARD at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**LIT FRIDAYS WITH RIPCORD, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 4501 Gary Avenue in Fairfield.
FOR POLITICAL LOVERS, PEOPLE INTERESTED IN POLITICS AND PEOPLE THAT VOTE…
With the national campaign for President and Vice President over, the doors have opened for state and local elections. (Look for what I get, right here.)
**BIRMINGHAM MAYOR RANDALL WOODFIN is hosting his DRIVE-IN CAMPAIGN KICKOFF, Saturday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at George Ward Park in the lower parking lot, 1901 Green Springs Avenue South, 35209.
**COMMISSIONER LASHUNDA SCALES announced her campaign to run for MAYOR recently.
FOR COMMUNITY LOVERS…
**AARP CORONAVIRUS UPDATES – AARP is hosting two events TODAY, FIRST EVENT at 1 p.m. – VACCINE DISTRIBUTION AND PROTECTING YOURSELF, a live Q&A event that will provide updates on the coronavirus vaccine distribution, the crisis in nursing homes and how communities are responding as the pandemic continues. Call 855-274-9507 toll-free to submit a question.  SECOND EVENT – A VIRTUAL WORLD AWAITS: FINDING FUN, COMMUNITY AND CONNECTIONS, with a live Q&A that will focus on resources to learn, grow, develop skills and habits, and explore the world around us to take care of your mind, body and health during the pandemic. Call 855-274-9507 toll-free to submit a question.
**AT VULCAN PARK AND MUSEUM…
TODAY… Vulcans Community Awards Honorees for 2020 are honored by the Vulcan Park Foundation at 6:30 p.m. for the annual The Vulcans Community Awards presented by Medical Properties Trust. The virtual program hosted by EUNICE ELLIOTT. Vulcan Park & Museum annual banquet celebration will be a year of sharing stories and honoring selfless individuals. Honorees will be recognized in two ways – a virtual awards celebration and an exhibit. The five-month exhibit showcasing the work and efforts of these great individuals will open inside the Linn-Henley Gallery. These prestigious awards honor 10 citizens who exemplify civic pride, leadership and progress in four award categories: Lifetime Achievement, Hero, Game Changer and Servant Leadership. Last year’s 2020 Honorees are: THE VULCANS – Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Perry W. Ward of Lawson State Community College, Hero: Madison Kerns Conrad of Urban Avenues, Game Changer: Amanda Storey of Jones Valley Teaching Farms and Servant Leadership: T. Marie King. SPEARS – Heroes: Milton King of Determined 2 Be Mentor and Leadership Program (D2B), Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Moreman, Game Changers: Keith Richards of Taziki’s Mediterranean Café/The HOPE Program, Alicia Johnson Williams of Make It Happen Theatre, and Servant Leadership: Dr. Karim Budwhani of CerFlux, Inc., Quan & Nga Nguyen of Dang’s Alterations. For more, contact the Vulcan Park and Museum Development Department at 205.203.4822 or email thevulcans@visitvulcan.com.
**FOR FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS…HEALTHY HOMESTEAD is presenting information on ‘How to Become a First Time Home Buyer’, Friday, 1 p.m. with Regions Bank Mortgage Loan Originator ZONETTA MCCRAY, Attorney RONNIE RICE, and Founder/Partner ARC Realty MICHELLE WILDER. The event is hosted by The links and Fair Housing Center of Northern Alabama and presented by The National Trends and Services Facets.  REGISTER at: https://bit.ly/35Cfvs1.
**FREE REIKI HEALING – The event will have meditation, reiki share ancestral prayers and more – SUNDAY, 3-5 p.m. Hotline (205) 616-1639 and (205) 356-6419.
Coming Soon…
**BIRMINGHAM JEWISH FEDERATION CAMPAIGN – The Birmingham Jewish Federation campaigns ‘Federation Today for a Brighter Tomorrow’ starts FEBRUARY 6 with A FAMILY CAMPAIGN KICKOFF AND VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION, 6:30 p.m. at Grand River Drive In with a special movie screening of ‘An American Tale’ for children, parents, grandparents and those who are young at heart. MARCH 10 is the COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN PROGRAM: A Conversation with the SON OF HAMAS – MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF on Zoom at 7 p.m. APRIL 17 is the NEXT GEN AND YBIB CAMPAIGN EVENT, 7-9 p.m. with the location to be announced later. For more info call (205) 879-0416 or federation@bjf.org.
**STAY WOKE Community Health event. FEBRUARY 10, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. at 2304 12th Avenue North with Free Flu Shots, Free COVID Testing and Free HIV Testing presented by Dr. K. First Come! First Served. All are welcome.
**MAGIC CITY MARKET PLACE at Good People Brewing and Urban Supply, 1- 5 p.m.   on MARCH 6, MARCH 20, APRIL 3 AND APRIL 17. For more: magiccitymarketplace@gmail.com.
FOR FOODIES…
**FOOD FREEBIES FOR SENIORS – Sisters From AARP are sharing FREE things related to food each month…JANUARY – January 31: National Hot Chocolate Day. What’s better than a warm cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s day? Check with local restaurants.
FEBRUARY – February 6: National Frozen Yogurt Day – Perhaps the timing of this holiday is meant to help with those New Year’s resolutions. In any case, frozen yogurt fans can usually scoop up the sweet treat for free at chains like TCBY, sweetFrog and Yogurtland. February 9: National Pizza Day – Wherever you buy pizza, you’re likely to find a deal on this day. Pizza chains typically run discounts and promotions, so be sure to check with your favorite pizza place. February 12: Chinese New Year – Bring in the Year of the Ox with promotions from Panda Express, Manchu Wok and other Chinese and Asian food chains. In years past, customers have scored free food, merchandise and even trips. (Look for more.) February 14: Valentine’s Day. – BOGO deals abound on this day, so bring your boo, bestie and anyone you love along with you. Previous years’ deals include BOGO drinks from Starbucks and BOGO heart-shaped pretzels from Auntie Anne’s. (Look for more each month.)
FOR MUSIC LOVERS…
**FEBRUARY 13 – EX FACTOR featuring SHERRI BROWN, February 13, 7 p.m. at Perfect Note.
**FEBRUARY 20 – TRIBUTE TO THE KING OF REGGAE “BOB MARLEY”, 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. featuring CULTURE DREAD at 1801 11th Avenue North.
FOR BOOK LOVERS…
…HERE are a few good books… Since the election of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, books and books related to him and her are more readily available. Check them out (Some taken from Book Riot)
**BOOK: JOEY: THE STORY OF JOE BIDEN by DR. JILL BIDEN (author) and AMY JUNE BATES (illustrator). Joey is the first ever picture book about the young life of Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, and includes never before told family stories about the president-elect and former vice president’s childhood—written by Jill Biden, his spouse. Joe Biden grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the oldest of four children. His parents always encouraged him and his siblings to be independent and strong. The family moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where at twenty-nine, Biden was elected one the youngest United States Senators ever elected. This is his story.
**BOOK: SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE by KAMALA HARRIS and illustrated by MECHAL RENEE ROE. Before Kamala Harris was elected to the vice presidency, she was a little girl who loved superheroes. And when she looked around, she was amazed to find them everywhere! In her family, among her friends, even down the street–there were superheroes wherever she looked. And those superheroes showed her that all you need to do to be a superhero is to be the best that you can be. In this empowering and joyful picture book that speaks directly to kids, Kamala Harris takes readers through her life and shows them that the power to make the world a better place is inside all of us. And with fun and engaging art by Mechal Renee Roe, as well as a guide to being a superhero at the end, this book is sure to have kids taking up the superhero mantle (cape and mask optional).
**BOOK: CHAMP AND MAJOR: FIRST DOGS by JOY MCCULLOUGH (author) and SHEYDA ABVABI BEST (illustrator). This is a picture book about Champ and Major, President-elect Joe Biden’s two dogs! Major will be the first shelter dog in the White House, and Champ can’t wait to show him around. Champ and Major’s dad, Joe Biden, just got a really important job: He’s going to be the new president of the United States! Champ is excited to go back to the White House–he got to visit it when his dad was the vice president, before the family adopted Major, and he knows about all the important work that happens there. Major is going to be one of the first rescue dogs to live in the White House, and Champ can’t wait to show his little brother around. Soon, Champ and Major will be in their new home, and they’re going to bring a lot of fun with them!
FOR MOVIE LOVERS…
Don’t Miss – LAST DAY!  MOVIE: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (2020), directed by REGINA KING, is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the ’60s. LAST DAY Screening at Sidewalkfest.com.
**SIDEWALK PARTNERS WITH SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2021 – Join movie lovers in downtown Birmingham TODAY through February 3 at Sidewalk Cinema and at the Starlite Pop-Up Drive-In. (For more, go to: sidewalk@sidewalkfest.com.)
Here are a few of the films….
**MOVIE: HIVE (2021) is a narrative directed by Blerta Basholli. Fahrije’s husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo. She sets up her own small business to provide for her kids, but as she fights against a patriarchal society that does not support her, she faces a crucial decision.
**MOVIE: COMING HOME IN THE DARK (2021) is a narrative directed by JAMES ASHCROFT. A school teacher is forced to confront a brutal act from his past when a pair of ruthless drifters takes him and his family on a nightmare road trip.
**MOVIE: SON OF MONARCHS (2020) is a narrative directed by ALEXIS GAMBIS. A Mexican biologist living in New York returns to his hometown, nestled in the majestic butterfly forests on Michoacan. The journey forces him to confront past traumas and reflect on his hybrid identity, sparking a personal metamorphosis.
**MOVIE: MOTHER SCHMUCKERS (2021) is a narrative directed by HARPO GUIT and LENNY GUIT. Issachar and Zabulon, two brothers in their twenties, are supremely stupid and never bored, as madness is part of their daily lives. When they lost their mother’s beloved dog, they have 24 hours to find it – or she will kick them out.
**MOVIE: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (2012) is a narrative directed by BENH ZEITLIN. Highlighting one of the most successful films to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival was shot in Terrebonne Parish, Montegut and New Orleans, Louisiana.  Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.
**MOVIE: JOCKEY is a narrative not rated and directed by CLINT BENTLEY. An aging jockey aims for a final championship, when a rookie rider arrives claiming to be his son.
**MOVIE: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD is a documentary directed by Kristina Lindstrom. In 1971, due to the world premiere of Death in Venice, Italian director Lucino Visconti proclaimed his Tadzio as the world’s most beautiful boy. A shadow that today, 50 years later weighs Bjorn Andresen’s life.
**MOVIE: PHILLY D.A. is directed at YONI BROOK and TED PASSION. A groundbreaking inside look at the long shot election and tumultuous first term of Larry Krasner Philadelphia’s unapologetic District Attorney, and his experiment to upend the criminal justice system from the inside out.
**MOVIE: LIFE IN A DAY 2020 is a documentary directed by KEVIN MACDONALD. Ten years after the 2011 Sundance film Festival premiere of Life in a Day, award winning director Macdonald returns to Sundance to present the story of another day on Earth: July 25, 2020. Following the concept of the original, Life in a Day 2020 is an extremely ambitious crowd sourced documentary, this one compiled from 14,000 hours of footage submitted in collaboration with YouTube and Ridley Scott’s RDSA Films. Look for more at sidewalkfest.com.
**STOWE STORY LABS 2021 APPLICATION SEASON OPENS – Sidewalk Film Fest is partnering with the Labs for the Third Annual Sidewalk/Stowe Narrative Lab. The Stowe Story Labs was founded to help top emerging screenwriters, filmmakers and creative producers from around the world get work made and seen. The 2021 Programs include: MAY 14-18: Stowe Writers Retreat, JUNE 5-8: Stowe Narrative Lab, AUGUST 25-28: Sidewalk Narrative Lab (Remote) and SEPTEMBER 3-7: Stowe Writers’ Retreat. Apply at Sidewalkfest.com.
**FEBRUARY’S BOOK AND FILM CLUB…
Book: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes Hollywood by KARINA LONGWORTH.
FILM: The Aviator (2004) directed by MARTIN SCORSESE.  Deadline to register is February 3, at 7 p.m. Discussion Date: February 24th, 7 p.m. via Zoom. Book + Film Club will remain virtual through June 2021. Email kiwi@sidewalkfest.com  for more.
FOR LOVERS OF ART AND CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT…
AT STEPHEN SMITH FINE ART…
**HEALERS IN THE SKY, PENTACLE IN MY HEART is a solo exhibition by LANETTE BLANKENSHIP. The Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m. at the Stephen Smith Fine Art Gallery in Fairfield. This exhibition will coincide with the Grand Opening of GYPSY TREASURE, an antique emporium located within Stephen Smith Fine Art.
AT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART…
**JACOB LAWRENCE: THE AMERICAN STRUGGLE through February 7, 2021.
**AN EPIC OF EARTH AND WATER Claire Leighton and the New England Industries Series through May 2, 2021.
**ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL through March, 2021, primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection that looks at themes of power and agency. This exhibition takes its name from a painting by Amy Sherald, whose portraits depict Black sitters with pride, dignity, and joy, representation historically only afforded to white people. Some artists in the exhibition look towards power in other creative endeavors, like music. Others contemplate the hidden potential of everyday objects by transforming them into works of art. Several artists engage the representation of space and architecture – including museum spaces – to discover the dynamics of power. Considered together, these works illustrate the importance of being seen, choosing how to be depicted, and telling one’s own history.
**WAYS OF SEEING – BUILDINGS AND MONUMENTS through March 2021
**WALL TO WALL – MERRITT JOHNSON through Spring 2021. BMA hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays Noon – 5 p.m. with virtual offerings will continue, including live programs, meditation exercises, art-making activities and much more!
FOR DAYHIKES IN THE PARKS…
* SATURDAY DAYHIKE, Meet 8:45 a.m. with Southeastern Outings Dayhike at Brushy Creek and Sougahoagdee Falls, Bankhead National Forest – DETAILS: The hike will be six miles long and is rated moderate. Follow a beautiful trail which runs from the Brushy Creek Bridge along the creek. Observe about nine waterfalls on this route. See lovely cliffs, hemlock trees, canyons and perhaps some additional waterfalls. Time permitting, visit the nearby natural bridge (not the one at the town of Natural Bridge) in the Natural Bridge Recreation Area of the Bankhead National Forest. Carefully-supervised, well-behaved children age 8 and older welcome. Bring a picnic lunch and water. Optional dinner after at a delightful Italian restaurant in Double Springs. Meet 8:45 a.m. at the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride. Plan to depart at 9 a.m. Or, meet the group at 9:20 a.m. at the Mile 300 Rest Area on I-65. Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net  or 205/631-4680.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS…
AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB…
**COMEDIAN CASIO KID… Matt Mitchell describes himself as “a pure southern mash boogie comedian from Alabama with bare feet, mush-mouthed drawling and a mile-wide social streak.” He doesn’t know what that means, but he saw it on a Lynyrd Skynyrd bio and thought it sounded cool.
**FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY…COMEDIAN SHUAN JONES… For more than 19 years, the comedy world’s senses have been tantalized by both audio and visual artistry. The young man known as Shaun Jones is truly making his mark everywhere he goes, with his quick wit and fashionable flair. Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey and having lived in Los Angeles for a short time, Shaun now calls Atlanta, Ga. his home. He has traveled worldwide entertaining crowds, using many of his personal life experiences to get a good laugh. Like an accomplished chef, Shaun’s comedy combines a cup of truth, a tablespoon of originality, and a double twist of humor.
**MONDAY…LIVE FROM THE STARDOME RICKEY SMILEY KARAOKE… Karaoke Night with Rickey Smiley is BACK and this time we’re bringing the fun directly to you! Join us for a NATIONWIDE live streaming event with host Rickey Smiley. Can’t make it to the StarDome to get in on the fun? Grab your virtual tickets and watch the show on the go! Enjoy incredible karaoke performances, surprise special guests, and a good time only Rickey Smiley can provide.
**WEDNESDAY through NEXT SATURDAY…. COMEDIAN RONNIE BULLARD…
**COMING SOON – COMEDIANS KELLY