The Birmingham Children’s Theatre is gearing up to host its first festival in honor of Black History Month.
The Lift Every Voice Festival is a three-day celebration honoring the achievements of Black artists in the community through theatre, dance, music, poetry, art, lectures, and workshops.
The festival, which is free of charge, will run from Feb. 10 to Feb. 12 at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre, located at the BJCC in downtown Birmingham. Lift Every Voice is made possible through a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.
For three days, the BCT will offer a variety of performances and workshops from collaborating Black artists, educators, and organizations. Registration for the festival is available online.
Lift Every Voice is the brainchild of Dr. Tramelle Shambray, the theatre’s education and engagement coordinator. Shambray first brought the idea of holding a festival in celebration of Birmingham’s Black history to the organization in November 2021.
“We are so excited for Birmingham and the surrounding areas to witness this monumental festival that displays Black excellence in all forms for audiences of all ages,” Shambray said in a press release.
Festival events kicked off on Feb. 10, followed by performances from BCT’s resident artists, Ramsay High School Theatre, Kingdom Ink Entertainment, and Nathifa Dance Company; day-long access to performances; art workshops; a reading from Alabama poet laureate Ashley M. Jones; and a screening of the documentary “SHUTTLESWORTH,” Alabama Public Television’s film chronicling the life and legacy of civil rights leader Fred Shuttlesworth. The full schedule of events is available at bct123.org/lift-every-voice.
“I am elated to create and hold artistic space and celebrate Black History Month with our incredible community partners from Black-led cultural and arts organizations from across the city,” said Carlton V Bell II, the founder of Birmingham Black Repertory Theatre and the festival’s artistic outreach coordinator, in the same press release.