This Thursday, the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will present the latest installment in the panel discussion series, BMA Speaks.
“BMA Speaks offers a dynamic platform for conversations about the realities and nuances of topics relevant to the city and beyond,” according to the Birmingham Museum of Art’s website. “This month, we’ll explore Birmingham’s renaissance through a panel discussion featuring a variety of voices speaking about this topic, using recent conversations and events as a starting point. This platform offers attendees the opportunity to participate in the conversation by asking their own questions and to join the panelists in examining this topic.”
The phrase “Birmingham renaissance” has been tossed around for quite some time, referring to an apparent upswing in cultural, financial and civic accomplishments as perceived by a core group of politicians, writers and community leaders.
“Birmingham is in the middle of a renaissance — and I want the world to know,” wrote Merrill Stewart in September for Al.com’s Comeback Town edited by David Sher. Stewart pointed out the Woodlawn Foundation, the Theater District, UAB Football and Birmingham’s museums among other entities as examples of Birmingham’s resurgence into relevance.
Where there are idealists, there are also realists and pessimists. BMA Speaks will offer a platform for every side of the issue with panelists including poet, writer and musician Sharrif Simmons; Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s head of education Ahmad Ward; Al.com columnist John Archibald; and Community Organizer Zac Hansen, and moderated by Max Rykov.
This free event will take place at the Birmingham Museum of Art from 6 to 8:30 p.m.