Archive of ‘Community’ category

Motivation Monday: Birmingham artist offers African-American themed Christmas wrapping paper

Curly Contessa wrapping paper was created by Birmingham graphic artist Kristin Farmer. It features watercolor images of five women with natural hair. Farmer created the images. (Photo credit: Special)

Curly Contessa wrapping paper was created by Birmingham graphic artist Kristin Farmer. It features watercolor images of five women with natural hair. Farmer created the images. (Photo credit: Special)

By Chanda Temple

Birmingham graphic designer and watercolor artist Kristin Farmer has launched a holiday wrapping paper line that embraces girls with curls.

Known as Curly Contessa, the wrapping paper features five watercolor images of African-American women with natural hair. Farmer, who’s natural, painted the women. She included herself in one of the images.

Farmer rolled out the wrapping paper this month. And already, consumer interest has been rolling in for her.

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Wine and Food Festival set for Sept. 25 at the Birmingham Zoo

Bottles of wine will be fore sale during the Wine and Food Festival on Friday, Sept. 25. (Photo by Sara Franklin)

Bottles of wine will be fore sale during the Wine and Food Festival on Friday, Sept. 25. (Photo by Sara Franklin)

Discover new wines and support a good cause during the Wine and Food Festival on Friday, Sept. 25 at the Birmingham Zoo from 6 to 9 p.m. The zoo address is 2630 Cahaba Road.

There will be more than 500 wines to taste, plus winemakers and experts to answer questions. And while you’re there, enjoy tasty food from 35 vendors including Bryant’s Seafood and more.

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I’m here because of them

 

fourlittlegirlsstatue
In honor of the four girls killed in the Sept. 15, 1963 bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, I look back at how a Birmingham memorial in their honor became a reality in 2013. Located at the edge of Kelly Ingram Park in downtown Birmingham are statues in honor of Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley, all Birmingham City Schools students at the time of their deaths. 
 
This story looks at how Mountain Brook native Elizabeth MacQueen, the Four Spirits Inc. and the City of Birmingham worked to see the memorial completed.  All photos by Chanda Temple
By Chanda Temple
In 2012, a Birmingham organization known as Four Spirits Inc. launched a national competition in search of entries for a memorial to honor the four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of Sixteenth Baptist Church.
There were five entries from men. Elizabeth MacQueen was the only female.
When MacQueen’s design was selected in April 2013, she halted a project she was working on in Thailand so she could dedicate all of her time to the Four Spirits memorial.

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Jameis Winston tells Birmingham students: ‘You are smart.’

No.1 NFL draft pick Jameis Winston made a surprise stop at Birmingham's Ossie Ware Middle School today. (Photo: Chanda Temple)

No.1 NFL draft pick Jameis Winston made a surprise stop at Birmingham’s Ossie Ware Middle School today. (Photo: Chanda Temple)

By Chanda Temple

The gym at Birmingham’s Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School erupted into cheers this afternoon as No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Jameis Winston entered.

Winston, newly recruited to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, first joked about how the students could thank him for getting them out of class. He smiled. So did the students. But then things turned serious as he told students he was there to discuss three things: good grades, the way they carry themselves and confidence.

He asked students how many of them have good grades. Some laughed. He saw it as a teaching moment, encouraging students not to laugh at students making good grades because those students may be president one day.

“Don’t be ashamed about making good grades now,” he said, adding that good grades will lead to scholarships. The Hueytown, Ala. native received a scholarship to play at Florida State University, where he helped the school win a national championship and he was named a Heisman Trophy winner.

“I went to school for free, man!” he said.

Jameis Winston talks to students about the importance of having confidence, staying in school and making good grades. (Photo by: Chanda Temple)

Jameis Winston talks to students about the importance of having confidence, staying in school and making good grades. (Photo by: Chanda Temple)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8

And this is why teachers rock. Assistant Principal Tronci Southall-Mason makes a little boy's day after giving him an unsolicited push on the swing in Birmingham, Ala. Photos by: Chanda Temple

Assistant Principal Tronci Southall-Mason makes a little boy’s day after giving him an unsolicited push on the swing in Birmingham, Ala. Photos by: Chanda Temple

By Chanda Temple

I work for Birmingham City Schools in Birmingham, Ala., where the smallest things yield big changes.

Take the other day on a school playground where a little boy sat in a swing with a sad face. The play area was full of children’s laughter and conversation. But there sat the little boy, sort of slumped down in his swing with a solemn face.

His assistant principal was giving a tour to visitors and noticed the little boy’s face. She asked him if anything was wrong. He said no. She asked if he needed a push. He still said nothing.

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Books-A-Million contest seeks young authors and artists

Know a high school student with artistic talent? Encourage them to enter Books-A-Million new publishing contest. Image by Joan M. Mas via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Know a high school student with artistic talent? Encourage them to enter Books-A-Million new publishing contest. Image by Joan M. Mas via Flickr/Creative Commons.

By Chanda Temple

Books-A-Million is looking for aspiring artists and authors for its first publishing contest.

Students in grades 9 -12 may enter original poetry, short stories, essays, novels, photography or art for a chance to be published and appear on the shelves at Books-A-Million. Entries must be submitted by March 27, 2015.

Submissions must be at least 40 pages and no more than 800 pages. Entries can be the work of one student or several students.

All entries must be submitted by a faculty representative, with a maximum of five entries per school. The winning schools will receive publishing packages that include help with design and layout, as well as in-store placement. All royalties from book sales will go directly back to the school.

The first, second, and third place winning schools will also receive a donation of books of their choosing. at $3,000, $1,500 and $500, respectively.

Want to know more? Visit http://www.bampublish.com/contest for an application and contest rules.

Chanda Temple is a former journalist now working in public relations. She blogs at http://www.chandatemplewrites.com. Follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple.

A Birmingham coach scores big in basketball and blazers

Emanuel Bell, coach for the girls basketball team at Wenonah High School in Birmingham, Ala, always wears a suit to the playoff games. He's won two straight state championships in the last two years. Photo: By Chanda Temple

Emanuel Bell, coach for the girls’ basketball team at Wenonah High School in Birmingham, Ala, always wears a suit to the playoff games. He’s won two straight state championships in the last two years. He’s now in the running for the best dressed high school basketball coach. Photo: By Chanda Temple

By Chanda Temple

Birmingham, Ala. – Emanuel Bell was dressed for battle when he entered the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex arena to coach the Wenonah High School Lady Dragons to victory in the state 5A basketball finals on Saturday, Feb. 28.

Forget jeans and Jordans. His combat attire was a pressed black suit, white bow tie and polished Stacy Adams.

Fans noticed Bell’s sharp look as soon as he stepped onto the court. And so did al.com, which has him listed as a contestant in its poll for the Best Dressed Basketball Coach in the Alabama high school basketball playoffs. Voting is open now through12 p.m. on Friday, March 6. Go here to vote.

The Lady Dragons are also in the running as Best Girls’ Basketball Team in a separate poll. Go here to vote.

Bell, who’s 60 years old and has been a coach for 21 years, said he’s honored by the recognition and hopes people will vote in both polls. Votes may be cast daily. Here’s a closer look at his dressing skills off the court.  

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Head to Market Noel This Weekend in Birmingham, Alabama

The Junior League of Birmingham's Market Noel is always a fun event.

The Junior League of Birmingham’s Market Noel is always a fun event.

By Chanda Temple

‘Tis the season for giving and the Junior League of Birmingham has a way you can do that and help more than 30 community organizations this weekend.

For the sixth year, the Junior League of Birmingham will present its Market Noel at Cahaba Grand Conference Center, 3660 Grandview Parkway. General admission shopping takes place Friday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 90 vendors will be on hand to meet all of your holiday shopping needs over the weekend. Go here for a list of vendors

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