Volunteers wanted

Arts & Culture90.3 WBHM | Birmingham -- Now that officials with Region 2020 and a Massachusetts-based consulting firm have released their long-awaited arts and cultural master plan for Birmingham/central Alabama, volunteers are needed to serve in different groups to help attain the plan's goals. Priority areas include facilities, funding, technical assistance and neighborhood education.

"The success of the master plan depends on all of us," said Kate Nielson, president of The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. "This important work cannot be done without the continued involvement of citizens and arts organizations." Nielson is co-chairing the arts and cultural master plan implementation process.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Elizabeth Sims at Region 2020.

After nearly a year of research, public hearings and facilitated group meetings, Boston-based consultants Wolf, Keens and Company released their findings and laid out arts and cultural needs for the 12-county Birmingham region. Among the needs found in the report: increased funding for arts organizations, more cooperation between arts groups and local and state government and more minority participation in the arts.



History of the arts and cultural master plan

| Birmingham -- In the last ten months, there have been several public hearings and meetings - complete with facilitators - to discuss the details of a regional arts and cultural master plan. At the meetings, hosted by Region 2020, participants -- many of them leaders in arts organizations statewide -- discussed specific problems and possible solutions in the Birmingham area arts community.

At the outset of the arts and culture master plan discussion a year ago, civic leaders and residents showed up for an initial presentation and a chance to speak up about future plans. The open house broke ice between the consultants and the arts community. Some people in attendance told the panel that only a select few wield much of the community power and control with regard to money and publicity. A vast amajority called the initial step toward a master plan a constructive beginning with much to do.

Organizers say the final report, released at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham annual meeting, mirrors what's been discussed in the past year. They also say many of the community concerns are addressed in the master plan.



After A Ho-Hum Summer, Hollywood Ramps Up For Fall
Until Guardians of the Galaxy came along, this year's box office figures were the worst in years. But critic Bob Mondello says there are bound to be some fall films that get pulses pounding again.
Author Charles Cumming Ponders The Seductions — And The Sins — Of Spying
NPR's Madhulika Sikka profiles Cumming, the author of thoughtful spy sagas like A Colder War. Cumming's books provide plenty of action, but also grapple with the moral quandaries of espionage.
MK Asante's Poem 'In Summer' Honors Paul Laurence Dunbar
MK Asante reads a poem composed for Morning Edition titled, "In Summer." The Baltimore-based writer says it is in tribute to Paul Laurence Dunbar, an African-American poet.
Ghanaian Mystery Writer Says, 'It's Easy To Get Murdered In Accra'
And, author Kwei Quartey adds, "The police may not find you for a little while." That's why he chose to set his second Detective Inspector Dawson book in Ghana's capital.
'A Thousand Mirrors' Shows Two Views Of One Long, Brutal War
In her new novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, Sri Lankan-American author Nayomi Munaweera shows the decades-long Sri Lankan civil war from the perspective of two girls who witness the horror.
Fast-Talking 21-Year-Old Makes A Winning Bid For Auctioneer Glory
Auctioneering runs in Blaine Lotz's blood; he says he was "pretty near born in a livestock market." Now, he's won the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship — the Super Bowl of auctioneering.
Native American Artists Reclaim Images That Represent Them
While debates over the use of Native American imagery and heritage roil on, Native creators and entrepreneurs are asserting control over their own visual narratives.
The Same Until You Shuffle
Every answer this week is a made-up two-word phrase, in which both words start with 'S' and they're anagrams of each other.
This Time It's 'Personal': Lee Child Writes His 19th Jack Reacher Novel
The retired U.S. military policeman is in pursuit of a sniper in the latest installment of the suspense series. Child says its both fun and challenging to make these novels "the same but different."
Rescuing Science From The Military ... With Comics?
A new box set collects Matt Hawkins' comic Think Tank, which follows a sexy, scruffy scientific genius attempting to break away from his job developing lethal weapons for the military.
'Why Not?' David Mitchell On Mixing Fantasy And Reality In 'Bone Clocks'
The plotting in Mitchell's new novel isn't quite as complex as in previous works, but it takes an abrupt turn into dystopian fantasy towards the end. "It's what the book wanted to be," he tells NPR.
The Other Rock History
What makes an essential rock song? Music journalist Greil Marcus argues that it's not the stature of the performer, but the degree to which a song tells the story of rock 'n' roll itself.
When Wildlife Documentaries Jump The Shark
Networks like the Discovery Channel have been criticized for pushing entertainment at the cost of science, with fake "documentaries" about everything from mermaids to mythical monster sharks.
Travelling Books: Vintage Van Carries Literature Around Lisbon
A mobile bookstore, loaded with translations of Portuguese classics, drives around selling books to tourists and locals alike. The van, called Tell a Story, plans to start traveling throughout Europe.
The Abercrombie Logo Loses Its Luxe
Abercrombie & Fitch is shedding its traditional logo-focused apparel. That logo, and the clothes it was affixed to, made the brand one of the most sought-after among teens in the past two decades.