Last weekend, Birmingham celebrated City Stages amid speculation about the festival's finances. This afternoon, festival organizers announced the end of City Stages. In a statement, the Birmingham Cultural and Heritage Foundation says it's 'irretrievably insolvent' and is going out of business. The foundation cites low attendance and ticket sales and mountain debt from years past. Around Birmingham this afternoon, people expressed a mix of emotions.
Scott Register - host of the radio program Reg's Coffeehouse - served on the City Stages programming committee for years. He says he's devastated.
So, what happens next? Will City Stages return under new management? What about the half-million dollars in debt the festival accrued? Those are songs yet to be written.
June 25, 2009...
Playwright Del Shores is known for campy, bawdy southern characters. His play, Sordid Lives, spawned a TV series for the cable network, Logo. Shores grew up in Texas, the son a Baptist minister. He later found success as a sitcom writer and later as a playwright. The characters in his plays are drawn for real life. And for Southern audiences, they strike a chord. Shores now lives in Los Angeles with his husband, actor Jason Dotley. The two are on tour with a one-man show about Del's life and work as a storyteller. Del Shores brought the show to Birmingham last month, and he stopped by WBHM for a chat with Bradley George.
Playwright Del Shores is tour right now with his one-man show, Del Shores: Storyteller.
What comes to mind when you think of Reggae? There's a good chance it's the wisdom and social commentary of Bob Marley. Marley's Reggae has given way to a new form called Dancehall. For several years, activists in the UK have waged a campaign against homophobic songs in dancehall. Now the campaign is growing in North America. Concerts are being picketed and in April 2008, iTunes pulled the homophobic dancehall songs from its U.S. and Canadian websites. As Jonah Engle reports, the campaign is stirring up a debate that is pitting human rights against artistic license.
We move from Jamaica to Provincetown, Massachusetts - known as a gay mecca. Here is where you'll meet Ellie Castillo. She's 73, but until a few years ago she was known as Elliot. Sarah Yahm has her story.
Finally today, we say goodbye to the weekly, half hour long edition of Tapestry. But don't worry, we'll be back next week with the first episode of our new hour-long monthly show. One of the features of the new program is something we call Three to See...
Tapestry is produced by Bradley George and Michael Krall with help from Jonah Engle, Charles Haines, Tanya Ott, Varun Krishnan, and Sarah Yahm. Next week, join us for the first episode of our hour-long, monthly show. I'm Greg Bass, hope to see you then.
If you've got a story idea for Tapestry, drop us an e-mail.