WBHM 90.3 FM
Your NPR News Station

Follow Us:

Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM

May 2011...

Many Alabamians have responded to the devastation of last month's tornados - delivering meals to rescue workers and victims, donating supplies or opening up their wallets. But the process of putting people back on their feet is just beginning. So today we offer "Three to Help". WBHM's Andrew Yeager tells us about a group hard at work with artists affected by the storms, as well as a couple of arts-related ways to support the recovery.

Click here to listen...

More | Craft Emergency Relief Fund
(coordinated through Space One Eleven)

More | The Civil Wars: A Benefit for Alabama
(performance to benefit The Salvation Army)

More | Extemporaneous Theatre Company
(performances to benefit The Red Cross)

It's been two years since the last City Stages in Birmingham. It was once one of the preeminent music festivals in the Southeast, before it slipped into a steep artistic and financial decline. Some Birmingham businesses and music enthusiasts are trying again, with a new festival happening this weekend. WBHM's Bradley George has a preview of Secret Stages.

Secret Stages music festival...

If you don't know TED, you don't know nothin'. TED, of course, is "Technology, Education and Design" - a speakers' event that's been happening for 25 years in California. It brings together the top thought leaders of the day. People like filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, scientist Jill Bolte Taylor, artist Chris Jordan and education expert Ken Robinson. Each gets 18 minutes to talk about a subject of their choosing. The theme is "ideas worth spreading".

The California TED events sell out two years ahead of time - even though the speaker list isn't released, you have to apply for a spot in the audience and it costs thousands of dollars to attend.

Recently, TED has been taking the show on the road - for people who can't afford the hefty price-tag and don't want to travel to California -- with events called TED-X.

May 19th is TEDxRedMountain here in Birmingham and the featured speakers - they still haven't been announced - will focus on the recent storms, what it will take to rebuild some of the damaged communities and the opportunities it present to re-invent Alabama.

Sarah Robinson is the organizer for TEDxRedMountain. She talked with WBHM's Tanya Ott about the event.

Click here to listen...

Thornton Dial

Alabama artist Thornton Dial was making metal sculpture and yard art for decades before he was discovered by a prominent collector at age sixty. Today he's 82 and the Indianapolis Museum of Art is exhibiting a survey of his art called, Hard Truths. Despite national acclaim, Dial still flies under the radar in his home state. Gigi Douban visited Bessemer to find out why....

Click here to listen...

Earlier ths year, the city of Birmingham nearly lost a treasured landmark to a fire at the old Powell School near downtown. The building stood for over a hundred years, and today, its future is uncertain. WBHM intern Weston Williams has this report.

Click here to listen...


StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. Each month on Tapestry we'll bring you stories from Alabamians.

Here, Annie Pearl Avery talks to a StoryCorps facilitator about her work as a civil rights activist in the 1960's. Initially, she found nonviolence principles to be foreign and unappealing, yet she still attended a meeting in Atlanta of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as "SNICK". Heading home with Wilson Brown, they encountered trouble when they got lost and ended up in Marietta, Georgia. They were traveling with a white girl and things came to a head when they stopped at the local bus station to get directions. Police arrested Wilson Brown, forcing the rest of the group to figure out what to do next.

Click here to listen...

Annie Pearl Avery speaking to StoryCorps Facilitator Marquita James from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham. That night made Annie Pearl a committed activist and she began traveling the country for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee working to secure voting rights for African-Americans.

This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM's Michael Krall.


When Dale Short's junior-high school teachers would ask him, 'So what are you trying to do, be a comedian?' he told them that he didn't have a choice. It was just something that runs in the family...

Click here to listen...

Justin Brown

As the Alabama Symphony Orchestra winds down its 2010-2011 Masterworks season this month, one name comes to mind: Beethoven. Starting tonight it's a Beethoven Festival -- two weeks, four concerts, and a performance of all nine symphonies. WBHM's Michael Krall assembled this overview which we're calling the Beethoven-Justin Brown-Megamix-Extravaganzapalooza....

Click here to listen...

Tapestry is produced by Bradley George and Michael Krall. This month we had help from Gigi Douban, Tanya Ott, Dale Short, Weston Williams, and Andrew Yeager.

If you've got a story idea for Tapestry, drop us an e-mail.