Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM

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From May 17, 2007...

It's a Thick Book

When Lewis Lehe studied Alabama's 1901 Constitution at Homewood High, he was shocked at what he learned. So, he decided to get involved with the movement to re-write the document by making a documentary film. He approached Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform for financial support and the result is "It's a Thick Book", a film that is packed with information, biting irony and the commentary of some of Alabama's most prominent historians. The film has become the major education tool for Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform. I asked the group's Mark Berte why Alabama needs a new constitution.

Constitutinal reform in Alabama

Mark Berte is Grassroots Education Director for Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform. The film "It's a Thick Book" will show Tuesday evening at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Frankenstein tattoo

The cable television programs "Inked" and "Miami Ink" have brought what was once a subculture, tattooing, into the mainstream. Each week, viewers encounter one interesting customer after another. But in Bessemer, a tattoo artist is making a name for himself on another front - as an Evangelical. WBHM's Tanya Ott reports.

An evangelical tattoo artist

That was WBHM's Tanya Ott. The day Tanya visited the Skinworx tattoo shop Greg Ashcraft was working on an intricate tattoo of a clearly secular subject - Frankenstein's head.

Anne Gastinel

To say cellist Anne Gastinel has excelled in her craft would be an understatement. She's studied cello since the age of four, had her television debut at age 10 and studied at the National Music Conservatory in Paris. Gastinel has since won international music competitions and played with top orchestras throughout the world. She was even designated ambassador of French cello. This weekend Gastinel is the featured soloist with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in the Cello Concerto by Edward Elgar. She spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall...

Meet cellist Anne Gastinel

Cellist Anne Gastinel plays the concerto by Edward Elgar with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Friday and Saturday night at the Alys Stephens Center.

Muse of Fire at Sloss Furnaces

It's not the Shakespeare from your 11th grade English class. Or, maybe it is - just updated to include plenty of camouflage and other surprises. Muse of Fire stages Henry V this weekend at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham. Before the play there's a music festival featuring local bands like Duquette Johnston, Standard Candle, Sunny So Brite and Jesse Payne. Director Elizabeth Bradley says music figures prominently throughout the production.

Shakespeare at Sloss

Director Elizabeth Bradley - talking about this weekend's production of Henry V at Sloss Furnaces. Hunter Films is making a documentary about Bradley's "industrial productions" of Shakespeare.

To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.

Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.

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Producer and performer Jeremy Fitzpatrick Mauldin - who goes by Fitzpatrick - is used to having to explain his music. It's techno - produced by hooking computers to keyboards - but, he tells people, for him it's a whole lot more than just entering some data, hitting a button and sitting back and enjoying the beats. Fitzpatrick has released two original albums and several singles. His trademark blend of driving, emotional beats has appeared on mix shows from his hometown of Birmingham all the way to Australia. This is the tune Flashback. (AUDIO MONTAGE)

Jeremy Fitzpatrick Mauldin - a.k.a. Fitzpatrick - performs with the band DIAS for this weekend's Shakespeare at Sloss production.

As we wrap up this week's program, we want to share some news about a spoken word artist who has made several appearances on Tapestry. You might remember hearing Sharrif Simmons reciting Sun Ra's poem "The Past is a Dream". Last week, Sharrif Simmons was shot by some men attempting to rob him. The bullet shattered Simmons leg bone and he's been at UAB hospital undergoing a rare surgery to replace the bone. Simmons doesn't have health insurance and won't be able to return to his job waiting tables any time soon. Plans are underway for a benefit performance to help with expenses.

Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Michael Krall and Hunter Bell. Francesca Rosko tracks community events and we had production help this week from Rosemary Pennington. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week!


One footnote for Tapestry - as we were going into production today we learned that Birmingham blues legend Topper Price died last night. Price's long list of credits included appearances with Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Band, and countless regional acts. For more than two decades Price performed in local bands such as Cowboy and the Convertibles, as well as his own band -- Topper Price and Upsetters. There is no information yet on funeral arrangements.