Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM

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From May 19, 2005...

Arts news

San Francisco and Birmingham have something in common this week – they'll both premiere a new, feature-length documentary that explores the theory that Jesus Christ never existed. I'm Greg Bass and tonight on Tapestry we talk to the director of the film -- and a local philosopher. Also -- a new play that tracks the ascension of Birmingham's first African-American mayor. And, jazz from the Chad Fisher Group. First, arts news from Tanya Ott.

Arts news

Jesus Christ

"Jesus Christ is almost certainly a fictional character." That's from former fundamentalist Christian turned filmmaker Brian Fleming. Fleming's no stranger to controversy. His faux documentary "Nothing So Strange" chronicled the imagined assassination of Bill Gates. Fleming's latest project, a documentary called The God Who Wasn't There, asserts that Jesus is merely a literary character and never really existed as a person. The film debuts this week in San Francisco and Birmingham. Here's a clip from the film... I talked with director Brian Flemming about the film.

Brian Flemming interview

To get another perspective on the film, I asked Dr. Bill Myers, associate professor of philosophy at Birmingham Southern College, to view it and give us his take on Fleming's work.

Dr. Bill Myers interview

Dr. Bill Myers is associate professor of philosophy at Birmingham Southern College. The God Who Wasn't There premieres Wednesday night at 8 at WorkPlay. It's sponsored by the Birmingham-based Universist Movement. For more information on the movement and the film, go to the Tapestry section of our website, WBHM.org.

Mayor Todd

There's a new book that chronicles the events surrounding a controversial shooting in Birmingham more than 25 years ago. In the summer of 1979, a white Birmingham police officer shot a young, unarmed African-American woman named Bonita Carter. The incident resulted in a lot of racial tension and some say the decisions made in the case by the white mayor – David Vann -- cost him his job. The book Mayor Todd was written as a play – and changes the names of the parties involved. The author, Alabama School of Fine Arts executive director John Northrop, spoke with WBHM's Steve Chiotakis.

John Northrop interview

Author John Northrop is executive director of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and a former reporter for the Birmingham News and Birmingham Post-Herald. Proceeds from Mayor Todd benefit the Randy Marsh Scholarship Fund, named for the former ASFA teacher and Birmingham theatre advocate who died this year. Mayor Todd is published by Montgomery-based NewSouth books.

Michael Christie

Michael Christie is the final guest conductor to lead the Alabama Symphony Orchestra this season. The ASO's Masterworks series resumes this weekend with works by Mozart and Bruckner. Christie spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall about the upcoming concert...

Michael Christie interview

The ASO's Masterworks series resumes this weekend with concerts Friday and Saturday night at the Alys Stephens Center. There's an extended version of Michael's interview with conductor Michael Christie on our website - wbhm.org

What's going on in and around the Birmingham area. For additional details, go to our online version of the Community Calendar.

Community Calendar

The Chad Fisher Group

Chad Fisher was already an established freelance trombonist when he formed The Chad Fisher Group in late 2002. He started his band as a straight-ahead jazz project, but it quickly evolved into something else – combining pure improvisation with original compositions, as you can here in this cut called "At Home" from the self-titled CD. 27-year-old Fisher has toured with The Temptations, The Four Tops, and The O'Jays and performed with artists like Wayne Newton, Wynton Marsalis, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff, and saxman Lou Marini. When he's not on the road, he's performing with Birmingham favorite, Downright. Fisher stopped by our studio this week to talk about it all.

Music and interview with Chad Fisher

The Chad Fisher Group plays Baileys Pub tonight. Fisher also performs with Aretha Franklin at next month’s City Stages. Check out our website, wbhm.org, for studio tracks from the self-titled CD.

Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Hunter Bell produces our musician profiles. Additional reporting this week from Steve Chiotakis. I'm Greg Bass. Thanks for joining us!