Arts and Culture

Arc Stories: September 2016 Edition

Three stories where our storytellers find themselves in situations completely over their heads. A woman has the opportunity to fulfill a dream she’s been pursuing most of her life; one woman’s discovery of whether or not you really can come home again; and another where a man struggles to create a connection across barriers of […]

A Look at the Struggling Neighborhoods of Birmingham’s West Side

Communities like Ensley, West End and Fairfield were commercial hubs during the industrial heyday of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

After 35 Years, ASO Musician Proud to Call Birmingham Home

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra features 53 full-time musicians from all over the world, each with a unique story. Kevin Kozak moved to Birmingham 35 years ago to join the group and currently plays 2nd horn. Mary Scott Hodgin speaks with Kevin about his journey to Alabama and why he has remained with the ASO for […]

Into White

Author Randi Pink knows her debut novel will ruffle feathers. It’s about a black student at a predominately white high school in Alabama. She prays to be turned white and it happens.

Miss Alabama Competes Sunday for the Miss America Crown

This Sunday is the big day for Miss Alabama Hayley Barber as she competes for Miss America crown. T

A Paralympian Cyclist Gears Up For Rio

Nearly 300 Americans are heading to Rio de Janiero to compete in the Paralympics that begin Sept. 7. For Jennifer Schuble, it's her third time and the cyclist hopes to win gold yet again.

Living in Birmingham and Liking it — 30 Years On

UAB students started classes this week. But for students stepping onto campus 30 years ago in 1986, they had the opportunity to take a class that might sound a little odd. The course was called "Living in Birmingham and Liking it." Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald ran across this tidbit recently. He reflects on it and on Birmingham's changes over the last three decades.

McNolia’s in Five Points South Closes After 32 Years

Owner Earl Capellen explains why now is the time to walk away from the Birmingham Southside landmark in operation since 1984.

What it’s Like Being “Out in Alabama”

Alabama native and 31-year-old Joshua Glenn talks about his role in the film and its significance to the LGBT people in Birmingham and the South.

The Junction: Sebastian Kole

Birmingham native Sebastian Kole spoke with producer Mary Quintas about his connection to Ensley, how it informs his music, and the positive changes he sees in the community.

Arc Stories: August 2016 Edition

This month on Arc Stories, we have four stories where our storytellers can’t quite comprehend what’s happening to them.

Noah Galloway: Living with No Excuses

Noah Galloway discusses the story behind his new book, Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an America Soldier, with our Greg Bass.

Pilot Project Aims to Make Trails More Accessible

A pilot project at Oak Mountain State Park aims to make trails in Alabama more accessible.

Southern Living Celebrates 50 Years

Southern Living, one of the South’s most iconic magazines, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Birmingham-based institution has an enduring relationship with readers and a unique history, but at the same time, it’s evolving to appeal to a younger, urban readership.

An Alabama Museum You Can Enjoy From The Driver’s Seat

Artist Butch Anthony has created a drive-thru museum in Seale, Ala. On display is a collection of odd items, decorated and displayed inside shipping containers that vehicles drive between.

Iron Giant Percussion Takes Drumming to New Heights

Four guys plus a table full of random stuff that makes noise equals Iron Giant Percussion. The Birmingham natives take drumming to new heights, pounding out rhythms on everything from bongos to porcelain floor tiles.

Lyrical Skill, Lofty Aspirations: The Monastery

Their inspirations include modern rappers but also go all the way back to A Tribe Called Quest, Jimi Hendrix, and actual monks. They’re The Monastery, a duo making their mark on Alabama’s growing rap scene with intricate lyrics they hope will entertain and enlighten.

Arc Stories: July 2016 Edition

Four stories where the storyteller learns something new about themselves and others. A man attempts to find reconciliation with a childhood friend he betrayed 30 years before; a husband discovers something about his wife after she endures a major medical procedure; a young woman without any training moves to Africa to become a teacher; and what happens to a […]

Renee Montagne To Step Down As Host Of ‘Morning Edition’

After a dozen years of arriving at work every weekday at midnight, Montagne says she's ready to try something new. She will become a special correspondent on Morning Edition.

What Makes Birmingham a “Food Town?”

People in Birmingham love their city’s food so much they write songs about it.  We found Ja-Neen Gandy hanging out with her kids at Railroad Park eager to share her ode to Gus’ Hot Dogs. Musical tributes are just one way residents of the Magic City express their appreciation for Birmingham’s food culture. Others write […]

Arc Stories: June 2016 Edition

Stories where plans put into motion take some unexpected turns. One young woman’s attempt to have a little fun at some protester’s expense, a boy who is taken on the ride of his life, and a family forced to deal with the loss of nearly all of their possessions. (Originally aired June 30, 2016 at 2 […]

How to make someone’s day…

School custodian Curtis Radford…

Birmingham Remembers Victims of Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Hundreds gathered in downtown Birmingham yesterday evening to remember victims of Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people. A diverse group of faith leaders led those assembled in Linn Park in prayer.

The Junction: Stories From Ensley, Alabama – An Integration Pioneer

In 1965, Carolyn Houston Crumbley Major became the first African-American graduate of Ensley High School. Producer Mary Quintas spoke with Carolyn's son, Rafaael Crumbley, and sister, Janice Houston Nixon, about Carolyn's contributions as an integration pioneer - and what her legacy means today.

Drones Lead UAB Archaeologist To New Discovery In Petra, Jordan

NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with UAB archaeologist Sarah Parcak about her team’s discovery of the monument in Petra, Jordan — an archaeological park among the richest and most visited in the world. She found the structure using satellite imagery, Google Earth and drones. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: In the third “Indiana Jones” movie, the climax takes […]

“Before long I could say three sentences or four…”

Les Levoy, of Birmingham, on overcoming stuttering…

Sounds of the Mighty Wurlitzer…

Organist, Gary Jones, of Birmingham…

Songs We Love: Alabama’s Own John Paul White, ‘The Martyr’

In this age of peer-policed hyperproductivity, the practice of pausing and thinking is fetishized but rarely truly supported. Reflection has become yet another goal achieved through an app: something to show off on our socials within an anxiously curated stream of fresh plans, ideas and accomplishments. This is true for musicians just as it is […]

Ira Glass on Birmingham Performance, Upcoming TAL Project on Syrian Refugees

Ira Glass has one of the most recognizable voices in all of public radio. He’s hosted the wildly popular program This American Life for more than 20 years, and influenced a generation of young audio storytellers. Glass brings his unorthodox stage show “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host," to Birmingham this weekend. As the title suggests, it features Glass, two dancers from Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and storytelling. WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley talked with Glass to find out more.

Slavery Scars A Trans-Atlantic Family Tree In ‘Homegoing’

Yaa Gyasi's debut novel follows the family lines of two separated half-sisters in 18th-century Ghana: One is married off to an Englishman, while the other is sent to America and sold into slavery.

“Resilience” is Theme to Documentary, Music about Syrian Refugee Camp

Birmingham native, Dunya Habash, spent two weeks in a Syrian refuge camp in 2014. She was filming for her recently released documentary, Za’atari: Jordan’s Newest City about a settlement created following the Syrian civil war. A recent honors graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Habash tells WBHM’s Esther Ciammachilli about this experience and how her own music helped tell the story.

Arc Stories: May 2016 Edition

Birmingham’s own true stories. A man’s encounter with perhaps the world’s worst burglar; a woman overlooks some early warning signs in the pursuit of love; and student recalls a beloved teacher who’s influence  doesn’t take root until years later. (Originally aired May 26, 2016 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)