REV Birmingham brings new life to Woodlawn

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REV Birmingham closed out its five-week urban revitalization project with a grand celebration in Woodlawn, known as Woodlawn Souldown, on Sunday, Nov. 3. The event was free and open to the public of all ages. Avondale Brewing Company provided a free glass of their local brew for every attendee 21 years-old and over.

Soul food, soul music and plenty of characters from all over Birmingham came together in Woodlawn for the fifth and final week of REV’s urban revitalization project – “REVIVE: The Street Life Project.”

The program featured five Birmingham districts – Downtown, East Lake, Ensley, Five Points South and Woodlawn. According to their website, the organization’s goal was to “activate empty storefronts, generate foot traffic and organize street-level improvements to restore interest in five target commercial districts in Birmingham.”

The event included local food trucks, caterers, live music, baked goods and street-side markets.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, check out these:

 

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Chris Scarpulla stands in front of his pop-up shop in Woodlawn, where he turned his tie dye and comic book collecting hobby into a small business. Scarpulla said he likes to add a little “extra umph” to t-shirts he finds at yard sales, estate sales and thrift stores. His favorite creation is a tie dyed “Chamber’s Funeral Home Fun Day” shirt.

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Daniel Barnacastle minds his post at Yellow Hammer Creative’s pop-up shop in Sound and Page’s storefront in Woodlawn. Barnacastle works with owners Brandon Watkins and Brett Forsyth to creative unique screen-printed t-shirts and posters, mostly with a Birmingham theme.

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“This is Valentine and Karloff, like Boris Karloff.” – Randy Smith. Smith happened to be following his normal bike route with mastiff Karloff and pocket-pooch Valentine and decided to take a break to watch the festivities in Woodlawn.

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Gospel singers bring church to Woodlawn Souldown on Nov. 3.

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“I asked God what I’m supposed to do and it just popped into my head: Red Vs – Just for you.” – Georgia Adamson. Adamson is a stay-at-home mother and caretaker for a grandchild with cerebral palsy. She said she got into red velvet baking after her son requested the dessert for his 18th birthday. She knew she liked to bake, but she was inspired to turn it into a business after the birthday celebration. “It just hit me in my spirit – Red Vs Just For You.” Adamson is now taking holiday orders.

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Laura Kate Whitney, Chief Placemaker of LIV Birmingham, a subset of REV Birmingham, stands proudly by a REVIVE poster. Whitney was a chief organizer of the five-week initiative to promote economic development in five districts around Birmingham. The project brought new life to vacant store fronts, by filling them with local artists and other creative businesses.

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Gospel singers bring soul and spirit together on stage.

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Attendees enjoy live gospel performances from Audiostate 55 Entertainment musicians.

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DIGS Design employee Kat Griffith mans the sidewalk market for owners Becky and Zade Denny.

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Visitors pose for pictures.

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Gospel singer Denita Gibbs performs at Woodlawn Souldown.

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A hodge podge of vintage, retro, antique and unique items make up DIGS Design’s pop-up market.