UAB’s Alys Stephens Center announces new shows for summer, fall 2014

Each season, the Alys Stephens Center searches for innovative artists, curates unique events and enlists talented musicians to create memorable experiences for Birmingham audiences.

asc earfilms blinders 1 creditStevenHaywoodPhotographyEarfilms' "To Sleep To Dream." Photo by Steven Haywood PhotographyThe University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center has announced new artists and performances for summer and fall, with tickets on sale to the public June 16. See the full season calendar.

A group passionate about the arts, the Alys Stephens Center staff searches for innovative artists, curates unique events and enlists talented musicians to create diverse and memorable experiences for Birmingham audiences. Ahead this season:

“We are extremely proud to bring to Birmingham compelling art that presses the edges and the latest and greatest in technology, which is so appropriate for UAB,” said Vice President of Development, Alumni and External Relations Shirley Salloway Kahn, Ph.D. “The arts are culturally powerful outlets for expression. We want to continue to present programming on the leading edge, collaborate with artists from around the world, and foster the creation and promotion of the arts here in Birmingham.”

On June 21, the season will officially begin with a free, family-friendly festival to celebrate the music of The Magic City. The festival, LOCAL, will showcase Birmingham music, merchants and more, and the highlight will be musical performances from the 12 talented finalists of “ASC Commissions Birmingham.”

The Alys Stephens Center also will host the U.S. premiere of EarFilms’ groundbreaking “To Sleep To Dream,” an exciting new sonic work that combines music, storytelling and cinematic sound to create a filmlike experience with no visuals. Blindfolded listeners will use their imaginations to transport themselves into the dreamlike story. This genre-defying experience will take place over four nights, Aug. 19-22, during the EarFilms’ ASC residency. Only 90 seats are available for each performance. Beginning at 6 p.m. and running continuously each evening, enjoy free sonic experiences in the ASC Jemison Concert Hall and the Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall. In the first, “I/O,” hear a 7.1 surround sound installation, commissioned by the ASC and created by William Price and Scott Phillips. In the second, Sidewalk Film Festival will show a series of films dealing with issues of sound and senses.

Alys-Stephens-Performing-Arts-Building-Proposal-Amanda-BrowderRendering for "Magic Chromacity"In the first joint project for UAB’s Cultural Corridor, the Alys Stephens Center, the Department of Art and Art History, and the new Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts have commissioned artist Amanda Browder to create “Magic Chromacity.” The giant fabric art installations created by Browder and the Birmingham community will be unveiled Aug. 28. The pieces will enable the buildings, which face each other on 10th Avenue South, to “speak” to each other while also serving as individual works. The artworks will be displayed through Sept. 5.

The ASC’s own original series, The Essentials, will continue Sept. 26 with acclaimed jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum, in a show hosted by UAB Artist-in-Residence Eric Essix. This innovative series honors music’s rich history and sound with a journey through jazz. For the second installment, The Essentials will spotlight swing music. The first half of the evening will survey the exciting period of swing’s history, music and artists, led by Essix with Whalum alongside the UAB Jazz Ensemble. Eleven-time Grammy nominee Whalum will perform during the second half.

Become an ASC season subscriber and choose three or more shows to create the “It’s Your Choice” package and save 15 percent on the total price. Selected performances will feature $20 student tickets. UAB employees get a 10 percent ticket discount to all shows. Online purchases of tickets can be printed at home or delivered to a mobile device. In addition, the ASC has a mobile-friendly website to enhance patrons’ online experience. For tickets, a copy of The Center Magazine or more information, call 205-975-2787 or visit