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UAB’s Alys Stephens Center celebrates 20th anniversary with tremendous new season

  • August 15, 2016

To celebrate the center’s first 20 years, and in preparation for the next decade, UAB’s Alys Stephens Center builds a new vision for the arts in Birmingham.

It’s a new era at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

In celebration of its first 20 years and with an eye toward the next decade, the Alys Stephens Center, led by new Executive Director Anna M. Thompson, has finely crafted a year of arts experiences for 2016 and 2017. The center has a new look inside and out, with new amenities and technology and a new Meyer sound system to elevate the performance and the patrons’ experience. The center’s new website,, makes it easier to explore shows and purchase tickets online.

From free events and festivals, modern and international dance and ballet, passionate global music, jazz, pop, family entertainment, and theater to an exciting new chamber music salon series with on-stage seating, the ASC has created a season that truly offers something for everyone. Many favorite artists from the past 20 years will return, with new artists set to make performance history on the ASC stages. Tickets are on sale now.

The ASC’s mission this season and going forward is to:

  • Engage the community and UAB students with cultural celebrations like ¡Celebración! – showcasing Hispanic culture – and IndiaFest
  • Expand family, global and dance programming and the creation of intimate opportunities for audiences to experience premier artists
  • Grow teaching artist residencies and new opportunities for UAB students

The ASC is also proud to present designated sensory-friendly performances to accommodate individuals on the autism spectrum.

The season begins with pioneering aerial dance performance troupe BANDALOOP in residence for a free, awe-inspiring community performance Friday, Sept. 23. A jaw-dropping teaser performance Sept. 21 will have BANDALOOP dancing on the exterior walls of the UAB Campus Rec Center, on the Campus Green, to the marvel of all.

For tickets, a season brochure or more information, call 205-975-2787 or visit Click on the artists below for full performance details. 

bandaloopBANDALOOPFree events

Friday, Sept. 23
BANDALOOP, ASC 20th anniversary performance, free

Sept. 23-Oct. 23
¡Celebración! Hispanic Heritage Cultural Festival, a free, month-long, citywide celebration including Tiempo Libre performance on Oct. 6

Saturday, Oct. 1
Illusionist Kevin Spencer

Oct. 3-Oct. 5
GlobalFest, annual lunchtime celebrations of global artistry

Sunday, March 26, 2017
The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus

news alicia olatujaAlicia Olatuja April 2017
IndiaFest, with events at UAB, the ASC and around the city

Saturday, June 17, 2017
LOCAL, an outdoor event celebrating all things Alabama


Friday, Oct. 28
Del McCoury Band with David Grisman

Sunday, Dec. 4
UAB Gospel Choir featuring Alicia Olatuja

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Jonny Lang


Jemison Investment Co. Dance Series

Sunday, Nov. 6
Estampas Porteñas, Argentine tango

alonzo kingAlonzo King LINES BalletJan. 7-8, 2017
Alonzo King LINES Ballet    

May 11-13, 2017
MOMIX, “Opus Cactus”


Vulcan Materials Co. Family Series

Dec. 11-18
“A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol”

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
Justin Roberts and The Not Ready for Naptime Players, indie rock for kids and parents

Friday, April 21, 2017
Enchantment Theatre Company’s “Peter Rabbit Tales”


Thursday, Oct. 6
Tiempo Libre, free outdoor event,¡Celebración!

Sunday, Nov. 6
Estampas Porteñas, Argentine tango

anoushka shankarAnoushka ShankarSaturday, April 9, 2017
Anoushka Shankar, IndiaFest

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Niyaz featuring Azam Ali, IndiaFest


Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017
An evening with Pat Metheny with Antonio Sanchez, Linda Oh and Gwilym Simcock

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017
Yellowjackets, The Essentials Vol. 5: Contemporary Jazz   


Friday, Oct. 14
Black Jacket Symphony, David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017
Vocalosity, a cappella fun for everyone

Saturday, March 11, 2017
John Pizzarelli

Thursday, April 13, 2017
Lalah Hathaway

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Jonny Lang

jeremy denkJeremy DenkSALON SERIES with on-stage seating

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017
Turtle Island Quartet with Cyrus Chestnut

Sunday, March 5, 2017
Ahn Trio

Sunday, April 23, 2017
Jeremy Denk, piano


Sunday, Oct. 23
David Sedaris, humorist and author

Sunday, Nov. 13

Sunday, May 21, 2017
VIVA Health Starlight Gala starring Itzhak Perlman

itzhak perlmanItzhak PerlmanAll ticket purchases of Alys Stephens Center-presented shows support arts education and outreach in Birmingham and surrounding communities. ArtPlay, the ASC’s home for arts education, reached a new milestone this year, serving more than 19,000 individuals in the Birmingham area through the arts. In addition to classes, workshops, residencies, presented shows and mentor programs, ArtPlay also presents free Meet the Artist school shows to busloads of children every season, even paying for the traveling expenses.

Become an ASC season subscriber and choose three or more shows to create your own package to save 15 percent on the total price; UAB students, faculty and staff can save 25 percent. UAB students and faculty may purchase $25 tickets for all shows excluding the Starlight Gala; a limited number of $25 tickets are available for each show. All UAB students, faculty and staff may receive a 20 percent discount on single tickets for all shows, excluding the gala. Tickets purchased online can be printed at home or delivered to a mobile device.

UAB’s Alys Stephens Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting, developing and advancing the best in the performing arts and arts education in Alabama. Support the future of the Alys Stephens Center, and volunteer or become a member. An array of membership-level choices is available, from Circle Club membership to Junior Patrons. Enjoy priority ticket purchases and class/camp reservations, seat upgrade opportunities and discounts, and even travel opportunities. For more information on becoming a member, call 205-996-6113.

Sponsors this season include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Jemison Investment Co. Inc., JDM Foundation, Protective, PNC, SouthArts, Southern Co., UAB School of Medicine, VIVA Health, and Vulcan Materials Co.


  • October 1