Design Week Birmingham highlights Birmingham talent, gives back

Design Week Birmingham highlights Birmingham talent, gives back
Source: Judson Garner/WBRC
Source: Judson Garner/WBRC
Source: Judson Garner/WBRC
Source: Judson Garner/WBRC

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The third annual Design Week Birmingham concluded Saturday nightwith Bham FEAST, a crowdsourced dinner held at the Blueprint Building.  The dinner raised money for a grant to further educational opportunities for Birmingham youth.

The dinner was open to the public and cost $45 per ticket.  Proceeds from ticket sales fund the grant.  Five applicants for the grant money, out of a pool of 13, presented their proposals.  Those attending the dinner then voted through a ballot for their favorite proposal.

The winner of the Bham FEAST grant was Kuumba Community Arts, a teen design academy where young people earn a wage for their creative work.

"Part of this is an opportunity to galvanize around something, and part of this is an opportunity … to give people a platform, that is not easily accessible otherwise," said Design Week Birmingham co-founder Bruce Linare.  He explained that none of the Design Week Birmingham volunteers are paid.

Growing Kings was another applicant presenting a pitch at tonight's dinner. Growing Kings founder Marcus Carson's idea is to connect city youth with design professionals at the University of Alabama-Birmingham to redesign the popular Chuck Taylor sneaker.  The partnership would create an opportunity for mentorship, Carson explained.

Last year's grant winner was Bici Coop, a non-profit with the mission of creating easy and equal access to bicycling.  It won nearly $5,000 to create a mobile bicycle repair shed, equipped with tools, wheels, pumps, and everything necessary to provide proper bicycle maintenance.  Bici Coop unveiled the trailer for the first time tonight.

Design Week Birmingham was born three years ago when the economy was still recovering from the recession.  A group of friends decided to create this event highlighting the accomplishments of the Birmingham creative community.  "It is trying to inspire the problem solvers in Birmingham to dream big, hear stories of what other people accomplished and show that that is possible here," said co-founder Andrew Thompson.  The week offered speakers, curated exhibits, and workshops.

To learn more about Birmingham Design Week and Bham FEAST, visit http://2015.dwbhm.com/.

Copyright 2015 WBRC. All rights reserved.