Bigger Than Brushstrokes

In Birmingham, canvases are everywhere. A walk through the city center will show you that creativity is an undeniable force in the Magic City, no matter the medium.

Art and culture truly converge at Birmingham Museum of Art. At nearly four acres, the museum houses a diverse collection of 27,000-plus paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and decorative arts – from Asian and European to Pre-Columbian and Native American art. The best part? Entry to the museum is free.

Stories come to life on screen with the recent addition of the Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema. Born out of one of the country’s most prominent independent film festivals, the cinema is the city’s first independent theater. Catch a movie the next time you visit The Pizitz Food Hall and mark your calendar for the annual festival happening at the end of August each year.

Architecture has its home here, too. During your downtown visit, admire some of the South’s most iconic building designs. The Greater Birmingham CVB offers maps that will guide you through walking tours. Victorian, Art Deco and Gothic are just three of the styles you will experience on your journey. And while you’re walking, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for some of the city’s historic “ghost signs” peeking through on facades across the city.


The streets of the city are alive with color … literally. Through groups like Blank Space Bham, our community’s artists have taken their talents to windows and walls creating a vibrant canvas that can’t help but stop you in your tracks. With dozens of building facades transformed throughout the city already, we think it’s worth a tour to see them all.


Thanks to the success of the Sidewalk Film Festival, Birmingham has become a hidden gem in the independent film world. Repeatedly recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the Top 25 Festivals in the World and by TIME Magazine as one of the Top 10 Festivals for the Rest of Us, Sidewalk annually brings over 250 independent films to The Magic City. Sidewalk is also home to SHOUT, Alabama’s first queer film festival supporting the stories and voices of the LGBTQ+ community.

Much of the film community’s recent success is also thanks to the work of Create Birmingham, the region’s first organization dedicated to fostering innovation and economic development through the arts.

Performance Art

Whether it’s the symphony in the summer or the dance after dark, performance art beats through the pulse of our city. Venues like the UAB’s Alys Stephens Center , Iron City, Alabama Theatre and The Historic Lyric Theatre create a world-class environment for talent from around the world to showcase their work. And, if you prefer your concerts outdoors, Oak Mountain Ampitheatre always draws great names and lively crowds.

If the theater calls your name, there’s plenty of places to see your favorite works play out on stage. The Red Mountain Theatre Company and Broadway in Birmingham consistently bring some of the best shows, both classics and modern hits, to the stage. Let these talented actors transport you to a different world, if only for a couple of hours.


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