About Us

Our Background

We are a community that does not know enough about its history. This is likely true of most of us, no matter where we live. In Birmingham, there exists a cultural space, dedicated to honoring the heritage and voices of Birmingham’s African-American community. If the walls of an 83 year old, historic building in Birmingham, Alabama could talk, what would they tell us today about decades of persistence and resistance movements in the city’s history in the contributions of the African-American community?  

The Ballard House Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to gathering, documenting, and sharing this history with children and adults within our community, state, and beyond. Located in the Birmingham Civil Rights Historic District, the Ballard House is a site engaged in informing, engaging and inspiring residents and visitors about how people of color lived, worked, socialized, and served their communities across the Magic City, while creating bonds of persistence and resistance to the continual injustice they experienced in the decades leading to demonstrations on sidewalks, at lunch counters, in the courts, and on the streets of the 1950’s and ’60’s national and world stage.  
Many facets of Birmingham’s African-American history, from its founding in 1871 to the mid-20th century are rich, vibrant, and invaluable for our diverse community. Lessons learned serve to educate and inspire today. The Ballard House shares a tapestry of historic facts and good works within the area’s rich legacy. The building has a storied legacy that highlights what life was like in the African-American community during decades leading to, and including, the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. It is a significant story that provides hope, opportunity, and inspiration for generations. The Ballard House Project, works to restore and program this historic site, designated by the Jefferson County Historical Society as an historical property in the city; the U.S. Department of Interior as a contributing structure within the Birmingham Civil Rights Historic District; member of the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Network; and named one of “20 Alabama Civil Rights Sites To Watch” in 2018 by the World Heritage Fund. 
At The Ballard House Project, Inc., we document, preserve, and celebrate stories of the past, which are relevant to present and future generations. As the present-day home of ongoing research, data gathering, workshops, and the documentation of community oral histories, programs convey stories of a rich community legacy that is certain to give you pause. In Birmingham, the Ballard House, a 1930’s-40’s era structure, is one of few surviving buildings in the historic Civil Rights District that played a pivotal role in that transformational movement of equality and justice. As the present-day home base of ongoing research, cultural events, dialogic engagement of community collective memories and insights, the walls of the Ballard House tell the story of a rich African American legacy.
As we restore this cultural space & gardens in ways that honor the history of Birmingham’s community from the turn of the 20th century through the Civil Rights Movement, the mission of the Ballard House Project continues to educate and inspire, enhance community identity, enrich dialogue and understanding, bridge areas of discord, and contribute to Birmingham’s cultural economy. 
The Ballard House serves as a modern-day cultural space, connecting historical threads that served to weave a tapestry of good works and a rich legacy in Birmingham, across Alabama and the Southeast. As caretakers of a facet of Birmingham’s history, we share this treasure with residents and visitors through workshops, exhibits, oral histories, community conversations, special events, a planned community garden, and thematic programs. It is the re-envisioning and re-creation of an historic cultural space – a cultural storehouse in Birmingham – that celebrates the rich bonds and shared history of our community. 
Our Mission

The Ballard House Project Mission

The mission of the Ballard House Project, Inc., a non-profit entity, is dedicated to restoring and reprogramming African-American historic places.

Through its work to renovate The Ballard House, the organization is creating a cultural, historical & educational space & gardens, that honors the history of Birmingham’s community of color in the early 20th century leading up to the Movement. We are rediscovering, celebrating, and preserving the history of Birmingham’s African-American community – how they lived, worked, socialized, and served their community – in the first half of the 20th century.

The Ballard House Project,Inc. highlights the history of professional, trade, civic, service, and social contributions made by African-American entrepreneurs and community leaders. Collective contributions of this tight-knit community were possible due to gatherings, meetings, and memories over the years in this historic building.

The Goal of the Ballard House Project, Inc

We are restoring and renovating the 1940 historic structure and adjoining property with an updated twist to provide a valuable look into the past, while educating present-day audiences with culturally enriching programs, workshops, seminars, and exhibits.

Our Objectives

  • Implement a strategic capital master plan and educational programming for the historic structure and adjoining property that honors the history of Birmingham’s people of color.
  • Gather and exhibit oral histories (Individual and Collective Memories) and digital information on the surrounding community of people, residences, civic organizations, and businesses from Birmingham’s founding through present-day.
  • Produce cultural, historical, and educational programming for children and adults as the essence of the renovation and operation.
  • Establish a prize-winning, sustainable, flower & vegetable garden from the 1930’s-’60’s that reflects the skill and creativity of Birmingham cultivators of the earth and providers for their families.
  • Provide a retail opportunity that will serve as a sustaining source of income for the Ballard House Project to support capital, operating, and programming costs.
Community Testimonials

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