The organization programs this historic educational and cultural space with an
updated twist as a modern day gathering place with special events, seminars,
lectures, weekly classes, cafe, garden, and retail component. The BH Project is developing a gallery and permanent exhibits that will use photographs and words, digital images and clips, to highlight the life and business of the African-American community from the turn of the 20th century to modern day.
Monthly workshops offered for the general public include presentations on: African-American History, Culture, Art, Literacy, Finances, Cuisine, Gardening, Geneology, Preservation, Oral History, Spoken Word, Woodworking, Crafts/Trades, Enriching Families, Philanthropy, Modern-day Issues, Civic Engagement, Empowerment, and Health & Wellness.
The organization will recreate a 1950-60’s African-American Physician’s Exam Room, a replica of a mid-20th century-era doctor’s exam room, presenting milestones of many African-American physicians and professionals who contributed to community health.
Documenting Oral Histories
For several years, BH Project staff have captured and documented oral histories from individuals and small groups and their memories of what life was like in our city, how people lived, worked, socialized, and served their community. This information, from individuals from all walks of life, collectively reflects dreams, struggles and accomplishments of African Americans through the generations. One priority is to expand the project, enhance it through educational partnerships, and develop the most comprehensive oral history initiative for Birmingham residents and their families.
In a January, 2014 “Collective Memory” oral history session, Ruth Barefield-Pendleton, educator, former secretary of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, and widow of Dr. Tyree Barefield-Pendleton, recounted her personal memories of The Ballard House, “We held our meetings and special events for the Holiday Club and many clubs here. Many people used the Ballard House for entertaining if their homes could not accommodate larger groups. Chapters of local and national organizations were chartered here. This was a prominent place in the Birmingham community.” Serving as a cultural think-tank, the Ballard House Project, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama strives to focus all in one direction: If we are to properly understand the past, we have to try to understand what it meant for those who lived it and try to place ourselves in their situation.
Programs implemented by The Ballard House Project, Inc. include:
- Birmingham Oral History Project
- Interpretive Discussions and Performances
- Inter-generational Dialogue Seminars
- Workshops / Programs on African-American History & Culture
- Genealogy Workshops
- Spoken Word Artists / Period Music / Film Series
- Folk and Emerging Artists
- Woodworking and Craft Classes
- Local and International Musicians
- Authors and Literary Experts
- Architectural Heritage and Vintage Auctions
Sustainable And Teaching Gardens
Classes and workshops with Gardening Experts
Community and Economic Impact
We strive to:
Promote understanding, dialogue, and a greater community connection to our collective and shared heritage and culture.
Educate and inspire children and adults with lectures, workshops, and classes on creative and practical life skills, invaluable to the past, present, and future.
Host interactive, historic and modern-day exhibits and activities that provide a teaching and entertaining experience for Birmingham residents and visitors.
Promote health and sustainable gardening practices to connect to the environment.