Vulcan Park and Museum is committed to carrying its educational mission beyond the boundaries of the park and to offering assistance to resource-challenged schools.
Birmingham: A View of Ourselves
Vulcan Park and Museum invites student photographers to submit digital images that capture the natural and architectural beauty of Birmingham. A number of these photographs will become part of Birmingham: A View of Ourselves and will be seen by thousands of schoolchildren and other visitors each year.
Vulcan Face to Face
[ Grades 2 - 5]
Vulcan Face to Face is a fun way to prepare students for their upcoming visit to Vulcan Park and Museum. Performed by Vulcan’s plush mascot “V” with support from a Vulcan Park and Museum education staff member, this interactive 20-minute classroom performance provides entertaining lessons on history, science and art; excites students about future exploration of Vulcan and our region; and raises teacher awareness of how to effectively use Vulcan Park and Museum’s educational content to advance the Alabama Course of Study. Cost and availability vary.
Birmingham History on the Road
[ Grades 9 - 12 ]
The history of Birmingham extends far beyond Vulcan’s educational complex atop Red Mountain! Let us help you delve deeper into Birmingham’s colorful past through Birmingham History on the Road, Vulcan Park and Museum’s repertory of traveling musical and theatrical productions. In an effort to preserve some of Birmingham’s fascinating stories, we have commissioned four new productions – two musical, two theatrical – showcasing individuals who have made significant contributions and highlighting pivotal events from Birmingham’s past. Factual, entertaining and loaded with ACOS-aligned content, these dynamic productions are an ideal way to inspire high school age students with the message that they, too, can impact the world.
Birmingham History on the Road productions last approximately one hour and can be presented in an auditorium or gym setting for large assemblies. Productions are offered in a limited number of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Costs and availability vary with each production. Click here for a list of online resources for Birmingham History on the Road.
It’s 1938 and people from all over the country are coming to Birmingham for the inaugural meeting of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare. Crossing Lines introduces us to a fictional attendee, Eunice, who has come to Birmingham eager to support the causes of tolerance, education and opportunity for all Southerners. While staying in a segregated hotel, Eunice strikes up a friendship with a down-to-earth bellboy named Pete and sparks within him a passion to change Birmingham into the city it was destined to become.
Crossing Lines reminds us that the city known as the birthplace of civil rights in the 1960s was also the cradle of the progressive movement in the South, a place where socialism and Jim Crow, the Old South and the New Deal, lived side by side. This theatrical performance was written by playwright Lee Shackleford.
Sun Ra: Musician, Poet, and Philosopher
Born in 1912, the jazz legend Sun Ra began his musical journey as Herman Blount, training at Birmingham Industrial High School under Fess Whatley. As the Afro-futurist philosopher and bandleader Sun Ra, he drew from the psychedelic movement, mysticism, bebop and black liberation movement – yet Sun Ra is considered one of the most original musicians ever to perform.
Sun Ra: Musician, Poet, and Philosopher is presented by the Birmingham Seven. Led by saxophonist Daniel Western, the Birmingham Seven perform original transcriptions of numbers featured on Sun Ra’s classic album Magic City and other recordings by the man from Saturn.
Too Many Questions: An Evening with Virginia Durr
Born in Birmingham in 1903, Virginia Durr grew up immersed in the conventions of the segregated South. But Durr broke with tradition and became one of the country’s most passionate voices for civil rights and labor reform.
Too Many Questions: An Evening with Virginia Durr offers an intimate portrayal of Durr’s associations with Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and Justice Hugo Black. This one-act, one-woman play, based in part on Durr’s letters, was written by playwright Lee Shackleford and is performed by local actress Ellise Mayor .
Bobby Horton: The Stories of Alabama Folk Art
Multi-instrumentalist, composer and music historian Bobby Horton has established an international reputation performing music for film. Recently, Bobby considered how to translate Alabama’s folk art tradition into sound and story. Bobby Horton: The Stories of Alabama Folk Art explores the ties between these two worlds.
Birmingham Breakdown: The Magic City in Popular Song
Ethel Waters and Lead Belly evoked the image of the southern steel city while singing the blues. Big band leaders, including Tommy Dorsey, Erskine Hawkins and Duke Ellington, made the Magic City swing. Birmingham Breakdown, performed by the Birmingham Seven, reminds us that, over the years, Birmingham has inspired a wealth of jazz and popular musicians.
Love in the Ruins: The Mind of Walker Percy
Novelist Walker Percy’s family rose to prominence just as the city was beginning to capitalize on its mineral resources. His grandfather’s marriage to the daughter of iron magnate Henry DeBardeleben connected him to one of the city’s most important industrialists. Love in the Ruins, a one-act, one-man play inspired by the author’s writings, illustrates how Birmingham shaped Percy into one of the twentieth century’s most original authors.
Thanks to the generosity of our funding partners, we are sometimes able to invite classrooms, primarily from underserved school districts, to participate in field trips at Vulcan Park and Museum at no or reduced cost. Funding for select schools is also available for our outreach programs. Opportunities for grant-supported field trips and outreach programs are limited. Please contact Educational Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine if your school is eligible.
Additionally, corporate donors and other funding agencies may have funds that can be used for educational field trips at Vulcan Park and Museum. Such sources require the school or teacher to apply. We are happy to provide links below to those sources as they become known to us. Please check back for updates.