Except, the library is facing new challenges this year and we are unable to have a Bards & Brews this month.
Here are the three main challenges the Bards & Brews program is facing in 2017:
1) Last year the state legislature passed a bill (aka the growler bill) that included language that put a big limitation on beer donations by Alabama's breweries. In order to continue serving beer at these events, we are going to have to actually purchase the beer—and it is not possible for us to use library (aka taxpayer) money to purchase beer.
2) The grant cycle for this program has run its course. 2017 is the sixth year of Bards & Brews and our grant funding has essentially disappeared since the program is no longer a novel idea.
3) The Birmingham Public Library has had to re-prioritize budgeting for programs and there is no money for us to pay our servers, provide refreshments, cash prizes for slam winners, and so forth.
Now having said all of that, we want you to know that there is a dedicated group of BPL staff and community supporters who are working to keep Bards & Brews alive and vital.
The program will have some changes ahead and we are going to be asking for your help.
We will have a Bards & Brews in February.
It will be an All Star Bards & Brews with previous slam winners and crowd favorites performing. There will be beer (donated by Grayton Beer Company out of Florida) and light refreshments and there will be a great band performing.
And we will be asking for your support. More details and some big announcements are coming.
So stay tuned!