BPL’s Bards & Brews Receives $3,900 Grant from Alabama State Council on the Arts

Blaque Diamond at a Bards & Brews open mic. The Birmingham Public Library received a $3,900 grant from the Alabama Council on the Arts to help fund its popular spoken word poetry program.  


Birmingham, Ala. - The Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library has received a $3,900 grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts to help fund the Birmingham Public Library's popular Bards & Brews spoken word programs. 

The grant will allow BPL to provide its ongoing showcase for Birmingham metro area spoken word performers, both established voices and first-time poets, as well as to spotlight the city’s emerging craft breweries. Through Bards & Brews, BPL is making Alabama’s communities stronger and the state’s arts and culture sector more vibrant.

The grant announcement comes as BPL prepares to host its first in-person Bards & Brews poetry slam in nearly two years at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 5, at the Central Library. During the slam, 10 of Alabama’s most talented spoken word poets will compete for a $300 grand prize.

Candice Hardy, Creative Director of Bards & Brews, said the ASCA grant will allow BPL to continue to fulfill its mission to serve the community through programs that engage Alabamians to experience the arts.

"The Birmingham Public Library: Bards & Brews committee expresses gratitude to the Alabama State Council on the Arts for their continued support of creative, literary art forms,” Hardy said. “As a 2022 grant recipient, the future of Bards & Brews is bright with endless possibilities. Thank you ASCA!"

Now embarking on its second decade, BPL’s ever-popular Bards & Brews events have been held at various BPL branch locations, as well as other county libraries, craft been venues such as Ferus Artisan Ales in Trussville, and public arts spaces such as the Birmingham Museum of Art across the metro area. Admission to all spoken word programs is free to the public. 

Bards & Brews has received public accolades as an event that unifies the metro Birmingham arts community, drawing in diverse crowds of all races and ages to BPL and other host venues. 

This grant, awarded by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, is made possible through funding from an annual appropriation from the Alabama State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. This public support enables BPL to reach new audiences, foster community development, provide the highest quality programming, and demonstrate the importance of arts as a key component for quality of life in Alabama.

About BPL

The mission of the Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality experience to our community for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 18 locations and serving the community for over 130 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast. For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, follow us on Facebook and  Twitter @BPL. Click here for links to all of BPL's social media pages. 

About Alabama State Council on the Arts 

The Council on the Arts is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Alabama. The Council works to expand and preserve the state’s cultural resources by supporting nonprofit arts organizations, schools, colleges, units of local government, and individual artists. Arts programs, assisted by Council grants, have a track record of enhancing community development, education, cultural tourism, and overall quality of life in all regions of the state. Alabama State Council on the Arts grants are made possible by an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and additional funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Learn more at www.arts.alabama.gov.