Birmingham Improv Festival

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The Birmingham International Improvisation Festival (or Birmingham Improv Festival) is an annual performing arts festival featuring improvisational performances in music, dance, and spoken word. It was founded in 1992 by LaDonna Smith.


The 2010 festival, called The Improvisor Festival, was held in Birmingham and other cities to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the improvisor journal. Events in Birmingham included parades, performances and installations by the HoWaYaDa Klann, Henry Kaiser, Walley Shoup, Chris Cochrane, Davey Williams, Gino Robair, Ut Gret, LaDonna Smith, the Shaking Ray Levis, Andrea Centazzo, Raj Kumar Singh, Oteil Burbridge, Matt Kimbrell, Craig Hultgren, SI Reasoning, Susan Hefner, Sycamore Toffel, Clifford McPeek, John English, Celeste LaBorde, Killick Erik Hinds, Michael Evans, Charles Norman Mason, Kathleen Hairston, Ultra Hip Revue, Rick Nance, Colonel Bruce Hampton, John Scalici, Sharrif Simmons, Spencer Leffel, Them Natives, Lindsey Motlow, Andrew Raffo DeWar, Doug Carroll, Hunter Bell and Portal Dementia. Local venues included Bare Hands Gallery, Red Cat, Children's Dance Foundation, Pepper Place, WorkPlay, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham, and Bottletree. Other sites included Montevallo, Eutaw, Chattanooga (Tennessee), Athens (Georgia). Seattle (Washington), and New York.


The 2001 festival was a month-long celebration co-produced by Neko Linda Grimm and Leisha Hultgren with performances at the Birmingham Art Association and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham. The "Outta Line" experimental film and video series was presented during the festival as well.


  • "Improvisation Festival" (October 2001) The Southsider. Vol. 2, No. 4
  • Chambers, Jesse (July 29, 2010) "LIVE in the moment ON FIRE." Birmingham Weekly

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