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"Vulcans on Parade" to Celebrate Birmingham's History and Cultural Institutions

Our Vulcan Statue Project began out of a challenge from the Project Corporate Leadership (PCL) opening retreat. We were challenged by the Facilitator of PCL to take something that could be improved in Birmingham and make it better. Our team came together and set goals for undertaking a project to meet this challenge. Our team decided that the project must have metrics of being tangible, sustainable, measurable, impactful, and innovative. With these criteria in mind, we discussed project ideas that would fulfill this mission.

After research, evaluation, and a little time to think big picture, we decided to undertake a project that would improve the public awareness of the attractions and cultural institutions in our city. The Birmingham community contains a high number of quality attractions despite the perception of some that these attractions and cultural institutions do not exist.

Our idea to accomplish this goal was simple: 1) choose a symbol that represents and unifies our metro Birmingham community 2) build miniature replicas of that symbol 3) commission local artists to paint the statues and further illustrate the culture of our city and finally 4) install the symbol in key locations to showcase our history, high quality of public attractions, and significant cultural institutions. With that information in mind, what better symbol for the Birmingham metro area than the Vulcan Statue? Since 1904, the cast iron Vulcan statue has been the trademark of our city.

Through partnerships with Vulcan Park & Museum, the BJCC, the Birmingham Museum of Art, Railroad Park, and the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, we were able to accomplish our goal. Two hand-painted replica statues of Vulcan will be placed in downtown Birmingham. One statue will be placed at the entrance of the BJCC and the other at Railroad Park. The statues weigh around 100 pounds and are eight feet tall. Local artists associated with the Birmingham Museum of Art, Paul Cordes Wilm and Carrie McGrann provided the artwork for the statues.

This initial project to place two statues in the Birmingham metro area was launched as a pilot project to kick off a series of "mini-vulcans" around the area. The next goal is to have many more statues in place over the next year. Local businesses, communities, or individuals are welcome to get involved and support our project.