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Memorial and Reflection: An Art, History, and Civil Rights Tour

April 27 @ 6:00 am - May 2 @ 6:00 pm

Join us on an art, history, and civil rights tour of Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham, Alabama, from Wednesday, April 27-Monday, May 2

Join us for a unique opportunity to explore the difficult past and enduring impact of the civil rights movement, through art, history, and memorial. This tour will showcase the stories, personal reflections, and cultural contributions of the people who call Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham their home. Anchored by the opening reception of Lava Thomas’ retrospective exhibition Homecoming, curated by Bridget R. Cooks (curator of The Black Index), and featuring visit to Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, this travel opportunity promises inspiration, learning, and reflection.

Throughout our trip, we will be highlighting some of the best of the area’s art, culture, dining, and outdoor spaces. Spring is a lovely time of year to experience the South. You won’t want to miss this opportunity—space is limited!

OUR SCHEDULE:

Day One, April 27, Arrival:

Fly in to Montgomery, Alabama.

Day Two, April 28, Montgomery:

We will begin our tour in Montgomery with Black artist, activist, and recent recipient of USA Today’s Woman of the Year Michelle Browder. Michelle will welcome us with a reception influenced by the African Diaspora. She will then escort us on a private tour of cultural and historic sites throughout the city, including the home of Rosa Parks, the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Alabama State Capitol. After a tour of historic neighborhoods in the City, we will stop for lunch with storyteller Chaplain Browder. We will then visit The Mothers of Gynecology Park, a memorial honoring the enslaved women who endured painful experiments by the father of gynecology, J. Marion Sims. Later that evening, we will attend the opening reception of Homecoming: Lava Thomas at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. We will end the evening with dinner at the highly regarded Vintage Year restaurant.

Day Three, April 29, Montgomery:

We will spend the next day exploring the important Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum, founded and led by acclaimed public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson, the author of the book Just Mercy and subject of the recent film of the same name. Located on the site of a former slave warehouse, the museum charts the history of enslavement to mass incarceration. After lunch, we will visit the companion National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the only national memorial acknowledging the more than 4,400 men, women, and children victims of racial terror and lynching. These two sites were named Alabama Tourism’s 2019 Attraction of the Year.

Day Four, April 30, Selma:

This day will involve a full-day private coach journey to Selma, over the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, to view the Brown Chapel AME Church—the site of the “Bloody Sunday” confrontation. Other stops will include historical venues and selected Selma art galleries. We will also meet with the women of Gee’s Bend to learn more about their quilts and their family stories. The day will end in Birmingham, a lively city of cultural and historical attractions.

Day Five, May 1, Birmingham:

Exploring Birmingham, we will start with a southern brunch, then visits to sites that include the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument Park, and the 16th Street Baptist Church, location of the 1963 bombing. We will visit the Birmingham Museum of Art along with a visit to a private collection or gallery. The day will end with a special treat—dinner at Automatic Seafood and Oysters, where chef Adam Evans was recently named one of the semifinalists of the 2022 James Beard Awards.

Day Six, May 2, Birmingham, and Departure:

On our final day, we will visit the largest cast iron observation tower in the world—created from 100,000 pounds of iron standing 45 feet tall—at Vulcan Park and Museum. We will also visit Kelly Ingram Park, which features emotionally powerful sculptures depicting the civic rights struggle in Birmingham. If time allows, we look forward to exploring the historic loft district and shopping at the Homewood neighborhood and Pepper Place—a new shopping area in a former warehouse.

We recommend an afternoon or evening flight departure.

LODGING:

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center, Montgomery, Apr 27-30 (three nights)—This downtown hotel located along the riverfront area boasts stunning architecture highlighted by modern amenities, a spa, and a rooftop pool.

The Tutwiler Hotel Hampton Inn & Suites, Birmingham, Apr 30-May 1 (two nights)—The Tutwiler has been selected for both the Mobil Travel Guide Four-Star and AAA Four Diamond awards. Built in the 1920s, the Tutwiler Hotel is a showplace in the heart of Birmingham’s vibrant business and financial districts.

FLIGHTS:

Flights are not included in the cost of this trip. We recommend flying in to Montgomery, Alabama on April 27. We recommend booking your return flight from Birmingham, Alabama after 4 p.m. on May 2. Please contact the Foundation if you would like advice on recommended flights at karen.kwan@paacf.org.

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change due to unexpected circumstances.

The tour costs $3,910 for singles and $6,310 for doubles, with accommodation, meals, and museum admissions included. Meals on the first and last day are not covered.

The deadline to book your place on the tour is Monday, April 18.