P.O. Box 610781, Birmingham, AL 35261-0781
The East Lake Arts District (ELAD) is a resident operated grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering revitalization in the East Lake neighborhoods and enhancing the quality of life in East Lake by celebrating the cultural diversity of our residents through the visual and performing arts.
To achieve our mission we strive to promote arts education in our neighborhood schools and provide arts opportunities to our neighborhood residents, both adults and children. Through our various projects and collaborations with other community organizations, we bring art to East Lake.
Art on R Mountain is our premier event. Held annually, and always on the first Saturday of April, Art on R Mountain bring thousands to our community and the gem of South East Lake, the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.
Art on R Mountain features not only artists but also live entertainment featuring bands, dance troupes and choral groups from our neighborhood schools. The Ruffner “Treehouse” conference room hosts visual art displays. The Bards of Birmingham, a youth Shakespeare troupe based in East Lake, also participates with a roaming group for impromptu “Bard in a Box” performances. A long main stage performance is an afternoon highlight.
The East Lake Purple House Parade gave ELAD life in 2009. We collaborate with real estate agents with current listings in the East Lake neighborhoods to host Sunday afternoon “open house” events twice annually, in the spring and before the Christmas holidays. We add local Birmingham metro artists and musicians to the mix for a unique Sunday afternoon art show.
Our current public art initiative, Art in Empty Windows, is a collaborative effort with the East Lake Merchant Group to highlight business property in the East Lake business district, primarily along the 1st Ave N corridor. Art in Empty Windows displays art in the empty business storefronts in a gallery setting that is viewable while walking or driving through the neighborhood.
Other exciting things in the future include an artists’ cooperative gallery and a performing arts center in the heart of the East Lake business district.
Our primary objective is to bring about a revitalization and renewed awareness for our historic community. We want to show the City of Birmingham and the surrounding suburbs and communities that East Lake is not a collection of run down, backwater streets to be shunned and feared but a vibrant, diverse neighborhood of multiple cultures that should be embraced and encouraged to flourish.