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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Toasting to Art

Bossier Arts Council mixes art, cocktails for signature event


Fundraiser events like ARTini are what make programs possible for the Bossier Arts Council.

Robin Jones, executive director of the BAC, said the success of ARTini has allowed BAC to boast some impressive programming in recent years, including but not limited to Gallery Exhibition Spaces, Budding Artist Association, East Bank Theatre, Artist One Stop, Monthly Literary Series, Project Art Supplies and DigiFest South.

The sixth annual ARTini will be held at Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, at 7 p.m. April 25.

“The mission of ARTini is to raise funds to help with general operation costs and programming of the BAC,” Jones said. “In addition, it celebrates the talent and creative spirit of our areas artists, musicians and restaurants.”

Jones is particularly proud of all the local support BAC receives each year to make ARTini happen.

“We started ARTini six years ago because we needed a fundraiser, and we knew we wanted to incorporate the culinary arts, while showcasing local artists and musicians,” Jones said. She said partygoers enjoy the opportunity to sample inventive cocktails, which can themselves be considered works of art, while enjoying live music and local art.

Jones said part of the fun of ARTini is casting a vote for the best martinis; each local restaurant competes for coveted titles such as “Most Savory,” “Best Martini” and “People’s Choice.” This year’s participating restaurants include Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Wine Country Bistro, Zocolo, Abby Singer’s Bistro, Don Juanz Baja Beach Tacos, Ralph and Kacoo’s and Bella Fresca.

Jones said each ARTini event has been more and more successful.

“As we have grown, we have had to change venues to keep up with attendance. I think we have found the perfect place for our event in the Horseshoe Riverdome,” Jones said. “The Riverdome provides a great atmosphere and plenty of space to mingle and enjoy all that ARTini has to offer. This year BAC features the artwork of Micah Harold and music by Engine. “Both are a little edgy,” Jones said.

Harold is a well-known local artist, a lifelong resident of Shreveport-Bossier City, and owner of Red Handed Tattoo.

Engine is a local band who has toured around the country since their formation in 2010. Their music falls in the “spacewestern” genre, and they have participated in SXSW, Southsounds, Tree Fort Festival, DemonFest, Mayfest and other music festivals.

To complement the entertainment, Jones recommends attendees spice up their attire a bit this year.

“ARTini has always been an upscale cocktail event, but this year you can kick it up a notch and add a little rock ‘n’ roll to your outfit.”

Tickets are $55 per person in advance and $65 at the door, and space is limited because only 800 tickets will be sold.

“Attendees will also have chance to purchase a locally, hand painted martini glass done by a local artist,” Jones said. “Last year, ARTini brought in just over $40,000. We hope that this year’s event will be even bigger and better.”

All of the money raised stays in the area to support local artists, Jones said.

“The BAC is dedicated to promoting, supporting and providing cultural events and programming in order to enhance the quality of life and to develop a cultural identity for Bossier Parish,” Jones said.

Jones said the council is growing its reach through art.

“Over the years, BAC has grown, focusing on expanding arts opportunities in community theater, visual arts, festivals and exhibits, arts education for children and adults, public arts, and grants opportunities,” Jones said.

“Specific expansion efforts have included 18 murals throughout Bossier, three major sculptures, a metal art zoo and the art annex which houses a variety of art classes.”

Want to go?

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 741-8310.


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