YEAR OF FRESH LOCAL ARTS KICKS OFF DURING SEPTEMBER DOWNTOWN ARTWALK
Culture Calendar 365, the first-ever full-year Arts & Culture Season Sampler launches at Artwalk
Hear an opera perform “West Side Story,” watch a ballet company bring “The Wizard of Oz” to the stage.
Enjoy Jefferson Starship and “Spamalot” in the same historic theatre in the same month. Experience the dramatic staging of an orchestra’s Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” on Palm Sunday and view the art of private collectors on loan in a gallery setting. Sounds like New York, London, Chicago or Paris, right? These events are all on the calendar for 2018-19 right here in Northwest Louisiana. These are just a few of hundreds of opportunities to experience the arts inside Culture Calendar 365, the firstever collection of fresh local arts making up a 365-day Arts & Culture calendar premiering free during Downtown Artwalk on Sept. 5, from 5-8 p.m. at artspace at 708 Texas St. in downtown Shreveport.
“The vibrant art scene in Northwest Louisiana is awe-inspiring. People across the country are constantly amazed at all that is happening in our region of the state,” said Pam Atchison, executive director of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC). “Actually, if you took every art program in Northwest Louisiana – all the weeks of theater, music, dance, visual art exhibitions, literary readings and independent film, and placed them on one contiguous ‘calendar,’ there would be more than 1,100 separate days of art in our region! Most of the events are totally free … and those that have a ticket price are, for the most part, easily under $30,” added Atchison.
The first Wednesday of each month, the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority throws an art party and invites you to experience art and artists, watch fun new street performers, grab a bite at a food truck, and walk through new exhibit openings as part of the Downtown Artwalk. For the Sept. 5 Downtown Artwalk, “art walkers” will find something special happening at artspace. Actors, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, painters, poets and arts administrators from across the 10 parishes of Northwest Louisiana are gathering to give you a glimpse of one entire year of events in three fast-flying hours of meeting and greeting, performances, music, art demonstrations, even a chance to get your season tickets. There will be giveaways including tickets to the Shreveport Opera’s “West Side Story” series; a chance to win a private afterhours tour of the R.W. Norton Art Gallery for four; and a hand-made lap-quilt by the Red River Quilters. Northwest Louisiana professional artists will also be at artspace during Downtown Artwalk selling original and limited edition artworks, jewelry, home accents and more.
This is your opportunity to enjoy a sampling of the 365 back-to-back days of arts and cultural programs and the professional artists who produce them and to receive your free copy of the first-ever Culture Calendar 365 created by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and Forum News in sponsorship with Dr. George Merriman II MD. and Freedom from Obesity. Plan your personal art season, meet arts organization leaders, order your tickets and even make a connection to volunteer or learn more about each arts group.
Visitors to artspace during Artwalk can also experience three separate exhibitions in artspace. One exhibit is entitled, “Let’s use our words,” featuring the work of Critical Mass 6 Best in Show Visual Artist Joshua Chambers (see page 37). A second exhibition entitled “Don’t Look Away,” showcasing the newest poetry of Critical Mass 6 Best in Show Literary Artist Katie Bickham, is displayed alongside illustrated representations commissioned by Bickham from Northwest Louisiana artists including Jazmin Jernigan, Kelly McDade, Lilly Thompson, Susan Abney and Paige Powell.
Additionally, visitors to the second floor at artspace will be given a unique glimpse into the “Collector’s Eye,” a rare opportunity to see private collections from individuals who collect the art of NWLA collectible artists.
This program is funded, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Louisiana Division of the Arts through the Office of Cultural Development and the City of Shreveport.
– Pat Viser