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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Take a Seat at Caddo Common Park

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AARP Community Challenge funds grant

Caddo Common Park will have a new look on Father’s Day. Eight permanent, ADAaccessible tables sets with umbrellas will be installed at the Caddo Common Art Bosque food truck area, located at 869 Texas Ave., just in time for Uncommon Sunday in the Park, June 20, from 12 – 4:45 p.m.

“This is an exciting next step for Caddo Common Park,” said Wendy Benscoter, executive director of Shreveport Common Inc. “The community will enjoy having a place to sit and eat lunch, watch  performances, play tabletop games and meet friends.”

An AARP Community Challenge grant funded the seating. The Covid pandemic restrictions delayed installation. Last week, park partner Ralph Whitley of Ralph Whitley Builders offered to install the table sets so that seating would be available for the Father’s Day event.

“We are thrilled that public and private partners including AARP and Ralph Whitley Construction have come together to make this urban park possible,” said Benscoter. “The Phase I greenspace is just beautiful. The grass is green, the Louisiana Gardens are in bloom, and the trees are growing,” she added.

Construction is scheduled to begin this month on the Mike McSwain-designed outdoor performance pavilion and the mister station. Three 20’ solar and LED-lit artisttrees designed by the late Jim Hayes and artist Bruce Allen are being fabricated by Allen and are well under way.

“We are excited about the addition of the tables in the Caddo Common Park,” said Natorshau Davis, Caddo Common Park coordinator. “The community will now have a place to relax and enjoy all the programing that is being offered by Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) in collaboration with Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation. We are inviting the community to come enjoy ‘Uncommon Sundays’ in the park, fitness and arts activities, live art performances and animal talk with the Walter B. Jacobs Nature Team.”

Uncommon Sundays are offered every third Sunday. SRAC and Caddo Parish Parks are also promoting Walking Wednesdays and Fitness Thursdays in Caddo Common park.

Shreveport Common was selected to receive the AARP Community Challenge grant funds because the nine-block public/private creative placemaking initiative is creating a livable community with great places for all residents. AARP believes that communities should provide safe, walkable streets, affordable and accessible housing and transportation options, access to needed services and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.

“Together, city of Shreveport, Caddo Parish and over 100 donors big and small helped turn a triangle of unusable broken concrete parcels to a park for everyone to enjoy,” said Benscoter. “At the same time, local developers and property owners are completing innovative and transformative projects in the longblighted area.”

Benscoter said that endangered buildings and unused spaces are becoming exciting mixed-rate and mixed-use live/workspaces, maker spaces and community spaces. $54 million has been invested in Shreveport Common by public and private partners and the arts and artists since the community Vision Plan was approved in 2021.

“The revitalization of the nine blocks of Shreveport Common has been a true community effort,” said Benscoter about the area she says was once considered hopeless.


When: Sunday, June 20, noon-4:45 p.m. 

Where: 869 Texas Ave.

What to Expect:

Fitness Activities
Yoga Instructor - Whitney Hunter
Fitness Instructors - Juston Jonson, Imperium
Fitness/Planet Fitness; Darcell “Swoll” Francois, YOKAFELA/ Plex.

Performances

Stage Center – “Lion King” from their upcoming performance

Poetry - Poetic X

Music - Mollie Corbett and Renee Caldwell

Children’s Activities

Hands-on Activities - Crystalyn Whitaker

“Perfect Pollinators” - Walter B Jacobs Nature Animal. Short lessons on bees presented. Local “Beekeepers” – Lessons on bees, honey samples, games and more Plein Aire Artist

Live painting from the highest point in the park - Ben Moss and Chett McDaniel

Vendors

RNL Authentics – West African and American Cuisine Fuse

Dripp Donuts – Gourmet Sourdough Donuts

Thrifty Liquor

Arts Market

Ben Moss

Chet McDaniel

Sherry Tamburo

Christena Francis

Joshua Brittan

Greg Powell of SBRides will be on site

To learn more, visit these websites:

Shreveport Common Redevelopment – www.shreveportcommon.com.

Programming in Caddo Common Park – www.shrevearts.org/calendar

AARP Community  Challenge Livable Communities – www.aarp.org/livable

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