Art Works Blog

Art Works in Shreveport

Shreveport, Louisiana

by Pam Atchison, Executive Director, Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Once In A Millennium, a public art project created by the community working with nationally known muralist Meg Salisman in 2000. Image courtesy of Shreveport Regional Arts Council

The arts are a vibrant part of what makes Shreveport and our surrounding community unique. With 159 arts organizations and more than 2,000 artists in the immediate Northwest Louisiana area we can definitely say that the Arts Work. With our illustrious music history, we boast the early beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll, which began here with performances by Elvis Presley, Leadbelly, and countless others, who launched their careers on the stage of the Municipal Auditorium with the Louisiana Hayride.

Our first NEA grant was awarded in 1992 and we began implementing our Community Cultural Plan that included public art, national artists’ residences, and outdoor festivals that populated the downtown area. Today we are embarking on an even greater opportunity in utilizing the arts as a catalyst to revitalize a nine-block neglected area of our downtown that is home to the Municipal Auditorium, a legendary cemetery, historic churches, grand architecture, and artist studios. This opportunity came after our offices were destroyed by fire in August, 2009. The mayor and other community leaders rallied to see the Arts Council move from the fire to the historic Central Fire Station, turning it into a home for the arts with office space and conference room for artists and arts organizations, an emerging artists’ gallery, and multi-use space for black box theater or other presentations, in addition to space for the Arts Council’s offices. With initial NEA MICD25 grant funding, the project was launched and has grown significantly with private and public funding making “Shreveport Common” a reality.

To learn more about Shreveport Commons, check out our MICD25 Spotlight on Shreveport.

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