Monday, March 31, 2008

Christmas in the Sky kickoff party at Capri Theater, Tues, Ap 1, 5:30 pm; SRAC: Bring a friend!

On Tues, April 1, "Be the first to sneak a peek at the new Capri," says Pam Atchison. Lacking Mrs Atchison's imprimatur I might have suspected a fool's errand.

Still, Xmas in the Sky deserves a clever kick-off party. And we haven't seen the inside of the Capri since the salad days. Capri host is club impresario Charles Lombardino.

Bring a friend, says Pam.

Building a set for the fantabulous evening of constant cleavage can be a wickedly creative act She also says "Uncover the theme." Bring ideas for auction items. Register to volunteer.

Munchies and cash bar at 618 Milam Street.

The Sky date? Sat, Dec 13, 2008.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Review: Sizing up the singular Peekers, Shreveport's other indie rock sextet

01-12-08 - The Peekers 026
Originally uploaded by myelination
When I heard The Big Positive in 2005 I nearly pooped; their early myspace tracks featured tight harmonies and keyboard parts beyond their years. Later, John Martin and Michael Stephens of Big Positive joined forces with songstress Brittney Maddox. That's the essence of the Peekers, one of Shreveport's most popular gang of groovies.

Martin is a mensch. His sense of composition is complex, melodic, Beatlesque. Each section of a John Martin tune has its own story to tell. And in each one he tries to keep himself from getting bored.

Michael Stephens is master of dynamics and of George Harrison-like tonalities and riffery. He's a capable singer, too.

Brittney Maddox is a solo performer as well as a writer of tunes and setter of moods. Listen to recordings on and you'll see where she and Martin mesh. Folk pop melodies bubble up from her heart. Martin blends her flights with his descents. And they have one of the more prestigious recording deals of local bands: they're on the Park The Van label.

Yet: pardon me if I envision the end of the charming Peekers. For all their work, I hear a different set of singers if there is to be larger success for Brittney Maddox.

John Martin and Michael Stephens need one more voice capable of Lennon-McCartney tightness. And there must be utter submission to Martin's compositional needs.

The Peekers are two great bands currently under one tent.

You'll get some idea of the creative collision that is the Peekers in a video of "Gather it all" shot at the KSCL Battle of the Bands 08.

Sierra Club leads clean air awareness battle in Bayou State: is there an alternative to coal?

Leslie March, Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club, and John Atkeison of the Alliance for Affordable Energy, met with a small group in Shreveport last week to evaluate Entergy's plan to convert its Little Gypsy power plant from gas to coal and petroleum coke, writes Janet Creech.

The Public Service Commission will decide in May if Entergy can charge consumers in advance for the future work by raising consumer rates, said the lecturers. Many banks won't even consider financing a coal-fired plant, so Entergy wants the ratepayers to pay up front. Rates could go up 30% in some of Louisiana's poorest parishes, said Atkeison. Rates for natural gas have gone up, but recent events show coal doing the same thing, as overseas needs are increasing. The adverse affects on climate and health make coal a bad choice for Louisiana's future, says the Sierra Club.

One way to help is to write a letter to Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell to remind him that Entergy's plan is short sighted and that Louisiana should be focusing on a future of clean, renewable energy.

Imagination, moxie being tested as Shreveport tries to decide the fate of the symphony's core players

Horn / SusanRogers, SSO
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Is this generation of Shreveporters unwilling to fully sustain a gift - a resident orchestra - bestowed upon us by an earlier generation?

For a moment, imagine the financial restoration of the symphony as a challenge faced by hot-shot groups of competitive people who appreciate what Shreveport has to offer. Are there any models to use as a show-me? SciPort comes to mind as a parallel to the SSO. Robinson Film center is another success. The advent of the city's first black mayor offers lessons in how to retool an institution.

Is the tariff for keeping the core musicians a ridiculous sum?

Is there a question as to how much enrichment there is to be had from paying a highly-trained group of players - by contract - to present performances and educate our youth?

Shreveport has been riding a wave for the past year or two. The money from the oil patch is flowing, the series of movie productions has raised our self-esteem, the successes of SciPort, Centenary College, Caddo Magnet High, the Robinson Film Center and Cedric Glover have enabled the city to contemplate a higher rank in urban quality of life. Then there are the tantalizing possibilities of the Cyber Command facility.

The city is at a crossroads in cultural commitment. Is there a group of builders who can overarch the current Symphony board's fall-back budget?

Across America the average city is struggling to pay the orchestra.
Might a group of Shreveporters show the entire nation how to retool this institution?

This crisis presents an opportunity for a new generation of community leaders to evolve. As a past member of the SSO board who burned out under the mandatory sacrifices of hours of meetings and money to be raised, I'm aware of both the satisfactions and privations to be faced in being a friend of the symphony.

This is Not an easy one. But maintaining the gold standard, making sure that tradiitional culture flourishes, is always a challenge.

If you're ready to hear the magic and see the core performers in action, please add Sat, Ap 5, 7:30 pm, Riverside Theater to your calendar. This concert, called Shakespeare & Co, presents an integration of drama and music. It's part of a series called Symphonic Fusion initiated by Maestro Michael Butterman.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Battle of the Bands, the Shell amphitheater, Centenary College; drums begin at 1:10 Sat, Mar 29, and go to 4:35

KSCL manager Jon Schleuss, crazy mad student of new media and music, has led the production of the '08 KSCL BotB. And he will be live blogging the event on His tag is gaufre.

Looks like the weather's going to be good for music in the lovely amphitheater.

1:00 Setup
1:10 Play - the Dark Pop Project
1:25 Setup
1:35 Play - the Peekers
1:50 Setup
2:00 Play - And, Wellington
2:15 Setup
2:25 Play - the Situation
2:40 Break - - - 15 mins / raffle
2:55 Setup
3:05 Play - 6 Pack Deep
3:20 Setup
3:30 Play - Chris James
3:45 Setup
3:55 Play - Missoni Lanza
4:10 Setup
4:20 Play - Midwest Caravan
4:35 Break - - - 10 mins / raffle
4:45 The winner will be announced

Friday, March 28, 2008

Shreveport food review: consuming the crawfish *fat* in Creole / Cajun-style boiled mudbugs

Took home a few pounds of boiled mudbugs from Shaver's today and found them excellent: the size was medium to medium plus, the shells were light and easy to peel, texture of the meat was creamy and the flavor was Essence of Louisiana Boiled Crawfish.

The price was about $3 a pound; eheu.

Y'know, the posterized idea of *sucking the heads* bothers me. What should be happening after you've consumed the tailmeat is capturing the lump of what we in Louisiana call crawfish fat. It's inside the thorax and is not gotten by sucking. You dig into the main body cavity with your little finger and out comes an orangish-yellowish lump of penultimate flavor. It's the crawfish liver and pancreas, according the Glen Pitre's classic reference, The Crawfish Book (U Press of Mississippi, '93). Creole cooks consider the hepatopancreatic material mandatory for crawfish etouffee.

A couple of items to consider for those new to eating Louisiana-style boiled crawfish: one, it's loaded with salt. Two, the chili pepper in the crawfish makes your fingers fiery - even after washing - and unusuable for touching sensitive tissue such as your eyes. Three: crawfish, says Pitre, are low in fat and high in minerals. Alas, they are high in cholesterol.

The spices found in the pot of a Cajun crawfish boil reflect the blending of African, Caribbean and European folkways that is the Bayou State at its best. Red pepper, onion, garlic, lemon and salt are the mainstays.

Al Bohl's workshop for kids and adults, Be Animated!, opens Sat, Mar 29, at SciPort, Shreveport

Al Bohl: Be Animated at SciPort
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Sci-Port has a new exhibit area all about animation, says Jennifer Tuxen.

Be Animated!, was conceived and designed by Sci-Port’s art director, Al Bohl. It opens in the second floor technology gallery Sat, Mar 29.

Bohl attributes his inspiration for Be Animated! to the increasing popularity of this scientific and technologically-driven art form. “Year after year, the top ten grossing motion pictures are dominated by either animated films or films that rely heavily on animation for special effects,” said Bohl.

Be Animated! features three sections:

2D—Uses computer software to help crate art in motion.

Stop motion—A camera takes a number of pictures of lifeless objects that are moved by hand at a very small distance. When the individual frames are played at a continuous sequence, the objects appear to move like they are live.

Draw! Draw! Draw! (Flip Book)—A simple form of animation consisting of a sequence of drawings or photographs, that when "flipped" through by the viewer, create the illusion of motion.

Bohl is an internationally recognized cartoonist and author who has worked on over 70 books for various publishers. His textbook, Guide to Cartooning, of which one chapter deals exclusively with animation, is being used in many schools throughout the U.S. He is also writing the script for a new video game, Conquest of the Coastlands, for a game company.

(318) 424-3466, toll-free (877) 724-7678, or

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Actor's Cafe: jammin' belly dance led by Erin Berry, Shreveport, Sat, Mar 29, 8 and 10 pm

Erin Berry, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Please join us at our "open stage" belly dance show this weekend, says Erin Berry.

Sat, Mar 29, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Actors' Cafe (formerly Bear's)
1401 Fairfield Avenue
Shreveport , LA 71101


New Orleans, Bayou State music, cooking, interviews to be sold globally via and Louisiana Digital Network, says Bob Vernon is now part of, says Bob Vernon. The brand is being marketed around the world as a digital destination point for high quality content delivery to internet, IPTV and cell phones.

The vision of NOTV.TV is to provide the global audience with the very best in Louisiana music, food, culture and heritage as we create the Louisiana Digital Network™.

Of great importance to all artists, producers and creative entrepreneurs is our ability to monetize their content. Whether you’ve got downloadable music, video performances, documentaries, films or cooking shows, we can help you monetize your content and we may provide major corporate sponsors to tie-in to the marketing campaigns.

We’re equally as honored to work with DestinationNetwork.TV co-founder Lamar Berry of International Marketing Systems in New Orleans ( Lamar’s incredible marketing history and understanding of Louisiana create diverse new avenues for the marketing of Louisiana music and culture through cross-branding, multimedia marketing and topic relevant overtures.

Robert G. Vernon
desk 925.476.8131
las vegas 702.577.2033
mobile 925.550.1254
Louisiana 318.742.9090

Romulus Remus opening for the Peekers at Jayne Marie Fri, Mar 28, 7 pm, Cross Lake, Shreveport

Peekers, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The Peekers will be headlining and Romulus Remus (Nathan Woods, Kern Courtney, Steve Sullivan) will be opening Friday night, beginning at 7 pm, says Jayne Lanza.

"We will again be featuring our famous Jayne Marie On Cross Lake Cheap Eats menu, (the only dining destination in Shreveport where gourmet hot-dogs are served on a china plate with a linen napkin).
Longnecks will be 1/2 off and cover charge is $5.00. An added bonus is a drawing for a $50.00 iTunes gift card."

Upcoming at the former Smith's Cross Lake Inn: "Shreveport's own blues guitarist Kevin Gordon will be performing Ap 19. Kevin now resides in Nashville and recently returned from the prestigious Belfast Nashville Songwriter's Festival in Belfast, North Ireland. "

See the blog link list, please.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bluebirds on the patio at El Chico's Madison Park Shreveport on Fri, Mar 28, 7 to 9 pm

Bluebirds, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The Bluebirds (Bruce,Cody,& Jimmy) will be at El Chico's Madison Park Fri, March 28 from 7-9, says Bruce Flett. " Last time was great - we had the head of the Philosophy Department of Stanford University and other top schools as well as Ben Manilla, who produces many radio/TV shows including House of Blues Radio Hour. You never know who's gonna turn up when the Bluebirds play El Chico on Fern Avenue," says the bassist-vocalist.

More Bluebird opps:
Horseshoe's Riverdome Bar Mon & Tues, Mar 31, Ap 1, 7-11 pm.

Word on Buddy Flett, who has been unable to perform since Feb: "Thank all of you for your continued concern over Buddy and his health. He is recovering, but he has a long road ahead. Buddy needs much quiet time, so please be considerate to Buddy and Gail.
Please call Gail before you visit him to see if its a good time.
Thanks to everyone who has sent Cards and Contribution$. Buddy's expenses are mounting. Checks payable to Buddy Flett, mailed to P O Box 4641, Shreveport, LA 71134 are much appreciated."

A benefit for Buddy is being planned for Ap 27. Details forthcoming.

Times editorial calls for board finance disclosures on the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra musicians' pay struggle

Excerpts from the Times editorial on the symphony pay crisis:

Finances once again jeopardize the Shreveport Symphony, threatening the quality of a longtime artistic treasure, if not its very existence.

The outcome very much will reflect the priority this community places on the arts and specifically symphonic music. In fact, the recurring brinkmanship scenario we continue to play with local assets — whether minor league baseball or the fine arts — reflects a collective just-get-by attitude for quality-of-life components rather than an expectation of excellence for our community. Rather than begging for support in a community of substantial means, it should be flourishing.

The irony is that while season ticket sales are up, symphony revenues from admissions only reflect about 20 percent of the necessary annual income. The symphony is undergirded by the generosity of benefactors — individuals and institutions — that understand its value to the community.

The symphony continues to eat into its endowment to sustain the symphony, leading to a $500,000 shortfall accumulated over the past six years, says management. The current issue is a decision to eliminate salaries and benefits for its 24 full-time players. Around these core players, which was downsized from 29 in 2002, other musicians are added on a per-service (rehearsals and performances) basis.

The symphony proposes paying all musicians on a per-service basis, a level that would fall short of the annual salary by 75 percent, according to the musicians union. Full-time and part-time musicians took substantial pay cuts as recently as 2006.

Though the area is blessed with many fine musicians who play part time, elimination of the full-time positions risks the departure of core musicians who provide a quality framework on which to build each season. Their annual salaries of $12,683 already require these musicians to weave together other sources of income.

While both sides work to get their messages out to the public, it's especially important that the symphony board take a transparent approach with its finances.

Fresh in the public's mind are other nonprofits that have over-extended their revenues through undisciplined management or disengaged boards. So the public can understand the tension between revenues and expenses, can appreciate a focused board making tough decisions. But the public needs a clear picture of the symphony's finances. How are private donations tracking over the past 10 years? How much of the budget comes from special fundraisers and how have they been trending? Break down the expenses of the administrative overhead.

In the end let us hope that such disclosure can combine with sufficient public appreciation and donor generosity to keep the symphony playing for not only another year, but many years to come.

Ben Folds, semi-ironic pop star, at Centenary College Gold Dome on Ap 4, 8 pm; opening solo act Eef Barzelay

Ben Folds Tweak
Originally uploaded by chenmeister64
See the Centenary Tickets site to get your ducats for the upcoming Ben Folds concert. It will be presented at the geodesic Gold Dome, Centenary College.

According to Mr Folds' web site, he is on a never-ending tour of college venues. Hm: which t-shirt to wear? Might he be carrying the news from Iowa? How much sing-along is too much?

His latest dvd has a droll name: Live from Myspace. And the gentleman recently announced that you can catch his act at Bonnaroo.

Opening performer Eef Barzelay is a comedic solo act from Nashville who describes himself as "soul" on his myspace.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Classical guitarist Leon Brown at Columbia Cafe on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm, folk-pop duo the Recliners on Wednesdays

Matthew Linn says of his oasis, Columbia Cafe, that the entertainment includes -

Tues: Leon Brown on classical guitar, 6:30 to 10 pm
Wed: the Recliners - Jim Huckabay and Bob Jordan - on vintage pop and folk.

Libation-wise, he's got:
Tues: free cappuccinos with dessert.
Wed: half price wine by the bottle when dining.
Everyday happy hour: 2 for 1 liquid sacrifice, 2 p.m. til 7 p.m.

Columbia Cafe
Kings Hwy at Creswell Avenue Shreveport, LA 71104
(318) 425-3862

Neil Johnson offers basic photo workshops Fri, Mar 28, and Wed, Ap 2, for Roster Artists of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Photographing Your Art / How To Do It Yourself, is a photography workshop for Juried Roster Artists to be taught by professional photog Neil Johnson, says the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

- Learn how to take photographs that showcase your artwork using the basics of lighting and background. Tips and tricks, too.
- Just in time to get photos of your art on the Shreveport Regional Arts
Council web site,, and the ShreveportBossierFunGuide website - soon to debut.

Two sessions:
Fri. March 28 noon - 1:30pm
Wed. April 2 6:30 - 8:00pm

$20 per person
Class size limited to 8 SRAC Juried Roster Artists
Reservations: Vickie Marshall at 318-673-6500

Brought to you by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the Bossier Arts Council.

Wendy Benscoter, Project Manager,, for Shreveport Regional Arts Council

(318) 869-0609

Theresa Mormino, Shreveport, on one-of-a-kind, textured assemblages under the user name CollageEducation

"Let me recommend Etsy as a wonderful up and coming site for "All Things Handmade"! It is becoming more widely known through better and better media attention," says artful crafter Theresa Mormino. Her work is known to many from Giftspace at Artspace Shreveport.

Her "start-up, cottage industry" shop is in Shreveport but available to all at Etsy by using "Sellers: usernames" and inserting "CollageEducation." She says "You can convo me there or write me at"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dallas painter Joanna Littlefield will exhibit at Karpeles Museum in April; reception Sat, Ap 12, 1 pm

Joanna Littlefield, former Louisianian (BFA LaTech) and now a Dallas-based artist, will show paintings at Karpeles Museum in April, says Jean Glabus.

At Littlefield's web site you will see terrifically stylish portraits and still lifes.

The opening reception at Karpeles is April 12, from 1 - 3 pm, says Glabus.

Sheryl St Germain, New Orleans-born author, speaks in Natchitoches Sat, Ap 5, as part of National Poetry Month at NSU

Sheryl St Germain, author
Originally uploaded by trudeau
April is National Poetry Month, and three nationally-known writers are being brought to Natchitoches by Julie Kane, English prof at Northwestern State University.

Kane says "All three readings will be in the second floor reading room of Watson Library on the Northwestern State University campus. It's located on University Parkway--also called "College Avenue"--in Natchitoches, across the street from Campus Corner."

Sheryl St. Germain: Saturday, April 5, 4 to 5 PM

R. S. Gwynn: Tuesday, April 8, 7:30 to 8:30 PM

Robert Morgan: Tuesday, April 22, 7:30 to 8:30 PM

Part of the Cultural Economy? Businesses, non-profits and individuals can see an array of grants at the La Cultural Econ Foundation

Opportunities that would qualify for funding through the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation:

* registration fees, booth fees, and/or travel for attendance at conferences, marketplaces, workshops, and/or artist showcases that will increase earned income
* consultant fees to work with an accountant or business consultant to make recipient financially fit for possible loans, grants or financing opportunities
* production or development of cultural products that increase the opportunity for income
* creation of an e-commerce website or fees to participate in an established on-line marketplace
* development of marketing materials directly related to a specific or new opportunity to generate income/revenue
* development of an organizational/individual business plan that outlines new income/revenue streams
* documentation of work related to a specific opportunity

See applications for a) businesses b) non-profits c) individual workers at The Economic Opportunity Fund (EOF), an initiative of the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation, 2008 Grants.

Michael D Harold, Shreveport artist, to read from novel M and speak on paintings and mixed-media work at Bossier Arts Council on Fri, Mar 28, 6:30 pm

Painter and multimedia fellow Michael Harold has been exhibiting art in the Shreveport-Bossier area for the last two decades, says Danielle Reans. The West Edge Artists Evening of Art Series will present Harold at the Bossier Arts Council on Fri, March 28, 6 pm. He will project images of his work, read from his new novel, M
, and talk about his background.

Harold's experiences range from showing work alongside the late Clyde Connell to reading at literary venues in California. He is a painter but has often combined his painting with video and other constructions. He will be queried about the 6-foot penis he created with Bruce Allen at Arodasi Studio, Shreveport, for an installation in 2006.

Copies of M will be for sale. Cash or checks, please.
Presentation at 6:30 pm; doors open at 5:30 pm.
Refreshments. No charge.

Danielle Reans, 465.7773.
Bossier Arts Council, 741.8310.

Arts Gala by students and alumni of Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts 7 pm Fri, Mar 28, LSUS University Center Theater

Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in Natchitoches will present an Arts Gala 7 pm, Fri, March 28, at the LSUS University Center Theatre, says Judy McIntire.

There will be performances by LSMSA's musicians, poetry readings, scenes from Moliere's play "The Imaginary Invalid," a guest performance by Lindsay Hotaling (LSMSA alumna), dances from LSMSA's Impulse Dance Company, a film by David Beier, LSMSA alumnus, and an art exhibit featuring works from LSMSA graduates and Shreveport LSMSA alumnus John Veuleman.

Master of Ceremonies for the Gala will be the Robinson Film Center's Chris Jay, also an LSMSA alumnus.

No charge; doors open at 6 pm.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mona's Cafe, Shreveport: felafel, baba ganouj, Turkish coffee, bourma and even a shisha

Mona's Cafe was a meeting ground Saturday night for Anglo and Middle Eastern, for young and not-so-young. The word was "Food's delicious; have you tried the felafel?" Or, "Have you tried the baba ganouj?" Noma Fowler-Sandlin has already emailed me "I see you've been to Mona's. How was the kibi? Their hummus is wonderful."

The kibbe (spelling on all these dishes is variable because there is no direct correspondence between Arabic and English vowels) was smoky and tender; Mona's fried kibbe was served in football-shaped bombs of lamb and spices.

The fried felafel was aromatic and sweet. Pardon me if I incautiiously name it one of the city's best vegetarian dishes.

The hummus - sorry, I'm tasting my way through the leftovers that somehow followed us home - was creamy, with a slight after-tang. The tzatziki was lemony, thick and, well, superb. Dolmas were mild and appealing but the baba ganouj was astounding: smoky and spiciferous.

At the end of this Mediterranean trip I sipped a demi-tasse of fumacious Turkish coffee. Amidst the coffee beans there must have been dark-roasted pistachios or almonds. It was an effective foil to the
crispy, nutty bourma.

Was I totally seduced? Not totally: the green salad lacked distinction. Talbot, a soup maven, said the Lentil soup was not splendid.

And what about the potential head-to-head with our beloved restaurant, Yeero-Yeero? While the prices are similar (sandwiches about $4.49 to $6, entrees from about $10 to $15) and they both ply the Levant, there are different recipes, different specialties and distinct styles being offered; both are highly effective.

Mona's Cafe and International Grocery
11 am to 9 pm Sun - Thurs
11 am to 10 pm Fri & Sat
6030 Line Ave

The shisha? That's the Arabic-Hebrew version of the term hookah. Mona's offers the pleasure of puffing a shisha outside, after 3 pm, for $9 and up.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

North Louisiana electricity: any alternatives to coal-power? Shreveport discussion Th, Mar 27, 7:30 - 9 pm, Centenary College

Electrically-speaking, what would you like to get your juice? More coal-fired power plants, nuclear or a wide range of options as epitomized by the people of Austin, Tx?

From the Louisiana Sierra Club and A Better Shreveport blog and the Alliance for Affordable Energy and the Louisiana Environmental Network, comes news of a discussion about coal power and alternatives to it.

The gathering is Thur, Mar 27, 7:30 - 9 pm, Centenary College, Bynum Commons, the Whited Room.
Info 985-249-1160

Shreveport's Brian Blade continues to headline in NYC jazz circles; this week with Joshua Redman

brian blade
Originally uploaded by t.radlwimmer
New York Times writer Nate Chinen caught Brian Blade drumming with saxophonist Joshua Redman at the Village Vanguard this week and noted about one tune, "“Surrey,” long associated with Mr. Rollins, frothed up to a fever pitch: at one point Mr. Blade sent a stick sailing into the audience."

Friends of Blades will chuckle as they read about the boiling over of his percussion pot. It's one of the ways the affable lad has risen to the top of the world's jazz circle; it's his passion and abandonment.

Listen to some elegant music and catch up with the ever-moving musician, also a guitarist-singer-songwriter, btw, at Blades's myspace.

Media and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra musicians' pay dispute as observed by Ron Spigelman, music director of Springfield Symphony

Springfield, Mo, Symphony music director Ron Spigelman writes, "One of the foundation cornerstones is the web-site, a 24/7 relationship building tool and portal into an organization. At the very least it's informational, but it also needs to help define an organization's mission and identity if it's to be effective (we are redoing ours for next season).

In Shreveport the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra site has now been essentially hijacked to become primarily the board and management mouthpiece in the current labor dispute. If you go to it here, you will see several diatribes in huge font like this headline in all caps:


This is so potentially damaging. If you were living in Shreveport and thought, maybe we should check out the Symphony, would you buy a ticket after seeing this headline? There is nothing about any upcoming concert on the home page, little positive at all, just "us against everyone" and the audacity of calling themselves in the headline the SHREVEPORT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. They are the board/management NOT THE ORCHESTRA!!!! Here's the Orchestra. It could have been handled with a simple "if you would like to hear the latest news about the current negotiations please click here", or just put in the news section, not to hide but to at least give people a choice of whether to read it or not. Why accentuate the negative ? The bio for instance of their Music Director Michael Butterman is from the 06/07 season! So they update their "position" daily, but not their MD's bio for over a year? They have essentially dismantled the orchestra's identity and created a new one of division and acrimony."

Spigelman's prespective continues at the conductor's blog, Sticks and Drones.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Jarzabek, Whitt, Moss extend run of The Woolgatherer at LSUS Black Box Theater: March 28 - 30, 7 pm

Mary Jarzabek, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
3 encore performances of The Woolgatherer, a play by William Mastrosimone, have been scheduled for the LSU Black Box Theater, says Robert Alford. Directed by Mary Jarzabek, it features actors Eric Whitt and Audra Caitlyn Moss.

Performances will be Fri, March 28, Sat, March 29 & Sun, March 30, at 7 p.m.

Christine Bradley's review for the Almagest offers, in part, "Cliff really makes this play funny. The Woolgatherer is by no means a serious play, and it will have you rolling. His character is so light-hearted and impulsive; the audience is always wondering what he will say next. Can Rose resist his charm forever? The sexual tension between Cliff and Rose will have you counting the twelve minute intermission by the second."

LSUS Black Box Theatre, Bronson Hall, #111 ~
$10 ~ $5 for Students/Seniors/Military/Groups
Reservations/Information: 797-5318

Alana Dyson, aka PJ Irving, at Actor's Cafe with Kern Courtney, 8:30 pm, Fri, March 21

Alana Dyson, aka PJ Irving
Originally uploaded by trudeau
"Black coffee," "Nature Boy," "Girl from Ipanema:" time for standards from Alana Dyson, an artist and singer who's seeing to the local rebirth of the cool.

Check Mr. Kern Courtney swinging the 6ths and 9ths on his six string.

They can't take that away from her at

8:30 pm
Fri, Mar 21
Actor's Cafe
Fairfield Ave near I-20, same building as Fencing on Fairfield

Missoni Lanza, Peekers, the Situation headline the KSCL Battle of the Bands on Sat, Mar 29, 1 pm, the Shell, Centenary College

Battle of the Bands will start at 1 pm on March 29th, says Jon Schleuss. Solo acts and bands will perform in the Shell, the amphitheater in the center of Centenary's campus. Rain location is Kilpatrick Auditorium in the Smith Building.

The winning band will win $300. Second and third will receive $150 and $50.

Raffle prizes are awesome, says Schleuss. Sponsors include Strawn's, Pipe's Emporium, George's Grill, Third Eye Tattoo (formerly Modern Primitive), and more. I'll post more info about raffle tickets when I have the information at hand. I'll also post a link to our event poster. Get excited! It's one of the biggest events in Shreveport's up-and-coming.

Out of some 23 applicants:

- 6 Pack Deep
- The Dark Pop Project
- And, Wellington
- The Situation
- The Peekers
- Chris James
- Missoni Lanza
- Midwest Caravan

More at

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Readers who care about Shreveport offer ideas on how to save the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra

Originally uploaded by trudeau
Whither the Shreveport Symphony? Unbeknownst to zooming blog readers the post featuring a statement by Shreveport Symphony management, principally board pres Margaret Elrod and executive director Scott Green, has garnered some 18 responses. Please visit that column to sift through the numerous impassioned and opinionated remarks to find some thoughtful and helpful statements on the nature of the crisis.

Also drawing responses (10) was the earlier post on the statements by OPUS, the Shreveport Musicians' organization.

Nor would I discourage you from continuing to post your responses.
I'm working on my own opinion, since I served on the SSO board for a couple of years and am a reckless - feckless - advocate for the orchestra and classical music.

Opera Night at Olive St Bistro Th, Mar 20, 7 pm will feature Shreveport Opera Express: in vino, veritas!

Opera Night at Olive Street Bistro is Thurs, Mar 20 at 7:00 p.m, says Sumer Cooner.

The event will feature a five course meal with specific wines served between each course, and of course, beautiful singing. Shreveport Opera Xpress will provide entertainment.

$100 per person.

For reservations, contact Sumer Cooner, Marketing Coordinator, at Shreveport Opera
(318) 227-9503

Louisiana USAD victors, Caddo Magnet High, will represent state in National Academic Decathlon competition Ap 30, Garden Grove, CA

Caddo Magnet High School's US Academic Decathlon team will be competing in the national tournament in Garden Grove, California from April 30 - May 4, says Mary Rounds.

Funds to support the team's cross-country foray, in which they will represent the state of Lousiana, are being solicited by coach Leslye Gilchrist.

Among Magnet's standouts in their recent state championship victory, said Gilchrist, were Eszter Szentirmai, top honors in speech and essay, the Spirit of Decathlon award and Decathlete of the year. Alex Young, best overall in interview. Parker Leeth medaled in nine of the ten awards and won a Spirit of Decathlon award. All of the students came home with several medals, said Gilchrist.

The scholars:
Eszter Szentirmai
Andrea Lin
Amanda Foy
Parker Leeth
Kate Ryland
Stephen Xue
Trey Mire
Brianna Porter
Alex Young

Photo Carrie Anderson.
Funds for Scholars / Leslye Gilchrist:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Call to musicians for May - July Barnwell Jazz Series; soul, funk and blues, OK, too

Friends of the Barnwell is now accepting materials from musicians interested in performing during the 2008 Hot Jazz on the Red Summer Jazz Series, May 1st - July 4th on the Shreveport Riverfront. This weekly showcase of of jazz musicians features a different band and style of jazz each Thurs from 6 - 8 pm, says Freda Powell.

Send a packet that includes your name, day and evening phones, email address and a CD with at least five Jazz selections, bio, & photo to Jazz on the Red, 601 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport 71101.

Deadline: April 5; selections announced April 9.
Freda Powell: 318-673-7703.

Young filmmakers' Camp takes place at Renzi Center, Shreveport, June 9 to 27, M - F, 1 to 5 pm

Renzi Film Camp participants will have the opportunity to
explore scriptwriting, camera composition, acting, basic shot sequence, editing, and more in the June 9 to June 27 session, says Amy Bryant.

2nd through 10th grade students
Mon, June 9 - Fri, June 27
1 until 5 pm
Mon through Fri
Renzi Education and Art Center
445 Egan Street
Shreveport, LA 71101

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Deadline: May 30.
$150.00. Cost includes supplies, materials and a snack for the
entire three weeks. Limited scholarships are available. To apply, simply write a brief statement of need on the back of the registration form.

From the editor:
When I was a judge for the Louisiana Film Fest Student Division 2 years ago I noted that students from Renzi made some of the most capable and imaginative videos of all. Therefore I highly recommend their program.

Cosplay in Shreveport? Shreveport Anime Club establishes picnicky presence

Shreveport Anime Club
Originally uploaded by trudeau
It's a rite of passage for the American creative class. For years smart and geeky American teens and subteens have been establishing their individuality by studying Japanese culture. Copying the almond-eyed slender forms of anime is a pervasive ritual that brings together non-mainstream youth.

Cosplay, or costume play, is another global party form that originates with Japanese youth.

A new locus for anime and cosplay energy is Shreveport Anime Club. Seems they're planning trips to cosplay conventions and organizing their own outings in Shreveport. Sunday they brought color and zaniness to the baseball field in Betty Virginia park.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lafayette film fest, Cinema on the Bayou, opens March 26 with documentaries on the Bayou State by Robert Mugge; fest continues to March 30

The 3rd annual Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival will be held in the Lafayette, Louisiana, area from Wed, March 26, through Sun, March 30, says Rebecca Hudsmith.

Among the filmmakers in attendance will be music documentary filmmaker Robert Mugge, who has made several films about Louisiana musicians. Several of these films will make their Louisiana and world premieres at the Festival with commentary by Mr. Mugge. He has made some 27 films over a period of 30 years, says Pat Mire.

Among the many movies to be shown:
- award winning documentary film Gypsy Caravan.
- award winning French language documentary Forever.
- two films by New York filmmaker Leslye Abbey: Angels in the Basin and Bayou Landfall: The Houma Nation vs. the Hurricanes.
- Weeding By Example and Canadaville, with filmmakers in attendance.
- Reconstructing Creole, and Robert Mugge's Rhythm 'n' Bayous.
- Les Blank's A Well Spent Life, the Louisiana premiere of Ross McElwee's Bright Leaves, Robert Mugge's Deep Blues, and Jennifer Baichwal's The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia.
- Christina Melton's LPB-produced documentary Atchafalaya Houseboat.

Et plus!

Cellist John-Henry Crawford and pianist Gay Grosz in Shreveport recital at Hurley Music Bldg, Centenary College, at 3 pm Sun, March 16

John-Henry Crawford bows the cello so fluently that it is difficult to imagine that he is age 15. The young teen, a freshman at Caddo Magnet High, Shreveport, is preparing for national competitions, says Laura Crawford.

He will give a recital with pianist Gay Grosz at Hurley Music Builidng, Anderson Auditorium, Centenary College, at 3 pm Sunday.

The Shreveport lad is son of parents whose lives are extremely musical. His father, Ed Crawford, is a long-standing member of the board of directors of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. John-Henry's mother, Laura Crawford, founded Shreveport Suzuki School. She teaches violin and plays in the Shreveport Symphony.

John-Henry Crawford is a member of the Caddo Magnet Chamber Orchestra and the Arklatex Youth Symphony. He has taken advantage of national workshops, so he knows the nature of national competition.

"His aplomb and ability to portray the joy of classical music as he plays is remarkable," says Percy Joshua.

If you follow the photo link you can get a sample of his performance in a 2007 rehearsal.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A compelling view of Black life in North Louisiana: Frances Drew exhibit, Artspace Shreveport

The late Frances Drew was the chronicler of the Black Experience in Shreveport. Not until I saw the retrospective created by Pamoja and Shreveport Regional Arts Council at Artspace did I fully understand the comprehensive vision captured in the body of her work.

Frances Drew was a roiling artist; always painting, always talking, writing, observing. In her later years she focused on the life of Jesus, which can be appreciated at
The exhibit at Artspace shows how much territory she covered as a historian prior to her Jesus period.

She picked up the lives of African-American in the country. The viewer sees the piney woods of North Louisiana, the red clay roads, the country-style shacks, the remote churches, the hand-me-down clothing of daily life and the well-fixed dress and hair of people going to church.

Drew portrayed life in Shreveport, too. She saw the almighty struggle of basketball players on a dirt court, the dancers striving to turn powerful muscles into graceful ones. She knew the joy and the stress of life inside a neighborhood pool joint. She captured the way it was in the non-gated communities of the Cooper Road area and in Cedar Grove. She touchingly portrayed the hunger in Black eyes. There she saw hunger for opportunity and respect based on being children of God.

Among the collectors of Drew's work who have loaned these pieces to Artspace are Luther Cox, June Phillips, Drew McMahon, Pam Atchison, the El-Amins and Pamoja.

It is a righteous exhibit. I can imagine it displayed in a special section at the airport, for it captures so well a major, down-home part of the Arklatex experience.

Hope you can visit the Drew area upstairs at Artspace prior to Fri, March 21, the last day of its display.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Margaret Elrod and Scott Green on finances and negotiations between the SSO board and musicians

In regards negotiations between Shreveport Symphony musicians and the SSO board, Scott Green has issued a statement:

Not unlike a myriad of symphony orchestras since 2001, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra has found it difficult to operate at a break-even level. This is an era of challenge and change within the arts and culture industry, when the very definition of arts and culture has been called into question with the emerging popularity of the likes of American Idol and Amateur Night at the Apollo.

The Shreveport Symphony has operated at a break even level only twice in the past six years. Following an operating loss of more than $700,000 in FY 01, the orchestra has accumulated another $500,000 in losses over six years. This caused the Symphony to transfer funds from the endowment. The Orchestra now finds itself in a place where endowment transfers are not available to fund continued losses. The Symphony has been told by two outside consulting firms that it has no choice but to look immediately and realistically at revising operations to secure its future.

A long-range plan designed to create a more financially stable organization is imperative. With the support of a grant designated specifically to support a new plan and a gift from an anonymous donor, the Symphony is moving forward with a financially feasible and sustainable plan.

"Analyzing where budget cuts can be made, what the Shreveport-Bossier community wants from a symphony and what it will realistically pay for is an inherently difficult situation,” said board president Margaret Elrod. “Faced with net assets and debt that demands serious consideration in order to secure the future of the organization and the added stress of negotiations over a revised Collective Bargaining Agreement, it is almost a given that tempers will flare and there will be misunderstandings and accusations on both sides of the equation,” added Elrod.

Because of the length of the release and complexity of the SSO board's explanations of the negotiations process, please continue your appreciation for the situation at

Shreveport Symphony management eliminates full time orchestra; board demands 75% cut in players' salaries

Michael Butterman, SSO rehearsal
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Devastating news today from the website "The management of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra has stated they will impose a new contract on March 16, 2008 that will eliminate all full-time playing positions within the orchestra. Those musicians who have performed full-time with the orchestra, some for more than two decades, will be forced to accept a 75% cut in pay. The symphony musicians have been working over the course of the current season in a “Play and Talk”, agreeing to perform under the terms of the old contract until a new contract is negotiated. Representatives for the musicians were notified of the statement via letter.

Under management’s imposed plan, full time salaries will go from $12,693 for the 2007-08 season to a part-time salary of $3,123 for the 2008-09 season. Since 2001, the full–time musicians have lready taken pay cuts totaling 27%. Meanwhile, the orchestra has played to rave reviews and packed houses."

Surely a city on the cusp of a buzz aided by the movie biz and expansion of the cyber warfare biz can do more than this. Has the SSO board publicly addressed the issues faced by the organization?

To drop the full-time orchestra players is to lobotomize our city's artistic
life. We are talking about musicians and families who provide not just music, but educational and economic energy.

Losing the core player group means accepting a distinct slippage in the status and quality of performance of the SSO.

But we will still have a vibrant pop culture, won't we?

The journey of Jean Despujols enriched by textiles at Meadows Museum of Art, Shreveport; lecture and dance Sun, March 16, 2 pm

If I were a clothing designer trying to get the attention of fashionable women, I'd take sketchbook and pen and camera to Meadows Museum of Art, Shreveport. There a creative type can absorb the compelling style seen in the skirts, blouses, sashes, wraps and accessories associated with the women painted by Jean Despujols in 1936.

It's part of an exhibit on the Odyssey of Jean Despujols. It celebrates paintings depicting the minority peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos created by the Parisian painter during his travels in 1936-37, says curator Diane DuFilho.

Sunday, Mar 16, from 2pm to 4pm, Dr. Michael Howard, Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in Canada, will talk about how he acquired the Southeast Asian textiles to accompany Despujols' art. There will also be a costume and dance demonstration by Mrs. Kim Be Howard entitled The Costumes and Dress of the Minority Peoples of Vietnam and Laos.

Highly recommended. Please see photos that sample the exhibit at ShreveportFaces.

Meadows is open
Tuesday . . . 12 - 4
Wednesday . . . 12 - 4
Thursday . . . 12 - 5
Friday . . . 12 - 4
Saturday . . . 1 - 4
Sunday . . . 1 - 4

(318) 869-5169

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Centenary students, profs take Shreveport lead in examining Darfur and Iraq war; display and panel Wed, Mar 12, 5 pm

The Centenary College Democrats and Amnesty International are sponsoring Student Awareness Week: Focus on Darfur and Iraq from Mar 10 to Mar 14, says Nadine Kaskas.

Student/Professor Panel Wed, Mar 12 at 5 pm, Student Union;
Focus on Darfur, Focus on Iraq:
* Dr. Rodney Grunes, Chair of History and Political Science Departments,
* Dr. Chris Cioccetti, Philosophy Department Chair and head of recent Ethics Forum
* Dr. Kim Vanhoosier-Carey, assistant professor of English and Director of the Academic Resource Center.

"In the Centenary quad, Amnesty placed 3,000 flags to signify all those who have been displaced and killed by the ongoing conflict in Darfur. Each flag represents 1,000 displaced or killed Darfuri in Sudan.

In the shell, the College Democrats have a two-part display: the first to commemmorate the 4,000 United States soldiers who have died fighting in Iraq, and the second to emphasize the 935 lies the Bush administration told to stir up support for the war.

The commemoration for the 4,000 soldiers is expressed through the display of 2,000 standing golf tees in the shape of a peace sign.

The study that produced the number 935 for executive branch lies was done by the Center for Public Integrity, who studied the statements of President Bush and seven top officials, including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld from Sept 11, 2001 to Sept 11, 2003.

The war in Iraq began on March 19, 2003 - the Democrats' event will take place near the 5-year anniversary of the beginning of the war. More information can be found at"

Craig Valjean Schulman, Tamra Cosette Hayden and Colleen Hawks front the Shreveport Symphony in Broadway Today on Sat, March 15, 7:30 pm, Riverview Theater

The Shreveport Symphony Orchestra performs Broadway tunes in its enormously popular Broadway Today concert, says Michael Butterman. Singers and orchestra will belt it out at 7:30 PM Sat, March 15, at Riverview Theater.

The NYC hotshots creating the Broadway hits on the Shreveport stage are Craig Schulman, Tamra Hayden and Colleen Hawks. Each has a truly awesome list of singing credits.

318- 227-TUNE (8863) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The box office opens at 12:00 noon on the concert day at the Riverview Theatre.

$10, $20, $30 & $36 - $5 for students

Limited valet parking is available at $10. A free shuttle will depart one time from Uptown Shopping Center at 6:15 p.m. A second free shuttle will depart from the AmSouth Bank parking garage located on the corner of Milam and Market Streets at 5:30 p.m. Both shuttles will continue to make pickups at the AmSouth garage every 10 minutes until concert time.

Patrons may enjoy a pre-concert dinner at The Cambridge Club of Shreveport or Columbia Café benefiting the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. Info at the SSO office or

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another view of The Money Show: work by painter-sculptor Kenn Kotara at Turner Art Center, Shreveport

West Edge Artists Co-op of Shreveport is opening an exhibit Fri at Artspace in which the question is, "Why starving artist? Why not thriving artists?" It's called The Money Show.

At Turner Art Center, Centenary College, there's answer to the Money Show's plaintive question. It is provided by the work of Louisiana-born artist Kenn Kotara, a Louisiana Tech grad (BA, '90, MFA, '93). Kotara makes a living from his art, says Turner curator Bruce Allen.

Kotara lives in Asheville, NC, but bayou country, especially the Spanish moss, remains a motif in his work.

The number of corporate purchasers of his work is impressive. His web site, including reviews of his work as well as a cogent artists' statement, is clear and sensual.

In this show, called "The Hanging Garden," he has deployed an architectural series of suspended works that are based on cool materials such as fiberglass screening. His work on canvas I find less stimulating than his hangings. But there is a subtle command of the language of art that is unmistakable in his paintings.

"I talked to his wife today," said Allen in regards the business of art
and the capable Kotara. "Someone is interested in purchasing one of the pieces that happen to be hanging here. She wanted to make sure the recently adjusted price was reflected in his material in Shreveport."

Kotara's exhibit is up through Mar 21 at Turner Art Gallery, 3000 Centenary Blvd., Shreveport.
Week days, 10 am - 5 pm; weekends, 2 - 5 pm.

Michelle Lappas Kotara at 828-236-2265 or
Bruce Allen at 318834-0947 or

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shreveport Opera Express at Barnes & Noble Fri, Mar 14, 7 pm with Alice in Operaland

Originally uploaded by trudeau
"Come enjoy Shreveport Opera Xpress as it performs Alice in Operaland at Barnes & Noble," says Sumer Cooner. "The show is free, but if you make a purchase at any time during the day with a Shreveport Opera Voucher, a portion of the sale will go towards funding future SOX shows."

SOX at Barnes & Noble
March 14, 2008
7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, 6646 Youree Drive, Shreveport, LA

Sumer Cooner, Marketing and SOX Coordinator at the Shreveport Opera at (318) 227-9503

Pardon me if I add my admiration for SOX, having seen several of their shows. They're terrific performers and the experience they provide is a rich one.

Michael Harold reads from novel M at All Souls lunch discussion on Wed, Mar 12, 11:30 am

Shreveport-based writer and visual artist Michael Harold will discuss his work and read from his novel called simply M at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church on Wednesday, March 12, says Michael Parker. Harold will talk to the All Souls Brown Bag Discussion at 11:30 am.
From the publisher (Aro is the author's pen name):

M is Michael Aro’s satirical commentary on our twenty-first century global monoculture of capitalism, technology and entertainment. It presents the stories of a bookstore clerk, a five-dimensional alien, a cabal of nine individuals who control the world’s political, socio-economic, and religious institutions, an orphan genius, a group of monks on a sand mandala tour, and Artificial Intelligences modeled after Tesla, Nietzche, Erasmus, Joan of Arc and Barbie. The result is a cutting critique of contemporary civilization.

Michael Parker: or 227-7685.
All Souls: 9449 Ellerbe Road, Shreveport.

Me, I'm enjoying reading M right now. Reminds me somewhat of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe but with a richer tech texture. When I heard the news on Eliot Spitzer, the recent governor of New York, I thought of M. I was like, does that guy, the super politico bane of Wall St who's been caught with his probiscus in the boo bag, appear in M?
M hm. If not Spitzer, then it's his phyloganger.

Louisiana indie film I Always Do My Collars First to air on LPB Wed, March 12, about 8:20 pm

Allison Bohl and Connie Castille have a hit in their first film; it's about Cajun women and their ironing and is called I Always Do My Collars First.

It will air on LPB Wed, Mar 12, about 8:20 pm, says Al Bohl.

Castille is from Breaux Bridge; co-director and cinematographer Bohl was raised in Bossier City. She's the daughter of illustrator and SciPort artist Al Bohl. He says of the film, "It deals with the domestic lives of four Cajun women. It is positive, uplifting and funny."

From the site:
- Collars First_was an official selection to the Hot Springs Documentary Festival.
- Collars First_won a Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Port Townsend Film Festival
- Directors Win Louisiana Filmmakers of the Year at the New Orleans Film Festival
- Film Premier at the Bayou Bijou drew over 700 attendees.

And, it says, I Always Do My Collars First is now on DVD: "Get the acclaimed film, behind the scenes footage of the women, plus a humorous look at domestic life in the past."

Above: cinematographer Allison Bohl teaching local students in a Robinson Film Center program.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tall exhibit banners: the Norton does it; why don't most other Shreveport museums and galleries do it?

A drive by the front of the RW Norton Art Gallery offers the public a tasteful graphic reminder of the latest exhibit. The tall banners announcing the current show, the Hudson River School of painters, present a title, a vibe and a calendar.

The Norton has entrance panels that may have made it fairly easy to mount the announcement banners. But I must say I can imagine similar banners at the front of museums and galleries across the city.

What if the MultiCultural Center of the South, Southern University Museum of Art Shreveport, Artspace and Robinson Film Center had banners? What if the banners intruded a bit into the sidewalk space along the street? Of a sudden Texas St would be transformed into Art St.

When I think of Meadows Museum of Art and the across-the-street Turner Art Center, I think of two almost-hidden gems of painting and sculpture in Shreveport. What if there were banners on Centenary Blvd announcing thieir latest exhibits? And if a banner were added to Karpeles Manuscript Museum on Centenary - other side of King's Hwy - we would get a companion flash of colorful info.

All the present-day restraint and subtlety on the part of our major art centers may be old-school laudable. But given the examples of upbeat museum signage found in major cities, isn't it reasonable to to consider investing in the armatures and stantions necessary to offer graphic reminders of the visual feasts being presented by the hardworking curators of the city?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Attitude and Money in West Edge Artists show at Artpsace Shreveport opening Fri, Mar 14; reception 5 to 8 pm

Green Red Bottles
Originally uploaded by Red River Blog Jam
The Money $how $tatement, says Neecee Blackwell, is "Why starving artist? Why not thriving artists? The Money $how, presented at Artspace Shreveport, is an exhibit in which artists explore the relationship between art and money. Political statements, paintings that aren't for sale, and everything in between will be displayed. Local artists speak out about the state of the arts!"

Refreshments, cash bar and entertainment on Fri, Mar 14, 5 - 8 pm.
From March 14th through April 12.

Artspace Shreveport Tues, Mar 11, 7 pm: the art of cuisine with David Bridges of Bella Fresca

"Someone's In The Kitchen" Art of Cuisine Series at Artspace
Tues, March 11 7pm
featuring Chef David Bridges of Bella Fresca

Chef Dave will be preparing a four course dining experience
that will showcase Louisiana Crossroads Cuisine, says Bonne Summers, with lagniappe of Creole, New Orleans, and Southern Downhome cooking. Chef Dave will educate and entertain with an historic culinary narrative and humor as he prepares each course. And each course will be paired with a wine tasting.

Seating limited to 26 $75 per person

Please rsvp to Bonné Summers at 673-6510 or

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Blog and meetings for A Better Shreveport offer room for diverse community activism, says Demerath and friends

At the new blog A Better Shreveport, editor and sociologist Loren Demerath offers numerous work sites for the secular utopianist. At recent Better Shreveport meetings I've seen people ignoring the legendary stasis of Shrevetown and examining inspiring news from communities across the globe. The meetings have drawn recently-arrived people as well as those with extensive backgrounds, such as Skip Peel.

A veteran of Shreveport 2000, Peel has a detailed and inspiring plan for a multi-use site at the Cross Bayou / Red River intersection. Read more about what Peel calls Rivergate at Demerath's Remaking Downtown Shreveport blog.

Says Demerath about people finding their turf: "One of the ideas that came out of the last meeting was that some of us can head up "teams" that would work on stuff of a common interest. So, for example, April Dahm might be working on the remaking downtown blog, and recruiting anyone interested to collaborate with her, Jon Soul might do the same with community gardens, Leia Lewis with community art and performance, Loren Demerath with networking etc."

Me, I'm enjoying the wealth of material at Greenways, Bikepaths and Bayous, aka A small personal
crusade is commuting to work via bicycle.

And looking forward to the next meeting.

Get in touch: