Thursday, July 31, 2008

Art & Yoga at Lotus Studio with Pam Viviano on Sat, Aug 2

Originally uploaded by pamviviano
Viniyoga instructor and artist Pamela Viviano says, " the potential for creativity that is unleashed from meditation and yoga is combined in my yoga practice and in children’s classes as a form of creative play: Drawing and coloring is a form of expression. The critic is hushed, the unconscious takes over, and healing is allowed to take place. Come experience an easy yoga class, then play with oil pastels and paper. No experience is necessary in either yoga or art. Materials will be provided. All ages 13 and above are welcome."

Pamela is a certified Advanced Yoga Teacher through the American Viniyoga Institute, and has an art degree from Michigan State University. She teaches yoga classes at the Lotus Studio and Bossier Parish Community College.


Folk rock / indie / country singer Idgy Vaughn at Fairfield Studios with guitarist Will Sexton on Sun, Aug 10, 7 pm

"Idgy Vaughn is easy to spot," says Jim Huckabay. "Cute as she can be with flaming red hair and a belt-em-out kinda voice, Idgy serves up her music steeped in mountain / country soul. She'll be backed by ace Austin guitarist Will Sexton. Check out her website and music at Hope to see you Sunday, August 10!"


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The art of alternative transportation: toggling between bike and scooters in Hot Springs

Aaron Butler, Hot Springs
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Musician and Centenary College grad Aaron Butler (former Red Shift, Dirtfoot, the Peekers, now with Brian Martin) added thoughtful responses to the recent series of biking articles though he has relocated to Hot Springs. I asked him for a brief evaluation of his rolling stock because I know that readers are interested in scooters.

He responded, "I went with Yamahas. I did quite a bit of research online and seemed the Yamahas got more praise for quality. My father's also been riding a Yamaha for years, so that influenced me a little. I do have quite a few friends up here that really, REALLY love their Honda Metros and the Ruckus.

I got the Vino (smaller "vespa" styled one) first because I really like the looks of it. It has now been passed on to my girlfriend. I wouldn't say I feel safer on the Zuma, but I guess it has it's benefits (better visibility to other drivers). The Zuma also has a little more power (I get a top speed of ~38 on the vino, while the Zuma does ~42).

Both are 49cc and they do just fine around Hot Springs, so I know they'll be more than adequate around Shreveport. Of course I wouldn't ride one on I-20, and I'd probably opt for "back roads" rather than the parkways as well, but at 80-90 mpg you can afford to go a little out of the way.

The 2007 Vino cost me just under $2,000 after tax and the Zuma was $2,300 after taxes - which are quite a bit higher up here.

I financed mine. And at $50 a month (for one scooter) and about $9 towards gas, I'm still spending less than I would driving my Jeep around the same amount.

One thing to watch when purchasing new scooters is the inclusion of a throttle cam restrictor (you don't have to worry about pre '08 yamahas. I'm not sure about other brands). When I drove the Zuma off the lot it seemed a little sluggish and had some trouble up a couple hills. After some googling I found out about the restrictor which is essential an extra chunk of metal on the carb that keeps you from opening the throttle all the way. It's a pretty easy fix for those with a little experience under a hood, but the shop I bought it from did it for no charge - and I suspect most shops would do the same.

They're a blast to ride. And I use a lot of my cycling "skills" while riding. Yet it almost seems that I get more respect from drivers on my bike than I do on the scoot."

Looking forward to more such responses from you early adopters
on scooters.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Atlanta artist Charlotte Riley Webb has open workshop for intermediate artists in abstract work at Pamoja Art Center July 29 - Aug 1, 10 am to 2 pm

Charlotte Riley Webb is here to lead a week-long workshop for intermediate artists via the sponsorship of Achievement Through Art, Inc, says Luther Cox.

Webb, an artist for 30 years, is represented by galleries in Chicago, Indianapolis and Knoxville as well as in her home, Atlanta. She says, "For decades I was a representational artist but 3 years ago I made a transition to conceptual, abstract art, and this process is what I'm teaching in my Shreveport workshop."

She is giving classes from Tues, July 29, through Fri, Aug 1, at Pamoja Center, 3806 Linwood Ave. Pamoja lies some 5 blocks south of LSU Medical Center. The studio has 5 easels and 3 additional art stations.

Materials to bring to the workshop - aimed at intermediate artists - include pencils, drawing tablet, acrylic paints, 20X24 canvas, and collage materials. Digital cameras and laptops are encouraged.

Webb, who has studied under legendary New Orleans artist John T Scott, will lead the classes at Pamoja from 10 am to 2 pm each day. Please bring a lunch.

Sponsored by the City of Shreveport via the Black Arts Coalition of Shreveport. No fee. Info: 222-5405 or ATA board member Ora Hart at 518-6922.

Haynesville Shale discovered by the NY Times in a "forgotten corner of the south"

This is how the NY Times mines the story of the Haynesville Shale in a July 29 article by Adam Nossiter entitled, "Rush for natural gas enriches corner of the south:"

A no-holds-barred, all-American gold rush for natural gas is under way in this forgotten corner of the South, and De Soto Parish, with its fat check from a large energy company this month, is only the latest and largest beneficiary. The county leaders and everyone around them, for mile after mile, over to Texas and up to Arkansas, in the down-at-the-heels city of Shreveport and in its struggling neighbors, suddenly find themselves sitting on what could prove to be the largest natural gas deposit in the continental United States.

See more at the NY Times.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Minicine? presents art construction night at Lee Hardware Gallery on Tues, Aug 12, 7 to 10 pm

minicine? invites you, says David Nelson, to a stepped up Art Night!

Tuesday, August 12, minicine? will paper the walls of the Lee Hardware Gallery with blank newsprint and provide crayons, pencils and other materials.... Come draw, sketch, express yourself to your heart's content... all to live acoustic music by Marion Paton, A.J.Haynes and Christopher Alexander...

There may even be a projector or two rolling, so if your forte is film, you can scratch, hole punch, or watercolor on celluloid and loop your results throughout the night....

Doors open from 7 pm to 10 pm... $5 Donation...

Lee Hardware Gallery: 719 Edwards Street @ Cotton Street

Interactive arts & cultural marketing workshop at LSUS Aug 14, 15; broaden and deepen the arts market

Wendy Benscoter announces a 2-Day Interactive Arts & Cultural Marketing Workshop:
Building, Diversifying and Tracking Audiences with Small-Budget Marketing Strategies that sizzle

Aug 14 – 15th:
Fundamentals of Marketing I – Marketing Strategy
Interactive exercises, case studies, and the latest consumer research on the arts & culture will give you the tools to implement effective and efficient marketing in your small organization to connect with larger audiences.

Fundamentals of Marketing II – Audiences
Broaden & Deepen Your Audience - Learn the elements necessary to diversifying audiences, including key strategies and tactics that have proven successful for other arts organizations.

Fundamentals of Marketing II – Tracking
Tracking Your Results - Learn how to develop a plan for measuring the impact of your marketing programs and how to present the results to management.

LSUS University Center, Shreveport, LA

$60 FOR 2-DAY WORKSHOP (Same price for one day) Special Nonprofit Arts & Cultural and Artist Rate $35

Thursday, August 14, 2008
9:00 – 9:30 Registration, Coffee, Meet and Greet
9:30 – 3:30 Fundamentals of Marketing I – Julie Peeler
3:30 – 4:00 Q & A
4:00 - 5:00 Wine & Cheese Reception, Arts Congress Presentation

Friday, August 15, 2008
9:00 – 9:30 Registration, Coffee, Meet and Greet
9:30 – 3:00 Fundamentals of Marketing II – Julie Peeler
Materials and lunch included. “Working Lunch” Choose - On-line Ticketing w/ Sylvia Mahoney, OR Roundtable Discussion

Register: name, etc and payment by August 11 to:
Shreveport Regional Arts Council 800 Snow Street Spt, LA 71101

Benefits for Renzi Center: a Bunco Bash and Service with a Smile art auction on Sat, Aug 9, 5:30 pm, Barnwell Center

On Sat, Aug 9, from 5:30 - 9 p.m, the Renzi Education &Art Center is hosting its 3rd annual Bunco Bash, at the Barnwell Center, 601 Clyde Fant Parkway, says Amy Bryant. The ticket price is $35 and includes the game, dinner, dessert, drinks and a T-shirt.

This year’s theme is “Keep Your Eye on the Prize,” with top prizes including $800 cash, and a 3-hour “Choose your own Adventure” limo ride, a Dallas Day trip for 2 of shopping, lunch and a Broadway musical by Joyner Travel. The event is a major fundraiser which supports programming and operations of the Renzi Education and Art Center. For tickets, the public should call 222-1414.

That same evening the Renzi Center will also be hosting a silent art auction of local and regional artists. Known as “Service with a Smile”, the 2nd biennial event was designed to honor the vision and service of the late Donna Service, professional artist and art educator, who founded the Renzi Center with the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows. The sale of the auction items will also be used to support the art and education services that Renzi provides to the community.

Professional photography, sculpture, paintings and mixed media works by artists such as Laura Noland Harter from Shreveport, Kevin Kennedy from Ruston, and Pinky MM/Bass from Fairhope, AL, will be featured. There is no entrance fee for the “Service with a Smile” auction event, which will be held from 7:30-10 p.m on August 9th. The art can be previewed at the Barnwell Center starting on Wednesday, July 30th.

Renzi is a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 as a place for children and adults to explore, learn, and create under the guidance of professional teachers and artists. Programs are free and open to the community and include the After School Youth Program for students in 1st-12th grades, their award-winning summer film camp and hands-on artist workshops for families offered throughout the year.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Not too hilly; not too trafficky: thoughts derived from all the late brouhaha on bicycling

Originally uploaded by trudeau
Here are my perspectives on bringing biking into Shreveport's mainstream thinking, if not into full practice:

1. Imagine, each day, that you do not live in Shreveport. We can live a utopianist life even if the general state of the town where we reside is ill-educated and narrow-minded.

I typically think of myself as a resident of Austin, Tx. Bike riders have huge props in Austin. They are the man.

A corollary of this might be, "Don't let the bastards get you down."

2. Your bike is like a convertible; like a two-seat sports car. Only better in regards maintenance and real freedom. I get a small but sustainable chemical high from setting out upon my bike.

3. The bike brotherhood is deep and wide. Riding connects us to the lives of the impoverished and handicapped. It also connects us to the road bikers, a group from the affluent world. Pedaling also evokes our childhoods.

4. You gain a fresh take on your environment. Topography becomes apparent. Street design is, like, bam. Not that you needed a higher consciousness in regards litter, but there it is. You become a sharper analyst of local consciousness.

5. It's OK to think lustful thoughts in regards motor scooters. You're on a bike and thinking, "I'm risking my neck on this street full of trucks and cars. What's the difference if I risk my safety on a cute and fuel-efficient motorized two-wheeler?"

The possibility of driving a Vespa is intoxicating for many. The scooter movement is growing like crazy.

6. Don't deny the importance of style. An inefficient, balloon-tired, single speed cruiser bike might be the thing that makes you want to ride. For some people, a visit to a bike shop with expensive, high-tech wheels is head-spinning. For others, day-glo paint and super-glued plastic lizards makes the heart throb.

What about a replica of the tall and elegant Dutch bike?

7. Accessorize. Last week I bought a handlebar bell. Ka-ching! There are numerous choices in the tiny realm of bike bells. I also bought a tube of inner tube gunk which might make flats less likely.

I am resisting the urge to get to a back tire rack. I carry everything I need in my back pack.

Last year I bought a pair of biker's gloves - the abbreviated type designed for long rides and hand protection in case of a sprawling dismount. Hate to say it, but I rarely wear them.

8. Learn how to ride smartly. Ride with the flow of traffic and in the right tire lane. Give hand signals. Don't run stop signs and red lights. If you have to ride on a sidewalk for a bit, be aware that pedestrians have total right-of-way.

Anarchist bikers - freedom! - confuse motorists and don't do the community any good.

8. Family biking is also a high. Imagine biking in a group along the Fant Parkway and exploring a bit of downtown on two-wheelers.

All things considered, I consider Shreveport a bicyclist's treat. Not too hilly, not too trafficky.

Still, I think we need to push for bike lanes. They are a symbol of an enlightened town. They offer hesitant riders the comparative safety they need to venture out. Of course, multi-use paths are needed, too.

And I'd like to offer this rally point to go with "Share the road." It is, "Bike lanes for Shreveport!"

Musician and bicycle commuter Aaron Butler (former Dirtfoot, Peekers, Brian Martin, etc) sent us these germane links. He said, “How to Not Get Hit by Cars,” should be required reading for anyone thinking about commuting by bicycle.”

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Review: Kiss me, Kate at Performing Arts Center a highly-recommendable show with performances Sat, July 26, 7:30 pm, and Sun at 2:30 pm

Forsooth, the PAC at First United Methodist was packed with people on Friday night, as was the stage packed with players. The show was "Kiss me, Kate," Cole Porter's riff on Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew."

It was a night on which John Bogan and Anna Maria Sparke were in excellent form, carrying the show upon their expressive and dashing forms. Whether in melody, diction or projection, these stars of community theater hit their marks.

Also hitting her note in dance and song was Centenary College student Amanda Kate Geneux. She brought a sense of humor to her sultry role as Bianca. Also dazzling the crowd with a tap dance number that hit its crescendo atop a piano was Ae'Jay Mitchell.

Travis Orr and Cory Olson were adept at bringing laughs to the stage as the gangsters and were winning in the duet, "Brush up your Shakespeare."

Katie Dupont's choreography was important in keeping the two and a half-hour production lively.

The Performing Arts Center deserves commendations for using live music in their shows. The excellent 15-piece orchestra for this show is directed by Carrie Stephens. The brass section - Mike Scarlato, Adrian Mitchell, Terry Hopkins and Susan Rogers - provided notable fun.

There are 2 performances remaining for this highly-recommendable show: tonight at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 2:30. The box office is (318) 429-6885; tickets are $9 and $17.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dorothy Kristin Hanna's Arodasi Center: Healing through Movement via groups and classes

An update on classes taught by choreographer and painter Dorothy Kristin Hanna, founder of Arodasi:

Mission: Healing through Movement

Monday 5:30 to 6:40 Feldenkrais, ATM Class®
Wednesday 7:00 to 8:15 Arodasi™ Dance- (dancing in the attic is an option!)
Friday 2:30 to 4:00 Exploring Creativity through Painting and Drawing
Sunday 2:45 to 4:00 Arodasi™ Yoga
Everyday: Reiki, Relaxation Therapy, one on one sessions on the table.
soft healing music, gentle ease, healing light- all included!
for more information, please call 318- 834-0948
address: 555 Herndon

Dorothy Kristin Hanna
Registered Somatic Movement Therapist and Educator,
Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner,
Reiki Master, Creator of Arodasi.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shreveport Regional Arts Council posts new apps for showing in Coolspace and applying to NW La Juried Artist Roster

July 07, Houston
Originally uploaded by trudeau
"Because we serve a large region of the state with our work we have renamed the Artists Roster; it now has a more inclusive title: the NW La Juried Artists Roster," says Pam Atchison of Shreveport regional Arts Council.

Artists who are accepted to the roster have streamlined application to grants and may apply for commissions designated as open only to roster artists. They have their own page at
Only roster artists may have a page at

New guidelines and an application to the artist roster can be found under Forms, on the Resources page at

Also see new guidelines - same page - in the Coolspace call to artists. Currently in Coolpsace is a show entitled Self-taught Artists; it features the work of Steven Soffer and Ophelia Boyd.

Shreveporters express urgency in Statewide Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Planning hearing

Janet Creech, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Louisiana's Dept of Transportation & Development is recognizing "increased demand for walkable and bikeable options." Indeed: over 20 locals spoke animatedly at the La Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master plan hearing this week.

There were attendees who are veterans of such hearings, such as Jeff Wellborn, Tim Goeders and Murray Lloyd. There were bikers associated with the recent Times bicycle commuting series, such as Ian Webb, Maurice Loridans and Alex Kent. And there was a rep for Gen Y: Jennette Ginsburg. Not represented but mentioned by Jeff Wellborn were a group of virtually invisible bike commuters: those impoverished enough not to own a car.

An example of the suggestions: "Ask city political leaders and planners to bike or walk to work once a month."

Participants were reminded that suggestions gathered by planners will not have an impact on policies for 3 to 5 years.

Those who would like to offer ideas and register their concern can write to consultant Nick Jackson (, who led the meeting, or to DOTD Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Brian Parsons (

Those looking for a local forum for more immediate expression and action may visit the blog A Better Shreveport and stand by for meetings tba.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Robert Bobby Darrow, Shreveport Little Theater, recipient of Scott Griffin Award; reception Thurs, Aug 7, 5 pm, Robinson Film Center

Bobby Darrow, executive director of the Shreveport Little Theatre, is the winner of the first annual G. Scott Griffin Award, says Paula Hickman. The award recognizes one local artist who has overcome adversity to make a contribution to the community in the execution of his art.

Darrow will receive a cash award of $1,000 at a reception held in his honor on Thursday, August 7 at 5 p.m. at the Robinson Film Center. During the reception, a special showing of “Dreamers and Gamblers: Spirit of the Pioneer Wildcatters,” Griffin’s documentary on the birth of the oil industry in our area. Other print work by Griffin will also be on display.

The late artist G. Scott Griffin was a multi-disciplinary, multi-media artist. From his childhood, Griffin coped with a visual handicap. Few people realized that he had to overcome adversity in the performance of his art.

Visitors see virtually no cultural signage in Shreveport; venues and the public deserve big banners and music that say "Welcome to Louisiana"

Art Museum Banners
Originally uploaded by astonjay32
In a recent editorial entitled "Simple changes can increase tourism," the Times quoted a small and recent study of visitors whose result was that we need to "Clean up and make the local sites easier to find."

The Times said, "Visitors said they had a hard time finding information about the city. And once they were here, they said it was hard to find their way around." You are probably saying, with savored sarcasm, "No-o-o-o; Gee, whiz."

It is quite apparent that Shreveport does little to designate its facilities. This neglect affects visitors and residents, too. It means that local people don't know where the art and history centers are located.

On a regular basis I ask people whether they have been to or know about the Southern University Museum of Art Shreveport. It is right across the street from Robinson Film Center, but few know a dern thing about it.

Multicultural Center of the South, also on Texas St, is in the same category. Of course, the number of local people who have never visited Artspace is huge.

Giant, colorful banners that offer a unified design are what I suggest
for Shreveport. Installing such signs would be audacious in a city that has never had a clue about presentation of its riches.

Pardon me for adding one more expense to the signage list: on Fridays and Saturdays I'd love to see a brass band on the streetcorners in front of the four facilities on Texas St. One band moving up and down the street would do the trick.

We're talking about creating an unusual and provocative ambience. As a city in Louisiana, we almost have a responsibility to use street jazz. Let's shoulder the burden of reminding visitors as well as ourselves that we've got cool sites to see. It may require a little leap of faith, but it's OK: Shreveport, too, is a rhythmic and melodic destination.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Recliners at Columbia Cafe on Wednesdays at 7 pm, Shreveport

Recliners, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Says droll musician and ad man Jim Huckabay, "Back in the 60’s, I was a frat rat and Bob was a Peace Corps volunteer. I was singing "Brown Eyed Girl" and Bob was singing "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." Some things change, some things don’t."

Request your favorite oldie this Wednesday at Columbia Café.
Creswell at Kings Highway.
(This visual flashback was inspired by an old picture I found of Bob Jordan at flickr. com)

Jim Huckabay
Focus Communications, Inc.
318 219 7688

How do you get young Americans involved in politics? Where's the next Eugene McCarthy? Obama meeting at Shreve Memorial Lib at 6 pm Sat, July 26

rally dean obama mamas
Originally uploaded by laforobama
Dionne Procell ( and Alan Brown ( will lead a discussion of political issues important to young locals at Shreve Memorial Library on Sat, July 26, at 6:00 pm, says Procell.

Attendees are encouraged to draft their own version of the ideal Democratic national platform and submit it to the campaign for review.

This is yet another opportunity for Obama supporters in Shreveport to meet each other, says Versha Sharma, to network and discuss local issues such as the Haynesville Shale drilling and the importance of environmental protection.

Also planning meetings: Kneece Camp ( may host a gathering Sunday. Sharon Green ( is planning another platform meeting in conjunction with the Student Government at Southern University.

Live drama: Kiss Me, Kate and High School Musical schedules and links to reviews for July 25 - 27 performances

If you want to experience fresh, live, hot entertainment instead of the sort that arrives via a digital signal, we'd suggest that one of these two plays will edify. Both Kiss Me, Kate and High School Musical were well-reviewed by Alex Kent at the Times.

Kiss Me, Kate performance dates are July 25 & 26 at 7:30 and July 27 at 2:30, says Ryan Williams. Tickets: $17 for adults and seniors and $9 for children and students (under 18 with a valid ID).

Ring 318.429.6885 between noon and 4:00 PM weekdays for reservations.

High School Musical performances are July 25 & 26th at 8 pm and July 27 at 2 pm, says Robert Darrow.

Regular tickets $20.00. All-access pass tickets $35.00 (includes backstage tour and a photograph with a principal cast member): 318.424.4439.

Student Rush: a limited number of tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis 5 minutes prior to show time for $10.00, cash only with valid student ID in person at the MLP Box Office. Student rush is subject to availability and only one ticket may be purchased per student ID. (Line forms 1 hour prior to curtain.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Times has helped everyone reconsider bicycling even if bicycle commuting remains unrealistic for many

Alex Kent's series on bicycle commuting has been a splendid example of agenda-setting by the daily newspaper. Judging from the remarks of my neighbors, the series was widely read and seen as stimulating.

The quality of the online responses to Kent's posts is something to behold. No slashing sarcasm, no posts by antagonistic troglodytes.

As a regular rider, I feel respected. Somehow, there's a fresh legitimacy to my sweaty pedaling.

As a blogger who's been pushing the theme of bike commuting since 2006, I feel edified. Small media, good idea; big media runs with it.

The key to the series' success was Alex Kent's struggle. Editorials are well and good, but the reader wants a sense of participation, and Kent became our proxy.

Alas, not all worthy topics are going to be as easy to bring to life. Coming up on Shreveport's agenda is litter. Shreveport, says Mayor Cedric Glover, needs to combine the ideas of recycling - a sexy and angelic pursuit - and litter control - a boring and hopeless pursuit.

Solar power awareness might be the ticket. I can imagine many an amusing post if only Alex and Kate tried to get solar panels mounted upon their house.

Costume epic "Mongol" tells story of young Ghengis Khan at Robinson Film Center

Ridged and reticulated silver ornaments, roughly wrought iron, embossed leather, red silk, indigo cotton, furs of enormous pile: the swashbuckling style and detail of the costumes is one of the most impressive elements of the movie Mongol, now showing at Robinson Film Center.

The 2-hour story, starring Japanese pop star Tadanobu Asano, is a journey of considerable sensuality: it is voiced entirely in Mongolian language, the camera lingers on amazing landscapes (it was shot in Kazakhstan and China), and the soundtrack is grand - yet I suppose viewers will either love or hate the guttural Mongolian throat singing.

Plotting is not the movie's strength. Temudjin, yet to earn the title the Great Khan, or Genghis Khan, endures numerous drubbings but always finds people ready to serve him. We're not sure how his magnetism works. There is a grand love story in which the Khan must face many compromises. Whether it is a credible part of the story you may take up on your own time.

You may also argue the quality of the slashing and stabbing in the several battle scenes. For me, it was a lesser part of the journey.

The inscrutability of East Asia. The handsome beards of the Mongols.
Mongolian ponies at gallop. In the end, Mongol's appeal lies in the overall loveliness of a classic costume epic.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Why Mayor Cedric B Glover attended opening night of River City Repertory Theater's Member of the Wedding

There were several reasons why Mayor Cedric Glover attended the recent opening night with River City Repertory Theater. One reason is that he recognized, having worked press events in her honor, that he should recognize award-winning actress Margaret Avery in the best way possible: by attending a performance.

Glover is also an arts appreciator; I have seen him at numerous events at Artspace, for example.

The importance of his attendance at opening night is in the example he is establishing for the public and other community leaders.

I remember when Caddo Schools superintendent Ollie Tyler attended opening night of the symphony season. It was a good night for Caddo parents, students and musicians. She knew the power that lies in setting an example.

Frankly, Shreveport could use more such example-setting by community leaders.

I think if someone from the mayor's office and / or the city council attended opening nights on a regular basis that we'd all be well served. The arts is an industry, after all.

I wish I could say that an example in arts attendance is being set by a large number of business leaders, area college profs and local teachers.

One gigantic example of arts-minded leadership that is being dropped by the powers that be is the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. Symphony musicians have signed contracts in which they've lost 75% of their pay, says Chan Teague. The SSO board has reached its limit in regards fund-raising and ambition.

The orchestra is a symbol of regional cultural health as well as a business entity. Why haven't more civic leaders made a public push to rebuild the SSO's finances and enhance its place as a regional cultural force?

Tickets to arts events aren't cheap. Nor is a supper at a chic restaurant.
I feel that too many local leaders are content to sup in a bistro rather than to dine on the ideas and brain-awakening experiences available from arts events.

Last week the mayor gave civic leaders permission to realign priorities
in their choices in entertainment - by his example. You know, it's a healthy choice.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Multi-ethnic supper at the Multicultural Center of the South on Sat, July 19, 6 pm to 8 pm

One day I believe that a wide array of Shreveporters are going to know and value the Multicultural Center of the South, located at 401 Texas St.

It is going to take time.

Have you visited the center?

Wandering through the fascinating and smartly-designed exhibits in the 2-storey display engenders a revelation about Shreveport. It's hard to avoid a sense of "So this is who we are!" The center's limited exposure is fairly understandable; there's the downtown location and the parking factor.

But Valarie Gunn and a marvelous potpourri of citizens have created a stimulating center that demands local attention.

MCS won a big boost this year When Lt. Gov Landrieu announced the stops on the new African-American Heritage Trail. MCS is on the trail.

Their event this weekend:
The 3rd Annual Taste of Culture Fundraiser
July 19, 2008, 6 pm - 9 pm
$35 per person

Says Ms. Gunn, "Come & sample food and wines from around the world. Tickets on sale now at the Center or can be purchased online."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Party with self-taught artists Steven Soffer and Ophelia Boyd at Artspace Thurs, July 17, 5 to 8 pm

Originally uploaded by Reans
Steven Soffer is an emerging artist with enough energy to create umpteen panels covered with paint and political-minded questions and frustrations.

Ophelia Boyd is also an emerging artist. Her quest is for symmetry, order and graceful pattern.

Work by these painters, quite a study in contrast, fills the upstairs gallery at artspace.

Thurs, July 17, in the midst of the TNT excitement, there will a reception for Boyd and Soffer.

Open and free. 5 to 8 pm.

Photo of a Steven Soffer piece by Tony Reans.

Review: River City Rep's production of Member of the Wedding features two stars: veteran Margaret Avery and newcomer Lexi Langs

There are numerous reasons to get tickets for River City Repertory Theater’s new production, “Member of the Wedding.” The first is that on opening night the cast proved itself spectacular.

Margaret Avery is the award-winning actress who is perfect as Berenice the housekeeper. She plays her character with grace and sublety. Avery is a beautiful woman and effective foil for Lexi Langs, the teen spitfire who plays tomboy Frankie Addams. Also impressive was muscular Nicki Daniels in the role of the young buck, Honey Brown.

Reason two is Langs herself. This is a teen with a level of talent rarely seen hereabouts. Langs has a jillion lines which she delivers with absolute certainty. Director Patric McWilliams and Langs have fashioned a facial and body language that vividly conveys the emotional state of a lonely, passionate and mercurial kid.

“Member of the Wedding” is set in the 1940’s but it is full of the issues that dog our lives today. How do fiery youths become independent without causing some degree of havoc amongst us? How does the settled class respond to the artistic souls coming up in our hands? Across the city today one imagines that dads who saw the play last night are sitting down with their sensitive teens, making a fresh attempt to listen to their stories.

The cast has depth. Benjamin Maxey, a sixth grader with an important role, acquits himself well. As in the case of his thespian sister, Jessica Maxey, theater goers are watching him grow up on stage. Nicki Daniels commands the stage in the role of frustrated young black man yearning for fair treatment - and another reefer. Stanley Blackshire and Charity Schubert are impeccable in their supporting roles.

The Scottish Rite Temple is a venue of unusual style - like the Strand Theater, but more so - and impressive historic appointments. But the acoustics of the Temple do not aid the cast in projecting their lines. Between the acoustics and the Southern accents, the articulation of ending sounds was an audience concern on opening night. I’d suggest you get seats as close to the stage as possible to ensure full enjoyment of this absorbing drama.

Running time is some two hours, thirty minutes. On opening night there was a generous intermission at the end of act one.

Tickets are $25 and $35.
Reservations: 318-868-5888
Performances: July 16, 17, 18, 19 at 7:30 p.m. and a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 2O.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thursday Night Trolley tours downtown every 30 minutes on Thurs, July 17, 5 pm to 8 pm

Time for the downtown TNT Express on Thursday night, says Bonne Summers.

The tours depart every 30 minutes from Artspace, 710 Texas Street and from the Southern Museum of Art, 610 Texas Street. That is Thursday, July 17, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Hop on board for tours of the architectural treasures at the YMCA, Sci-Port, Spring Street Museum, the African American Art Collection at the Southern University Museum of Art, and Artspace, all in downtown, Shreveport. There is no charge for the TNT Express.

While touring Artspace or waiting for the TNT don't hesitate to join people going upstairs for an artists' reception. Paintings by Steven Soffer and Ophelia Boyd are being feted.

Soffer / Boyd reception
Thursday, July 17th
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
710 Texas Street – Downtown Shreveport
The Exhibition runs through August 9th

FREE Parking at Blue Scroll Mural Lot
673-6535 or 673-6500

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SciPort presents Energy Awareness mojo Fri, July 18 through Sun, July 20, to help public reduce power consumption

Alex Kent / Jim Hudelson
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Sci-Port Discovery Center’s Energy Awareness Weekend, will take place Friday, July 18, through Sunday, July 20, says Eric Gipson. Presentations and displays will show how individuals and communities can reduce power consumption and save money.

Presentations include:

AEP SWEPCO--Electrical power usage and conservation tips, Louie the Lightening Bug, plus demonstrations of a Sparker and how different appliances impact how fast your electric meter spins. 11 a.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Alexandyr Kent--“All Pedal, No Gas.” The Shreveport Times journalist shares his experiences and results since he recently switched from driving to bicycling to and from work. 11:30 a.m. Friday.

City of Shreveport--How the City saves energy with a look at public transportation and biodiesel fuels. 2 p.m. Friday.

One Planet Solar--Solar panel installations as a way of reducing your energy bills. 1:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Louisiana Tech--Alternative fuels. 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Displays with energy-saving tips, all 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, will be provided by:

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
CenterPoint Energy
Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Oil & Gas Association
Morgan Pontiac GMC Buick
Geared toward all ages, the activities are included with regular Sci-Port admission and free to Sci-Port members.

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

Keele and Bogan in Kiss Me, Kate, Shreveport: July 18 - 27, First Methodist's PAC

Anna Maria Sparke Keele and John Bogan will tread the boards in Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me, Kate” this month at the Performing Arts Center, First United Methodist Church, says Ryan Williams.

Keele and Bogan will be joined center stage by Amanda Geneux, Patrick Kelly and Jack Charity.

Also in the cast: Travis Orr, Cory Olson, Ae’Jay Mitchell, A.J. Haynes, John Goddard, Jeff Rawls, Bradley T. Silman, Parker Stough, Jordan Solice and Betty Dillon.

The chorus: Caleb Gaston, Josh Good, John Horton, Philip Scott, Caitlyn Coley, Rosie Jonker, Jennifer Perhala, Hannah Hayes, April Stutts, Robin Jackson, and Amanda Thompson.

Ryan Williams directs the production, with Carrie Stephens as musical director and Katie DuPont as choreographer. Jamie Sanders is technical director/set designer. Courtney Gaston designed the lights. Vanna Richardson is stage manager, and Shelly Price serves as wardrobe mistress. Will Andress serves as producer.

The performance dates are July 18, 19, 25, & 26, at 7:30 and July 20 & 27, at 2:30. Tickets: $17 for adults and seniors and $9 for children and students (under 18 with a valid ID). Please call 318.429.6885 between noon and 4:00 PM weekdays for reservations.

First United Methodist Church: 318.429.6887

The Performing Arts Center is located at 400 Common Street (the southwest corner of Common and Travis Streets) in downtown Shreveport.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Watch circus art banner painter Glenn Davies at work at Artspace 2 to 4 pm; artists talk Tues, July 15, 6 pm

The current show of circus art at Artspace, "Curious, Mysterious and Strange," is designed to be a light-heated people-pleaser. Curated by Bill Joyce, Artspace artistic director, it is full of lurid colors, vulgar illustrations and untoward machinery.

This week the circus art program features a guest, the Renowned Sideshow Banner Artist, Glenn Davies. He will be the resident artist for the week, says Stacie Leng, and will provide a culminating experience as he nears completion on a Sideshow banner created especially for this exhibition, “Spidora”.

Throughout the week, the public is welcome to come to Artspace in the afternoons from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm to watch Davies create the banner and talk about his work.

There will be a formal and free artist's talk on Tues, July 15, at 6:00 pm. You will be able to view numerous pieces by Davies in the exhibition.

Also, this is the week for the TNT Express. Free tours beginning at lurid Artspace this Thurs, July 17, says Bonne Summers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lexi Langs at River City Rep to play in Member of the Wedding; play opens at Scottish Rite Temple Wed, July 16

Lexi Langs is a 13 year-old from Florida who has come to Shreveport's River City Repertory Theater to play opposite Margaret Avery in Member of the Wedding. She performed the Frankie Addams role at Barksdale Theater, Richmond, Va, last year.

From the Richmond theater's blog, penned capably by Bruce Miller, we hear that Member of the Wedding "is a highly theatrical evening that is language- and character-driven rather than plot-driven. It emotionally transports us back to the sultry Southern summers of Carson McCullers' early adolescence. The lonely and precocious 13-year-old was played with staggering sensitivity by real-life 13-year-old Lexi Langs."

Member of the Wedding is adapted from the novel, of which Wikipedia says, "It is the story of 12-year-old tomboy Frankie Addams, who feels disconnected from the world -- 'an unjoined person'. She dreams of going away with her brother and his bride-to-be on their honeymoon, following them to the Alaskan wilderness. She has no friends in the small Southern town in which she lives. Her mother died giving birth to Frankie and her father is a distant, uncomprehending figure. Her closest companions are the family's African American maid, Berenice Sadie Brown, and her six-year-old cousin, John Henry West."

The show is being directed by Patric McWilliams with light design by Tristan Decker, costume and set design by McWilliams, sound design and original score by Kermit Poling. Stage manager is Alan Berry.

Additional members of the cast are Benjamin Maxey, Leonard Yoakum, James Monk, Jennifer Warren, Stan Blackshire, Nicki Daniels, Charity Schubert, Catharine Barbaree and Lorna Dopson.

Box Office hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon through Sat.
Tickets: $35.00 for Orchestra & Upper Center Tier; $25.00 for Upper Side Tiers.

Reservations: 318-868-5888.

The show opens Thurs, July 16, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral and runs through July 20th. More at River City Rep.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Why Margo Shideler, Washington, DC, likes the new calendar called

Margo Shideler lives in Washington, DC, but likes visiting friends and family in Shreveport. When she plans her trips to Louisiana she has a new resource:

"I use the new site to take a look ahead," she said. "If I want to see theater or dance at Thanksgiving, in many cases the dates and productions are already listed."

Indeed, many arts organizations are taking advantage of the site by listing their entire season. Examples: Shrevepprt Little Theater and BPCC's Cavalier Players.

As arts and tourism producers get acquainted with the possibilities, the public will see even more. For the moment, the site is a bright and colorful way to check on immediate possibilities in theater, dance, music, kids stuff, even science and nature. is a collaboration between Shreveport Regional Arts Council and the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Leadbelly and more: Hayden Camp and friends at Actor's Cafe at 8 pm Sat, July 12

Hayden Camp, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Hayden Camp guitared up under the influence of Kurt Cobain. He once pounded out sharp versions of Cobain's hits.

Happily, one of the people admired and covered by Cobain was local legend Huddie Leadbelly Ledbetter ("In the Pines"). Somehow teen artist Camp was touched by the songs of the Sweet Singer From the Swamplands. Today when I think of Camp I think of folk music written and played with the conviction and style brought to the world by Leadbelly.

Prior to his move to New Orleans, Camp was a member of the Noids alongside Paul Garner and Jesse Gabriel. Thus we would expect the Noids to join him in grinding out original punk tunes as well as various Leadbelly tunes and Camp's originals.

Actor's Cafe seems to be the main indie hangout place nowadays.

From degradation and war in Iraq to sex in France, Robinson Film Center covers the indie scene

Robinson Film Center rises to its full possibilities this week. Its movie offerings take us a from serious social issues to frothy Euro comedy.

"Standard Operating Procedure" is a new documentary rated R for disturbing images and content involving torture and graphic nudity, and for language. It is an examination of the unintended consequences of the Iraqi war with a focus on events at Abu Ghraib prison which began to appear in global media in 2004.

Ultimately, it is the story of soldiers who believed they were defending democracy but found themselves plunged into an unimagined nightmare.

"Priceless" is a French comedy with English subtitles. It is rated PG-13 for sexual content, including nudity.

See more at

Dorsey Summerfield, musician and painter, featured at Southern University Museum of Art Shreveport, 610 Texas St

An Improvisation in Art is what musician Dorsey Summerfield calls his exhibit at the Southern University Museum of Art Shreveport, aka SUMAS.

It features 28 vibrant, joyous works painted in oil, acrylic and mixed media.

Summerfield's exhibit is a stunningly consistent show demonstrating the musician's terrific sense of design.

He is head of the Southern University Shreveport arts program, a teacher of music technology and a journeyman musician known for his sweet sax tone and his excellent sidemen, the Polyphonics.

Tucked into the back of the first floor at 610 Texas St, SUMAS qualifies as one of the city's best-kept secrets. It is not a huge museum, but it is a highly valuable one. The African art comes from a trove of work collected personally by the Southern University system's president, Leon Tarver. The principal Southern University Museum of Art is on the Baton Rouge campus.

SUMAS hours:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The exhibit runs through Aug. 30, says director Carolyn Coatney. Call Coatney for info or group tours.
(318) 518-0551

Rising star Angie Mattson at jayne Marie on Cross lake Thurs, July 10, 8 pm

Angie Mattson
Originally uploaded by Dave Schumaker
"Angie Mattson, one of the music industry's hottest new artists, will be making her first appearance in Shreveport at Jayne Marie On Cross Lake," says Jane Lanza.

Show begins at 8:00 p.m. in the Windows On The Lake dining room.
Special light fare menu will be featured and Jayne Marie's famous catfish platter will be $8.95. Longnecks 1/2 price.

Jayne Marie On Cross Lake; 631-0919.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Collaborate with a partner at Red River Songwriters Association event Thurs, July 10, 6 pm, LSUS

Red River Songwriters Assoc
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The Red River Songwriters' Association invites you to join us for "Song-spiration," an evening of creative songwriting & collaboration, says Julia Foley.

Writers are encouraged to bring a current song that they are working on or just their creative energy to collaborate on new song ideas. Be prepared to work with a partner on collaboration skills and learn new techniques for stimulating your creative inspiration.

Thursday, July 10th
6:00 - 8:00 pm
at LSUS Bronson Hall, Room 221

Free Event that is open to the community.
For more information contact Julia Foley at (318) 771-1768.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Chris McCaa, aka Prof Porkchop, at Fairfield Studios for concert and CD release party Sun, July 13, 7 pm

At the age of nine, Shreveport native Chris McCaa attended a performance by legendary jazz pianist/composer Dave Brubeck - and the rest is history, says McCaa.

Now performing as Professor Porkchop, McCaa is an accomplished keyboardist/composer, one heavily influenced by the music of New Orleans and the blues scenes of Austin and Memphis..

McCaa has been part of some of the region’s most popular bands, such as A Train, The Red Hots and MTV award-winning group, The Insatiables.

He has opened for such artists as B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Ko Ko Taylor, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmie Vaughn, Keb Mo , Asleep at the Wheel and the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, Bo Diddley.

With his band, Professor Porkchop and The Dirty Dishes (Jason Coffield, guitar/sax; John Compton, bass; and Curt Watson, drums), McCaa has cut a new CD, “Grits and Graveyards”. It contains all original compositions and finds McCaa evoking a “Randy Newman meets Dr. John” vibe.

Sun, July 13, 7 pm

Here's Porkchop on YouTube, singing 'bout Shreveport.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sexy bikes needed in order to save the planet; the style-conscious have a huge role to play in getting Americans back to the bike

Originally uploaded by Suzy Cat
The likes of Alex Kent, commuting on a bike for a Times series, and Maurice Loridans, a long-term bike commuter, should not dominate thinking about what constitutes bike style.

My friend Kenneth Berg, a sharp-dressed guy who likes biking, knows there's more to life than a sensible commuter bike or super-functional road bike (he has both). Berg has insisted from the beginning of his return to biking that cruiser style must be served.

First he bought an Electra cruiser called a Rockabilly Boogie. It's a rolling conversation piece, a feel-good, retro, boutique bicycle. It was somewhat expensive and is also a bit heavier than his practical bikes.

But when he rides, people grok his bike. They ask him what it is and where he got it. His wife, Emily, has an Electra, too.

Recently he acquired an Electra Townie 21 Art. Now he has the gears to make life very comfortable.

Some of you are thinking, "I'll find an old bike and do the retro thing for cheap." Yes, that is a time-honored tradition. Of course, some of you are planning an art bike.

Bike enthusiasts love to get maximized. But we love to watch those who are about being stylized.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Drummer-composer Brian Blade: has recent live set at Village Vanguard, NYC

Brian Blade
Originally uploaded by Moochin Photoman
NPR does not hold back when it comes to Shreveport's favorite son of jazz, the drummer and composer Brian Blade: "Widely recognized as one of the finest drummers in modern jazz — or in all of popular music, for that matter — Brian Blade directed the spotlight onto his compositional and bandleading talents when he helmed his Fellowship Band in a live performance at the Village Vanguard, broadcast live on air by WBGO and live online at NPR Music."

And it makes Blade fans feel good to hear a summary of his career one more time: "Having soaked up the musical lessons of his native Louisiana, Blade first emerged on the national jazz landscape in the 1990s amid talented peers such as Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman. As his generation of young lions turned into the standard-bearers of contemporary jazz, his talents also have garnered him frequent appearances and recordings with legends like Wayne Shorter. Blade hasn't limited himself to jazz alone; he has played on records with Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan, among others."

Having listened to his new record with the Fellowship Band for a few weeks, I can effortlessly recommend it to you. The disk is called Season Of Changes.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Best movie of the summer is at Sciport: new Imax movie on the Grand Canyon

If the movie title "Grand Canyon" makes you think "Ho hum," you're going to be happy with the new release being shown at Imax Sciport. With music by Dave Matthews and narration by Robert Redford, the new "Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk," is spectacular.

This may be the best movie of the summer. For instance, the watery chase scenes equal the excitement found in a James Bond movie.

The trek is narrated by a river guide - a Havasupai woman - alongside an author-photographer and his comely daughter. Also on the trip are river advocate Robert F Kennedy, Jr, and his daughter, Kick.

The Grand Canyon, the Colorado River that runs through it and the larger Southwest region, is under threat of changes on a geologic scale. Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which supply drinking water to the region, could dry up within years, in part due to a decades-long drought.

The condition begins with global warming and the melting of mountain snowpack that supplies the Colorado River with water. In part it's due to chronic mismanagement and over-reliance on the river for multiple competing uses: agriculture, drinking water and wildlife.

Thus the movie is sensual but far from simple.

Go to for the schedule.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mohammad al-Gailany, Shreveport, asks Are you interested in learning Arabic?

Mohammed al Gailany is a sparkling presence in the Phoenix Virtue Temple community. Quickly apparent are his sense of humor and perspective on global cultures - he is a Muslim but one who came to Shreveport to study the ancient pathway of Qi Gong under Phoenix Virtue Temple's founder, sifu Janis Gabriel.

Mohammed, known to insiders as "Mo," has decided to teach Arabic.
The location will be the Temple at 2601 Highland Ave (318-834-0445).

He says, "I was born in Saudi Arabia, but am of Iraqi descent, and have lived in the US since I was 9. I have a BS in biology from UNC-Greensboro, and currently work at AT&T."

If you have an interest in getting acquainted with Arabic, please call Mohammed Al-Gailany at 318-780-4621.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Someone's in the Kitchen at Artpace, Shreveport, to feature BBQ and Brew on Tues, July 8, 7 pm

Smoked turkey
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Someone’s In The Kitchen at Artspace offers a multi-chef format on Tues, July 8, at 7 pm, says Bonne Summers.

On the agenda is Louisiana Soul Food: Brew and BBQ.

Summers writes, "What do Southerners and Louisianans so heartily love in the summertime – or any time of year? Barbeque!

Come sample some of Shreveport and Bossier City’s most savory meats, soulful side dishes and exotic beers to whet your whistles!

We’ve organized well-known (and not so well-known) neighborhood joints and restaurants; from mouth watering beef brisket to smothered neckbones to seasonal fresh greens to fruit cobbler with ice cream."

Limited seating. $25 per person – advance payment for reservations requested. Call 673-6500.

Soul Food Music provided Howling Henry Robinson, Dan Garner and Friends

Silver Star Smokehouse
The Hit Man
Red Oak House of BBQ
Culinary Passions
Cat Daddy
Fairfield Grocery
Cedar Grove BBQ
The Dough Basket

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

SLT Academy opens with 40 thespians - in 2 weeks will deliver High School Musical on MLP stage

SLT Academy
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Shreveport Little Theater Academy headmaster Robert Darrow reports, "Today marks our first day of SLT Academy. We have 40 students enrolled and I've never experienced a more organized and energized group.

The faculty is awesome. Mary Thoma is our academy director
and Jared Watson is our production director."

Box Office: 812 Margaret Place in Shreveport
Opens Tuesday, July 1st; Mon.-Fri. from noon to 4pm.

Press Night Thursday, July 17 at 8pm

July 18, 19, 25, & 26th @ 8pm
July 20 & 27 @ 2pm

Regular priced tickets $20.00
All-access pass tickets $35.00 (includes backstage tour and a photograph with a principal cast member)

Show running time 2 hours 10 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.

Student Rush: a limited number of tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis 5 minutes prior to show time for $10.00, cash only with valid student ID in person at the MLP Box Office. Student rush is subject to availability and only one ticket may be purchased per student ID. (Line forms 1 hour prior to curtain.)