Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Funding Received: 2013
Shreveport, LA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 24, 2013


On Saturday, July 27 the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) invited ALL Artists in Northwest Louisiana to spend the day at Central ARTSTATION for the first of many Artists’ Retreats! What a remarkable day of conversation that will lead to the growth of the Arts, creative opportunities for all types of collaboration, new funding opportunities for Artists, and the development of Shreveport Common!

The Artists’ Retreat was a success! More than 100 artists came to participate as well as media affiliates who were excited to help spread the word about the retreat. SRAC and the Juried Artist Roster members will keep the conversation active by hosting quarterly gatherings and conversations; and a WINTER Retreat!

Recent Wins

Many milestones were reached at the Artists’ Retreat-- ideas were inspired, information was shared, and collaborative teams were formed. Moreover, ideas began to transform into ACTION!

With thanks to Chris Lyon and James Marks, SRAC began working on a consistent means of on-line communication that will become a “structure” for dialogue and organization! The structure also equips Artists to form collaborative teams to work together. On Friday, August 2 the Wiki website went live with all of the UNSCENE! Artist Calls. Any Artist who missed the retreat or wants more information will know exactly where to go for quick and easy access! The Wiki website will be used to help artists and the community collaborate on UNSCENE!, the Shreveport Common , and other projects. Artists can view upcoming projects, make comments and join in! http://srac.wikia.com/wiki/Shreveport_Regional_Arts_Council_Wiki

Artistic Director Brandon Oldenburg, Shreveport Common Design Manager Gregory Free hosted a walk through Shreveport Common on August 6. Oldenburg, Free and Roster Artist Kathryn Usher were instrumental in pointing out opportunities for Artists to discover ways to create new works along the way. “Before UNSCENE! could kick into high gear we needed to make sure all our local artist, myself included, had a deeper understanding of our Shreveport Common neighborhood,” Oldenburg said. “If we are going to make a meaningful and lasting mark in this neighborhood we’ve got to know our surroundings. So for three hours we immersed ourselves into the anthropological wonders of the Common's rich history despite the 100 degree heat.

“We got up close and personal with the sometimes overlooked, yet gorgeous, architectural gems of the area. Most importantly we gained deeper respect for the charitable institutions and the hard working people who live within the Shreveport Common. Now we’re ready. People of Shreveport prepare for UNSCENE! It's gonna be UNBELIEVABLE!”


Last month we discovered that our outreach to the community doesn’t reach far enough. We are dependent upon and committed to Artists' development. In order to fully service the needs of Artists, we must make a direct connection to not only those who have been with us for years, but also all of the Artists whom we have not yet had the opportunity to meet.

We discovered that we had a lot of new faces in the crowd who had never been involved with SRAC or the arts community. We were thrilled to have the newcomers, but we saw an opportunity that has been UNtapped.

We asked everyone to look around and tell us who they felt should have been in attendance, but were not. Who would benefit from and be beneficial to UNSCENE!? We wrote down every person, organization, company, demographic named then made a plan to contact those persons and groups to share what’s going on in Shreveport Common and to invite them to our next retreat.

We created an UNSCENE! database storing the contact information of all those interested in UNSCENE! Through this database we know who each Artist is, their arts discipline, how they are interested in participating with UNSCENE! and more! We can mail, email and call Artists to keep them up-to-date with the UNSCENE! progress.

We are also encouraging Artists to get to know each other’s work through their profiles on the Northwest Louisiana (NWLA) Artists Directory. The NWLA Artist Directory is a public database with Artists’ biographies, portfolio of art work, and contact information. This way, the arts community knows who each other are, thereby, creating a personal, lasting bond.

Lastly, we all made a commitment to share the information about UNSCENE!, Shreveport Common, and Arts Growth with at least one other Artist! We know that communication is a key in building and maintaining relationships with artists and others in the community. The most personal form of communication is word-of-mouth. We can all be a better neighbor by talking to our fellow neighbor and inviting them to participate in the growth of our city.

With one Artists’ Retreat under our belt, we are another step closer to UNSCENE! success.