Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Funding Received: 2013
Shreveport, LA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 11, 2013


Hallelujah! The UNSCENE! Production Planning is moving forward rapidly and with great enthusiasm! Artists everywhere are excited about becoming an integral part of this amazing opportunity! Conversations with Artists' groups like Steve Olsen (Skate Park Designer/Deck Artist) and Court 13 (Beasts of the Southern Wild) are advancing robustly. The UNSCENE! Artists' Residencies will engage muralists, filmmakers, sculptors, parade creators, and culinary artists throughout the 9-blocks of Shreveport Common.

To get things started, printmaker Richard Duardo of Modern Multiples will come to Shreveport August 15-18 to exhibit Fine Art Prints by Street Artists such as Shepard Fairey and CRYPTIC and will provide a daylong workshop in print and poster making. Five local artists will be selected - through a jury process - to participate, and will subsequently become the UNSCENE! Street Team. This team will also be invited to participate in a “Paste-Up” workshop with an established Street Artist. The Artist team will learn how to create, print and paste-up their own monthly poster designs in pre-approved locations of downtown Shreveport to promote the UNSCENE! series. Beyond the series, posters and street art paste ups are important elements of promoting the events that are driving vibrancy in Shreveport Common. Things are UNbelievably exciting in Shreveport!

Recent Wins

Each month the Northwest Louisiana Professional Artists listed on a Juried Roster (selected through a semi-annual jury process involving an out of State Critic or Juror) meet with the SRAC Staff and Board to discuss Arts Development and Funding Opportunities. For more than a year, the focus of these meetings has been on developing Shreveport Common by creating the monthly event, UNSCENE! Even though the advanced agenda/meeting notice has promoted the opportunity for the conversation, attendance has been sporadic -- not been reflective of the number of area Professional Artists who should be involved. However, almost half of the 100 Artists currently on this Roster attended last week's meeting to learn more about the upcoming UNSCENE! It was amazing. During this meeting, the Artists suggested that we plan a full day to gather with all area artists (juried or not) and share the progress and the opportunities for engagement. This is a dramatic “Artists’ Driven” suggestion that will become a regular component of the planning and communication process that can effectively shape Arts Policy for Northwest Louisiana. As a result of this conversation, on Saturday, July 27th, UNSCENE! Artistic Director, Brandon Oldenburg, and Northwest Louisiana Artists --hopefully HUNDREDS - will gather for a day-long Planning Retreat to discuss the progress so far and to brainstorm ways to maximize the opportunities that the monthly Artists' Residencies provide. There are more than ten ways that area artists ("area" is defined as artists who live in the 10 parishes/counties of Northwest Louisiana) can participate in this monthly event! We will convene for a hot summer feast of good food and great food for thought!


This month has brought an important, if not especially new or profound, insight to consider: Just because you are making a sound, doesn't mean that anyone is listening! It was surprising to discover the number of artists in our Region who have not yet heard about UNSCENE! In the minds and hearts of all of us who work on behalf of community development through the Arts ... and therefore, are keenly dependent upon and committed to Artists' development… it is UNfathomable that UNSCENE! is UNSEEN to many area artists: it is simply not on their radar. The artists recommended the upcoming July 27 gathering to communicate (share, listen, and mutually provide feedback), and we will close the retreat brainstorming a communication "structure" that will garner and sustain trust and confidence among the Artists; and will, in turn, equip their participation. UNSCENE! has a very talented, accomplished Artistic Director, Brandon Oldenburg, who is working diligently to bring the best and brightest purveyors of "vibrancy" to work in monthly Artists' Residencies side by side with Northwest Louisiana Artists to create new works that debut during UNSCENE! SRAC's Face Book Pages and Roster Artists meetings have welcomed suggestions - that have been vetted - for months. When Brandon has the opportunity to share his decision-making process, Artists will see this UNprecedented opportunity to work with nationally renowned talent, and suggest ideas that will expand the selected Residencies! This will provide a “double bottom line” benefit to the community: 1) The Residencies will engage area artists in the creation of new works that leave a permanent mark on the Shreveport Common community; and 2) the participating area artists will continue to create new works that expand upon the National Artists’ works and engage the community for months to come.