A Creative Mind by Hannah Greer

Are you eager to get out of the house and find new things to do? Me too! That’s why this week I decided to search the Shreveport, Ruston, and Monroe areas for some great local businesses where everyone can be creative, artistic, and expressive. At these shops, studios, and theaters, you can be part of the process or sit back and enjoy the show. All you need to do is decide what you’re in the mood for! If you’re in the mood for…


Painting with a Twist provides both private and public classes. While working on your masterpiece, you can sit back and enjoy a glass of wine with your friends or family. The art pieces are chosen in advance but visitors can put their own creative twist on pieces that will make it unique to them. Painting with a twist has a ton of options to choose from! I love their variety. It was pretty hard for me to choose which painting I wanted to do for my sister and which ones I would want to do for myself. Best of all, they have locations stretching across north Louisiana. Check out their website, http://www.paintingwithatwist.com/ to find a location and see their calendar of events!

Arts on Fire located in Shreveport, La is a paint your own pottery business. They offer the wide range of pieces, decorative stencils, and stamps to choose from and all you need to bring is your imagination to transform them however you choose. You could make your own plate, a bowl for your pet, and so much more. Once you are done, you leave your piece to be fired and it will be ready to go home with you in 7-10 business days. Parties are also possible if requested. Having taken a pottery class in the past, I have a great appreciation for those artists that create the pieces from a simple pile of clay. Many people would be surprised at just how difficult it can be and how much technique the trade requires. That is one of the reasons why I love businesses like these. You skip all of the difficult parts of the pottery process, and get to enjoy the decorating process, making the piece your own. See the Arts on Fire website, http://www.artsonfire.com/ to learn more about all of the pieces you can paint to decorate your home with and to find coupons for your next visit!


 Stitchville is a local business that I stumbled upon one day when I went to buy some class supplies in Fine Line Art Supply and Print Lab, where they share a space. I think I fell in love as soon as I saw their set up. After looking at their website, I can’t wait to find a reason to go! Stitchville offers parties and classes as basic as “Learning to Sew” to “Making your own Clothes.” The most I have ever been able to do when it comes to sewing is stitch a tear in fabric or replace a button but I can’t help but be excited about the idea of learning to make some of the things that Allie Bennett, Stitchville owner, offers under their class schedule. Projects like these would make great gifts too! See more on their website http://www.repursables.com/Home.html.



 Linda Lavender’s School of Dance and Debbie’s School of Dance are located in Monroe, LA and West Monroe, LA.  Both dance schools offer classes for children and adults. Art isn’t just about making things with your hands. Dancing is a very artistic way of expressing something about yourself. Visiting a dance school could be a good way to learn a new skill, add a new type of exercise into your life, and gain more strength and coordination. (Something that I could definitely use more of at times!) Although I’ve never taken dance classes before, it has always been something that I’ve been interested in and I was thrilled to see that schools like these are available so close to home! Learn more about Linda Lavender’s School of dance at http://www.lindalavenderschoolofdance.com. See the website for Debbie’s School of Dance here: http://www.dbourgdance.com/index.html.

The Theater:

 Most of you may know about the Dixie Center for the Arts. What I love about the Dixie is it’s ornate theater feel and I love how they work to enrich the community. As a local theater, they bring to, and provide a space for entertainment in Ruston, LA. They also support local artists by supporting NCLAC's Piney Hills Gallery in their lobby by providing a space for artist’s arts and crafts. Support the Dixie by stopping by their lobby, get season tickets, or keep up with their schedule of events at http://www.dixiecenter.org/Home.php.

The Strand Theatre in Shreveport, LA is one that I have fond memories of, and it is still one of my favorite places to go. They offer everything from bubble shows to classic musicals to ballets. The shows provided are great for children and adults. The Strand is a beautiful landmark of Shreveport, and it is one that I would recommend for everyone to experience at least once. After all, the experience is half of the treat of going. Choose which shows you want to see at the Strand at http://www.thestrandtheatre.com/index.php.

If you or anyone you know have gone to any of these businesses or plan on going in the future, send us photos of your creations and experiences and tell us about your time there!

Supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.