This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director. It’s the time of year when we at the North Central Louisiana Arts Council hold our Keep the Arts Afloat campaign. We’ve been doing this now for over fifteen years, and many of you know “it’s time” when you see Board President Peter Jones walk in for a visit holding a stack of tickets. These “tickets” keep our organization afloat, and give you the chance to win $5000.
You see, Keep the Arts Afloat is NCLAC’s primary fundraiser. It allows us to fulfill our mission in the region: to foster opportunities for creative expression, to establish a strong presence of the arts, and to share our cultural heritage. We believe the arts are a necessary enhancement for everyone, and that our lives and communities are made more vibrant through the presence of the arts.
We work within our mission in many ways. For one, we provide opportunities for artists to present their works, which in turn, gives the public the chance to enjoy and experience the art. Performances, readings and exhibitions fill our office calendar each year, and we post these online so that people can find interesting, cultural ways to spend their time. We also strive to inform artists of additional opportunities available to them. Information about grants, exhibition opportunities, competitions and more are disbursed to our member artists, as are potential commissions and contract job opportunities.
Next, we work for our region’s children, providing an introduction to art they may not receive at home or school. We’ve been offering summer arts camps for twenty-plus years, and when we see children return each year, from first through sixth grades, we know we’re doing it right. We also partner with the Dixie Center for the Arts and Ruston Civic Symphony Society each year on a School Performance Series, where a musician provides an exclusive educational performance for Lincoln Parish sixth graders.
NCLAC is very proud to assist wonderful community partners, such as Pine Hills Advocacy Center, where we coordinated an “artful renovation” through murals last year. We partner with the City of Ruston each year during our Holiday Arts Tour, and work with merchants to build our cultural economy and boost holiday sales. Seeds of Light in Homer, public libraries in Jonesboro, Arcadia and Farmerville, and the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Louisiana are additional groups with which we partner. We always enjoy art booths for children, so this summer we are offering art projects each Saturday at Ruston Farmers Market.
There are so many ways in which we work for the arts in our region. I’ve run out of room in this week’s article, and didn’t get to speak about Peach Art Exhibit, art crawls, the community variety show, or internships. If you want to know about these programs and more, explore our site at nclarts.org
Would you like to help Keep the Arts Afloat in north central Louisiana? Here are the details: we offer 250 tickets, for a $100 donation each, and in turn one lucky donor receives $5000 when we hold our drawing at the Peach Art Exhibit. If you’d like to make your donation, call or stop by our office inside the Dixie Center for the Arts at 212 North Vienna St. in downtown Ruston, (318)255-1450, or visit with a Board Member. We will have a winner…and it could be you! Either way, you can rest assured your donation will make a difference. We appreciate your support.