Community Connection: Ruston

Peaches, railroads, and hall-of-famers. That's what describes many of the highlights of Ruston, LA. Established in 1883 with land donated from Robert Edwin Russ, Ruston has blossomed into a bustling city that has brought some of the best in football, technology, and fun. Every summer, Ruston celebrates the Squire Creek Country Club Peach Festival. The festival brings people from all over the state and all over the country to downtown Ruston for music, food, and fun. Saturday brings music as sweet as the peaches themselves. Vendors from all over line the streets peddling their wares. Visitors can enjoy juried art exhibits, kids activities, and the annual parade among a myriad of other activities.

Ruston is home to Louisiana Tech University. Louisiana Tech (known affectionately as Tech) has brought many breakthroughs in technology and research through their engineering department; beauty through the art, architecture, and performing arts departments; and business leaders through their business department. Tech was the first to offer a degree in Nanotechnology, has had award winning plays and playwrights, and has produced many prominent business leaders in the area and around the country. Tech is also home to many international students that bring their own cultures to the table. Tech recently hosted Nepal night, which brought together people from all over the community to celebrate Nepal's culture. Food, music, and dancing took center stage. Nepal Night is just one of the many community events Louisiana Tech hosts that engages people in Ruston. Tech also has programs in the soft sciences (physchology, sociology, etc), liberal arts, and many other programs of study.

Another facet of Louisiana Tech is it's rich sports history. Tech has produced a number of Hall of Fame members in different sports. Terry Bradshaw played quarterback for Tech and became the NFL first draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1970. Bradshaw originally played second string behind Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. Willie Roaf also went to Tech and is a current member of the NFL Hall of Fame after a career with the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. Karl "The Mailman" Malone. played basketball for Tech and was drafted after three seasons by the Utah Jazz. Malone had a stellar career in the NBA and came home to became a member of the Louisiana Tech basketball staff in 2007.

Ruston hosts most NCLAC events. Since I started as an intern for NCLAC in 2012, I've been a part of Artoberfest, Holiday Arts Tour, and Summer Arts Camp. NCLAC also hosts many art openings and exhibits at Crescent City Coffee in Ruston among other locations. Artoberfest is an annual one evening festival celebrating homebrew craft beer, which is a surprisingly popular pastime in the area. The annual Holiday Arts Tour connects local artists and local business with the community. Artists are able to have their work displayed in participating businesses. There are personal studio tours and workshops, more art than you can handle, and live music to wrap up the weekend.

NCLAC will be hosting two week long Summer Arts Camps at First Baptist Church in Ruston this year. The first will be June 3 - June 7 and the second will be July 8 - 12. Classes will be held from 9am - 12pm (noon). Classes will involve work in 2D and 3D art as well as drama. Camp fees are just $60 if you register by May 1 and only $65 if you register after that. To register or for more information, call the NCLAC office at 318.255.1450. Or you can make it easy on yourself and click here to download the registration form.

We look forward to hearing from you!