Grants to support Holiday Arts Tour and Songwriting Workshop

Plans for the 2010 Holiday Arts Tour are advancing, and an announcement that the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) has been recommended to receive a $7,500 grant is aiding the process. The grant resulted from an application that NCLAC made via the Decentralized Arts Funding program administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC). "We have been recommended for full funding of the amount we requested," said Leigh Anne Chambers, NCLAC Executive Director. "That shows SRAC believes in the tour and in our ability to administer it effectively."

Chambers said that, barring additional grant funding cuts, the full $7,500 should be awarded. The grant monies will be used primarily for marketing and to pay tour musicians, who will be featured at several sites throughout the tour weekend, which is scheduled for Nov. 19-21 in Ruston and the surrounding area.

Several new twists will be added this year. First, we are extending our call to artists and musicians outside our region; the deadline to submit applications is September 17. We are also extending the hours of the tour and including more musical offerings this year.

Last year, Friday featured an Art Crawl in the downtown area only, and only during the evening hours. This year, Friday's hours have been expanded to 3-9 p.m. and, also on that day, artist studios in outlying areas will be open on a voluntary basis.

Another exciting addition this year is a Singer-songwriter’s Workshop and open-mic concert. These events have been made possible by a $2,000 grant from the Plum Creek Foundation, a donation from Howard Hospitality of Cascades, who now own Ruston’s Holiday Inn Express, and Community Trust Bank.

The workshop, which costs $20 a day for NCLAC members and $25 a day for nonmembers, will take place Nov. 19-20 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily in the Community Trust Bank meeting room (1511 North Trenton).

NCLAC Associate Director April Honaker said, "This year, we’re so excited to involve local singer-songwriters—to give them an opportunity to hone their skills and to include more of them in the music line-up. You’ll see a lot of variety this year from R & B to southern folk."

"Being funded at this amount will allow us to expand our publicity and book more musicians than last year," Chambers explained. "We're so glad we'll be able to get the word out and increase our line-up this year."

This weekend is such a treat. Visitors are able to meet some of the region's most talented artists and musicians while enjoying historic downtown Ruston. Not only that—they’ll be able to tour many of the artists' studios. It’s a wonderful chance to see, up close and personal, where and how they create their work.

NCLAC serves Lincoln, Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson and Union parishes. For more information on the Holiday Arts Tour and Singer-Songwriter’s Workshop, visit NCLAC’s Blog at or contact NCLAC at (318) 255-1450 or