Art has become the heart of Bossier and what keeps that heart beating is the Bossier Arts Council. Mixing local creative talent, events, classes and unique performances, BAC not only creates events for artists and creatives, it pushes the agenda for the community to come together to support the arts.
BAC president Robin Jones first gained interest in the council by volunteering. “I quickly learned how invaluable an organization like this is to a community. I came from a town with no support for artists and that made me appreciate the mission of this arts council. Seven years later, I’m working for an organization that I love and fulfilling a mission that I am proud of.”
Among the many BAC events, the council is most known for Digifest South. This annual weeklong expo empowers students, teachers and the Northwest Louisiana community to learn how art and digital arts are changing the world.
“Digifest came about because we (and a very passionate board member, Clint McCommon) saw a need to showcase non-traditional art forms and the impact that they could have on economic development,” Jones said.
“Students needed to know that designing a video game is a potential career opportunity and that there are people who are right here in Bossier and Shreveport doing just that. In our first year, we had 30 students attend and each year we have more than doubled our number of students. We now see over 4,000 students come through the exhibition hall and network with companies and schools who are offering jobs and learning opportunities in these fields.”
Other than Digifest, BAC hosts a number of other services and events for artists and the community. Events linked to BAC are artist workshops, classes and even a Budding Artist Association.
“The Budding Artist Association is a league of local high school students that work closely with the Bossier Arts Council to plan, organize and implement arts programming for students in Bossier and Caddo Parish,” she said. “Expressing themselves is often difficult for students in school because they aren’t always allowed to write, paint or draw in ways that truly express their current situations or feelings. We provide an outlet for those students to create and explore different mediums.”
But exploring isn’t just for the students. After over 30 years, BAC is still exploring ways to enhance the council.
“We have expanded on [the original mission of the council] by including classes for artists to keep them moving forward,” Jones said. “We offer free public galleries full of local art and we help each artist through the process of prepping a gallery showing.”
These types of classes are free with a BAC membership. Along with access to classes, joining BAC as a member also adds to the network and community of local artists. “Memberships help us focus on expanding arts opportunities in community theater, visual arts, festivals and exhibits, arts education for children and adults, public arts, and grants opportunities,” Jones said.
It’s also important to mention that not all members are artists. “Some [members] are collectors, some are community members who just appreciate good art,” Jones said. “We offer student and military rates at $10 per year, so we have a good number of students who participate as well.”
As downtown Bossier City is becoming more attractive, Jones is excited to partner with more neighbors in the East Bank District. She said throughout 2018, the community will see more BAC events, festivals and collaborations between Bossier business.
Connect to the Council:
To become a member of BAC, call 318-741-8310 or go to bossierarts.org/wordpress1/ways-to-give/memberships/.
Also, keep up with BAC and all of the exhibits, events, classes and workshops through Facebook.
BAC events you don’t want to miss:
April 24 at The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
WAM: Wine, Art, Music
All events begin at 5:30 p.m. and are at 1800 Prime in Boomtown Casino. Dates for 2018 are:
- Feb. 7
- May 9
- Aug. 8
- Nov. 7