Jeremy Hefner is a millennial with a goal: To boost the quality of life and the business community in Bossier by bringing events to the East Bank District.
A massive member of the local arts scene since his teens, he is now working from the inside as event coordinator and manager for the East Bank District and Plaza through the Bossier Arts Council (BAC). His role there is the gatekeeper to events at the BAC’s East Bank Theatre and East Bank District and Plaza. He says he keeps the door open to anyone who wants to make an event happen in Bossier City.
Born and raised in Shreveport, Jeremy has years of experience managing restaurants and utilizing his experience as a musician to help book touring bands with local venues, even going as far as to write press releases and create graphics for it. He said that has fed back into his current job at the BAC and how best to utilize resources with no wasted budget or effort.
“I think it helps with my passion for the East Bank District. People in my age group always complain that there’s nothing to do in Bossier, this district opened up and I wanted to be a part of the impact it is having in changing that perception in the community.”
He sees the East Bank as having a major role to play in changing that long-standing blight of “nothing-to-do-itis” in Bossier.
“Some people don’t realize so much is happening here. I still meet people who don’t know this district exists. That’s unfortunate, but we change that. That’s what we do — we change that perception. A lot of people have told me that they see this as a new Bossier.”
He said they’re seeing quite a bit of improvement in terms of people crossing the bridge over to Bossier for events, noting the 75 events in the East Bank Plaza in 2019.
Those gains in impacting people on a personal level, by showing locals that there is a lot to do in Bossier and promoting where and when it’s happening, is only part of how he measures success.
Jeremy noted that there is the business aspect where some places are getting so packed that they’re having to create new restaurants because people are spilling out the door.
He said that any time one of the East Bank-based businesses has one of their own events, he puts it on the event calendar and blasts it all over social media, even spotlighting them when there aren’t any scheduled events.
“We all believe in supporting each other, and I feel like we’re becoming a powerhouse for local events because of it,” Jeremy explained.
He added that the business community in the district is a massive family, explaining that a community-involved business connection is unique.
“Everyone is so coordinated with each other. If an issue arises, it gets resolved quickly and efficiently because we’re all on the same page.”
Having been in his role for a year, Jeremy sees his future as continuing to help the area continue to blossom.
“I want to continue in this position and increase the quality of life and entertainment in the district, work with local businesses to positively impact them,” he said. “There’s so much more this district can be. I think it’s beautiful.”