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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Northwest Louisiana Artists invited to attend an Artists’ Retreat for open discussion and planning session for Shreveport Common on July 27 at Central ARTSTATION

The Shreveport Regional Arts Council and the Northwest Louisiana Artists will host an Artists Retreat to discuss the plans for Shreveport Common:  the 9-block uncommon cultural community in downtown Shreveport.  The Retreat will be held on Saturday, July 27, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Central ARTSTATION (801 Crockett Street). Artists will have the opportunity to discuss artistic opportunities, share and brainstorm ideas, and engage in the planning and implementation of the upcoming UNSCENE! monthly Arts Series. Additionally, Artists will receive and review the “Artists’ Call” for UNSCENE! The retreat is free and open to ALL Artists in Northwest Louisiana; there is no pre-requisite to attending this gathering. This is the first of a series of day-long Artists Retreats to take place in the coming years.
The one day retreat will address topics including, but not limited to “What, Who, Where is Shreveport Common?”, “Best Practices of Creative Placemaking” of art in Shreveport Common, and “What is UNSCENE!?”.
UNSCENE! Artistic Director Brandon Oldenburg will lead a dialogue about the UNSCENE! goals, UNSCENE! artistic concepts and direction, opportunities for area Artists to create and present new works,  and Artists’ Residencies that will bring national Artists into Shreveport.
SRAC, the Shreveport Common management team, and the UNSCENE! management team will also share Artists commissioning opportunities such as  the UNSCENE! Juried Artists Market, Shreveport Common Temporary Public Art, and UNSCENE! Street Artists' Team.
Three hours of the retreat will be reserved for an open forum among the Artists and the Shreveport Common and UNSCENE! Management teams. 
“The Northwest Louisiana Juried Roster Artists suggested that it would be a great opportunity to gather and hear about all of the opportunities involved in Shreveport Common and fostered through UNSCENE! – Some of us remember when we would gather at former ‘Camp Margaret’ and spend a day discussing the growth of the Arts Community.  This is a first step in bringing back those day-long creative exchanges,” explained Pam Atchison, SRAC Director.  

About UNSCENE!
The Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and the City of Shreveport will create a monthly series, UNSCENE!, which will UNleash SHREVEPORT COMMON, debuting the innovative look, feel, tastes, smells, and sounds of this new Uncommon Cultural Community, moving the promise of the Vision Plan from  strategic action plan to implementation.  Academy Award winning director, animator, public art creator, and UNprecedented visionary Brandon Oldenburg will serve as the UNSCENE! Artistic Director, overseeing a diverse Management Team to curate 12 “first Saturday” UNSCENE! events comprised of national, regional and local artists who will create and present UNconventional new works. Each UNpredictable, UNexpected, UNabashed, and UNabridged “UN” experience will leave an indelible mark that permanently advances SHREVEPORT COMMON. 
 Each UNSCENE! experience will be UNlike any festival “scene” in Louisiana: 12 multi-disciplined, pre-meditated but improvisational day-through-night will feature transformational interactive public art installations, films projected in and on the buildings, exhibitions in UNexpected spaces, spoken word on stoops, theatre in the air, dance in the garden, giant puppet theatre in the alley, a juried Street Arts Market, innovative scavenger hunts and walking, biking, and float parades. 
   The Artistic Management Team, under the direction of Brandon Oldenburg includes Brady Blade, Angelique Feaster Evans, Poetic X, and Diego Martinez.  They will develop the entire year of monthly themes and will announce them through a “CALL TO ARTISTS” to be distributed at this Retreat. 

About Shreveport Common
SHREVEPORT COMMON is downtown’s newest oldest “uncommon” cultural community located in the historic 9-block area at the western edge of downtown Shreveport. The City of Shreveport, Caddo Parish, and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) have joined neighboring property owners, social service organizations and other non-profits to create an Arts-led revitalization of the mostly abandoned but significant area, to a vibrant creative neighborhood. The planning and design of Shreveport Common began in late July of 2010 with a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) grant for a 9-month Community Vision Planning Process including door-to-door listening sessions with neighbors, property owners, stakeholders and potential developers which resulted in a City Council and MPC approved Vision Plan. That plan, built on Authenticity, Community, Creativity and Sustainability, is for an urban cultural district powered by the forces of the Arts and Humanities – one that will stimulate physical, social and economic renewal to become a place where artists and others will want to live, work and play. In February of 2013, SRAC completed the first anchor in SHREVEPORT COMMON, with a public/private restoration and repurposing of the un-used 1922 Central Fire Station to the Central ARTSTATION, the new home for SRAC and the Arts Resource Center which puts the Arts at the center of transforming the neighborhood, with Artist entrepreneurial training, resource and conference center, and a multi-use space that pairs artists and Arts Organizations with Social Service organizations through a “Pay-It-Forward” community Arts program.
 Thirty-six SHREVEPORT COMMON development and re-development projects by 30 private and public partners are now in the planning and implementation stage.  Funded, and completed or in construction, in addition to the Central ARTSTATION, are the Municipal Auditorium restoration, Oakland Cemetery restoration, Grand Promenade from concrete to greenspace, Scottish Rite Temple ADA restoration and the VOA McAddo restoration. Designed or funded for design are the Caddo Common Community greenspace, CommonLINK Transportation/Information hub, and the Arts-designed Community bike/ped paths and lanes which will connect the Riverfront, Highland, LSU Med Center, Millennium, C.C. Antoine Park and Allendale to SHREVEPORT COMMON.
For more information about Shreveport Common visit, http://shrevearts.org/arts-culture/shreveport-common/ 

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