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The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council plays the role of guide, facilitator, and catalyst, promoting and expanding cultural awareness. Establishing positive relationships with the business community, tourism industry, and government agencies, the Council serves as a cultural liaison to develop new opportunities and partnerships and for these efforts was awarded the 2001 Governor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Large Arts Organization in the state of Louisiana. Governed by a twenty-one member Board of Directors with expertise in all walks of life and under the leadership of the Executive Committee and the Professional Staff, the Arts Council provides leadership in the Arts for our culturally rich and diverse region.

Executive Committee
Georgia Street,
Chairman of the Board
Michael Sawyer,
Vice Chairman – Administration
Sushma Krishnamurthy,
Vice Chairman – Community
Ashley West,
Vice Chairman – Development
Janna Graff,
Chris Hyde,
Becky Keahey,
Regional Representative
Regina Lynch Wood,
Immediate Past Chairman of the Board
Naomi Cordill, RUPAR Coordinator
Cathy Myrick, Special Events
Leigh Ann Goff, Special Events
Clinton Downing, Special Events
Evelyn Johnson,
Special Events
Professional Staff
Barry Stevens,
Corey Trahan,
Visiting Artist


Staying abreast of current legislation affecting the Arts through its association with
the Louisiana Partnership for the Arts
the Southern Arts Federation,
the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education
and Americans for the Arts, the Council plays a leadership role in advocacy at the local, regional, state, and national level. Through communications with legislators, Art in Action to inform members, and involvement on statewide task forces, the Council advocates for legislation such as the "$1 Per Person For The Arts" campaign which resulted in the highly successful Decentralized Arts Funding Program that strengthens the non-profit Arts community.

monroe symphony in winnsboro
Pops in the Parishes is one example of community cultural planning at the multi-parish level.
Monroe Symphony Orchestra performs
“under the stars” in Winnsboro

Cultural Planning

Through the Decentralized Arts Funding Program, the Council under the guidance of the Community Vice President gathers information about individual Parish perceptions and cultural needs. Following these annual assessments, programming is secured to fulfill these specific community demands. The Arts Council, through our Arts Coordinating Committee, comprised of Presidents and Executive Directors of major Ouachita Parish Arts institutions, CAAB, RUPAR and Arts proponents from the 10 rural parishes, provides a forum for networking opportunities throughout Region 8.



     st. joseph orchestra
Saint Joseph Orchestra performs
at Arlington in Lake Providence.

Rural Underserved Presenters and Representatives
In February 2000, the Arts Council formally organized its presenting wing, RUPAR, comprised of representatives from rural arts and arts interest groups such as historical societies and libraries.  Now considered a model for emerging rural presenting consortia, RUPAR operates as an integral part of the Arts Council under the guidance of the Arts Council’s President & CEO and the RUPAR Chairperson who is an experienced presenter. 

Through this collaborative structure of developed rural groups and emerging groups and by providing some funding assistance, we have succeeded in providing residents with top quality multi-discipline events that have effected the development of local support, while allowing each member to maintain its own identity and mission.  RUPAR members include the Schepis Museum, The Princess Theatre, Saint Joseph Arts, Inc., Madison Historical Society, Doorway to Louisiana, West Carroll Parish Library, Richland Arts Council, The Rose Theatre, Snyder Museum, Union Arts Council, Bernice Historical Society, Jackson Heritage Museum, Jackson Parish Library with the Arts Council and the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Museum serving as the Ouachita Parish presenter.

Such renown groups as the Vienna Choir Boys, The Paramount Brass, Alison Brown Quartet, Freddy Cole Quartet, Wood & Strings Puppet Theatre, Canadian artists Joe Trio, Bending the Bows and Ebony & Ivory and Russian pianist Vladimir Zaitsev have performed at nontraditional venues such as churches, gymnasiums and on lawns in some of the smallest towns in our region assisted by grants from Southern Arts Federation and Louisiana Division of the Arts and numerous foundations whose philanthropic mission includes enhancing education and quality of life in rural areas.  Because of their immense popularity, regional artists such as harpsichordist John Paul, Shreveport Opera eXpress (SOX) and The Louisiana Trio have made numerous tours through the region. 

A sense of accomplishment and pride in community has manifested itself in our rural parishes; they are making things happen with the Arts Council’s assistance rather than the Arts Council making it happen for them with their assistance. 


Community Arts Advisory Board
In 2001, the Arts Council formed its Community Arts Advisory Board, better know in the community as CAAB, under the direction of the Vice President of Development. Comprised of 23 individuals and couples aged 25 to 45 who were identified as our community’s future business, education, social and civic leaders, CAAB is a focus team that attends cultural events as a group and explores issues that affect the arts as they relate to this “illusive” age group that, in general, needs to be cultivated if they are to become the next generation of arts advocates.  Results of our informal Friday, after-work CAAB and Gab sessions are used for our own long-range planning and are shared with all area arts organizations, many of which have been using these recommendations in their planning resulting in increased attendance at cultural events.


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