WE DID IT! Shreveport Common voted Best Community Development project in the nation, by peer vote. Big thank you to all our partners, starting with 1,100 Northwest Louisiana artists. City of Shreveport, Caddo Parish, SPAR, Community Development, Shreveport Regional Arts Council, Shreveport DDA, Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments, SporTran, and our neighbor Social Service Organizations, property owners, businesses, and of course, residents. Terrific recognition for our whole community.
The National Development Council (NDC) awards recognize the top economic and community development projects in the nation and are part of NDC Academy 2015. The NDC Academy is a biennial conference focused on providing community development professionals from around the nation with the latest on policy changes and best practices affecting federal, state and local development finance tools that are critical to the achievement of urban and rural job creation, affordable housing and community development goals.
The Shreveport Common team will travel to Washington, D.C. May 12 - 14, 2015 and compete with the 5 other semi-finalists to advance to the final round - and ultimately, to bring home the coveted award.
For more information on the awards and to view the other semi-finalists competing visit:
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne presented the Shreveport Common Team with the award for most outstanding Cultural District in the State, at the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge this week.
The Louisiana Cultural District Program was created in 2007 and presently 75 districts boast official designation in the State. The Cultural District award recognizes projects that exemplify the “strategic use of creativity, arts, and culture to build a climate for cultural expression, improve quality of life, enhance existing assets and strengthen economic opportunity while respecting the quality of the area.”
Left to right: Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, SRAC Executive Director Pam Atchison, SPAR Director Shelly Ragle, DDA Executive Director Liz Swaine, SRAC Community Development Director Vickie Marshall, Shreveport Common Administrator Esther Kennedy, SRAC President Henry Price, Shreveport Common Lead Designer Gregory Free, Senator Barrow Peacock. (Not pictured: Shreveport Common Project Manager Wendy Benscoter)
Shreveport Common sits within the designated Shreveport Downtown Cultural District as a unique, 9-block cultural community. The niche neighborhood is home to the UNSCENE! arts happenings such as last Saturday’s Big SCENE!, the Municipal Auditorium, and Central ARTSTATION, among other historic and burgeoning cultural icons.
Shreveport Common is described by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development as:
Shreveport Common is a nine-block urban neighborhood in downtown Shreveport that has undergone an arts-driven transformation through creative placemaking. This innovative Louisiana Cultural District has completely revitalized the blighted, sparsely populated area of downtown Shreveport with its Shreveport Common Vision Plan. In doing so, Shreveport Common has become a model for how to take a place and make it better with creativity. Its heralded work has garnered much recognition, from organizations as diverse as MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Americans for the Arts, highlighting its status as a leader in Louisiana culture.
Following the award ceremony, Shreveport Regional Arts Council Executive Director Pam Atchison was invited to present to an audience of Cultural Workers from across the state on a Creative Placemaking Panel. Ms Atchison was joined on the panel by Jessica Kemp, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Center for Planning Excellence, and the nation’s leading “guru” on Creative Placemaking, Ann Markusen, Director of the Arts Economy Initiative and the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Shreveport Common partners Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation (DSDC), Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) along with TMG Consulting have been given statewide recognition for work done on a Market Analysis of the Shreveport Common art and culture district in downtown Shreveport. The team has won the American Planning Association-Louisiana Process Award for the 2014 Market Analysis showing the opportunities available in Shreveport Common.
“Having a clear process is important because you can demonstrate how to perform the analysis in a way that is understandable and it gives your results much more credibility,” according to TMG Associate Eric Melancon. “A clear process leads to a stronger, more credible planning effort, which produces better results for our clients.”
The Market Analysis was conducted over a 6-month period and involved input from property owners, developers, bankers, Realtors, artists, elected officials and many others involved in the ongoing development of the arts-centered neighborhood. The Market Analysis showed that there was – and continues to be - a demand for residential and retail development in the 9-block area and that development, done right, can be profitable.
“The recognition from APA- Louisiana is further evidence of the success of the grass roots — door to door–collaborative, comprehensive planning process for Shreveport Common; one that engages Creative Placemaking techniques and initiatives… putting artists and the arts community at the helm of planning and design,” says SRAC Executive Director Pam Atchison.
The Market Analysis was funded by DSDC, SRAC, Community Foundation, Downtown Development Authority, City of Shreveport, Parish of Caddo and JP Morgan Chase Foundation.
As part of the APA recognition, DSDC executive director Liz Swaine, SRAC executive director Pam Atchison and TMG Associate Eric Melancon were asked to present their methods and findings to planners statewide at the American Planning Association- Louisiana Conference in Baton Rouge. Conference attendees from around the state were able to hear about the Shreveport Common Vision Plan, the findings of the Market Analysis and recent investment in Shreveport Common.
You can now keep up to date in print with the happenings of Shreveport Common every other week in the underground community paper Heliopolis! Helio - as the kids call it - is a full color print newspaper and website that targets young people interested in community, civic leadership and the Arts. It's written and read by people who love Shreveport-Bossier, just like we do at Shreveport Common.
Check out past columns of Common Interests, written by Shreveport Common Administrator Esther Kennedy, online here. And look out for the print all around town, including at Central ARTSTATION.
Downtown Development Authority's (DDA) Pop-Up Projects have been hugely successful and next week the latest edition is happening in Shreveport Common. Previous projects have had a mix of start-up businesses from fashion to technology, but this will be specifically themed "Foodie Fest".
The Shreveport Common Vision Plan has long imagined a food truck court at this location - the NE corner of Common and Crockett - so this represents yet another realization of something that was merely an idea not three years earlier.
Downtown workers and residents will have a plethora of lunch options during the week of November 3 - 7, including Mexican food, gourmet grilled cheese, curried meat pies and crawfish pirogues, to name a few.
More information on this Pop-Up Project and others before, and to come at:
"This is like a forum in reverse. Instead of voters listening to candidates, it's the candidates listening to voters."
That's how Charles Johnson, the 26-year-old president of the Young Democrats of Shreveport, described SBC Unfiltered, a public event Thursday night at downtown's Central ARTSTATION designed to invigorate Millennials ahead of the Nov. 4 election.
In an effort to rally young voices ahead of local elections, The Times and Shreveport Regional Arts Council have partnered to present SBC unfiltered, a free event at Central ARTSTATION in Shreveport Common featuring live music, youth-driven organizations and community speakers...
Read more in this Shreveport Times article - here
The Shreveport Common team is very pleased to announce that Esther Kennedy joins us in the role of Administrator. Coming all the way from Melbourne, Australia, Esther is excited to make Shreveport her new home and to help continue ushering Shreveport Common from Visioning Phase to Implementation Phase. Previously, Esther was director of a private Arts agency and is experienced in and passionate about community engagement through the Arts.
In the creation of a community cultural district, the overriding goal is to produce an environment in which all forms of artistic expression and the artists themselves can live and flourish. The Shreveport Common cultural district requires visioning at both ends of the spectrum. This is an existing neighborhood with significant landmarks, not empty acreage along a freeway. There are important cultural, religious, and social institutions, landmarks of another sort at every turn. Now some of those are being restored and given new life, significantly—the Municipal Auditorium – and soon the Central Fire Station, which will introduce the dynamic Shreveport Regional Arts Council into the neighborhood. The goal of this Vision Plan is a custom cultural district, with its own special Shreveport scale, and flavor, a place for emerging arts and artists.
Posted in SHREVEPORT COMMON along TEXAS AVENUE in 2012
were ROBERT TRUDEAU’S Pen & Ink Sketches titled “Trudeau’s Shreveport“
Satirical edge is important to Trudeau. He shares, “Ideally, my images offer surprises. Whether it is a fabric pattern that I created or an image of a musician wearing a piece of sculpture, I want to touch your imagination as well as remind you of the importance of artful renderings.” (November, 2012)
ANNOUNCEMENT (Nov. 30, 2012)
Artists to create NEW Temporary Public Artworks for Shreveport Common:
Leeann Stawasz – A group sculpture of the organic subject of a tree, created from metal. It will be placed in a highly visible location that will ‘grow’ leaves over a period of a few weeks, in contrast to the natural trees that will be dropping their leaves. Through the’ growth’ of the piece I hope that people will reflect on the growth of our city and with the progression of adding leaves, reflect on the appeal of many joining together in unity.
JRyan Artist – A “Greetings from Shreveport Common” 25’x15’ vinyl banner that will be portable and have the ability to be displayed at various events throughout Shreveport Common.
Jeff Morgan – A translucent curtain made of recycled plastic and glass bottles that are to be suspended from rafters and illuminated by solar spotlights.
Artists selected to create Public Artworks for the Central ARTSTATION:
William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg – “Art the dog” (Building size sculpture)
Kathryn Day – “Fire Scroll” (3 chandeliers)
Jim Hayes & Josh Porter – “Fireman’s Ladder” (1st Floor Conference Table)
Chris Opp – Reception Desk/Bar
Julie Glass – Mirror
Jim Hayes & Josh Porter- Mirror
Shreveport Common Viaduct Gateway: No artist selection at this time. The jurors agreed that the funds currently available for the Gateway are not sufficient to achieve the required impact that will draw drivers from I-20 to the Common Street Viaduct as the entry into downtown, Shreveport. We are considering “next steps” to achieve the desired funds. The jurors, public art committee, board members and staff of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council extend our sincere appreciation to all artists who submitted qualifications and to those who were selected to submit proposals for these important projects
More opportunities just around the corner!
CONCEPTUAL DESIGN by O’Connell/Hancock
“Line and Sky”
CommonLink – Shreveport’s first Transportation and Information Substation
Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock, project designers from Tucson, Arizona, share that “Line and Sky is a stage for creative expression in the Shreveport Common. This highly interactive sculpture supports physical exploration, fitness and play at this contemporary transportation station. We were inspired by CommonLink’s mission to tie together arts and transportation in an original way. Line and Sky asks the Shreveport community to use their imagination. What if you could construct your whole world out of a continuous line? What would this ‘tied together’ world look like? What would life feel like if art and functionality connected seamlessly along a single axis? We are inviting the community of Shreveport to join us in this creative challenge. As a monument to the neighborhood this piece will represent the life and breath of Shreveport residents.
Line and Sky is a three-dimensional ‘sketch’ that moves across the site at a human scale. Nearly 2000 feet of two-inch pipe arranged in a single twisting line makes up a complex visual drawing. Visitors wind their way through the drawing and encounter ever changing perspectives and opportunities for interaction. The energetic line is carefully framed by a ‘floating’ mass of light and color. This simple horizontal canopy offers shelter and a restful counterpoint to the dynamic linear element. The three-foot-thick steel truss canopy gently curves over the site, wrapping at the ends and breaking into cubes along the groundplane. These cubes arranged on the ground plane suggest a three dimensional map of transit routes and city blocks through which the line moves.
Line and Sky is a striking landscape of contour and mass. Emphasis is placed on physical movement as a form of transportation. Our concept offers a flexible and open-ended environment that spurs creative interpretation and usage. The physical and social dynamic of residents using the shelter will clearly be reflected in Line and Sky. Our aim is to join with the community to create friendly connections and group interaction through the sculpture. This is a place to show off, work together, swing, dance, climb, balance, jump, hang, reach, try and learn by doing. These multiple interpretations and uses invite community expression, sharing and trust. We’ve created a colorful porch open to the community. In fact we have included a porch swing!
Line and Sky is eminently practical. It is made entirely from the same humble material used to make railings and bike racks, but it contorts this in far more creative ways. The sculpture offers ample opportunities for the standard amenities: places to sit and lean, shade from the sun, holders for signs (two-inch pipe bent in the shape of a paperclip). But we do not intend to tell people what parts of the sculpture should be used for what. Rather than present circumscribed functions we are offering a rich landscape filled with amenities and leave it up to visitors to discover creative ways to use the sculpture. Line and Sky offers a simple and extendable vocabulary. It can serve as inspiration for other transit stops in the system. In other words it would be possible to use the same elements we use in CommonLink yet create something different.”
Canopy: 225’ x 27’ x 15’ steel truss structure clad in 8mm twin wall polycarbonate and 3/4’ acrylic panels. Lit with outdoor florecent lighting. Color optional.
Line Drawing: 2000 feet of 2” and 6”schedule 40 steel pipe painted red.
Electronic Hub/Interactive: Multiple touchscreen stations provide real time updated transit map data and internet access. Additional touch sensitive interactive components will control the canopy lighting.