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BIG News Coming Today For Downtown Shreveport

Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, the Shreveport City Council and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council will host a news conference today, Tuesday, June 14th at 2:45 pm in Government Plaza to announce the vision presentation to the community of the newest old community in Downtown Shreveport – SHREVEPORT COMMON!  710 KEEL News will report on what we learn later this afternoon, so be sure not to miss NewsDay PM beginning at 5pm today!

On Saturday, June 18th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm in the TRIANGLE at the corner of Crockett and Common Streets (the Credit Bureau of the South), the community is invited to DISCOVER SHREVEPORT COMMON! and see how the Arts will work as an economic engine to re-imagine and re-vitalize this under-served community with its wealth of multi-cultural history and architectural landmarks to serve as a nexus for new Arts, Cultural, Community and Economic Development, creating Shreveport’s oldest new community in its most blighted area and forming a new gateway into Downtown Shreveport.  Shreveport Common will be designed to integrate history, preservation, and the Arts together creating a neighborhood that celebrates its “authenticity.” 

DISCOVER SHREVEPORT COMMON! will provide an opportunity for the community to experience the vision for this “uncommon” SHREVEPORT COMMON neighborhood through art installations, street vendors, live music, artists, sidewalk cafés, children’s activities, walking history tours and trolley tours.  The community is invited to hear and see the vision for the potential developments in the SHREVEPORT COMMON.  Gregory Free and the SHREVEPORT COMMON Design Team will show the virtual vision plan, answer questions and listen to ideas and opportunities.  A round table discussion area will be available for people to engage in discussions about the vision and ideas can be whispered into a “Giant Ear.”  Attendees are encouraged to tour the nine-block area and experience the sights, sounds and smells of what SHREVEPORT COMMON could become.   This event is FREE and open to the public.  For more information about the SHREVEPORT COMMON visit the Shreveport Regional Arts Council website at www.shrevearts.org.

In August, 2010 Mayor Glover announced that SRAC had been awarded a $100,000 Mayor’s Institute on City Design Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to design the renovating of the Central Fire Station and to create a vision plan under the design leadership of Gregory Free, a historic preservation designer, for a nine-block area in the western-most part of Downtown Shreveport.  Mayor Glover selected SRAC to apply for the MICD NEA grant based on his belief that the Arts are a catalyst to stimulate economic development.   SRAC raised $150,000 to match the grant.   Through the grant, a local design committee was created, led by Gregory Free and comprised of Mischa Farrell, architect, Jerome Nicholas and Katie Martin, landscape architects, and Wendy Benscoter, SHREVEPORT COMMON Project Manager.  This team has engaged a ten-month planning process, interviewing 62 separate groups and individuals to learn about priorities and Best Practices for SHREVEPORT COMMON.  Additionally, Mayor Glover appointed a 50 member SHREVEPORT COMMON Advisory Committee to review the vision planning process and ensure that the components of the listening sessions are addressed by the vision plan.

In March, 2011, during a Press Conference at the Strand Theatre, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman, Rocco Landesman, shared how SRAC and the City of Shreveport are demonstrating his vision for the NEA’s guiding principle “ART WORKS.” Since that time Chairman Landesman has made numerous speeches, including to Congress, on the way that Shreveport embodies how the Arts work as a catalyst for economic development and community revitalization. 

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