Arts Congress

The Arts propel, complement and reflect the achievements and character of a city and its people.  They educate, inspire and challenge individuals from all walks of life to be better members of their communities.  The Arts also revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs, spur entrepreneurial activity and economic development, increase leisure and recreational opportunities, attract tourists, improve quality of life and form the foundation of the world’s rapidly expanding knowledge and cultural industries.

As the Shreveport-Bossier community strives for greatness in an increasingly competitive global arena, the region’s Arts–performing, visual, literary and media; folk, fine and commercial; amateur and professional; tradition and experimental–will play an essential role in generating prosperity and forgoing the identity of a new, progressive Northwest Louisiana.

The principles, values and attributes that best articulate what the Arts must embody in order to make a significant contribution to the development of the Shreveport-Bossier region can be summed up in five concepts: Equity, Access, Education, Collaboration and Visibility.

These five policy priorities were pinpointed by members of the Shreveport-Bossier Arts Congress, a broad cross-section of individual artists, educators, scholars, arts administrators, creative-industry entrepreneurs and civic leaders who convened in early 2007 to craft a plan for the growth and development of the Arts in Northwest Louisiana.  This policy framework is intended to be augmented by strategies that will be articulated by Arts Congress participants in the latter half of 2007.  Those strategies in turn, will be translated into actions and daily activities by thousands of individuals and organizations within and outside of the Arts industry in Northwest Louisiana.  Collectively, these efforts will help make the Arts a focused and effective contributor to progress throughout the Shreveport-Bossier community.

All artists and arts organizations in the Shreveport-Bossier regional shall have fair and reasonable access to information, financial resources and opportunities to create, produce and/or present the Arts.

All shall have equitable opportunities to be represented in the development of arts policy and the distribution of arts resources.  The cultures and subcultures of the regional shall be represented in a diverse array of thriving arts organizations, including these that are deeply rooted in, and able to express the experiences of, historically under served communities.

The Arts industry shall also be a leader in fostering social and economic justice and environmental responsibilities in Northwest Louisiana.

All people in the Shreveport-Bossier region shall have fair and reasonable access to the highest quality arts experiences and opportunities for full artistic expression.  Access to these opportunities shall not be limited on the basis of physical ability, race, ethnicity, economic status, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

All people in the Shreveport-Bossier region shall have opportunities for learning in and through the Arts.  These educational opportunities shall be provided by a wide range of entities and individuals in both the public and private sectors of society, including pre-kindergarten-12th grade institutions and colleges and universities.

Collaboration occurs when independent entities come together to achieve common objectives in an equitable manner.  The Arts industry shall be a full-fledged collaborator in all major economic and civic initiatives in the Shreveport-Bossier region.

These collaborations shall leverage the collective intellectual, physical, financial and spiritual resources of the community.  They also shall strengthen the quality of art-making in the region and broaden the exposure to participation in, and impact of the Arts in Northwest Louisiana.

The Arts shall enjoy permanent high levels of visibility in the Shreveport-Bossier region.  The Arts industry, individual artists and arts organizations shall all actively participate in branding the Shreveport-Bossier region.