FriendsWithYou Residency

April - December 30, 2019


About Residencies with nationally renowned Artists:

The Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and Shreveport Common, Inc. are working together to create Shreveport Common - a 9-block revitalization project destined to become the home of the Arts in Northwest Louisiana (NWLA), becoming THE Place that merits the “there there” distinction: the first authentic, creative, walkable, bike-able, “eat-able” (we have 15 food trucks with no place to call “home”) gathering place!

SRAC is building the vibrancy/enthusiasm while continuing grass-roots, expert-led Creative Placemaking planning process, executing the City/County approved Vision Plan, and promising the “soon to come” cool lofts, condos, artists’ live/workspaces, mixed use retail, Makerspace, Greenspace, and splendidly restored architectural treasures. The Key to sustaining anticipation is producing UNprecedented programming that starts with Residencies with nationally renowned artists (Nick Cave, Wayne White, Steve Olsen, Dennis McNett…) who collaborate with a team of selected NWLA Artists and the residents of the Social Service Organizations (SSO) to create a new work that debuts in Shreveport Common via an “UNSCENE! Happening.” The goal of the new work is to shed light on a formerly “unseen” characteristic of Shreveport Common and, when completed, leave an indelible mark that illumines the people, places and historic events of Shreveport Common. Nick Cave’s one-year residency to create “AS IS” a production telling the stories of the 300 disenfranchised SSO neighbors, resonates a year later as we create public artworks using the beaded blankets and spirit sticks created with the community.


SRAC and the City of Shreveport with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and a cadre of other donors will bring Arturo Sandoval III and Samuel Borkson, Artistic Directors of the FriendsWithYou Art Collective, to create and oversee a series of five projects throughout the 2019 year. Arturo and Samuel, working collectively since 2002, have a mission to spread the positive message of Magic, Luck, and Friendship. The Artists work in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, large-scale experiential installations, live performances, virtual reality and animation. Their reductive and simplified use of geometric abstraction always contains a whimsical touch. Alongside the body of works of Murakami, Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst, FriendsWithYou is a new breed of artist, actively generating culture beyond the traditional art boundaries and reshaping the current contemporary art scene. Many FriendsWithYou works reference toys because they are meant for play, a tool for unstructured free association and interaction. They are known for immersive installations and interactive artworks, inviting viewers of their work to reconnect with and reinterpret their lives through communal experiences…and that is just what the Shreveport Common UNcommon - communal - community needs: Magic, Luck and Friendship. The year-long project with FriendsWithYou is directed through a collaboration with Arturo, Samuel, and Academy Award Winning Animation Director, William Joyce - the probono Artistic Director for artspace. Elements of the FriendsWithYou residency experience are:

The Rainbow City Inflatable Installation will form the backbone of the experience. It will be installed during a six-week period in The Common, a 2 acre greenspace in the heart of Shreveport Common. The installation will be designed by FriendsWithYou and Joyce, and installed by SRAC’s Production Director, Josh Porter. Rainbow City is comprised of 30-40 inflated simple but colorful characters, soaring, vibrant zany shapes -- all completely interactive for a dynamic public experience. The installation will be open daily for six weeks during which time school students, afterschool program groups, churches, daycare centers, book clubs, college art departments, and “everyone” will tour and engage the experience.

FriendsWithYou and SRAC will fabricate a new “friend” to live in Rainbow City. The “friend” will be the first-ever designed by a child. Joyce will encourage/instruct ECE-Grade 2 children, during the popular week-long Student Arts Showcase Festival - ArtBreak, to design the next “friend.” The Team will select one work as the next character to create, inflate, and install in Rainbow City.

FriendsWithYou will exhibit their first-ever “retrospective” of their 17 years as an Artists Collective, at artspace, October 25 - December 20. This exhibition will include their sketches, macquettes, digital designs, films and NETFLIX show, True and the Rainbow Kingdom.

SRAC will place Northwest, Louisiana Artists in Residence for three months with the Residents of PROVIDENCE HOUSE, MERCY CENTER, McADOO CENTER, VOA LIGHTHOUSE and,potentially, the VOA VISIONS Program for Senior Citizens…all Shreveport Common Social Service Organizations (SSO). These Artists will engage the residents in sculpture creation over a period of four months at 10 hours each week. Each SSO will create two inflatable sculptures to represent their SSO and form a “trail” between the RAINBOW CITY Installation in THE COMMON Park and the FRIENDSWITHYOU EXHIBITION at ARTSPACE. Each resident will create a personal “helium balloon sculpture” to march in the Shreveport Common Parade.

A. Residencies begin in July and go through December.

1. Resident Artist will help SSO’s build 2 inflatable sculptures during the 10 hrs. Per week work in the SSO site, before October 10.

2. Resident Artist will help SSO residents with job training to “work” in RAINBOW CITY, as docents, for remuneration.

3. Resident Artists will lead the Community “inflatable sculpture” creation project on Saturday, October 26th to prepare for the Parade. (At this time, the project is a helium balloon sculpture!)

4. Resident Artists will serve as Arts in Education instructors at ARTSAPCE during the school tours from October 28 - December 6. This will “end” the experience at the SSO and transition the Resident Artist to become an Arts in Education Artist @ artspace working 25 hours per week @ $25 per hour.

5. Resident Artists will assist with the install and strike of Rainbow City and the FriendsWithYou exhibition at artspace.

B. Resident Artists will receive a contract based upon $25 per hour.

C. Applications for this Residency Work are due by 12 midnight, Sunday, April 14. The application will include a Statement of Purpose.

D. Final Interviews will be conducted by the FriendsWithYou team during the Friday/Saturday of ArtBreak, April 26 & 27.

SRAC and the City will launch the opening of Rainbow City with a 9 block HELIUM INFLATABLES/BALLOON PARADE featuring the inflatable sculptures created through the Artists’ SSO Residencies, 10 Artists will be commissioned to create inflated Sculptures to be featured in the Parade. Balloon Sculptures created in a morning community building workshop with professional artists who will help everyone assemble a variety of helium balloons into a personal “totem” to march in the parade. The goal is that all Shreveport Commoners march together in the parade and “land” in Rainbow City for the Opening Celebration, Saturday, October 25, 2019.

A. Each of 10 artists will receive $1,000 for the selected Inflated Sculpture, inclusive of design, supplies, labor, and the “carrying of the sculpture” in the parade!

B. There will be a meeting with the FriendsWithYou Collective on Saturday, April 27 during the ArtBreak Festival to learn more about this opportunity.

C. Concept Designs - and a diagram of how the proposed inflated sculpture moves through the parade - are due @ 12 Midnight, Thursday, August 1.

D. Selected Artists will be notified to “proceed” by Friday, August 16.

E. Designs will be completed by Friday, October 18 and reviewed by the FriendsWithYou Collective.

Joyce and FriendsWithYou will creatively exhibit, at ARTSPACE in downtown, a retrospective of the 17 years of Arturo and Samuel spanning all genre and media, including a viewing room for their new NETFLIX series, “True & the Rainbow Kingdom.” The SSO Helium Balloons will comprise the basis for the educational program at ARTSPACE - all school tours of “Rainbow City” will end at ARTSPACE --two blocks from the outdoor installation.


April 14 (midnight) - On-Line Residency Applications are due

April 20-28, 2019: ArtBreak Festival: William Joyce and FriendsWithYou Design Workshops with young children; selection of design for “new” FriendsWithYou Character; Site Plan Development for RAINBOW CITY; Retrospective Exhibition Design @ ARTSPACE; interviews with Residency Finalists.

Mid-July - Residencies Begin

August 1 (midnight) - Due date for Designs for Inflatable Sculptures

May - September: FriendsWithYou fabricates the selected design into a 10’ Inflatable Sculpture/Character.

October: FriendsWithYou arrives Shreveport to set up RAINBOW CITY Installation and Exhibition.

October 18 - Inflated Sculptures submitted for approval.

October 26: OPENING DAY! Retrospective Exhibition Opening; Shreveport Common Helium Parade and Opening of RAINBOW CITY.

October 27 - December 6: SSO’s, School and Group Tours; Special Thursday late nights and Friday night creative programming through commissions to area performers who will create new works within the RAINBOW CITY Installation.

December 9-13: Strike the RAINBOW CITY Installation

December 21: Closing of Retrospective Exhibition

Dec. 30, 2019: Return of Retrospective Exhibition


The Primary beneficiaries are current residents in Shreveport Common SSO Housing who need to “get out” and engage creative opportunities without fear of rejection or displacement. Each SSO houses a disenfranchised group: Providence House serves abandoned spouses with children and no employment skills; Mercy Center serves people who are HIV Positive/Aid; McAdoo serves people who have mental, cognitive, & physical disabilities; Lighthouse serves at-risk youth; VOA serves Senior Adults who need “day” care; Fairmont serves people with voucher assisted living.

The next set of beneficiaries are the potential residents: Artists, Millennials, & DINKS (Double Income/No Kids). SRAC’s programs generate unity, respect, and acceptance for all people.