Founded in 1976 as the official Arts arm of the City of Shreveport, SRAC’s mission is to develop, nurture, produce and present, promote, engage and educate the citizens of Northwest Louisiana about the Arts, thereby maximizing access to the Arts. SRAC continues to serve as the official arts arm of the City of Shreveport and the State of Louisiana for Northwest Louisiana, operating by contract with both entities, working to support the Arts Community, sustain Community Based Arts Education, and create Innovative and Accessible Programming.
SRAC serves 10 parishes of Northwest Louisiana: Caddo, Bossier, Natchitoches, Webster, Sabine, DeSoto, Red River, Lincoln, Bienville, and Claiborne, supporting the work of 2,400 artists and 159 arts organizations with an economic impact of $90 million and $13 million returned in state and local tax dollars. Region IV has a population of 400,000, and a Shreveport area population of 250,000; 52% are African American, 44% are Caucasian, 3% are Hispanic, and 1% are all other ethnicities, with a mean-average family income of $28,000. 45 of the 72 Caddo Schools are Title I referring to the fact that at least 80% of the students are economically eligible for the federal free lunch program. 99% of SRAC programs are free and there are no required membership fees.
SRAC strengthens Arts organizations and artists by administering a competitive local, state and federal grants process; providing technical assistance; providing paid public art, education, and creation of new work commissions to Artists; providing paid opportunities teaching arts for K-12 students; providing opportunities for juried exhibitions and performances at artspace, SRAC’s center for the creation, production and presentation of all the Arts; developing artists’ registries and creating and promoting a juried artists’ roster; and awarding annual Artists’ Fellowships. SRAC develops residencies that bring nationally respected artists to Shreveport to work alongside local emerging and professional artists to learn new techniques and approaches to the creative process. SRAC cultivates new audiences for the Arts; sustaining their involvement as life-long supporters of the Arts.
SRAC produces interdisciplinary Arts in Education (AIE) programs created with artistic director, award-winning author, illustrator, and filmmaker William Joyce that builds support for the Arts, such as our regionally renowned comprehensive AIE initiatives that include in-school, after-school, and summer Arts residencies and the South’s largest festival of, by, and for student artists, ArtBreak. SRAC offers adult education and classes at artspace. SRAC advocates for comprehensive, curriculum based education for all schools in Louisiana, serving on the Statewide AIE Task Force.
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— Donovan Mafnas, Impact Volunteer
SRAC produces programs that engage the community and maximize access to the Arts. Examples include: Art in Public Places program that encompasses public transportation, outdoor billboards, murals, permanent and temporary installations; artspace, SRAC’s multigenerational center for the creation of thematic exhibitions by national and international artists and space for juried exhibitions by regional artists of all art disciplines; and the innovative artspace arts education program that serves K-12, university, and adults through classes and hands-on learning. SRAC partners with the Northeast LA Arts Council and Bossier Arts Council to create a dynamic “Eye – 20 Creative Corridor” among the parishes and communities north and south of Interstate 20 the highway runs through North Louisiana. SRAC’s AIE in-school programs are created two years in advance through planning sessions with William Joyce and teachers, artists, area administrators, a review of evaluation forms and assessments, and the staff or SRAC program staff. This proposal builds on SRAC’s 35 year AIE partnership with Caddo Parish Public Schools, 10-15 year relationship with Desoto, Bossier and Webster schools and newest relationship with Jackson parish schools. SRAC’s partnerships with area schools are a model that motivated new statewide legislation mandating curriculum based music and arts programs in all schools within 5 years, taught by professional music and arts teachers.
SRAC advocates for Artists and Arts organizations believing that they create a more imaginative, vital, and economically prosperous community as demonstrated by the Americans for the Arts Economic Impact study revealing a Northwest LA Region Arts $90 million annual economic impact with 2,400 full time job equivalents, and growing audiences that include 20% visitors from outside of the region.