Thursday, March 29, 2012

Arts Council Distributes $27,000 to SWLA arts organizations

The Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, the distributing agency for the City of Lake Charles Partnership Assistance Grant Program, is pleased to announce its 2012 grant awards. The program is made possible by the City of Lake Charles and provides a total of $27,000 to arts organizations domiciled within the City of Lake Charles.

 The Lake Charles grant program, which began in 1983, is designed for projects that are art related or for the stabilization of art organizations.  This year, a total of twenty seven organizations were awarded funding. Some of the recipients include: Artists Civic Theatre & Studio (ACTS); Black Heritage Festival; Lake Charles Community Band; Bulber Youth Orchestra; Children’s Theatre Company; Louisiana Choral Foundation; the Children’s Museum; and Cajun French Music Association.

Some of the project that will receive assistance are Dancing Classrooms; “I Hear a Symphony” by the Lake Charles Symphony; “Christmas in Louisiana” by the Lake Charles Civic Ballet; Art on Wheels Festival; “Premieres of Louisiana Women” by the Itinerant Theatre; Storyteller Donald Savis by the Calcasieu Parish Library; The Down Town Lake Charles Crawfish Festival by the Eljay Foundation; BayouCon 2012 by the Southwest Louisiana Science Education Foundation; “Culture Fest Louisiana” by Common Ground; Louisiana Master Gardner’s; and the Lake Charles Film Festival.

“We are committed to making arts enrichment opportunities available to all Lake Charles Citizens,” said Mayor Roach.  “The Lake Charles Partnership Grant has helped tie together the power of the arts and culture as development tools that unite communities, create economic opportunity and improve the quality of life. The City of Lake Charles has an extensive history of supporting the arts through this grant opportunity for city residents.”

As well as greatly improving the quality of life for the residents of Lake Charles, one of the grant’s main goals is to ensure the stabilization of arts and humanities organizations through increased attendance and engagement of community members in local projects. “The arts are the guiding principle at the Arts and Humanities Council,” said Jackie Dowden, Community Development Coordinator.  “These projects demonstrate the imaginative and innovative capacities of artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in Lake Charles.” 

For more information on this grant or other grant related opportunities, contact the Arts Council at (337) 439-2787. 

Margaret Place Celebrates 100 Years

This weekend, the annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes will become an exceptional and unique experience of one of our city's most beloved historic landmarks thanks to the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society. Margaret Place is a small neighborhood located between Ryan Street, Shell Beach Drive, and Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive in Lake Charles, and after the Great Fire of 1910, much of the development in Lake Charles was pushed south of the downtown area. Allen Jefferson Perkins of Perkins & Miller Lumber Mill designed the subdivision which is exemplary of the diverse bungalow architectural styles between 1912 and 1937. Saturday, March 31st, and Sunday, April 1st, will feature a great variety of events to showcase the best of the neighborhood.

Those who were lucky enough to purchase a Fan Tour ticket before the event sold out will be able to take a guided walking tour of Margaret Place on Saturday with a block party to end the evening which will have refreshments and live music by local band Soul Vacation.

Palm Sunday will be jam-packed with exclusive events, and the line up is as follows:

  • 121 Artisan Bistro will host the 100th Anniversary Brunch, and there are four seatings at 9:30 a.m. (sold out), 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 a.m. Brunch ticket holders receive access to the Palm Sunday homes early!
  • An exhibit featuring images from Margaret Place and ICCS will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ICCS.
  • The 37th annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes will commence at noon, and ticket holders will get to experience interior tours of nine historic Margaret Place homes. Tickets may still be purchased at ICCS on the day of the tour for $25.00. Day-of tickets can also be purchased on Harrison near Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, on Park Avenue near Shell Beach Drive, and in front of 205 Shell Beach Drive. 
  • Due to the historical nature of Margaret Place being one of the original streetcar subdivisions, Sunday will also feature a re-enactment of the South Ryan Street Car Route. The City of Lake Charles is offering free rides on the trolley buses to nine stops within the district, and J&R Carriage will offer carriage rides two and from the Civic Center for $5 (one-way) or $10 (round trip).
This event will be truly something to remember for years to come! Lake Charles is lucky to have such a wonderfully preserved historic district with residents who dedicate endless hours and energy to ensure that Margaret Place will remain a gem for another hundred years. For more information, visit