Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Register Your Child for JLP Acting Classes Now

Registration for JLP acting classes is open now until January 29th at the Henning Cultural Center at 923 Ruth Street in Sulphur.  The classes are open to children ages 6 through 12 years of age and will cost $50. Classes will be held on January 30, February 6, and February 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  



The students will learn the basics of character development and monologue.  For more information visit the JLP acting workshop facebook page here, or call Jonelle at 337-304-0288.     


Friday, December 13, 2013

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are coming to McNeese

The members of McNeese University’s Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society invite the public to their production of “Snow White,” a 50-minute musical which invites children from the audience onstage to help tell the story. Performances will be December 19 and 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm, in Stokes Auditorium in Hardtner Hall on the McNeese campus, located at the corner of East Sale Road and Common Street. Admission is $5 per person.

Performances for school groups (Kindergarten through the third grade) are also available on Dec 19th and 20th at 9:30 and 11:00 am. These performances can be followed by a short Q&A period for students to speak to the cast.




(Clockwise from left: Haley Smith, Kevin Delaney, Joseph Comeaux, Cameron Scallan, Darby Domingue, and Kassidy Ortego.)

The show was penned by Buzz Podewell, a member of the theater faculty at Tulane University for nearly 40 years. Podewell was a co-founder and former artistic director of the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane and the founder of the children’s troupe, The Patchwork Players. Alpha Psi Omega is proud to host the first Lake Charles performance of this production of “Snow White.”

Contact Charles McNeely, Coordinator of McNeese Theatre at cmcneely@mcneese.edu or 475-5041 with any questions and to make reservations.





Thursday, December 12, 2013

Apply For a Big Read Grant Today

The Big Read is now accepting applications from non-profit 
organizations to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2014 and June 2015. The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read receive a grant, promotional materials, access to online educational materials, training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected.



For more information, visit The Big Read website at http://www.neabigread.org/ . 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Music Makers 2 U Puts Instruments In The Hands of Students

Hattie asked, “Can I hug my violin?” Kendrick exclaimed, “I am playing higher notes with my new trumpet!”  John said, “I can’t let go of it” about his new violin. Such are the responses of students in southwest Louisiana upon receiving refurbished musical instruments from MusicMakers2U (MM2U). Their “new” instruments were provided through the generosity of donors who no longer have a use for them.

The MM2U Foundation was established in August 2013 as a non-profit organization created to provide students with the gift of music. The premise behind MM2U is that many school students have a desire to play a musical instrument but no means to obtain one. At the same time, many instruments have been silenced as they sit on closet shelves or in attics collecting dust. By pairing donated instruments with students desiring to play them, MM2U restores sound to the instrument and a voice to the student.


MM2U is made aware of students desiring to play through their educational instructors who are integral players in the program’s success. Once MM2U accepts an instrument, it is professionally cleaned, refurbished and repaired before being assigned to a student. Since MM2U’s short inception, 30 instruments have been donated and 10 pairings completed – all prior to publicly announcing MM2U’s formation.

Dr. Jeffrey J. Lemke, coordinator of instrumental music education at McNeese State University, states, “By helping improve academic achievement, build self-esteem, teach critical social skills, and engender creativity and innovation, MM2U helps to ignite the spark of creativity that lies within all children and inspires a love of learning.”

An added benefit for students participating in an MM2U is the parental involvement that comes with the pairing. Students accepting an MM2U instrument also agree to accept the responsibility of taking care of their instrument. The ‘cost” for the student in accepting the gift is the understanding that they now have an obligation to care for and practice on the instrument, to participate in school activities and to have the maturity necessary to return the instrument if their musical interest ever wanes.


For MM2U to grow contributions are being requested for instrument donations. Financial support is also needed to clean and refurbish the instruments. For further information, contact Eva LeBlanc, MM2U President, by calling 337-244-9314, by emailing musicmakers2U@gmail.com or by writing MM2U, P.O. Box 7964, Lake Charles, LA 70606.


Check out MM2U’s Facebook page to see posting of pairing photos.


Monday, December 2, 2013

The City of Lake Charles will Spread Joy with Handmade Christmas Cards


The City of Lake Charles will host the fourth annual Handmade Christmas Card Workshop during the month of December at 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center. All ages are welcome to apply their creative skills using several mediums from crayons to water colors to markers. All materials will be provided. Students throughout Calcasieu Parish are also invited to create and contribute their handmade cards as class projects. While visiting the center, students are also welcome to write a letter to Santa, which will be delivered to the North Pole.


The handmade Christmas cards will go to The Calcasieu Council on Aging for distribution to area nursing home residents through its Ombudsman Program. Ombudsmen are individuals who are trained to respond to the problems and needs of residents of nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities. The program works to assure that residents receive the best possible care and that they are treated with respect and dignity.

On exhibit throughout the holiday season are “The Curious World of Patent Models” on national tour, “Some Thoughts about Perfection” by Heather Ryan Kelley, “Children in Motion” by Nancy Melton and “Commemorating the Great Fire of 1910.”


1911 Historic City Hall is located at 1001 Ryan Street, gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted. The Charlestown Farmers Market is open on Bilbo Street behind the building every Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon. For more information, please call 491-9147 or visit www.cityoflakecharles.com


Monday, November 25, 2013

Cinderella's Holiday Dining

The Children’s Theatre Company; Artistic Director, Kerry Arthur Onxley presents Cinderella’s Holiday Dining! Children join their favorite storybook characters such as, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine for an unforgettable experience.  Character meals include pizza, dessert and a drink.  The seating incorporates a visit from each of these famous characters as they make their way around the Royal Table.  Children are encouraged to wear their favorite costume.  Hot coco and gingerbread will also be served.  

 
 This magical encounter occurs on Saturday, December 7, 2013 with seating at 12:00 noon.  The cost is $25.00 per person.  Seating is very limited and reservations must be made by calling the theatre box office at (337) 433-7323 or visiting www.childrenstheatre.cc  




Tuesday, November 5, 2013

City of Lake Charles Presents Louisiana Crossroads at Central School

The City of Lake Charles and Louisiana Crossroads will present an evening with the Savoy Cajun Family Band and Good & Young Family Band in the Ben Mount Auditorium in Central School, Wednesday, November 20 at 7pm.

The Savoy Family Band, which features Marc Savoy, his wife Ann and their two sons, Joel and Wilson, hails from the small Cajun prairie town of Eunice, Louisiana. The Savoy Family Cajun Band plays honed down, hard-core Cajun music laced with an earthy sensuality. In their hands, the old tunes have been revived and returned to new life. They are all strong individual musicians working together to create a tight, intense sound.



The quartet of Good & Young is a family ensemble rooted in the dance and music traditions of Old Time, Bluegrass and Country. With fiddle, banjo, guitar and bass, they are a festival of rhythm, dance and harmony.

Rick Good met Sharon Leahy on the old time circuit of the seventies—he with the Hotmud Family, she with the Green Grass Cloggers. They have been performing with their daughter, Emma Young for more than twenty years, largely in their dance and music company, Rhythm in Shoes. Just a few years ago, wedding bells rang and the family band grew to include Emma's talented husband, Linzay Young.



Rick was a 2010, Ohio Heritage Fellow and is recognized and respected for his accomplished banjo playing, heartfelt singing and crafty songwriting. Sharon has received numerous fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her love and understanding of American tradition is clearly seen and heard through her award-winning choreography, artful singing and driving rhythm on guitar and bass. Emma, a rock-solid bass player and a fine harmony singer, was presented the Josie Award, her hometown of Dayton's highest honor for dance, in 2003. Linzay is a versatile fiddler, soulful singer, well-seasoned songwriter and culinary force. He is a founding member of the Red Stick Ramblers and a true link in the chain of Cajun Music and Culture. Carrying on the family traditions of song and dance, Good & Young serve it up with joyous taste and well-seasoned know how.

Advance tickets can be purchased for $12 at the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana on the second floor of Central School, or on line at www.cityoflakecharles.com. Tickets at the door will be $15. For more information, please call (337) 491-9159.

The series will continue in the Central School with Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue on Wednesday, March 26, 2014; and Grammy-nominated, British soul singer James Hunter and his band the James Hunter Six with Louisiana All Stars on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  For a complete line-up of season 14, including the Lafayette performances, go to www.acadianacenterforthearts.org.




Thursday, October 17, 2013

ArtsFest Returns!


On Saturday, October 26th, ArtsFest returns to engage area 
children in a free arts festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lake Charles Civic Center’s Coliseum. This event is hosted annually by the Arts Council of SWLA and the City of Lake Charles, and it encourages creative expression through hands-on art projects.


2013 will bring the year of Fairytales, Myths & Legends,
and local organizations and businesses will host booths where children can create fun and creative pieces of art that tell stories of pirates, princesses, fairies, and even a few scary monsters. Children can take home all of their art projects which cover a wide range of mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, and crafts. ArtsFest will also showcase live music, face painting, the wildly popular one-on-one pottery demonstrations, and performances by Lake Charles Dance Academy and Young Band Nation.

In the spirit of Halloween, children are encouraged to come 
dressed in their Halloween costume. The annual ArtsFest Costume Contest at 11:30 a.m. will award four free tickets to the family-friendly Spooky Timbers trail at the Lost Hollows to children with the most creative and original costumes. Winners of the ArtsFest Art Contest, which has been accepting entries from SWLA schools for several weeks, will be announced at the event as well.


ArtsFest is sponsored by the City of Lake Charles, Arts 
Council of SWLA, Union Pacific, Office of Cultural Development, Parker Brand Creative, and FOX29/Lake Charles CW. For more information about ArtsFest, call the Arts Council office at (337) 439-2787 or visit www.artsandhumanitiesswla.org.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gallery Promenade 2013

This Friday, September 27th, from 5PM – 9PM, marks the 17th annual Gallery Promenade, which celebrates the art spaces all across the lake area. For one night, galleries, museums, art studios and unconventional art spaces will open their doors to the public, free of charge, to celebrate their year-round efforts at promoting the best culture of the region. J&R Carriage will offer free carriage rides (Please give them a donation as a thank you!) along Ryan Street and to Central School (809 Kirby St) and there will also be pedicab rides available in downtown Lake Charles. All locations will offer a free reception, with most offering a little something extra special. Maps will be posted soon, and will be available at all locations.

Here is the full list of locations and activities:

Alexander Art Studio, 900 Ryan Street, Suite 102: Featuring the work of Candice Alexander, Meagan Green, and Lindsey Katharine Johnson
(Meagan Green, Salivary Cycle AD, Mixed Media, Alexander Art Studio)

Henning Cultural Center, 923 Ruth Street, Sulphur: Featuring a dual exhibit by Jack Amuny and Mark John

At Central School, 809 Kirby Street:

Art Associates Gallery, Central School,  Suite 208: “A Louisiana Treasure,”  works by primitive artist Alvin Batiste, and early Christmas sales of the locally produced cookbook, From Palate to Palette.

Black Heritage Gallery, Central School , Suite 207: “Metal Health Series” new works by Adrian Fulton, and featuring live Jazz music by Gervis Guidry.

Dewey Fine Art, Central School,  Suite 347 and 3rd Floor Art Hall: The work of Imogene Dewey, Theresa Dewey, Students & Friends. The group will also offer  demonstrations of various techniques, plus one-night-only discounts on workshops, classes, fine art, and prints.

Itinerant Theatre, Central School,  Suite 339. Live “Jesus Christ Superstar” rehearsals.

1st Floor Art Hall:  Central School,  Suite 306, and 1st Floor Art Hall. Artwork by Carolyn White, and Kevin Leveque

2nd Floor Art Alcove: Central School, The works of  Jacqueline Segura, Johnny Segura, Daniel Castro, Peggy Borel. Artwork, photography, book signing, and more.

Steve Schindler Photography, 949 Ryan Street, Suite 240: Works by Steve Schindler who will also be offering 10 free giveaways for a $250 session.

1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, 1001 Ryan Street: ” Abraham Lincoln: The Image”

Artisans’ Gallery, 1911 Historic City Hall, 1001 Ryan Street: New work by  Anita Ahrens, Melinda Antoon, Blaine Bourgeois, Sally Cappel, Marilyn Cox, Beth Fontenot, Ronald Gibson, Kathy Gardiner Hebert, Emma Hughes, Charlene Kaough, Carrie Kudla, Charlotte LaBarbera, Pat Love, Judy Momenzadeh, Donna Artigue Price, Geoff Russell, Gloria Wegener, Bobbi Yancey, Gloria Yang, and Sue Zimmermann, with several chances to win original arwork.
(Sue Zimmermann, Trio, Artisans Gallery)

McNeese Visual Arts, Grand Gallery & Shearman Fine Arts Center, 4205 Ryan St.: McNeese Annual Faculty Exhibition with Ken Baskin, Marty Bee, Meghan Fleming, Heather Kelley, Lisa Reinauer, Lynn Reynolds, Larry Schuh, Gerry Wubben, Lewis Temple, Robbie Austin, Cynthia Howes Baskin, Amanda Hext. Also, on the 2nd Floor Mezzanine: “Mysterio,” an exhibition of eclectic works and curiosities.
(Ken Baskin, Crown Gear, McNeese Faculty Exhibit)

Stellar Beans, 319 Broad St.: Featuring the work of Damon Lombard, John Martel, and live music by Tim Norris

The Children’s Museum, 327 Broad St.: Art pieces by John Martel, Ramsey Ayers, Sean Hicks, Desiree Burgess, Jon Meaux, Caitlin Richard and Lindsey Johnson
(John Martel, Hare, Children's Museum)

The Frame House Gallery, 1640 Ryan St.: “When Contemporary meets Traditional” featuring Sarah Griffith, Ronnie Collins, Stella Waits, Marilyn Cox. Also, chances to win 3 wonderful prizes by local artists.

The Harrington Gallery, 210 Tamarack St., Sulphur: “Inspirations in Clay” by Cindy Fails, and a door prize by local artist.

Arts’ Desire, 1322 Ryan St.: Featuring the work of Raejean Clark, Michelle Reed Watson, Robin Jones, and Brenda Lafleur, they will also feature the Blank Canvas Project, with special guests, and live demonstrations.

From the Attic: Home & Seasonal Decor, 3505 Country Club Rd. –Featuring original works by Erica McCreedy, Lance Thomas, Louisiana’s Artist of the Year Erin Barker, Danielle Nester, and Mindy Schwarzauer, with live music, store giveaways, and raffles.

Dharma, 329 Broad St.: McNeese Student Art Association, “N.Y.T.H.S.” with a live music afterparty.

505 Bazaar, 314 Broad St.: The art of Ellen Anthony

Pujo Street Café, 901 Ryan St.: The work of Art Du Lac

The Art Shop, 706 Ryan St. Artwork, and bicycle rentals.

“Before I Die” Public Art Wall, 314 Broad St. –An interactive art display produced by Charles Talen and Euric Fuselier
("Before I die",Charles Talen Euric Fuselier, Public Art Wall, 314 Broad Street 505 Bazzar, 
photo by Daniel Castro) 

Gallery By the Lake, 106 W. Pryce St. “30th Anniversary, ALA Alumni” featuring Nancy Melton, Ann Hoffpauir, Tony Forrest, Imogene Dewey, Valerie Smith, Brenda LaFleur, Helga Gravitt, Sue Didelot and Kevin Leveque, Ellen Anthony, Sheila Babineaux,  Pat Craft, Nancy Czejkowski, Anne Dentler, Lois Derise, Marcia Dutton, Barbara Haviland, Barbara Holt, Debbie Lavergne, Jock McGregor, Judy Newman, Nancy Peace, Patsi Prince, Linda Ritchie, Liz Tomlinson, and Sue Zimmerman

Laura Kelley Photography, 329 Broad Street: Featuring the work of Laura Kelley


Please call the Arts Council SWLA for details at 439-ARTS.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jazz in the Arts Presents Jazz: The Soundtrack of a Movement

On Sunday, September 15th the Jazz in the Arts Foundation will present local music legends Chester Daigle with Darol King & Company in concert at 5 p.m. at the Central School theatre.  This presentation titled, Jazz: The Soundtrack of a Movement, will feature an exciting night of Jazz from the Civil Rights movement.




Jazz in the Arts is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Arts and Humanities Council, and it is dedicated to promoting and developing jazz performance and education in Southwest Louisiana.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.  For details, contact the Arts Council at 439-2787 or Pat Daigle at 794-5744. 



Thursday, September 5, 2013

Itinerant theatre begins free monthly coffee house theatre series

Itinerant Theatre introduces its free, first-Saturday-of-the-month series “Coffee House Theatre” with a premier reading of the one-woman play, “Elizebeth” on Saturday, September 7, 2013.  Director is Joy Pace. Co-host is Stellar Beans Coffee House & Edibles.  Performance begins 7:00pm at Stellar Beans, 319 Broad St., Lake Charles, La.    



“Elizebeth” is one of the composite of one-woman plays collectively titled Louisiana Women written by Carolyn Woosley.  Elizebeth Thomas Werlein, a native of Michigan who married into the renowned New Orleans Werlein family, is best known for her vigorous, colorful and successful effort to save New Orleans’s slum-like French Quarter from almost certain demolition before World War II, as well as for the belief that she is, allegedly, the first woman to have flown in an airplane as a passenger.

The role of Elizebeth will be read by Carolyn Woosley in Ms. Woosley’s premier acting performance.  Joy Pace is Director and Producer.  There will not be an intermission.  Seating is limited.

Itinerant Theatre, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation located in the Lake Area, is dedicated to providing an affordable, professional forum for the performing arts and artistically underserved audiences so as to generate broader audiences for live theatre and the performing arts and also professional development for performing artists. For information call 337.436.6275, visit Facebook, Twitter or www.itineranttheatre.com .



                                   

Friday, August 30, 2013

Calcasieu Cinema International kicks off 3rd Season

There will be a free screening of the 2012 Indian film English Vinglish  on Friday, 20 September, at 6p.m. in the Historic Central School auditorium.  



Written and directed by Gauri Shinde as a tribute to Shinde’s mother, the film follows the main character, Shashi, a woman who feels limited by her lack of understanding English.  Moving past her insecurities, she signs up for English classes during a trip to New York, then reconnects with family in a healthier way.  As one critic notes, “….there’s grit…tempered with compassion and dignity.”

Sponsored by Mrs. Rita and Mr. Bal Sareen, English Vinglish is presented by Calcasieu Cinema International, a branch of the Council for International Concerns, in partnership with McNeese State University’s Office of Diversity, Banners Cultural Series, Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, Lake Area Psychiatry, The Hearing Center, and Common Ground/CultureFestLouisiana.


The audience is invited to join in a guided discussion afterward, which will be led by Dr. Ram Nileshwar and Ms. Ankita Choudhary.  A taste of Indian food will be shared, and free popcorn and drinks are provided.  For more information, email cbadeaux@mcneese.edu or jkprjs@gmail.com.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fluid Land Exhibit

Meghan Fleming's exhibition titled "Fluid Land: Cartographic Drawings of a Southwest Louisiana Landscape" will be on display at Art Associates Gallery in Central School from July 26th - August 22nd.  An opening reception will be held from 5pm-7pm on Friday July 26. 


(Erosion, India ink on paper, by Meghan Fleming)

The Drawings in the exhibition are a part of a larger project "Marsh Views" which Fleming has been working on for the past three years. The goal of "Marsh Views" was to gather visual data of the marsh through photographic images, conduct research with wetland experts, and produce a series of drawings about land loss and restoration. Fleming used aerial maps of the marsh spanning from 1998 to 2010 as source material for her drawings.  The project was part of a collaboration with the Louisiana Environmental Research Center (LERC) and funded by a US Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Grant #68-7217-10-006. 

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.  For more information contact the Arts Council at 337-439-2787.   






Thursday, July 11, 2013

George Porter Jr. & The Runnin' Pardners to play Lake Charles

New Orleans bass legend George Porter Jr. & The Runnin' Pardners are performing at Luna Live, this Saturday, July 13.  The Chuck Live gathered some info to let you know how incredible this show will be!
George Porter Jr. is best known as the bassist and singer for The Meters.  Formed in the mid 60's along with Art Neville, The Meters came to be recognized as one of the originators of funk.  After disbanding in 1977 George Porter Jr. has gone on to form many groups and side projects including his own group The Runnin' Pardners.  He has also been performing and recording with an astounding roster of musicians including Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Robbie Roberston, Willy Deville, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, and Tori Amos to name a few.

George Porter Jr. & The Runnin' Pardners are highly respected not just as a quintessential New Orleans Band, but also on the jam band and festival circuit.  Working with George in The Runnin' Pardners are Brint Anderson, Michael Lemmler, Khris Royal, and Terrence Houston.
It is an honor for Lake Charles to host one of the industry's most elite bass players.  George Porter Jr. & The Runnin' Pardners are yet another huge step in the growing music scene here in The Chuck, lets get out there and support this!
Luna Live is located at 710 Ryan Street.  Doors open at 8pm, tickets are $15. 
Stay up to date on what is happening in the LC music scene at www.thechucklive.com

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Imperial Calcasieu Museum: Summer Film Series



On Thursdays in July: 11, 18, 25, & August 1st and 8th, The Imperial Calcasieu Museum will screen a different film each week accompanied by a lecture and brief Q&A session following the screening.  Popcorn will be provided free of charge, with refreshments available for purchase. Admission is $4 for non members, and free for members.  

July 11th 6pm-8pm "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" hosted by Hooper Nichols

July 18th 6pm-8pm "The Producers" hosted by Susan Reed

July 25th 6pm-8pm "The Shane" hosted by Bill Shearman

August 1st 6pm-8pm "Z" hosted by Reed Mendelson

August 8th 6pm-8pm "The Straight Story" hosted by Jim Serra


The Imperial Calcasieu Museum is located at 204 W. Sallier Street, for more information contact the Imperial Calcasieu Museum at 337-439-3797, or visit http://imperialcalcasieumuseum.org/index.cfm .  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

McNeese State University Call for Artists

The McNeese State University department of visual arts has released a call for entries for its 2013 illustrated Popol Vuh exhibition.  

The Popol Vuh is a 16th Century highland Guatemala account of creation mythology composed by the K'iche' Maya.  The book contains some of the richest mythological stories found anywhere in the world.  These stories, much like other mythologies, describe the actions of the deities and heroes responsible for the creation of the cosmos and of human beings.

This exhibition seeks to illustrate this incredible collection of myths by enlisting contemporary artists to create works in any media that illustrate, either literally or conceptually, some aspect of the stories whether a character, event, place, or theme.  The works will be displayed in a narrative fashion, wrapping around the gallery space, in an attempt to convey the story visually.



The deadline for submissions is September 6, 2013.  There is no entry fee, and artists may submit no more than three entries.  Each entry must be individually labeled with artists name, title, primary medium, presentation size, year completed and price.  Electronic entries can be made via email to popolvuh@mcneese.edu in either JPEG, TIFF, or PDF format with file sizes for each image not exceeding 4 MB.  Entries on compact disc should be sent with a completed and signed entry form via postal carrier directly to 4205 Ryan Street, Abercrombie Gallery, Shearman Fine Arts Center room 125, Lake Charles, LA 70609.

For more information contact 337-562-4257.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

LOS ANGELES WRITER MARK LANDRY RETURNS TO LAKE CHARLES TO PROMOTE NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL

Lake Charles native and Los Angeles professional screenwriter and producer Mark Landry will return to his hometown on Friday, May 24, to sign free posters of his new graphic novel Bloodthirsty from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Paper Heroes, located at 3941 Ryan St. in Lake Charles. The graphic novel promises to immerse fans in multi-layered, intense storylines that give a post-Katrina New Orleans its own homegrown hero.





A Louisiana State University graduate, Landry moved to Los Angeles to earn a degree from University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He has worked for Lucasfilm, Nickelodeon, and the Disney Channel, among others. Landry co-wrote Teen Beach Movie, which will premiere this July on the Disney Channel. He is the son of Thomas and Susan Landry of Lake Charles.

The Bloodthirsty saga follows Virgil LaFleur, a Cajun/Creole Coast Guard veteran discharged with post-traumatic stress syndrome after Hurricane Katrina. With his parents gone and despite saving dozens of lives, Virgil has grown bitter and depressed in the wake of the storm. The story begins as he plans to leave New Orleans forever; however, Virgil’s younger brother’s mysterious murder sucks Virgil back into a vortex of intrigue, corruption, and revenue as he becomes obsessed with bringing the killers to justice.

“This novel is meant to not only entertain but to impact readers as well,” said Landry. “Beyond the barbed wit and gritty violence, serious questions about class, economics, and political power in Louisiana are raised.”

Along the way, Virgil uncovers a ring of corrupt disaster capitalists led by local biotech mogul Simon Wolfinger. He and his followers share a common trait—extreme longevity—provided by a very expensive injection. The one atrocious side effect of this “treatment” is a perpetual dependence on the consumption of human blood. 

Virgil discovers that these “hemovores” have been feeding off of the blood of New Orleans’ poor and homeless citizens. Now with a new storm coming—Hurricane Rose—Virgil must choose to either evacuate New Orleans forever or stay and become the hero that the city so desperately needs.

“What’s different about this superhero is that Virgil doesn’t set out to rescue or inspire anyone. He’s only motivated by revenge,” explained Landry. “But an unintended consequence is that along the way he becomes a symbol of hope, not only for the citizens of New Orleans but for himself. If even one person is inspired by Virgil’s journey to regain hope, then this story will be successful.”

Comic veteran Georges Jeanty, best known for his work on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, was glad to lend industry expertise to Landry on his project. “I had been a fan of his miniseries, The American Way,” said Landry. “When I found out that Georges lived nearby, I reached out to him and pitched him the story for ‘One Nation Under Water.’ Luckily, he totally dug it.  He has been an invaluable resource and an endless fount of knowledge and encouragement ever since.”

Anne Rice collaborator Ashley Marie Witter, artist of the hit Interview with the Vampire graphic novel, illustrates the book.

Landry admits he spent numerous afternoons as a child in Paper Heroes in Lake Charles. He says that is where his love for film and comic books began, which is why he has chosen to stage a poster signing there for his new graphic novel series on Friday. Landry is excited to share the story with his hometown. Free posters will be given away while supplies last.

“There's always some kind of guilt about leaving one's place of birth,” Landry says. “In some way, I think this story is a way of correcting things in my soul, even if those corrections are fictional. At least I'm saying, 'Here is one man who is going to stay and help and inspire hope. He isn't me, but he's better than me.'”

Bloodthirsty is now available for pre-order. Visit www.bloodthirstycomic.com to help support Landry’s project and ensure its successful launch. Contact Matt Young at 337-478-7396 for more information.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Children's Museum Summer Activities

Each weekday the Children's Museum has a special activity to offer this summer, the following activities are scheduled for the month of June. 




Creative Monday, June 3: Beading
Join The Children's Museum for a Beading Workshop. Classes begin at 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Crafty Tuesday, June 4: Medieval Shields
Paint your own medieval shield. Classes begin at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Fruity Wednesday, June 5: Pineapples
Pineapples will be served from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. while supplies last.

Amazing Thursday, June 6: Tae Kwon Do
Master Carla Prejean and her Black Belt Academy, Karate for Kids, will give a tae kwon do demonstration at 11 a.m.

Fun Friday, June 7: Spirograph
From 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., come and play with this classic geometric drawing toy that produces mathematical roulette curves developed by British engineer Denys Fisher first sold in 1965.

Saturday, June 8: Sasol’s Second Saturday Science Show
At 11 a.m., Sasol employees will present “Liquid Nitrogen Isn’t Just Cool … It’s Freezing!” Pressure demonstrations include a mini rocket using capped film canisters and a vacuum in flask that “sucks in” a hard boiled egg!

Creative Monday, June 10: Journals
Bind and decorate your own journal. Classes begin at 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Crafty Tuesday, June 11: African Masks 
Paint your own African mask. Classes begin at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Cool Wednesday, June 12: Ice Cream
Popsicles will be served from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. while supplies last.

Amazing Thursday, June 13: The Nature Gang 
Meet our new baby iguana, “Iggy III,” at 11 a.m. Our Director, Dan Ellender, will let you pet our cockatiels “Lola” and “Maya” as well as learn all about their habitats and diets. We will also feed the fish and crabs.

Fun Friday, June 14: Playdough
Join The Children's Museum anytime between 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the ArtSpace!

Creative Monday, June 17: Beading
Join The Children's Museum for a Beading Workshop. Classes begin at 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Crafty Tuesday, June 18: Rain Sticks
Make your own rain stick with animal shape stickers. Classes begin at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Cool Wednesday, June 19: Popsicles
Popsicles will be served from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. while supplies last.

Amazing Thursday, June 20: “Amos the Artistic Alligator”
Join local author and publisher, Tommie Townsley, for a reading of her book “Amos the Artistic Alligator,” at 11 a.m.

Fun Friday, June 21: Swirl’n Spin Art 
Join The Children's Museum anytime between 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the ArtSpace and experiment with exciting designs using our Swirl’n Spin art machine!

Creative Monday, June 24: Gyotaku Fish Prints
Experiment with this Japanese technique of printing fish. Classes begin at 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Crafty Tuesday, June 25: Paper Fans or Knight Shield
Paint your own knight armor or fan. Classes begin at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Fruity Wednesday, June 26: Grapes
Grapes will be served from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. while supplies last.

Amazing Thursday, June 27: Lowe’s Workshop for Kids
Join The Children's Museum at 11 a.m. for this workshop. Class is limited to 25 children.

Fun Friday, June 28: Paper Snakes
Make a paper snake anytime between 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the ArtSpace.

All Creative Monday and Crafty Tuesday Workshops are limited to 20 children per class. Please sign up in the office when you arrive the day of the event.

The Children's Museum is located at 327 Broad Street downtown Lake Charles. Museum hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is $7.50 for children and adults. Call 337-433-9420 or visit www.swlakids.org for a complete list of admission fees, memberships and birthday party information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.