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Mission – About Us

A few things you should know about us:

1. We support the arts and cultural initiatives and programs you enjoy.

The Arts Council functions as an umbrella organization to over sixty nonprofit arts organizations and countless artists and co-ops throughout the five parish region. If you’ve ever been to the Black Heritage Festival, visited the Art Associates Gallery, acted on stage for the Lake Charles Little Theatre, or enjoyed a performance from the McNeese Banners Cultural Series, you have been affected by our services and grants.

Since 2005 we have allocated nearly $2 million to SWLA communities through four annual grant programs:

2. We facilitate annual events and festivals that bolster tourism and economic growth within the region.

The arts can be utilized as catalysts for urban and rural development and they generate livability for an area which can attract new businesses, encourage civic involvement, and increase tourism dollars.

Our events include:

3. We act as a clearinghouse of resources and information for artists, arts organizations, and cultural projects.

Through networking programs and promotional services, we are able to offer expertise and experience to those working in the arts in SWLA who need assistance and resources for their careers and projects. Our bi-monthly Regional Arts Network luncheons include seminars and workshops on topics from self-marketing to website design and also provide networking opportunities for artists.

The HEartBEAT Weekly e-Newsletter, which reaches over 1,200 SWLA residents and businesses, sends out weekly emails about local art events, and our extensive artist directory allows artists across all genres to promote their work and also learn about grant opportunities and calls for artists. Our event calendar keeps track of all arts and cultural events in SWLA so you can plan your after hours schedule with live music listings, festivals, exhibits, and performances. Our Facebook and Twitter accounts allow you to access the arts on a moment’s notice and to get plugged into SWLA.

4. We act as the region’s voice in the statewide arena for arts funding advocacy.

Through our partnerships and connections with other regional arts councils and advocacy agencies, we are able to participate fully in an ongoing dialogue with legislators and decision-makers to show the importance of full arts funding to our state’s identity and economy. Arts Advocacy Day in May allows all arts enthusiasts to demonstrate the need for arts funding at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

5. We believe the arts translate easily into economic growth.

The arts are a powerful indicator of urban health and economic development. National studies and reports from the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts show that the arts generated $135 billion nationally in 2011 and supported 4 million jobs which generated over $12.6 billion in federal income taxes. Measured against direct federal arts funding of about $1.4 billion, that’s a return of nearly nine to one. In Louisiana $9 is generated for each $1 that is invested in the arts, and the arts industry employs the state’s second largest workforce. The festivals and events that arts organizations produce attract tourism dollars to the area and also utilize local products and services from sound equipment and catering to vendors and marketing. In the end, the original dollars invested into an arts event have multiplied within the community.