Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

Local festival at crossroads; needs financial boost

Spring Arts Festival 2012 013 - CopyCultural Crossroads is looking for more corporate partners for their annual festival of the arts.

"We have a dedicated core of businesses that have been there for us these past 20 years," said Chris Broussard, Cultural Crossroads Chairman of the Board. "We are so grateful to them and would like to expand our corporate partner list to include some new contributors."

Now in its 19th year, the Spring Arts Festival "ChickenStock" has provided the largest venue in the area for showcasing the talent of children. From art and poetry contests to staged performances in the Great Talent Search, area children and their talents are celebrated.

"Our local tourism commission is currently our largest contributor," Broussard continued. "Their $5,000 investment in our spring festival has made the difference between having a festival and not. We truly appreciate them."

Traditionally, local businesses and corporations have stepped up and provided financial support for a portion of the expenses while grants and fundraisers made up the largest portion of the festival's $20,000 budget. This year, for the first time, the organization has been faced with the task of filling a gap left behind by state budget cuts to the arts.

"We were fortunate to receive the lion's share of Decentralized Arts funding for the past 18 years," Broussard said. "However, in the past few years, we have watched our funding go from $10,000 to zero."

To offset the deep cuts made to the arts, organizers of the festival reduced the length of the festival in an effort to shave some of the expenses. Eliminating the third graders' day at The Farm cut more than $5,000 from the budget.

While the "Kids Day on The Farm" was provided free of charge to every third grader in the parish, the group has replaced it with seasonal field trip opportunities.

"Our new field trip schedule will open The Farm to all elementary students in our parish and surrounding parishes," Broussard said. "We're hopeful that this new strategy will provide us with much needed earned income opportunities that will eventually allow us to increase our Arts in Education programs and open The Farm year-round to more community art-related activities."

The 20-year-old arts organization that operates with a full-time volunteer core of administrators has been successful in returning 100 percent of all contributions back to the public in the form of programming and projects centered on the arts.

The arts group also owns and manages the four-acre estate officially known as the Moess Center for the Arts and City Farm and unofficially it is known as 'The Farm.'

Any business, corporation or individual interested in becoming a corporate partner, may contact Broussard at 393-5991 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information, visit www.artsinminden.com.






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