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Discussing the people, events, and issues of our region with area writers, artists, entertainers, and news makers. From arts events to political activity, find out what's happening in northeast Louisiana.

Dorothea Lange

Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange sought out and cast a penetrating light upon the misfortune and maltreatment of Americans of different backgrounds.  She holds a unique position in the history of documentary photography.

"She captured the times of immigrant workers, sharecroppers, and farmers in that era," says Kathy Vellard, a visiting artist committee member with North Central Louisiana Arts Council.  A screening of the film, Grab A Hunk Of Lightning, about Lange's life and work is presented Friday at 6 p.m. at the Dixie Center in Ruston. 

Love And Mardi Gras Highlight Art Crawl

Feb 3, 2015

February in Louisiana is about love and Mardi Gras.  The Downtown Arts Alliance brings the two together in an gallery crawl Thursday night. 

Passion and a parade atmosphere are felt across downtown Monroe and West Monroe.   "There's lots of works that are absolutely beautiful, colors that are amazing," says DAA's Communications Consultant Ann Bloxom Smith.

Eight galleries open their doors after hours Thursday from 5-9 p.m.  Live entertainment and light refreshments are enjoyed at several locations in the crawl.

Extravaganza Celebrates Black History

Jan 30, 2015
M. Denoux

Students from area school districts perform song and dance in a Black History Extravaganza at the Emily P. Robinson Center next Thursday.  "African-American history is so valuable, but so much has been lost in transferring that knowledge to our community," says Southside Community Involvement Association member Eva-Dianne Wilson said.

""I didn't want this story to die", says Genaro Ky Ly Smith.  The author and instructor at Louisiana Tech University reveals in explaining why he wrote about his grandfather's life. 

The Land Baron's Sun: The Story of Ly Loc and His Seven Wives, chronicles the life of Smith's grandfather in poetry.  Loc enjoyed the respect of being a South Vietnamese Army commander, but after the fall of Saigon, he experienced the pain of being imprisoned in a re-education camp.

The Monroe Chamber of Commerce serves as an advocate organization for both large and small business.  The chamber is currently seeking new members to join in promoting business and the economy of the city of Monroe. 

"From supporting local initiatives that better the business community to meeting with the state's delegation, the chamber keeps members informed of what's taking place," says Wynn Lawrence, co-chair of the membership campaign. 

Dissension, Tension, and Laughs at Ballyhoo

Jan 22, 2015

In the midst of the wartime era in the late 1930's, a German-Jewish family living in Atlanta is focused on the societal event of the season.  The Last Night Of Ballyhoo is presented by the Louisiana Tech University Theatre Department beginning January 28.

"Atlanta had two groups of German Jews at the time," says Associate Theatre Professor Paul Crook, who directs the play.  "The story tells the dissension of the two groups, and what a family member observes from interacting with the other group."

Acadie: Then and Now

Jan 20, 2015

The journey of Acadians across the globe is documented in Warren and Mary Perrin's new book, Acadie: Then and Now, A People's History. 


The couple researched the Acadian population for the past three years.  Their stories and discoveries highlight the resolve and commonality of the culture wherever people have settled.  Mary Perrin describes the book as an encyclopedia of Acadian and Cajun culture.  Warren Perrin says preserving the French language is critically important to carry the Acadie heritage to the next generation. 

Jenny Ellerbe

The ancient American Indian culture applied practical skills to a variety of objects and raw materials.  A collaboration between Masur Museum of Art and Poverty Point World Heritage Site presents a number of interactive demonstrations of several resources used by the ancient people.

"The event is held in conjunction with our current exhibit, Shared Earth by Jenny Ellerbe," said Masur Director Evie Stewart.  "The work includes artifacts from Poverty Point and it just worked out to where the field day was scheduled prior to Poverty Point being named as a World Heritage site."

Understanding Anesthesiology

Jan 15, 2015

Many patients fail to talk to their anesthesiologist before a surgical procedure.   Dr. Zeke Wetzel, St.Francis Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology Vice Chairman, says a simple conversation can help lead to a better outcome. 

"Be honest, don't minimize any medical condition you may have," Wetzel said.  He recommends to make your doctor aware of your full medical history.  This information helps tailor a plan of anesthesia during surgery. 

Wetzel encourages parents to have the same type of conversation on behalf of their children, should they have to have surgery. 

Discovering What Works In Parenting

Jan 13, 2015
Courtesy photo

Parenting can be a challenge.  Finding what works depends on several factors.  This weekend, the Children's Coalition of Northeast Louisiana hosts the "What Works" conference at the Monroe Civic Center.

"It's really important that all children have caring adults in their lives," said Coalition Executive Director Lynn Clark.  "We've reached out to educators, nurses, social workers, and others to create a nurturing environment in their professional lives for children."