Arts Council funds region’s creativity

Published 8:45 am Saturday, March 7, 2015

Kristie Gough said everyone on the River Region Arts & Humanities Council works well together. Once involved with helping improve the arts, they continue their commitment for many years.

Gough has seen this firsthand as Council president.

That dedicated support has led members to raise more than $370,000 in the last 15 years, all of which is funneled back into the community as an umbrella organization with a goal of enriching the region’s quality of life through arts and humanities promotion, local culture preservation and art education support.

The Council continued its service last month by presenting 32 grants, totaling $23,337, to recipients in St. John the Baptist, St. James and St. Charles Parishes.

“The Council has made me more aware of all the great things that our community is doing, such as plays, concerts and arts awareness festivals,” Gough said. “The grants awarded have given many opportunities for programs to accomplish their goals, where they may not have had an opportunity to do so.”

Locally, St. John the Baptist Parish Library has become an appreciative recipient of Council-provided funds.

Youth Services Librarian Lynette Hunter said the Council “graciously” provides extra means to help the library present programs emphasizing traditional arts and local cultural history.

“These programs increase exposure to and awareness of the uniqueness of this community,” Hunter said.

“The arts provide a spark to stimulate creativity and to encourage self-expression through the use of various mediums.”

Most importantly, this spark is directed to area children.

Carly Maurin, who coordinates teen programming for the library, said promoting the arts for our youth is an important break from the ordinary.

“If there were no artists in the world, could you imagine?” she said. “It would be a soulless place.

Art feeds the soul. It’s vital for development and necessary in all cultures.”

A big thank you goes to all members of the River Region Arts & Humanities Council and those who support them, as their work isn’t about talk but action.

The money raised, the programs fostered and children inspired stand testament to Council members’ effort and success, which delivers meaningful, artistic and educational options to many across the River Region.