Grand Gala supports local Arts: River Region Arts & Humanities Council event is Feb. 11

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, January 25, 2017

GARYVILLE — Just a few weeks ago, the River Region Arts and Humanities Council handed out more than 30 grants for arts and humanities enrichment and education totaling more than $25,000.

Next month the organization will hold one of its major fundraisers so it can give out more.

The 2017 Grand Gala will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 11 at the San Francisco Plantation Sugar Mill Barn, located at 2646 Hwy. 44 in Garyville.

The event will feature a concert by the band Image, plus performances by local singers Peyton Falgoust and Madison Gerhart.

All funds raised will go towards the next round of grants to be awarded, according to Humanities Council  president Mary Becnel.

“We try to have an event every year or every couple of years,” said Becnel, retired judge, who is one of two remaining founding members of the organization. “This is one of our fundraisers. We feel that the arts and art education are so important and everyone is getting cut. Everyone is feeling it.”

The Humanities Council is an umbrella group that raises money for various organizations throughout the River Parishes, including St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist Parishes. Various groups throughout the region may apply for grants through the organization’s website,

Since its founding in 1997 the group has awarded more than $395,000 to local theater groups, the River Region Drama Guild, River Region Ballet, school arts programs, local festivals and plantations to help maintain the culture.

Becnel said every school in St. John Parish gets at least some money through the grants.

“They need it because all the emphasis around here is on sports,” Becnel said. “There are some really talented kids out there in the arts who just don’t get any money. That’s why I’m so passionate about it.”

Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at Belle Terre Land, 669 Belle Terre Blvd, LaPlace or through Tickets include one drink and food.

Sponsorships are available from $250 to upwards of $2,000, and may be sent to RRAHC, P.O. Box 1411, LaPlace, 70068.

For more information, visit, email or call 985-651-9090.