The Re-Opening of Shreveport Municipal Auditorium (April-May 2014)
Following a year-long closure for renovations that saw this national historic landmark receive some much-needed TLC, I expect that the beloved Shreveport Municipal Auditorium will reopen in grand style. With the addition of ADA-compliant seating, a new backstage load-in elevator, air conditioning in the lobbies and more, “the Muni” should once again be able to host performances and events of every shape and size. This incredible building – where Elvis Presley made his broadcast debut during the Louisiana Hayride on Oct. 16, 1954 – will be rocking and rolling once again.
The Louisiana Film Prize Turns Three (October 2014)
After experiencing the first Louisiana Film Prize weekend in 2012, I didn’t think it’d be possible for the festival to grow. There were already block-long lines for screening showcases, food trucks on every corner and filmmakers from all over the country canvasing for votes. Downtown Shreveport was bustling with throngs of moviegoers, a group that collectively wielded the power to change one filmmaker’s life by awarding the festival’s $50,000 cash prize. It seemed to work incredibly well right out of the gate. In 2013, the surprising addition of the Music Prize added a night of great live music and revelry to the front end of the festival experience. What are they going to do in 2014?
The Return of the James Burton International Guitar Festival (August 21-23, 2014)
A Nov. 11 post on the James Burton Foundation website announced the dates of the next James Burton International Guitar Festival: Aug. 21-23, 2014. Steve Cropper, Dr. John, Junior Brown, Albert Lee and Brad Paisley are just a small handful of the artists who have participated in past installments of this festival, which is a guitar lover’s dream come true. The 2014 event will also serve as Burton’s 75th birthday celebration, so I expect that we’ll see a bumper crop of guitar legends take the stage. Proceeds from this event will raise funds toward the construction of the James Burton Guitar and Car Museum, a project that has the potential to attract huge numbers of music fans to Shreveport-Bossier.
These are just a few of the reasons why I’m looking forward to 2014 in Shreveport-Bossier. 2013 so saw much change and growth in Shreveport-Bossier’s local culture, from the arrival of food trucks and local beer to new entertainment venues and more. I’m personally looking forward to seeing where this momentum carries us, as a community, in 2014.