Blend tickets on sale now!
Early Bird tickets are discounted to $60
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council is hosting Blend again this year! Right now, tickets are discounted to $60 until March 15th. After that day, they’ll be $75, and $100 on event day.
“The arts are a huge economic driver, not just here, not just in the state, but around the country,” says NELA Arts Council President Barry Stevens. “So, supporting the arts supports your community.”
Stevens says Blend came about during the pandemic when events couldn’t go on as scheduled. He says it’s a merger between the Blend on the Bayou and Northeast Louisiana Food and Wine Festival. This year, it’s on April 30th from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Downtown Monroe River Market.
“In Louisiana of course we celebrate food, we celebrate music, and since we’re the Arts Council we just pull it all together and celebrate it all,” says Stevens.
He says individual chefs and restaurants will have tastings and you’ll be able to listen to blues guitarist D. K. Harrell from Ruston during the event.
“I think everyone will enjoy who we select to come and perform. The art that we have, it’s a silent auction, and we’ll have I believe it’s 10 to 15 artists there,” says Stevens.
Proceeds from the event go toward the council’s free Brown Bag Concert Series in April and October, which they’ve done since 1983.
Funds also go to their film series featuring movies with a Louisiana theme, Arts Awards, and outreach programs where they’ve provided art kits to NELA schools.
“A lot of what we do is behind the scenes, supporting artists, we have a mini-grant program every year we roll out to artists and small arts organizations and it’s available to teachers also,” says Stevens. “[And] we do our annual Louisiana Project Grant Program which is under the umbrella of the Louisiana Division of the Arts and we grant out about 45,000 a year.”
Proceeds from last year’s Blend fundraiser and other events helped the arts council open a new office in Downtown West Monroe. They were also able to start a gallery in their office, highlighting Region 8 artists.
“It’s something very new for us, we’ve never done anything like this before. And, supporting the Arts Council is supporting that endeavor,” says Stevens. “We have another exhibit coming up in April that’s of a local artist and every now and then we’ll bring in an artist from outside of the region to expose us to their art and them to us.”
Call the council’s office at (318) 397-6717 to find out the gallery’s hours. They’re located at 118 Cotton Street in West Monroe.
And just a heads up, the council’s Brown Bag Concert Series for April will be in the same space as last year - the Palace Park in Downtown Monroe.
Visit their Facebook Page for more information on future events.
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