Archive for May, 2012

Deacon John and Brent Melancon: Jambalaya (On the Bayou)

I had the pleasure of capturing this impromptu performance of Jambalaya (On the Bayou) by Deacon John and Brent Melacon during Louisiana Citizens for the Arts’  2012 Arts Advocacy Day in the Louisiana State Capitol building.
“Art WORKS for Louisiana!”

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Louisiana Citizens for the Arts




We need EVERYONE’S Voice!

Dear Friends and Arts Supporters,

Louisiana Citizens for the Arts (LCA) Urges You to Ask Members of the Senate Finance Committee to Vote FOR an Increase in Arts Funding.  This is our LAST chance to have funding restored.

The timing could not be better for us after Wednesday’s highly successful Advocacy Day in the Capitol!  To those of you who were able to participate THANK YOU!  For those of you who were unable to make the trip to Baton Rouge, here’s your chance to SHOUT OUT FOR THE ARTS!  We need you to contact Senate Finance TWICE . . . once today (Friday) and again on Saturday morning.

The Lieutenant Governor will be testifying to the Senate Finance Committee Friday and representatives of LCA will offer Public Testimony Saturday.    We need you to affirm their message by sending your email to Legislators on the Committee ASAP!

Please take 3 minutes to contact Committee Members NOW.  It’s as easy as 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . just go to

Under the Take Action box, “Click Here to Write Your Legislators” and you will be taken to the ALERT page.  UnderLouisiana, click Take Action.  Read the action alert at the top of the page and scroll down to the MESSAGE to the members of the Senate Finance Committee.  Feel free to add a personal message. Then, scroll down to the Sender Information and complete the information requested.  Once this is done, just hit “send message” and you’re done!  THEN forward this message on to all your friends and other arts advocates.  Remember, with your help we were able to have the arts funding reinstated last year.  We NEED everyone’s help again this year to do it again!  Below is a detailed explanation of the current situation.


A Recap of What’s Happening~~

Both the Decentralized Arts Funding (DAF) and the Statewide Arts Grants (SAG) programs have been targeted with crippling cuts.  In the current bill all that’s remaining for DAF is $1 million and only $959,000 remains for SAG (that is a 60% reduction in funding levels from Fiscal Year 2009!).


Louisiana Citizens for the Arts is requesting the Legislature to move nearer to the 2009 levels by:

·          Restoring $1 Million of funding to the DAF program to which would result in a Fiscal Year 2013 funding of $2,000,000 . The DAF program supports organizations in EVERY parish on a per capita basis.

·        Adding $1 Million offunding to the SAG program to provide $1,959.000,  which enables stabilization, capacity building and arts-in-education grants to our major arts organizations and regional and local arts agencies.


How are you affected?

If the Legislature does not provide thismodest increase, our Louisiana arts organizations will become further crippled. The severe ripple effect? Artists, teachers, festivals, libraries, museums and theaters alike will be negatively impacted. No community will remain untouched and the economic loss will rank second only to the loss in social profit, community and quality of life. Culture is Louisiana’s finest natural resource. We must nurture and protect it for it to flourish.


How can you help?

Respond to this action alert NOW.  If you have ever applied for arts grants, work for a cultural non-profit, are one of the thousands of artists and cultural workers in Louisiana, or an audience member who loves arts events in Louisiana, help us to help you.


Now is the time for YOU TO RAISEYOUR VOICE!


Send a message NOW asking the Senate Finance Committee members to support our request for the increase in funding.  Go to www. and TAKE ACTION NOW!


For ARTS sake!



Christie Weeks, Chair

Gerd Wuestemann, Vice-chair for Advocacy

Tommy Usrey, Past Chair


To become a contributing member of LCA, go to

LCA is supported solely by donations from citizens, businesses, and organizations who believe the arts are essential to our Louisiana economy, identity and way of life..  You can help at

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dirty deeds…


The Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast has been finalized and passed by the legislature, after almost three years of examining data and running computer models, and another year of a public comment and conflict resolution. This is Louisiana’s Hail Mary pass, our imperfect, best, last shot at turning the tide of our coastal crisis.

But before the ink on the plan has dried, it faces great challenges. We at GRN have watched while coal terminals have expanded across the country, as the United States moves away from burning this dirty fuel. These coal terminals have grown into mountains in Plaquemines parish. And RAM Terminals, LLC, is threatening to place another mountain of coal just upstream from the mouth of the Myrtle Grove project.

We need to put the River to work building healthy wetlands in Louisiana, but a river full of coal runoff cannot build healthy wetlands. Coal runoff has PAHs, heavy metals, and other toxins that will cripple the health of the existing marshes, as well as compromise whatever wetlands the restoration project seeks to build.

Not only is this a threat to the health of the people who live near Ironton, but it’s a threat to the health of all of us on the coast that will depend on the success of that project to build healthy wetlands. The coal dust that blows from the coal mountains covers boats in black dust, and gives people black lung.

Tell the Army Corps, Louisiana DNR and Louisiana DEQ, that they cannot allow the premier coastal restoration project, the Myrtle Grove sediment diversion, to be polluted with coal runoff.

For the Gulf,

Aaron Viles
Deputy Director

Gulf Restoration Network

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