By Kim Condon

Shreveport-Bossier City is a vibrant creative hub buzzing with artistic energy and Southern warmth, and by the work of passionate community leaders, I can feel it reaching out in encouragement for the community to take a dive into creative expression. I’m convinced that within our midst, there are countless individuals eager to showcase their unique expressions, contributing to the ever-evolving artistic landscape of our beloved city. Here are the five best ways to take the plunge and share your artistic talent in Shreveport-Bossier City:

Karaoke/Open Mic Nights:

Put yourself out there from behind the mic and release all that stage fright with a karaoke or open mic night. Venues like Strange Brew and Bears on Fairfield play host to these events, creating a welcoming atmosphere where you can share your musical or spoken-word talents with an appreciative audience. For me, I like my karaoke with a little two-step, so I head over to Big Country, Bossier City.

2. Performing Arts Theatre:

Step onto the stage and explore the world of acting, dance, and behind-the-scenes magic at theaters like Shreveport Little Theatre, Emmett Hook Center, Stage Center, East Bank Theatre, or BPCC Theatre. Our city’s thriving performing arts scene offers a stage for everyone, from seasoned performers to those taking their first steps in the spotlight. Additionally, if you’re looking to venture into the realm of experimental and avant-garde theater, Shreveport-Bossier City is home to troupes like Lumpy Grits and collaborative experiences with Company Rep Theatre.

3. Artist Calls

Keep an eye out for local artist calls and exhibitions organized by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and The Bossier Arts Council. Events like Critical MASS or themed shows provide opportunities for visual artists to display their work, connecting them with our dynamic arts community. They aren’t the only ones; for example, The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation has an artist call out now celebrating the Whooping Crane, with a deadline of January 6, 2024. The calls come quickly, so sign up for the email lists to get the first alerts. You might also want to join the Shreveport-Bossier Artist Calls Facebook group for a variety of artist calls.

4. Makers Fairs:

Showcase your handmade jewelry, woodworking projects, or any unique creations, and connect with fellow makers in our community. When figuring out how to price your creations for a Makers Fair, think about what you spent on materials, your time, and any other costs like rent or tools. Check out what similar stuff is going for, and keep in mind who’s shopping—try to find that sweet spot where your prices are fair, and people still see the value in what you make. Think you can jump right in? Sign up through the BAC for the Mardi Gras Makers Faire in The East Bank District on Jan. 26th.

5. Prize Fest Competitions: 

Elevate your creativity by participating in the annual Prize Fest, a celebration of innovation in film, music, food, and fashion. Whether you’re a filmmaker, musician, chef, or fashion designer, the allure of significant cash rewards adds an extra layer of excitement to this vibrant festival, motivating participants to showcase their best work and compete at the highest level. The generous cash prizes serve as a testament to the festival’s commitment to supporting and honoring outstanding talent across diverse creative disciplines, making Prize Fest an unmissable opportunity for aspiring and established artists alike.

Whether through music, theater, visual arts, or friendly competition, our community welcomes your individual perspective. So, embrace your creative spirit, share your talents, and become an integral part of the artistic heartbeat that defines the lifestyle of Shreveport-Bossier City.