Highland Jazz & Blues Festival Announces New Partnership

The Highland Area Partnership is proud to announce a change to the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival, a free neighborhood music festival organized every fall as a gift to the Historic Highland community.

Geaux Brands (the restaurant group which owns Rotolo’s Pizza and Bistro Byronz) has stepped up as the 2018 Title Sponsor of the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival Presented by Geaux Brands. The 15th Annual “Party in the Park” will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 in Columbia Park in Shreveport.

On Sept. 14 there will be a Festival Preview Party at Great Raft Brewing with live music, food trucks, and more. After spending the afternoon at Columbia Park listening to over 10 bands on two stages at the festival, attendees can head to the Official After Party at Rotolo’s Pizza for more live music and festivities. Finish the weekend off on Sept. 16 at Bistro Byronz where they will host a Jazz Brunch planned for the festival crew and supporters.

For more information on the festival, visit www.highlandjazzandblues.org.

$50,000 Donated to Local Boys and Girls Club

The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club is starting off the new year with a $50,000 donation. The Hospital Hospitality House of Shreveport-Bossier, Inc., the corporation that operated The McDade House for more than 30 years locally, provided $50,000 to match $50,000 that was raised by the local club between July and December 2017.

The McDade House provided lodging to more than 25,000 outpatients and relatives of seriously ill patients who were being treated at local hospitals. It provided a safe, comfortable place to rest and to be encouraged during those difficult times. When The Hospital Hospitality House of Shreveport-Bossier, Inc. closed The McDade House, the corporation voted to establish a Donor Advised Fund under the name, The McDade Family Foundation, with The Community Foundation of North Louisiana.

“We are excited about the investment The McDade Family Foundation has made into the youth of Shreveport. These funds will go a long way in helping to make sure that great futures start here at The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Shreveport,” said Paige Smith, executive director, The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club.

Gary A. Moore and Joe Averett are both descendants of the McDade family and presented this donation on behalf of the Board. All members of the Board are advocates of the mission of the local Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club and thought it would be fitting for the dollars from The McDade Family Foundation go to a place that provides a safe, encouraging environment for area youth, similar to the atmosphere of the former McDade House.

Louisiana Film Prize 2018 Kicks Off

Prize Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind Louisiana Film Prize, Startup Prize, Food Prize, Music Prize, and Film Prize Jr., is celebrating the launch of year seven for the Louisiana Film Prize.

“We are over the moon about starting our seventh year. We invite all filmmakers, cast, crew, film enthusiasts, and whole northwest Louisiana community to celebrate this new year of Film Prize with us,” said Associate Director Chris Lyon.

Since its inception in 2012, the award-winning Film Prize has helped filmmakers choose Shreveport and northwest Louisiana as a place to make movies and try out new ideas, leading to the creation of over 600 short films along with feature films currently in development. In 2016, Film Prize created a high school version of the competition, Film Prize Junior, which teaches creative entrepreneurism, problem solving, planning and teamwork to students in the region.

“The Film Prize has become a proving ground for indie filmmakers from all over the country,” said Gregory Kallenberg, executive director of the Prize Foundation. “We are proud to be such an important part of the indie film scene and even prouder that it happens here in Shreveport-Bossier.”

Last year, 127 film crews registered projects, entering into the short film competition, which boasts the world’s largest cash prize of $50,000. The 2017 grand prize winner, Travis Bible’s Exit Strategy, was selected by voting audiences and judges at Prize Fest last October. Teams entering the competition also vied for filmmaking grants, distribution deals, and festival appearances as well as acting and other awards.

For more information, visit www.lafilmprize.com.

Shreveport Chamber Names 2018 Board of Directors

The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce has announced the local business professionals who will be leading the organization in 2018.

“I am looking forward to the leadership of our incoming board chairman Steve Roop of JPMorgan Chase,” said Dr. Timothy J. Magner, president of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. “Steve has a vision and plan for 2018 that is quite exciting and will really move the needle for our organization. Our immediate past chair, Don Olson of Hunt, Guillot and Associates was a dedicated leader, and we were so honored to have him at the helm in 2017.”

The 2018 Board Members for the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce are: Chairman of the Board Steve Roop (JPMorgan Chase Bank); Immediate Past Chairman

Don Olson (Hunt, Guillot & Associates); Chairman-Elect Patrick Harrison (Sound Fighter Systems, LLC); Treasurer Lyle H. Jeansonne (Citizens National Bank); Vice Chair of Economic Development Mike McSwain (Mike McSwain Architect); Vice Chair of Education Dr. Larry Clark (Louisiana State University Shreveport); Vice Chair of Marketing Francesca Moreland (Williams Creative Group, Inc.); Vice Chair of Membership Brian McNew (McNew Architecture, APAC); And Vice Chair of Public Policy Mimi Hedgcock (CSRA Integrated Technology Center). The Directors-at-Large are: Kristen Brown (Brown Builders, Inc.), Shondale Coleman (Amedisys Hospice), James “Jim” K. Elrod (Willis-Knighton Health System), Mark D. Evans (Regions Bank), Patton Fritze (Red River Motor Company), Lindi Hall (Carr, Riggs and Ingram), Rickey Hall (Hall Builders, Inc.), Pete John (Shreveport Magazine), Rick Larsen (Capital One Bank), Brent Latin (Young Professionals Entertainment, LLC), Judy Madison (Red River Bank), Eric Nelson (MakTec Manufacturing), Terry Petzold (Magee Resources), Robert Pou (Romph & Pou Agency), Roy Prestwood (Heard, McElroy and Vestal), and Merrill Wautlet (Cross Keys Bank).

Historic Goode-Cage Drug Company Building Purchased

The red brick building with bricked-in windows at 401 Spring St. in downtown Shreveport has seen a lot in 100-plus years, and soon it will be playing a more robust role in downtown’s future.

That future was looking iffy. Approximately three years ago, the back half of the building’s roof collapsed taking a large part of the second floor with it. Soon after, the building was added to the city’s demolition list. It looked to be a sad ending to a building that started as Cavett Carriage Company in 1912 and became the Goode-Cage Drug Company in 1920. During their years in business, Goode-Cage made a name for the company and the building. It was at 401 Spring that Bronchotone, Red River Chill Tonic and Webb’s Stock Powder were manufactured leading the company to become a prosperous regional wholesale druggist. In 1932, the company moved manufacturing to another building at 220 Travis, but retained 401 Spring as administrative offices. Goode-Cage would own the building until the company sold to Southwestern Drug in 1962.

The building’s new owner is former Shreveporter Robert Lay, chief operating officer with The Online Incentives Exchange, a company that structures, syndicates, and monetizes the purchase, sale and transfer of various tax credits. As a specialist in federal and state tax credits, Lay is familiar with utilizing historic tax credits in the rehab of challenged and blighted historic commercial buildings. Lay also knows that planning, effort and investment can return old and compromised buildings to something both beautiful and useful.

“Downtown Shreveport has a great stock of historic buildings, and we look forward to getting this project underway,” said Lay. “It’s always a challenge to bring an old blighted structure back to economic commerce, but the location and some of the unique attributes of this particular structure really got us excited about this opportunity.”

Dorothy Thoma of Shreveport is the granddaughter of John Gill Wafer Sr., the former president of Goode-Cage Drug Co. She is thrilled with the proposed plans, and remembers as a young girl going to see her grandfather at work there. “Granddad was with the company since its founding and he was still president when he died,” says Dorothy. “We are all connected to that building and are so excited that it’s been purchased to be renovated. We can’t wait to see what will be done. We have so many fond memories of the building and especially of the people who worked there!”

“This is a great addition to our downtown community,” said Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Liz Swaine. “401 Spring is a remarkable building with tall ceilings, solid brick walls, wide plank floors and parking available in the basement. It took someone like Robert to see the potential and to have the knowledge to be able to act on it.”

Lay plans to start construction within six months and convert the 30,000 square-foot building into 30 affordable market rate apartment units with on-site parking. The goal is a 2019 opening.

The building is a short block from the downtown riverfront greenway and the Shreveport Aquarium, half a block from nightspots and restaurants, and a two-minute walk to the Spring Street Historical Museum and the Norsworthy art gallery.

“Once again, our historic buildings prove there is life still left in them,” said Swaine. “We are excited to see the transformation of yet another one of our remarkable inventory.”

Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation Director Graduates from CABL

David “Rocky” Rockett, Jr., executive director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, recently graduated from the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) 2017 Leadership Louisiana. Rockett is one of over 50 participants from across the state to complete the annual program.

The program’s goal is to provide participants with a better understanding of the challenges facing the state and the solutions that can help move it forward. Leadership Louisiana addresses topics and issues such as education and workforce training, economy and strategies for growth, history and politics, healthcare and poverty, arts and culture as well as criminal justice. Since its inception in 1989, Leadership Louisiana has trained over 1200 leaders.