Good to Know is a monthly roundup of news, culture and other information happening throughout Shreveport-Bossier City.

Family Reunion Workshop & Vendor Fair, Oct. 27

The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau will host its first-ever Family Reunion Workshop and Vendor Fair, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 27 at Valencia Recreation Center located at 1800 Viking Drive in Shreveport. Admission for this event is free for reunion planners and vendor registration is $50. All attendees and vendors must register in advance at

The Family Reunion Workshop and Vendor Fair is a one-stop shop for planning family reunions in Shreveport-Bossier City. Attendees can win door prizes, browse a fair of local vendors, and hear from reunion planning experts in a short workshop. Workshop participants will learn how to use social media to build reunion attendance and learn about the free family reunion planning services that the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau and its partners provide.

“Shreveport-Bossier is the perfect place to host your next family reunion because of our affordable accommodations, unique venues, and variety of family-friendly things to do,” said Erica Telsee, tourism sales manager at the Tourist Bureau. “The Tourist Bureau provides free assistance with planning family reunions including securing hotel accommodations for your group and recommending caterers, venues, and things to do while your family is in town.”

Vendors eligible to participate in the fair are companies that provide services for events including catering companies, event planners, venues, promotional product agencies, hotels, photographers, videographers, bands, and DJs.

The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau is a complete resource for family, class, and military reunion planners interested in hosting their event in Shreveport-Bossier. For reunion planning assistance, vendor questions and more information, please contact Erica Telsee, tourism sales manager, at [email protected], 318.429.0652 or visit 

State Fair of Louisiana to Host First State Fair Food Crawl

Everyone has a favorite food at the State Fair of Louisiana, but on Thursday, Nov. 1 and Thursday, Nov. 8, the Fair is offering the chance to fall in love with fun food all over again.

Tickets are available now on Eventbrite for a limited number of spaces on two curated food crawls of the weird, wacky and fabulous foods that make up the State Fair of Louisiana.

The food crawl was the idea of State Fair Board Vice-Chairman Liz Swaine and was enthusiastically supported by State Fair President and General Manager Chris Giordano and Exhibits & Concessions Manager Robb Brazzel. 

“We love the idea,” said Giordano. “There have been so many TV shows the last few years featuring food of state fairs on the Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, Food Network and others. Here’s our chance to show off the variety of foods available at the Louisiana State Fair.”

“Liz and I are working to put together a list of samples of things you might never have been bold enough to try before,” said Brazzel. “The samples will run the gamut of bugs, bacon, sugar and savory. Everyone will leave with great photos of them at the fair and a few food stories to tell.”

“I am so excited about this,” said Swaine. “I’ll be with the groups the whole time giving them a very personalized tour of our state fair complete with interesting information and state fair history. Once finished, everyone will feel like a fair insider. The big draw though, is going to be the chance to sample more than a dozen different food items that range from completely quirky to fair favorites.”

Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance for one of the two food crawl dates — 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 or Thursday. The crawl ticket will provide the holder free parking and entry to the state fair on the night of the crawl.

Tickets are available online at under Louisiana State Fair Food Crawl. Tickets to the food crawl will not be available at the gate and must be purchased on Eventbrite. For more information or to purchase State Fair tickets, go to

“OUTLIER at Grace: Faith, Fault & Freedom” Survivor Advocacy Weekend, Oct. 5-7

Shreveport photographer and artist advocate Mollie Corbett is bringing the OUTLIER exhibit and documentary film series into the realm of faith communities as they ask difficult questions and find ways to raise awareness and foster justice for victims of sexual assault within those walls. The event will take place at Grace Community United Methodist Church (9400 Ellerbe Road, Shreveport), Friday, Oct. 5 to Sunday, Oct. 7. 

The exhibit features photographs and stories of courageous sexual assault victims and will be open throughout the weekend for viewing. Special events will include: Artist Talk with Mollie Corbett and a Panel Discussion (featuring representatives from local faith and counseling communities), exclusive #metoo readings, and a viewing of the OUTLIER documentary pilot.

As OUTLIER has traveled across the state, Corbett has sought out and found other survivors in each community ready to share their stories through photographs and interviews, becoming OUTLIERS in the exhibit and episodic documentary film series released online at

“My ultimate goal with OUTLIER is to help victims find recovery and advocacy so that they can turn around and help another victim. Victims know they can trust me because I am one, too,” Corbett said. “It’s not unusual to be a victim of sexual abuse or assault. It’s not unusual to get help and healing for such pervading trauma. What is unusual, what makes us unique, is our journey from victim to survivor to advocate through the healing-transformation of shared story so that we can turn around and help other victims along that same journey. That is what makes us unusual. That is what makes us unique. That is what makes us outliers.” 

Free registration is available at

New Endowed Deanship Created at Centenary’s Frost School of Business

Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman and Board of Trustees member John E. Atkins signed an agreement creating the William J. Atkins Dean at the College’s Frost School of Business in a ceremony on Sept.14. The endowment given by the Atkins family recognizes the importance of the Shreveport-Bossier City business community and the role of the Frost School of Business in fostering and providing leadership to this community.

Dr. Elaine Labach, who joined Centenary in July, will serve as the inaugural William J. Atkins Dean at the Frost School of Business. Labach spoke at the signing ceremony in the Hardy Hall of Fame Room along with Dr. Holoman and John Atkins.

“I am very honored to be the first Atkins dean at Centenary,” said Labach. “This endowment is a crucial first step for the Frost School of Business to achieve its mission and vision, and I believe that it is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for Frost and for Centenary College.”

Holoman called the signing “a great day in the long life of Centenary” and emphasized that the endowment will provide sustained support for transformative, dynamic leadership at the Frost School of Business, one of the College’s cornerstone programs.

The new endowed fund honors the memory of William J. Atkins, a long-time supporter of the Frost School of Business, the Center for Family-Owned Business, and Centenary College as a whole. The Atkins-Crawford family also provided the land that enabled Centenary to move to Shreveport from Jackson, Louisiana in 1908.

“Centenary and the Frost School of Business were very important to my father,” explained Atkins. “This endowment is a chance to memorialize my father and also helps to permanently link him to the business school.”

AARP Louisiana to Host Member Tailgate Party

Join AARP Louisiana for an AARP Member Tailgate Party on Oct. 21 during the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins football game. Kick-off is at 3:25 p.m. and the tailgate party will take place in the ballroom at Diamond Jacks Casino & Resort, 711 DiamondJacks Blvd., Bossier City. Everson Walls, Grambling State University alumnus, former Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants defensive cornerback will serve as the special guest.

Everson will share information on playing with the Dallas Cowboys, provide commentary during the game and be available for photos and autographs. Tailgate food, snacks and refreshments will be served. The event is free but registration is required. Register at or by calling 1.877.926.8300.

SBC Ranked a Top 10 “Hottest Southern Soundscapes” by ConventionSouth

Shreveport-Bossier City has been recognized as one of the 10 “Hottest Southern Soundscapes” in 2018 by ConventionSouth, a national multimedia resource for planning events in the South. The list of 10 winning cities will be featured in the November issue of ConventionSouth.

 “We are honored to receive this recognition. This title is an opportunity to promote Shreveport-Bossier’s rich music history to convention planners,” said David Bradley, vice president of sales and services of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. “By adding the element of music to a conference, meeting planners can create a more memorable experience for attendees.”

 In September, ConventionSouth magazine asked readers and fans to vote on destinations where groups can best experience unique music while holding a meeting or event. The Facebook ballot provided a list of 35 music destinations across the South to select from and the top voted is receiving recognition as the “Hottest Southern Soundscapes” in 2018.

Shreveport-Bossier City was ranked among other renowned Southern music destinations including Athens, GA, Bentonville, AR, Little Rock, Louisville, KY, Macon, GA, Nashville, Natchitoches, Richmond, VA, and Tunica, MS.

“Music is an important aspect of nearly any meeting or event and meeting planners and event organizers from across the country are always looking for unique destinations in the South that offer a vibrant music scene,” said Marcia Bradford, senior editor of ConventionSouth. “ConventionSouth’s 2018 list of the ‘Hottest Southern Soundscapes’ includes a variety of cities where musicians and music venues can add a layer of excitement to a meeting or event.”

CHRISTUS Health & Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists Announce Opening of Outpatient Cardiac Catheterization Lab

Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists and CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System have formed a joint venture to open Advanced Heart & Vascular Center, a new state-of-the-art outpatient cardiac catheterization lab — the first of its kind in the region. This modern, outpatient cardiac cath and vascular lab is designed to help patients receive quality care outside of the traditional hospital setting. This partnership demonstrates the continued commitment of CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier and Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists in their missions to provide the highest quality care in the community.

“Heart disease is one of the nation’s and our state’s most common health problems,” said Isaac Palmer, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Chief Executive Officer. “Introducing advancements in medical technology used to diagnose this condition in the expert hands of these physicians is more critical than ever. This partnership with Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists is an effort to provide more efficient cardiac care to our community. We are excited to collaborate with Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists because it enables us to continue to accelerate our efforts to make health care more accessible and affordable for all of our patients.”

The new cardiac cath lab is located in Medical Office Building 1 on the CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center campus. The cath lab allows patients with elective low-risk coronary interventions to receive high-quality care in an outpatient setting. Cardiologists from Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists will conduct minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat a wide range of clinical issues, including coronary artery disease — a leading cause of heart disorders in the U.S. These catheter-based procedures may reduce the risks and lengthy recovery time found in traditional surgical approaches.

“As a physician, I am committed to quality outcomes, an excellent patient experience and ease of access,” said Dr. Corky Davis. “Advanced Heart and Vascular Center provides all of that to our community, and we are proud to partner with CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier on this latest model for interventional cardiac care for our patients.”

Advanced Heart & Vascular Center specializes in the performance of outpatient cardiac and peripheral vascular procedures, including: Cardiac Catheterization (Coronary Angiography), Coronary Angioplasty/Stent, Peripheral Angiography, Peripheral Angioplasty/Stent, Pacemaker Placement, Defibrillator Placement, and Implantable Loop Recorder.

“We’ll continue to be a true leader in the communities we serve because we know compassion, quality care, and convenience matter most,” said Palmer. “We are bringing together customer-driven health care and innovative medical technologies every day in this region. This partnership is another example of our desire to meet today’s high demand for better health and better health care at a more affordable cost.”

Andrew Young to Honor Dr. C.O. Simpkins, Sr. at Civil Rights Gala

Dr. C.O. Simpkins, Sr., civil rights pioneer from Shreveport, will be honored at a gala at the Shreveport Convention Center on Nov. 3 benefitting the capital campaign of the North Louisiana Civil Rights Coalition (NLCRC) to restore old Galilee Baptist Church as the future location of the Galilee Civil Rights Museum. Simpkins was a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the 1950s, serving closely with his friend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Simpkins was born in 1925 in Mansfield, LA. He attended Wiley College and Tennessee State University, where he received his undergraduate degree. He earned a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee. He served in the Air Force as a Captain until 1951 and returned to Shreveport to practice dentistry.

Simpkins’s civil rights activities focused on voting rights. The Ku Klux Klan, elected officials and law enforcement harassed him. Simpkins invited Dr. King to Shreveport to call attention to the racial problems here. His home and office were firebombed, and he ultimately moved to New York, where he continued his civil rights advocacy. 

After 26 years in New York, he returned to Shreveport and ran for mayor. Simpkins lost the mayor’s race but won a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives, representing District 4 from 1992-1996. He retired in 2011 but continues to be a community advocate. He and his wife donated land for a community clinic in an underserved neighborhood. Simpkins is Honorary chairman and founder of the NLCRC, along with Dr. Harry Blake, and Dr. C.E. McLain. 

Andrew Young, who also worked with Simpkins and King, will be the keynote speaker for the event. Young is an American politician, diplomat and civil rights activist. Beginning his career as a pastor, he was an early leader in the civil rights movement, serving as Executive Director of the SCLC. Young later became active in politics, serving first as a U.S. Congressman from Georgia, then United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and finally Mayor of Atlanta. Since leaving political office, Young has founded or served in a large number of organizations working on issues of public policy and political lobbying. Ambassador, Congressman, Mayor, humanitarian, ordained minister, international businessman, and sports enthusiast, Andrew Young has been serving and shaping our country for almost 50 years.

According to Honorary Chairman Willie Bradford “It is an honor and privilege for me to co-chair the NLCRC Living Legend Gala honoring my friend and a true living legend Dr. C.O. Simpkins. Dr. Simpkins was a towering giant in the civil rights leadership that changed the course of history in our nation and city.  His courage, kindness, friendship, and character define his greatness. Whether he was dealing with domestic acts of terrorism against him and his family, or standing next to Dr. King facing police dogs, or running for mayor of our city, he did it with grace and dignity. In honoring him we honor our greatest generation and what it means to be a true patriot.”

Deborah Allen, executive director of the NLRC, said, “It is with great honor the North Louisiana Civil Rights Coalition has the privilege of honoring our Co-Founder, Dr. C.O. Simpkins. This organization holds his legacy and ongoing work in civil rights as a shining example in everything we do. Our mission is to make his dream of restoring the old Galilee Baptist Church into a civil rights museum a reality. Dr. Simpkins has worked for decades to make this museum possible and now it is upon us. We shall see it into fruition.”

Simpkins is married to Elaine Shoemaker Simpkins, Ph.D., a biochemist. His children are Cuthbert Ormond Simpkins II, MD, of Shreveport, a trauma surgeon; Deborah Simpkins-Savage, of California, a translator; Eric Simpkins of Washington, DC, a computer analyst; Cheri Simpkins Gardner of Washington, DC, a judge; and Alicia Ritchens of Australia.

Sponsorship opportunities, tickets and details for the event are available at the website,