Spinning plates is a performance art that dates back to the 3rd century.  This entertainment, also known as the Dance of the Seven Plates, takes skill and focus. The key to keeping all the plates going is to look at the big picture – looking at all the plates at once.  When you see one plate wobble, you re-balance it while staying focused on the whole system.  

Amanda Felan is a professional plate spinner, just not the kind who performs on a stage. She’s a dynamic woman who has made a name for herself in various fields. She is a wife, a mother, a co-owner of a restaurant, and a marketing and development director for the Community Foundation of North Louisiana. Armed with a master’s degree in social work and non-profit management, Amanda has a diverse background that has allowed her to excel in all her roles.

One of those roles is co-owner of Fat Calf Brasserie, a local restaurant offering French-inspired Southern cuisine in the Highland community of Shreveport. She and her husband, Chef Anthony Felan, were just getting established when COVID-19 hit.  They did their best to keep the doors open by offering take-out but quickly found that what they offered wasn’t conducive to take-out and couldn’t sustain the business.  So, they closed for the duration of the epidemic.  In the meantime, the couple and their son, Jaxson, welcomed their second child, Ella.  COVID-19 afforded them quality family time with the baby and an opportunity to regroup.  When Fat Calf Brasserie re-opened, they discovered that their loyal customers were just as anxious as they were to walk back through the doors.  They now have a second location designed for special event seating.  2nd Act, located in a historic building on Olive Street in Shreveport, offers catered events such as wine dinners, themed parties, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. Amanda’s plate-spinning talent count is now at four.

In addition to her role at Fat Calf Brasserie, Amanda is also the director of marketing and development for the Community Foundation of North Louisiana. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies to promote the foundation’s mission and programs. She is also responsible for fundraising efforts to support the foundation’s work in the community. Her background in marketing and development has been an asset to the foundation and has been instrumental in helping the organization achieve its goals. Her work at the foundation is critical to the success of its initiatives, including supporting early learning centers, promoting arts and culture, and providing disaster relief. Her accomplishments at the foundation include increasing the organization’s visibility and community engagement and expanding its donor base. Under her leadership, the foundation has seen significant growth in its fundraising efforts, resulting in increased resources to support the community.

One of the key ways in which Felan has helped the foundation grow is by building strong relationships with donors and community partners. Through her efforts, she has been able to secure significant contributions from individuals, organizations, and donor-advised funds.  This has allowed the foundation to expand its grant-making programs and support a wider range of community initiatives. “Think of the Community Foundation as a trust fund for donors,” Amanda says. “We act as stewards for our donors.” Give for Good is one of those initiatives that has raised over three million dollars for area non-profits. Additionally, Felan has worked to increase the foundation’s presence on social media and other digital platforms, helping to raise awareness of its mission and engage with a broader audience.  “Businesses depend on a community that thrives,” she says.  When people are doing well, reaching goals, and helping to build a better community, we all benefit.  That’s the purpose of the Community Foundation: to strengthen our community through philanthropy.

Amanda Felan is one remarkable woman who has significantly impacted her community and local businesses. She spins many plates while still maintaining a high level of dedication and passion. Her contributions to the Community Foundation of North Louisiana and Fat Calf Brasserie have helped to improve the lives of those around her, and her commitment to sustainability and ethical practices is a shining example for others to follow. She keeps all her plates spinning amazingly well. I think we can all learn from Amanda’s example of hard work, dedication, and community involvement.