Content tagged “Arts, culture and entertainment”

Rose Awards honor area's best architecture

The American Institute of Architects Baton Rouge presented awards to 10 projects from eight different firms at the 2014 Rose Awards Gala on Friday. More than 30 projects were submitted for this year's Rose Awards, a competition that has been celebrating great architectural work by AIA BR members for more than 35 years. A new gymnasium for the LSU Laboratory School designed by Tipton Associates took home this year's sole Gold Rose Award. Judges said the design is "an inspired solution," and that "all aspects of the project, from site placement to color, have been carefully considered and integrated into a cohesive whole." Other award winners include DNA Workshop's office renovation, which picked up Members Choice and Silver Rose Award honors. The jury said the office that houses Dyke Nelson Architecture should be applauded for removing the roof in one area "to create an inspired courtyard," dramatically improving the overall look and feel of the space. AIA Baton Rouge Executive...

'Live After Five' announces fall lineup

The fall lineup of Live After Five is once again packed with local and regional talent, promising another season of great family entertainment in a venue that is perfect for kicking back and taking in the best of downtown. Marc Broussard, who opened the Miss USA pageant, kicks things off Sept. 5 with his Louisiana-laced lyrics delivered in old-school Southern soul style. Jason Martin opens. Chris LeBlanc, long a mainstay on the Louisiana music scene, brings his rich, bluesy music to the Galvez Plaza stage on Sept. 12. New Orleans' Flow Tribe shows up on Baton Rouge's doorstep on Sept. 19. Flow Tribe has been described as playing funk-rock with the delicacy of a sledgehammer. Dulac Smack opens. The balance of the fall season is Werewolf and AM/FM on Sept. 26; Foret Tradition (swamp pop, soul, funk, Motown and country) on Oct. 3; After 8 (the LSU Jazz Ensemble Horns) on Oct. 10; Perkins Road featuring Cam Pyle on Oct. 17; and Colin Lake on Oct. 24 with opening act Startisan. All shows...

'225': Meet the local guys who make live music sing

Sound guys are an essential part of the city's music talent, reports 225, which introduces readers to three of them in a feature in the July issue. Michael Pinter, John Tulley and Mike Russo are just three of a small group of local professionals who run sound at venues that include Manship Theatre, Varsity Theatre and Chelsea's Cafe. But the three sound technicians all differed in their journeys to become integral parts of the Capital City's local concert scene. Pinter says he learned backwards. "I learned on crummy systems and learned all about the problems involved with sound engineering," he says. Though he now works full time as sound engineer for Manship Theatre, he began running sound for the now-defunct bar The Bayou in 2000. His past has helped shape his ability to solve problems on the spot. At Manship, he's worked with artists such as Randy Newman and the folk band The Punch Brothers. Tulley works part time at Manship, primarily connecting stage setups, such as...

Live After Five announces lineup

Downtown Baton Rouge will play host to great bands and fun times in the upcoming fall season of Live After Five. The free Friday night concert series kicks off its latest batch of concerts with Marc Broussard Sept. 5. Jason Martin will open.
The entire schedule was announced today as part of a lunchtime reveal party. Live After Five concerts will all take place at North Boulevard Town Square from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. except for the Sept. 26 concert, which features extended hours of 5 p.m.-9 p.m. For more information, visit Check out the full schedule below.
Live After Five Fall 2014 Schedule
Sept. 5: Marc Broussard, Jason Martin
Sept. 12: Chris LeBlanc and the Spanish Town Big Band
Sept. 19: Flowtribe, Dulac Shack
Sept. 26: Werewolf, AM/FM
Oct. 3: Foret Tradition
Oct. 10: After 8 with the LSU Jazz Ensemble
Oct. 17: Perkins Road
Oct. 24: Colin Lake, Startisan

Jazzin' it up with George Bell

George Bell has been playing trumpet for 46 years.

Entrepreneur: Tess Brunet & Patrick Hodgkins

As the one-year anniversary of Lagniappe Records approached, co-owners Tess Brunet and Patrick Hodgkins were given a chance to relocate and expand their France Street business. "I was very adamant about staying in Beauregard Town, near downtown," Brunet tells Business Report for its new Entrepreneur feature on her and Hodgkins. "I absolutely love it here." So they moved, but not far. The couple had met in New Orleans in 2011 after years of touring separately as professional musicians. She plays drums; he, bass guitar. On roadtrips with their bands, they'd often drop into independent record stores as customers; each also had work experience in these settings. Together they planned and opened an "exclusively vinyl" record store in Baton Rouge, where they could corner the market. Since day one—July 27, 2013—their business has grown "organically," through word of mouth. Hodgkins says, "We've created the record store that we would want to go to." The homey vibe of...

'225 Weekender': Enjoy Movies & Music on the Lawn

Baton Rouge Gallery pairs local band Minos the Saint with the romantic silent film Sunrise for its latest edition of the outdoor film series Movies & Music on the Lawn. As 225 Weekender reports, the inventive summer series continues Friday and features a never-before-heard score from the local band as a backdrop to the F.W. Murnau drama. Sunrise tells the story of a woman who has an affair with a farmer while on vacation. The film won one of the first Academy Awards in 1929 and was selected in 1989 for preservation in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry, which maintains films that are culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. The screening begins at 8 p.m. or sundown, whichever comes later. Admission is $5, which includes free bottomless popcorn. Read about this and more weekend events around the Capital City in the latest edition of the 225 Weekender...

Tess Brunet & Patrick Hodgkins

"We've created the record store that we would want to go to."

Expanded Bayou Country Superfest generated record-setting weekend for BR hotels

Baton Rouge-area hotels took in a record $3.4 million during the fifth annual Bayou Country Superfest, which was held over the three-day Memorial Day weekend at Tiger Stadium, according to figures from Smith Travel Research that were released Wednesday by Visit Baton Rouge. This year saw the festival expanded from two to three days, which boosted attendance to a record high 135,000 fans, festival organizers say. "Guests that I spoke to really enjoyed that extra night. It made all the difference," says Gary Jupiter, president of the Baton Rouge Lodging Association and general manager of the DoubleTree Hotel. "We had guests from all 50 states and at least 10 different countries. We were definitely well-represented." STR figures show Baton Rouge area hotels took in $1.23 million on the Friday of the event weekend, $1.26 million on Saturday and $914,000 on Sunday. "Around five years ago, the hotel industry used to dread the Memorial Day weekend. Now we really look forward to it," says...

'225 Weekender': Experience Art Melt

Don't miss Louisiana's biggest juried art exhibit Saturday. As 225 Weekender reports, Art Melt will take place at the Capitol Park Museum downtown from 5 to 9 p.m. Outdoor festivities, including the Arts Marketplace, will run until 10 p.m. The free show, open to Louisiana artists only, offers a great opportunity for local talent to showcase their work and compete for cash prizes for first, second and third places. Additionally, the Forum 35 Award will be given to a work that will be featured on next year's commemorative poster. This show also gives the Baton Rouge community a chance to experience a great mix of fine art, music and performing arts. This year's musical performers are SpeakEasy, The Bedlamville Triflers and Baby Bee. A preview party kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. and will feature food from Ruffino's Catering at De La Ronde Hall. For more information on the event, read 225's preview.

Cox reaches agreement to carry SEC Network

Cox Communications announced today it has reached an agreement with ESPN to carry the SEC Network when it launches next month. Cox says the SEC Network will be available to its customers with the "digital essential tier" package, which is priced at $69.99 a month. Information on the exact channel positions will be announced soon. ESPN has also reached agreements with AT&T U-verse, DISH, Google Fiber and NRTC to distribute the SEC Network. Cox, ESPN and SEC officials all cheered the agreement reached today in prepared statements. "This is great news for alumni and fans across our footprint who will enjoy the action and rivalries that have become synonymous with LSU Tiger Athletics and SEC sports throughout the entire region," says Jacqui Vines, senior vice president and general manager of Cox's Southeast Region. SEC Commissioner Mike Slive says: "As one of the largest cable television distributors in the U.S., including five states in the SEC footprint, this agreement with Cox has a...

Lend a hand

There are several opportunities this weekend to help out with the arts in Baton Rouge and the betterment of our struggling communities—two things that are big topics on the Smart City blog. Read on for more information, and let us know in the comments below about other events and causes coming up around the city that need volunteers!

'Business Report': Is John Georges' big gamble on 'The Advocate' paying off?

A little over a year ago, John Georges launched an experiment that flew in the face of conventional wisdom: He bought The Advocate, a daily newspaper, and instead of going digital, like many other newspapers around the country, he expanded his print product and took it regional. As Business Report editor Stephanie Riegel details in the magazine's new cover story, the New Orleans businessman has spent untold millions in the 15 months since to change the paper, grow it and develop a new business model built around publishing three distinct editions of the paper every day and delivering them to readers in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. "Along the way, he has brought in new management, hired top-flight journalists with well-known bylines, and rolled out an aggressive marketing and advertising campaign," Riegel writes. "He even bought a historic building in New Orleans' Central Business District that will serve as the chic new headquarters for The New Orleans...

The future of print

Although John Georges got national publicity by increasing The Advocate's presence in New Orleans, that wasn't the only place he expanded.

Keeping the home fires burning

An abiding principle in military strategy is, "Never fight a war on two fronts."

John Georges' big gamble

A little over a year ago, John Georges launched an experiment that flew in the face of conventional wisdom: He bought The Advocate, a daily newspaper, and instead of going digital, like other newspapers around the country, he expanded his printed product and took it regional.

Spotlight on comedian Nick Guercio

Nick Guercio knew he wanted to try his hand at comedy. An LSU grad and Kenner native who lived most of his life in Baton Rouge, he always loved comedy, but the Capital City's options were limited.

New jewelry store plans mid-July opening on Coursey

Tony's Jewelry Design will open its doors on Coursey Boulevard off of Jones Creek Road by mid-July, says owner Tony Gonzales. Although the local store is new to the Baton Rouge jewelry market, Gonzales is not. After 37 years at O'Halloran's Fine Jewelry, Gonzales has decided to venture out on his own. "This is kind of something that's been long awaited and a long time coming," he says. Tony's will be located in the Walmart shopping center at 14241 Coursey Blvd. in suite A1-A. The space formerly housed Angel Wings Fashion House Boutique, which closed late last year. Gonzales says he chose the location because of its high traffic volume and so that he could remain close to his customer base. Tony's will offer all types of jewelry but specialize in custom jewelry design. Gonzales says he's currently finishing up minor renovations and waiting on a final occupancy permit, but expects to open by the second week of July. —Rachel Alexander

BR record shop moving to larger location, starting DIY label

Tess Brunet and Patrick Hodgkins' Lagniappe Records is making a couple big moves this year that will no doubt impact the local music scene. 225 reports that the shop will house a DIY label that will release limited edition 7" vinyl records featuring local musicians. A Lagniappe Records label has been in the works since the shop opened last July. The first release features Alex Abel and The Chambers. Brunet and John Tulley recorded the tracks at Tulley's studio/music and art space, The Legendary Noise Floor on Government Street. Timothy Stollenwerk of Stereophonic Mastering mastered the record. Abel and The Chambers' 7" has no firm release date, but Brunet says it should be out sometime this fall. At first, the couple talked about creating a reissue label to re-release older, regional and hard-to-find classics. "We still have that in mind, but it's on the back burner," Brunet...

Lagniappe Records to start DIY label

Tess Brunet and Patrick Hodgkins' Lagniappe Records is making a couple big moves this year that will no doubt impact the local music scene.

Weekend art roundup

This weekend brings your last chance to see several great art exhibits in Baton Rouge and your first chance to see some new ones. Here's a look at what exhibits to check out.

Saturation point

Looking at all the recent and upcoming projects happening along Third Street, I'm wondering if there is any inch of space left to develop.

Wi-Fi to become available at several downtown green spaces

As part of the Baton Rouge River Center's $1.2 million facility and equipment upgrade and expansion of its wireless Internet network, Wi-Fi will also be installed at various outdoor spots downtown. DDD Assistant Executive Director Gabe Vicknair announced this morning at the DDD meeting that work on the wireless network will begin next week and will include Wi-Fi coverage for Town Square, Repentance Park, Riverfront Plaza and the Louisiana Art & Science Museum Plaza. In addition to making downtown more convenient for visitors, free Wi-Fi will also send users to a landing page that will tell them about downtown restaurants, bars and other small businesses. Vicknair also announced that the Town Square webcams are up and running and accessible from the DDD website at any time. The webcams will enable visitors to watch Live After Five and other Town Square and Galvez Plaza concerts...

Rise of the drones

The drones are coming.

'225': A look inside the Buddy Stewart Memorial Music Foundation & Rhythm Museum

Philliper Stewart is keeping the legacy of her father, Buddy Stewart, alive in Mid City north. As 225 reports in a story from the current issue, Buddy was a musician who owned a popular record store on North Acadian Thruway. His daughter worked with him for 17 years. After he died, she had to figure out what to do with a long-standing business that was now selling an outdated product. She knew it was something she needed to hold onto, but wasn't sure the direction to turn. In the early 2000s, the store became the Buddy Stewart Memorial Music Foundation & Rhythm Museum. The site has photos and memorabilia, occasionally still sells a record or two, and hosts the annual Rocktober Fest community event. Another goal of the foundation and museum is to improve music education in local schools. Already, Stewart's foundation has partnered with Capitol High School to bring back its music program. She welcomes the opportunity to help young people gain an appreciation for music. "You...

'225': Mud and Water looks to relocate by the fall

Mud and Water, a music venue and bar at 174 South Blvd., will take its name elsewhere after June 1. As 225 reports, talent buyer and promoter Jeremy Woolsey says the venue, which was formerly known as L Bar, will carry on with a different name and direction because of a "disbanding of a verbal partnership" with the leaseholder, Robert McClaren. Woolsey says he is no longer booking for the venue, effectively immediately, and has moved shows to other venues in Baton Rouge or to his new venue in New Orleans, The Beatnik, on 1638 Clio St. Woolsey says he hopes to reopen Mud and Water in a new location in Baton Rouge by the fall. In the meantime, he says he and his team will still book shows at various venues in the Capital City as Mud and Water Productions. McClaren says he doesn't have a name or new brand yet, but says that the new location won't focus solely on original live music. He says the bar and nightclub will be "in transition" by June 1, but with no firm reopen date.

'225 Weekender': Movies & Music on the Lawn opens with 'Grandma's Boy'

Baton Rouge Gallery's popular summer film series, Movies & Music on the Lawn, returns Saturday with a pairing of the 1922 slapstick comedy Grandma's Boy and never before-heard music from Denton Hatcher and the Soapbox Blues. As 225 Weekender reports, this is the first of five Movies & Music on the Lawn events. The film will be projected on an inflatable screen on the lawn behind the gallery at BREC's historic City-Brooks Community Park. The screening begins at sundown (around 8 p.m.), and admission is $5, which includes bottomless popcorn. Grandma's Boy stars Harold Lloyd as an overly timid coward who cannot muster the courage to woo his girl and lives in fear of his rival. For more information on the Movies & Music on the Lawn series, read 225's story from the May issue. And learn about more local events on tap in

Executive Spotlight: Jody Hanet

In the 10 months she has led Kids' Orchestra, Jody Hanet has overseen remarkable growth. As Business Report's new Executive Spotlight feature on Hanet notes, participation has escalated from about 70 students to over 500 during that span. "We nearly had a logistical nightmare on our hands," she says. "We had to hire over 50 teachers, site coordinators and bus helpers. Hundreds of instruments had to be purchased." It all fell into place, though, with "tremendous" community support, and Hanet assembled a team to help her implement her five-year strategic plan. Hanet came to Kids' Orchestra with exceptional experience and training in musical education and leadership. She envisions the Baton Rouge program becoming "the catalyst for offering quality music education to multitudes of children across the state." Her motivation exceeds a belief in the intrinsic value of learning to play an instrument; she knows the personal and social dividends for participants are incalculable. "Music...

Kris Cangelosi

Afternoons at the Cangelosi Dance Project on Perkins Road hum with excitement. Young dancers in leotards with neat ponytails mill about, preparing to head into the studio for instruction. Dancing classes are a rite of passage for girls everywhere, but few in each crowd have dreams of making it big.

Jody Hanet

In the 10 months she has led Kids' Orchestra, Jody Hanet has overseen remarkable growth. Participation escalated from about 70 students to over 500. "We nearly had a logistical nightmare on our hands," she says. "We had to hire over 50 teachers, site coordinators and bus helpers. Hundreds of instruments had to be purchased." It all fell into place, though, with "tremendous" community support, and Hanet assembled a team to help her implement her five-year strategic plan. Hanet came to Kids' Orchestra with exceptional experience and training in musical education and leadership. She envisions the Baton Rouge program becoming "the catalyst for offering quality music education to multitudes of children across the state." Her motivation exceeds a belief in the intrinsic value of learning to play an instrument; she knows the personal and social dividends for participants are incalculable. "Music serves as a medium for all children to work together regardless of their home, school, culture...

'225 Weekender': Stars set to shine at Bayou Country Superfest​

Some of the hottest country singers and groups will draw huge crowds to Tiger Stadium this weekend for the fifth annual Bayou Country Superfest, which kicks off Friday and wraps up Sunday. As 225 Weekend reports, this year's expanded three-day festival includes headlining performances from Jason Aldean, Reba McEntire and George Strait—who is appearing in Baton Rouge as part of his farewell tour. Strait just turned 62 and over his career has recorded 44 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, as well as 60 No. 1 songs on the Billboard charts, 13 multiplatinum albums, 33 platinum and 38 gold albums. This is his only festival appearance this year. The festival will also include a performance by Breaux Bridge's Hunter Hayes and a free Fan Fest, with performances all weekend in the Lot A parking lot, next to the stadium near Nicholson Drive. Single-day tickets are still​...

225 Weekender': Theatre Baton Rouge executive director takes final bow in BR

Theatre Baton Rouge brings the laughs in its final performances of You Can't Take It with You this weekend, which will also serve as the curtain call for longtime executive director Keith Dixon. As 225 Weekender reports, performances of the classic play by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman take place Thursday through Saturday evenings at 7:30, as well as Sunday afternoon at 2. Dixon is leaving Theatre Baton Rouge later this summer after a decade at the helm. He is moving to Spokane, Washington, where he has been named the new artistic director for the Spokane Civic Theatre. A search committee within Theatre Baton Rouge is currently working to find its next leader. Dixon was a 2010 Business Report Forty Under 40 honoree. Read more about You Can't Take It with You and find out...

'225 Weekender': See critically acclaimed movies in BR at Louisiana International Film Festival

The stars will be in Baton Rouge, beginning today, for the second Louisiana International Film Festival, which runs through the weekend, 225 Weekender reports. The festivities kick off this afternoon with an opening reception at Cinemark Perkins Rowe at 4 p.m., followed by a screening of Belle at 7:30 and a gala party at 9. The film festival runs through Sunday and features screenings of films such as God's Pocket, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and directed by John Slattery; The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg; and Roman Polanski's latest film, Venus in Fur. All films will be shown at Cinemark Perkins Rowe. This year's festival will also include a mentorship program with classes and discussions on all aspects of the industry. Guests include Scout Raskin, a producer for the animated sketch comedy TripTank, and Baton Rouge filmmaker Richie Adams, whose film Una Vida has won awards at the Vail and Newport Beach Film Festivals...

'Vestigial' traits

For Jesse Guillory's show at the Walls Project's new space downtown, the LSU art student didn't want to hold back—on the audience or himself.

Entrepreneur: K. Emily Levine

A Craigslist ad was K. Emily Levine's entree into film production. As Business Report details in its new Entrepreneur feature on the Florida native, she had graduated from LSU in 2005 with a degree in studio art and found work at a local company that went belly up in 2009. At loose ends, she responded to a help-wanted ad for a production assistant in the art department of an independent film being shot in Baton Rouge and was hired. Levine's view was pragmatic: "I accepted the job because it was four months of employment and seemed to be something that would be interesting to do." She explains that "production assistant" is "kind of a blanket term for anybody who's just getting into the industry." As a first-time PA in The Chameleon production, Levine performed myriad tasks some might deem menial: "anything from getting coffee to helping to do research for sets." Nevertheless, she says, "I loved it." Levine's first big break came during her second gig, on Battle: Los...

Walls Project's downtown gallery

In February, the Baton Rouge-based Walls Project, the arts group responsible for several large-scale murals and community events, opened its first permanent headquarters on Florida Boulevard. It's called the Walls Project Art & Design Center, and founder Casey Phillips gave 225 a tour of the new space in downtown B.R.

Buddy Guy buys $1 million BR home, planning homecoming move

If you weren't able to catch blues legend Buddy Guy in concert at L'Auberge in March, chances are you'll have another chance to see him in the area in the future, as the guitarist and Lettsworth native is finally making the move back home to the Capital Region. Guy, who moved to Chicago in 1957 and has called the city home ever since, purchased a home in the Nicholson Drive/River Road area last week for a little over $1 million. "We've been home shopping for about a year," says Tigue Bonneval of Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, who brokered the deal. "Basically, I think he just wants to get back home." Bonneval says that Guy will keep his house in Chicago, but the Baton Rouge house will be his permanent home. "He's still going to have Buddy Guy's Legends, which is a big club in Chicago, but he's pretty much transitioning into the home here in Baton Rouge as his primary residence," Bonneval says. "He's playing in New Orleans in three days at the House of Blues. I'm sure he'll do much...

Caroline Samuels

Age: 17
School: Senior, Baton Rouge Magnet High School
Extracurriculars: President of the Jewish Cultural Association, soccer
Dream job: Performing in a major symphony orchestra
Inspiration: Yung-Chiao Wei, LSU associate professor of double bass

Randall Cunningham

Age: 18
School: Senior, Central Private School
Extracurriculars: Movies, comic books, video games
Dream job: Writer, director, producer, actor
Inspiration: My father, who shows me you can achieve anything, road bumps and all

Josh Campesi

Age: 13
School: 8th grade, St. Aloysius Catholic School
Extracurriculars: St. Aloysius Spirit of Service organization, writing music
Dream job: Record label CEO
Inspiration: Doug Gay, Baton Rouge Music Studios

Jane Gressaffa

Age: 19
School: Freshman, LSU
Extracurriculars: Old movies, Japanese comics and music
Dream job: Brand owner and designer
Inspiration: My mom and her Coco Chanel-like sense of style

Audrey Marsh

Age: 18
School: Senior, St. Joseph's Academy
Extracurriculars: Choir, student newspaper, rebuilding cars, writing, drama, student ministry, volleyball, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club
Dream job: Biomedical engineer
Inspiration: Local artist Carol Arabie

Samuel "Kidd LOS" Muyaka

Age: 18
School: Senior, Madison Preparatory Academy
Extracurriculars: Soccer and football
Dream job: Touring full-time and teaching music to children
Inspiration: Pharrell Williams

Art Deco in the Capital Region

Rich colors. Bold geometric shapes. Lavish ornamentation. Such are the characteristics of the architectural style known as Art Deco. First flourishing on the international scene in the 1920s, its popularity waned after World War II. Louisiana, though, remains home to one of the most notable examples of this eclectic design: the Louisiana State Capitol. Even so, less-famous remnants of the Art Deco era dot the Capital Region landscape. See examples.

Travis Mamon

Travis Mamon was a senior in high school at Eagles Landing Christian Academy in his hometown of Jonesboro, Ga., when he told his mom he was going to start his own clothing line, an idea he had conceived while working on a class project.

Lily LaGrange

For Lily LaGrange, i's even more challenging than for most to run a portrait photography business: She is just 17 years old and still a junior in high school.

'225': Cajun rockers Feufollet roll out a new lineup and a new sound

En Couleurs, released in 2010, represents the last time the young Cajun band Feufollet went into the studio. As 225 details in a feature from the current issue, the album was cutting-edge for modern Cajun music at the time—rocking rather than two-stepping, with a concept album form, filled with musical interlude. To young audiences in south Louisiana and the band's musical peers, En Couleurs was a breath of fresh air—and the album eventually landed in the hands of Elvis Costello, who was mightily impressed and said so in an interview in the British music press. Feufollet quickly garnered unexpected bookings in England and continental Europe as well as an unexpected Grammy nomination in the states. Feufollet ended up meeting Costello, as well as one of their musical heroes, Neil Young, at the Grammy ceremony. The band appeared on the fast track to national prominence. That didn't happen, but contributing writer Roger Hahn explains that the band...

Baton Rouge Music Studios to double space with move to Burbank Crossing

Baton Rouge Music Studios—a music performance and entertainment technology academy located off of Hillary Court across from the Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library—has filed a plan review application with the city-parish Department of Public Works to remodel its future location in the Burbank Crossing shopping center next to Hibbett Sports. At approximately 4,000 square feet, BRMS' new Burbank location is double the size of its current studio and will provide the academy the space to further develop its Young Band Nation program—a collaboration between BRMS and Southwest Louisiana Music Studios in Lake Charles that promotes music education and community-building among Louisiana youth—as 225 magazine reported earlier this month. "I knew we had to grow gradually, but there was always this nagging desire to have a community center, a haven for misfits—the...

'Business Report': Battle between 'Advocate' and 'Times-Pic' over legal notices goes to Capitol

In a legislative session dominated by debates over the hot-button issue of Common Core, a series of bills that would change state law to allow The New Orleans Advocate to compete for government classified ads in Orleans and Jefferson parishes hasn't made big headlines. But then, as Editor Stephanie Riegel notes in a new Business Report magazine feature, newspapers often shy away from calling attention to themselves. "Still, the proposed legislation—which would remove the requirement that a newspaper publish in a parish for five years before it can bid on public and legal notices in Orleans and Jefferson—is worth following as it makes its way through the legislative process," writes Riegel. For one thing, it's the latest skirmish in the ongoing media war between the state's two largest newspapers. They've been locked in competition since the fall of 2012, when The Advocate entered the New Orleans market and began aggressively going after subscribers...

Record Store Day in Baton Rouge

Since 2007, independent record stores across the nation have been celebrating Record Store Day.

'225 Weekender': Local stores celebrate Record Store Day

Conceived in 2007, Record Store Day is a holiday of sorts for the thousands of independently owned record stores in the United States. Customers and musicians come together with record stores' staff and celebrate the culture of the shop with special CD and vinyl releases issued exclusively for the day. As 225 Weekender reports, Record Store Day kicks off Saturday across the country, and in Baton Rouge, Lagniappe Records and Atomic Pop Shop will be celebrating with in-store performances, giveaways and sales. Lagniappe will open at 10 a.m., and musical performances start at noon with Night Janitor and continue throughout the day with Listen, Earth; Della; The Chambers; and Young Fathers. Atomic Pop Shop will host music at noon from Hot Llamas, Painted Hands at 2 p.m. and special acoustic sets from Clay Parker throughout the day. Get more details and learn about more local events on tap for this weekend in

BR tourism officials gearing up for a big summer

Local tourism officials are gearing up for a blockbuster summer, with three major events set to take place back to back between Memorial Day weekend and late June. The three-day Bayou Country Superfest will be May 23-25 in LSU's Tiger Stadium, followed by the Miss USA Pageant June 8 at the Baton Rouge River Center. The pageant will be followed by the U.S. Youth Soccer Regional Tournament June 19-26, a weeklong event expected to bring some 15,000 visitors to Baton Rouge. "It is going to be a fantastic summer," says Christy Chachere, communications coordinator for Visit Baton Rouge. "All three events reach very different target markets and attract visitors in-state, out of state and international." Though the Miss USA Pageant will technically bring the fewest visitors to the area—an estimated 4,000 or so tickets will be sold—it has the potential to bring the most exposure to the Capital Region. Event organizers and contestants arrive several weeks early and, as the pageant...

A legals war

In a legislative session dominated by debates over the hot-button issue of Common Core, a series of bills that would change state law to allow The New Orleans Advocate to compete for government classified ads in Orleans and Jefferson parishes hasn't made big news. But then, newspapers often shy away from calling attention to themselves.

MPAC debuts on May 1 at Shaw Center

On May 1, 225 and inRegister magazines will introduce the Capital City to MPAC—Music, People, Art and Community—a new and unique party set to take place over a number of floors in the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge. "MPAC will feature five bands, four restaurants and three art galleries all in one grand party," says 225 Publisher Julio Melara. "We wanted to create something new for Baton Rouge to experience and invite the community." Culinary samplings will be provided by Stab's Steak & Seafood, Tallulah, The Little Village and Le Creolé. Musicians set to entertain on a number of stages on the various floors of the Shaw Center include The Michael Foster Project, Werewolf (the Legendary 80's Cover Band), Magnolia Strings, Blake Breaux—plus there will be a live DJ battle between DJ Push Play and DJ 2ez. Through Thursday, April 24, early bird tickets for MPAC are $50. Advance tickets are $65 beginning April 25, and tickets at the...

'225 Weekender': Dr. John headlines free BR Blues Fest Saturday

The Baton Rouge Blues Festival returns to downtown Saturday with a headlining performance by the legendary Dr. John, as well as performances by more than 20 other bands and artists across multiple stages. As 225 Weekender reports, the free event takes place around North Boulevard Town Square and kicks off with a performance from students of Baton Rouge Music Studios at the Swamp Blues Stage at 11:15 a.m. Performances will go throughout the day and include Brother Dege & The Brethren at noon at the Foundation Stage, Tess Brunet at 1 p.m. in the Old State Capitol Lobby, Black Pistol Fire at 3 p.m. at the Foundation Stage, Little Freddie King at 5:45 p.m. at the Swamp Blues Stage and many more. Dr. John & The Nite Trippers will close out the festival on the Foundation Stage, beginning at 8:30 p.m. While the event is free, VIP tickets are available for $50. There will also be events associated with the festival held throughout the weekend, including a Live After Five performance...

HBO taps BR firm for 'Game of Thrones' licensing deal

Baton Rouge-based specialty masks and prop maker Composite Effects, or CFX, has landed a licensing deal with HBO to mass-produce products for the popular show Game of Thrones. As 225 reports, the company's "White Walker" costume masks, based on mythological characters from the show, are set for a spring 2014 release. "This is a huge deal," says CFX sculptor and media relations director Diana Branton. "HBO is very specific and careful about how they license things. They have high standards. They would rather not offer a product than offer something that's merely OK. They've set the bar in product licensing." Branton says work on the White Walker silicone mask and costume pieces began during season 3 of the popular HBO series. Read the full story. —Matthew Sigur

'225 Weekender': FestForAll to feature music, art, food and fun downtown

One of Baton Rouge's biggest festivals returns this weekend with a schedule packed full of music, art and fun. As 225 Weekender reports, FestForAll kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. at North Boulevard Town Square, the Old State Capitol and the Shaw Center for the Arts. There will be two stages of music, including performances from Dash Rip Rock, T Bird & The Breaks, Minos the Saint, John Gray's Soul JukeBoxx and many more throughout the weekend. Sunday's festivities kick off at noon. The free event also includes children's activities, art demonstrations and much more. In partnership with the event, you can also enjoy Free First Sunday at several downtown attractions and a Sunday in the Park performance from the Rusty Yates Band. Find out about more events happening this weekend in the Capital Region in the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

Dine-in movie theater included in phase of Juban Crossing to open this year

Juban Crossing, the massive $350 million mixed-use development taking shape at Interstate 12 and Juban Road in Livingston Parish, is set to become the home of Louisiana's first Movie Tavern, a Dallas-based dine-in theater concept with nearly 20 locations throughout the country. Creekstone Companies, developer of Juban Crossing, announced earlier today that Movie Tavern has signed on to open later this year as part of the first of three phases planned for the development. Creekstone says ground and infrastructure work that began in November is about 40% complete, and construction of the retail stores has begun, including on the 55,000-square-foot Rouse's Supermarket and the 74,000-square-foot Belk. The first phase—which includes 374,000 of the planned 1.2 million square feet total—is set to open later this year, likely in the fall. Other retailers signed on to the first phase include Academy, Lane Bryant, Old Navy, PetSmart, Ross, Shoe Carnival, TJ Maxx and Ulta. Movie...

A walk in the cloud

Talk of the cloud is all the rage in corporate technology circles, and some business owners may find the buzz a little off-putting, or even intimidating. How many CEOs, after all, can take time to go all nerdy and investigate the ins and outs of cloud computing?

Jindal weighs in on debate over Internet control

Gov. Bobby Jindal has penned a number of guest columns this month for national publications, ranging from a New York Post piece in which he blasts New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over education policy to a National Review Online piece in which he hammered President Obama over the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Today, Jindal has a guest column on the website of conservative lobbying and advocacy organization Americans for Limited Government in which he takes aim at Obama again. This time Jindal says the Obama administration is "jeopardizing the freedoms of billions of citizens the world over" with its decision,

La. lawmakers to take up 'Advocate' and 'Times-Pic' battle over legal notices

The newspaper war between The Advocate and The Times-Picayune has spilled over into the Legislature, where several bills have been filed that would allow The New Orleans Advocate to bid on publishing lucrative legal ads in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Currently, state law allows only newspapers that have been publishing in a parish for at least five years to bid on carrying legal notices, which include classified-style ads about government bids, property auctions and meeting notices, among other things. The proposed laws would do away with that requirement, allowing The New Orleans Advocate—which has been publishing in the Crescent City for just 18 months—to compete for the contracts, which are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. "All this is doing is responding to changes in the market," says Rep. Jeff Arnold, D-New Orleans, who filed one of the three House bills that would change the law on publishing legal notices. "The...

Editor: Arts deserve more appreciation at LSU

Several years ago, Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel had a small public relations contract with the LSU College of Art and Design, which comprises the schools of art, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design. "From a PR perspective, it was a veritable orchard of low-hanging fruit—an endless supply of positive stories about talented faculty and students whose designs and creations won national awards and earned prestige for the college and, by extension, the university," Riegel recalls in her latest column. "Which made it all the more troubling to learn, recently, that the School of Art—which is housed in the historically significant but crumbling Old Engineering Shops—has, once again, been bypassed for a desperately needed renovation." Riegel says the 80-year-old building is, "quite literally, falling apart around those who must toil there, without air conditioning or even heat." It's been slated for renovation since the early 2000s.

Spotlight on Molly Taylor

On a frigid Thursday, Molly Taylor is all smiles at her Mid City house. The self-proclaimed night owl sits on her couch in a loose flannel shirt and dark blue jeans. To her right is an electric guitar she named "Vivian." It's plugged into a few pedals and a dusty Fender amp.

Entrepreneur: Christopher Turner

Art has been Christopher Turner's passion since childhood. As Business Report details in its new Entrepreneur feature on him, Turner already had a large portfolio of work created during his years at Broadmoor Middle School—which then had a Gifted and Talented Program—upon entering high school in 1999. At Capitol High, he participated in the Talented Arts Program, which was launched there, it almost seemed, for his benefit. "For the first two years," says Turner, "I was the only kid in the [art] classroom." As a freshman, he hadn't wanted to choose between playing football and painting; thanks to TAP, he didn't have to. As it turned out, Turner left football behind as a sophomore, instead devoting his after-school hours to caring for his grandmother, who had cancer. "Everything else took a back seat," Turner says. She died the summer before his senior year, yet he persevered in his art studies until graduating in 2003. Turner hadn't painted a stroke in six years...

Christopher Turner

At Capitol High, he participated in the Talented Arts Program—launched there ostensibly for his benefit. "For the first two years," says Turner, "I was the only kid in the [art] classroom."

St. Paddy's trip to Ireland marks first overseas experience for most LSU band members

Of the 325 members of the LSU Tiger Marching Band who are leaving Baton Rouge today for Ireland—and will march in Dublin's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Monday—fewer than 40 of them have ever traveled overseas before. "This is really why the trip is so special," says LSU President F. King Alexander. "This will open so many of our students eyes to global issues, studies and travel." For 133 of the LSU band members, Alexander says, today's transatlantic flight is the first time they've ever been on an airplane. For 263 of them, the trip marks the first time they've had to apply for a passport, and for 291 it is the first time they'll make an overseas trip. LSU is one of just eight American bands marching in Dublin's famed parade Monday, according to the event website. Among others, they'll be joined by marching bands from Iowa, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Texas. The entire LSU band is making the trip to Ireland at an estimated cost of $700,000, paid for via private...

'225 Weekender': Take a look at Art in the Park

With milder temperatures expected this weekend, 225 Weekender says it's the perfect time to stroll through BREC's City-Brooks Community Park and see works from local artists. The annual community showcase Art in the Park kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday on the park grounds, 1515 Dalrymple Drive. The free, family-friendly event highlights local visual and performing artists and will feature theatrical, dance and musical performances at stages around the park. There will also be a "Picture Your Park" juried photo exhibit, and Baton Rouge Gallery artists will demonstrate their techniques and offer a sale on some of their works. Children's art activities will also be on the schedule, including a sidewalk chalk drawing contest. Access more details and learn about more local events on tap this weekend in the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

Spring lineup for Live After Five downtown concert series announced

Marcia Ball, David St. Romain and a number of other local and regional bands have been tapped for this spring's annual Live After Five concert series. The Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge announced the lineup of the free concert series at a reveal party this afternoon at North Boulevard Town Square. This year's Live After Five series kicks off on Friday, April 4, with a performance by The Chee Weez. All of the shows in the series will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at North Boulevard Town Square. Other shows include bluesman Jonathon "Boogie" Long on April 11; Marcia Ball on April 25; and a special Thursday, May 22, performance by David St. Romain. The show was moved to Thursday that week to compliment—and not compete—with the star-studded Bayou Country Superfest lineup in town for the weekend, including George Strait and Reba McEntire on Friday, May 23. Live After Five started 16 years ago and crowds were slim at first, according to DDD Executive Director Davis...

Live After Five announces lineup

The Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge announced the 2014 lineup of Live After Five at a reveal party Friday at North Boulevard Town Square.
Jonathon Boogie Long, Marcia Ball, David St. Romain and more are scheduled to perform in the annual free concert series.
Mayor Kip Holden announced the lineup and says he was buying music books from Zeagler's Music Store yesterday in hopes to appear and sing at a concert. "We have good people in a great city," he says. "This is an event to bring people here and show them what's going on and showcase our talent."
Downtown Development District Executive Director Davis Rhorer says the concert series started 16 years ago and crowds were slim then, but now, "Live After Five has grown into the premier concert series in the state."
All spring Live After Five performances will take place 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at North Boulevard Town Square.
A full schedule is below.

Spoken Word

Said aloud, "225" can be a time
of day, stack of 10 quarters,
an area code, the unit price
of a 72 yd. roll of scotch tape
if you buy a 96 item carton.
It can be a single number
in which case it is three digits
or a single name, in which case
it is three words. We somehow
understand these dialogs:
"504?" "No, 225." "Vogue?" "No, 225."
Three words on the front cover
of a magazine we haven't opened
and we know so much! Words,
how do they DO that? Yeah,
How DO they do that?

'Advocate' publisher: We can take half of 'Times-Pic' readers

In a wide-ranging interview with LaPolitics released today, John Georges, publisher of The Advocate, ratchets up the rhetoric in the ongoing newspaper war with The Times-Picayune by comparing his competitor to "new Coke" and predicting his newspaper can take half of its readers. Georges—who also says in the interview that he has not ruled out another run for governor in 2015—says that The Advocate's circulation numbers in New Orleans are "just about where I want them to be, maybe a couple months behind." Georges says there are between 25,000 and 30,000 paid subscribers in New Orleans now, adding "we were less than half of that when we started," and "we're on record to double those numbers." As for the changes The Times-Picayune and its website,, have undergone over the past year and a half, Georges says: "The...

Arts Council: No more Old South B.R. grant applications without input from 'all leaders'

The head of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Eric Holowacz, says his organization will not submit any more grant applications seeking funding for an arts-based community revitalization plan in Old South Baton Rouge without input from "all leaders" in the community. It's the latest salvo in a dispute between the Arts Council, which has been working for more than two years on the Old South revitalization plan that was the brainchild of the late Derek Gordon, and a faction of community leaders and artists in that neighborhood, who apparently feel they have been left out of the planning during the two-year process. In a letter dated Feb. 5, several of those community leaders—including Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker—asks the Arts Council to cease and desist all further efforts at seeking funding. In a written reply, according to a draft copy obtained by Daily Report, Holowacz says his organization will comply and goes on to ask for "a list of all the Old South...

Evan Smith

He is the creative mind behind lead characters for both PC and Xbox 360. The animator, designer, video game developer and part-time digital art instructor at LSU shares his favorite design tools for getting his game on.

'Business Report': Neighborhood becomes classroom for LSU architecture students

The empty lot on North Boulevard that once held Romano's Pack & Save neighborhood grocery could one day host a fresh foods retailer and café run by the homeless. As a feature in the current issue of Business Report explains, architecture students from LSU and Southern University spent the fall 2013 semester drafting versions of this utopian vision for the landowner, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The LSU School of Architecture's new Mid City Studio was responsible for the design project. Established in 2012, the studio is a service-learning initiative that allows students to earn course credit and gain hands-on experience while contributing to the social good. The project is a collaboration between the School of Architecture, the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance and the East Baton Rouge Parish Redevelopment Authority. Historically, the School of Architecture has created similar community design opportunities for students, but the Mid City Studio represents a new...

'225': New Venture Theatre enters seventh season with new home at Manship

Entering into the group's seventh season, New Venture Theatre's founding artistic director Greg Williams Jr. wanted to expand on the growth he'd seen in recent seasons. As 225's Ben Leger details in a new feature, last year's performances of A Raisin in the Sun, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors and more saw sold-out shows at BRCC's Magnolia Pavilion and BREC's Independence Park Theatre. This year, New Venture is calling Manship Theatre its home. "We were ready to kind of step up the level of production quality," Williams says. "The Manship has more equipment to handle everything we wanted to bring to the stage." Manship Theatre and Hartley/Vey Studios, both in the Shaw Center, will also house New Venture's education workshops and administrative offices. The new season starts this month with Shout! and continues with seven more productions throughout the year, including Aida, In the Heights and more, with a mixture of musicals and...

'225 Weekender': The Hag returns to B.R.

Troubadour Merle Haggard returns to the Capital City on Sunday to deliver a set that's bound to include some of the most classic songs in the country catalog. Considered one of the founding fathers of the Outlaw Country movement, the 76-year-old has had more than 30 chart-topping singles over his storied career. He last released a studio album in 2011, Working in Tennessee, which achieved critical acclaim. He's also said to be working on a new album with fellow country legends Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. The last time The Hag was in Baton Rouge was August 2011, when he also played the River Center Theater and delivered such classics as "Mama Tried," "Workin' Man Blues," "Okie from Muskogee," "Are The Good Times Really Over" and many more. Tickets range from $40 to $60, not including service fees. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Get the scoop on more local events taking place this weekend in

La. among 10 states eyeing Internet gaming bills, study says

At least 10 U.S. states, including Louisiana, are considering bills to legalize or expand Internet gambling this year, according to a group that tracks gambling-related legislation worldwide. But the Gambling Compliance survey also finds slim chances for a national law to regulate Internet poker, predicting a major effort by online gambling opponents to block it in Congress. So far, three states allow Internet gambling: New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. In addition to Louisiana, the report says proposals for new or expanded Internet betting could be considered in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. "In 2013, 10 states considered legislation that would legalize online casino-style gambling, which was a historic high," says Chris Krafcik, the group's research director. "This year is shaping up to be at least as busy." The report holds out little hope for a national bill legalizing Internet poker, noting that it is a...

The negative online review

Anyone who has ever Googled a product and clicked on "reviews" before buying it knows how important online feedback has become to business.

Linda & Wayne Barker

Their decision to specialize in antique jewelry was essentially practical.

Mid City Studio

The empty lot on North Boulevard that once held Romano's Pack & Save neighborhood grocery could one day host a fresh foods retailer and café run by the homeless. Architecture students from LSU and Southern University spent the fall 2013 semester drafting versions of this Utopian vision for landowner, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

'225': Red Dragon Listening Room expands its offerings

The Red Dragon Listening Room has quietly created an intimate music venue with its bevy of couches and chairs and a BYOB policy. And when you go to a show at the Florida Boulevard spot, a feature in the current 225 notes, you're going to listen. "We want to be respectful to artists," owner Chris Maxwell tells the magazine. At Red Dragon, musicians can play their music for rapt audiences eager to hear them rather than to socialize during the show. Though the venue is most famous for its weekend shows with traveling musicians, Wednesday recently became the go-to night for local music. Now, Red Dragon has teamed up with Rob Chidester of Royal Cyclops Productions to help spotlight regional talent. Each Wednesday night show features three acts. "Each set has to build like a drama in order to keep audiences interested," Chidester says. The shows run 90 minutes, leaving the audience wanting more. Red Dragon also approached Manship Theatre about a concert series this year. The series...

'225 Weekender': Clarinetist DiLutis joins BRSO tonight for evening of Mozart

A new year means a new slate of grand performances from the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. As 225 Weekend reports, the symphony's Masterworks concert series continues this evening with a performance of Mozart selections at the River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. On the program is the famous composer's "Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio," "Clarinet Concerto," "Suite from Gran Partita" and "Symphony No. 38." Clarinetist Robert DiLutis is guest performer. Tickets are $35. "In this program, we see many facets of Mozart's compositional style," says the symphony of tonight's concert. "While always working within the traditions of the classical style, Mozart was still an innovator and was not afraid to branch out and try new things; be it a relatively new instrument (the clarinet), or exotic percussion instruments, as heard in the overture. Each work on this concert has a distinctly different sound; each unique, but sharing the same trait that is the...

Independent film begins shooting in B.R.

Baton Rouge will be home to an independent film crew and its stars for about a month. Principal photography began Tuesday on Zipper, a movie starring Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring, Insidious) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), and directed by Mora Stephens. The cast also includes Richard Dreyfuss. The feature is scheduled to shoot in Baton Rouge through Feb. 24, according to Baton Rouge Film Commission Executive Director Liza Kelso. Film crews were seen shooting off Highland Road on Tuesday, near the intersection of Nelson Drive. The film revolves around the story of a successful U.S. Attorney who is groomed for a Senate position, but then becomes involved in a dark situation that could destroy everything he has. Zipper is one of three previously announced movies slated to begin production soon in Baton Rouge. Bad Ass 3, starring Danny Trejo (Machete) and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon series), will be shot in the city between Feb.

Faces of Old South

A Day of Service event Monday at Expressway Park helped introduce Baton Rougeans to a neighborhood project that partners residents of Old South Baton Rouge with the Arts Council, Center for Planning Excellence, BREC and others.

Some La. employers accept 'cyberloafing' as inevitable part of workday

Nationally, businesses and organizations seem worried about employees wasting company time on the Internet, but The News-Star of Monroe says major employers in northeastern Louisiana report an acceptance of cyberloafing. defines “cyberloafing” as "using the Internet where you work, during work hours, for activities which are not work-related." Cyberloafing then is a form of time theft in which employees "steal" time, using minutes purchased by an employer without providing any service for their earnings during those minutes. Theoretically, the minutes add up. A 2012 survey indicated that 64% of participants "said they visit non-work related websites every day during work hours." Thirty-two percent of participants admitted to spending two or more hours on such websites every week. But CenturyLink, the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the City of West Monroe all allow employees to browse the Internet as they please. The City of...

Todd Mitchell

"I always wanted to work in the music/record/event business in one way or another," says Todd Mitchell. The professed lover of live entertainment began his tenure as general manager of the Baton Rouge River Center in 2007 at age 34, when he was already a seasoned professional. Previously, he had risen to the post of manager at Kansas City's former Kemper Arena, where he gravitated to the producing side of the live event business. On arrival at the Centroplex, he was ready to assume the diverse roles his job entails: "I am consistently part concert promoter, meeting planner, performing arts director, convention planner, media planner and operations manager." Mitchell is actually an employee of SMG, a worldwide venue management group, which the city-parish hired to run the River Center. His initial aim, of booking as much business as he can, hasn't changed, he says. And, understandably, he views producing the U.S. Bowling Congress Tournament 2012 as one of his greatest achievements.

Two films shot in La. up for Best Picture Oscar

Of the nine films up for the Best Picture award at the 86th Academy Awards, two were shot in Louisiana, mostly in the New Orleans area. 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club are among the Best Picture nominees announced this morning, and that's not the only award the Louisiana-shot films are competing for. 12 Years a Slave, based on the 1853 novel by Solomon Northup about his experience as a slave in Louisiana, garnered a total of nine nominations, including best picture, best director, best actor and best supporting actor, and others. Dallas Buyers Club, which is based on the true story of a homophobic AIDS patient who built an underground business dealing with non-FDA approved anti-AIDS drugs, is up for seven Oscars total. Other movies up for Best Picture are Gravity, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Her, Nebraska, Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Can investors cash in on the popularity of 'Duck Dynasty'?

Duck Dynasty may be an occasionally controversial show that heats up opinions about guns, animal rights—and even censorship—but, as USA Today highlights in a brief feature, investors can't help but wonder if there's a way to make money from the show's popularity. In response to a reader's question, markets reporter Matt Krantz says, "Not only has the show been a hit on TV, but it's also a merchandising sensation. Most recently, the Duck Commander family has said it plans to develop its own line of firearms." But for investors, Krantz says, there aren't many direct ways to profit from the phenomenon. "The Duck Dynasty guns will be made by North Haven, Conn.-based gun maker Mossberg. Mossberg is privately held," he notes. "Meanwhile, Duck Commander is also a private company. The show is aired by A&E, a joint venture of...

'Business Report': Radio station WRKF adapts to keep listeners engaged, pledges flowing

Like most public radio stations, Baton Rouge affiliate WRKF 89.3 relies on local sources for most of its funding, with station president and general manager David Gordon estimating that 45% of its revenue comes from members of the station. He adds that 30% comes from business and corporate support, 10% comes from the federal government and the remaining 15% from other sources. While keeping up with changing technology is a constant challenge for WRKF and its fellow public radio stations across the country, Gordon says a bigger challenge is the stations' perennial quest to raise the money needed to maintain their operations. In a Business Report feature from the current issue, Gordon likens technology to "the pipe pushing the content," but says, "I think having the resources to continue to push this info to the community is the biggest challenge. We have to make sure we are worth supporting; and as long as we continue to make what we do compelling and unique, we will be...

BR Walls Project getting permanent home in Chase Tower

The BR Walls Project, which has been working to put art in public spaces in downtown Baton Rouge for a few years now, is finally getting a permanent home. A roughly 2,500-square-foot space is being donated to the group in the south Chase Tower, 451 Florida Blvd. downtown, which it will use for its offices as well as for a variety of other community arts uses. BR Walls Executive Director Casey Phillips says he’s been working with Tower Real Estate, which is donating the space, to secure the move for the past few months. The space has been long-vacant, he says, but only needs a few renovations to be completed before the group moves in later this month. “We have been mobile and nomadic by choice for the past few years … trying to position this as an organization with a Baton Rouge base, but an international reach,” Phillips says. “This really gives us a physical home and presence that will remind everyone that we’re not just a fly-by-night...

Big studio booking in B.R. sends 'Jurassic World' shooting to N.O.

Baton Rouge has apparently lost out to New Orleans for the big-budget production of Jurassic World, the fourth installment of the prehistoric action film series that was initially scheduled to be filmed here last year, but was then put on hold for several months, according to trade pubs and industry sources. But the reason the Universal Studios production is going to the Crescent City is not necessarily a negative reflection on Baton Rouge. Rather, it's because Celtic Studios—where the film was originally going to be shot—has since been booked through mid-year and there is no way the studio can accommodate two blockbuster films. "I cannot comment on productions we don't have," says Patrick Mulhearn, executive director of Celtic Studios. "But we can confirm that Twentieth Century Fox has booked the studio through the end of May so we don't have any stage availability before then." Though Mulhearn cannot discuss the Twentieth Century Fox production because of...

'225 Weekender': Hear the smooth sounds of Karrin Allyson

The Arts Council's River City Jazz Masters series returns with two performances tonight from a Grammy-nominated singer and pianist, the new 225 Weekender reports. Karrin Allyson, a four-time Grammy nominee, performs at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Manship Theatre. The show is the first of the year for the River City Jazz Masters series. Allyson is known for drawing from a range of material, including samba, jazz and pop standards, bossa nova and blues. Tickets start at $25. A special dinner package with a three-course meal from Stroubes is also available for $55. Access the complete details and learn about more local events taking place this weekend in the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

Mid City record store plans expansion

Atomic Pop Shop owner Kerry Beary says she's planning an expansion to nearly double the size of her 1,500-square-foot store at 2963 Government St., as well as make repairs to the building's roof and add a parking lot to the Mid City store specializing in vinyl records. "We'll have space for more of everything," says Beary. "We'll have more records, electronics, more vintage items. We're also going to have a parking lot with about 10 to 15 spaces." Beary plans to renovate an existing space located behind her current shop for the expansion. The parking lot will also be built in the rear of the business, which is sandwiched among a stretch of retail shops and office spaces slated for renovations and upgrades under an effort called Model Block. Beary says work will begin soon, with completion on the entire project expected by the spring. Thanks to the resurgence of...

Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar

Owner: Randy Wong
Architect: Tiger Park Architecture
Contractor: Joffrion Construction
Interior design: Tang Design, New York
Year completed: 2013

Art frenzy

About a year after Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney opened a new sort of studio—a place where novice artists could paint on a blank canvas, socialize, sip wine, and take home their own self-made art—they caught a couple scribbling down numbers when they were supposed to be painting.

Radio days

Mike Robin was 12 years old and on his way home from a Boy Scout camping trip in north Louisiana when he discovered Car Talk, the weekly NPR radio show that features two brothers with heavy Boston accents who talk about auto repairs while joking and ribbing each other and their guests. The show caught his ear, and he's been a fan ever since.

'225 Weekender': See 'King of Herrings' at Manship

You can get an offbeat look at the Crescent City in the new comedy-drama King of Herrings, which is screening at the Manship Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 225 Weekender reports. Joe Chrest, Andrea Frankle and Eddie Jemison star as residents who dream big, ranting about women during card games and drinking endless cups of coffee. Jemison directed the film with Sean Richardson. Earlier this year, the film won the 2013 Audience Award Narrative Feature in the New Orleans Film Festival. Tickets are $8.50. The screening will include a question and answer session with the filmmakers and cast. Check out 225 Editor Jeff Roedel's interview with Richardson and find out about more local happenings on tap for this weekend in the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

Tin Cup Music

Charlie Cole's eyes get teary as he shows a visitor the latest video showcasing street musicians from around the globe singing together. Filmed on the streets of cities as close as New Orleans and as far away as Tokyo, the Playing For Change video features artists—each on his own turf—harmonizing on a gospel tune, using headphones and microphones for sychronization. It is moving.

Come to order

Neil Jackson (at right)
Owner, Ultimate Storage Systems
• It is essential to plan first. You wouldn't build a house without a set of plans; likewise, you shouldn't organize without first creating a plan. Skipping this step can lead to overwhelming piles that you don't know what to do with.
• Sit down and answer some basic questions: What don't I like about this space? What do I need from this space? Is it reasonable for me to fit everything into this space? Do I need to part with some of my stuff? What is my budget for organizing this space?
• Think outside of your closet. If you don't have a linen closet for sheets and pillowcases, then store them in a dresser drawer in your bedroom.

Kenny Neal

Occupation: Blues Musician
Hometown: Erwinville, La.
Age: 56