Content tagged “Arts, culture and entertainment”

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, NOLA.com, 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. MacmillanDictionary.com 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 Salary.com 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

Lauren Waguespack

Occupation: Singer, seen on TV show The X-Factor; Photographer
Hometown: Gonzales
Age: 25

Leonela Guzmán

Occupation: Student, Public Relations Coordinator for Delta Literary Journal
Hometown: Lake Charles
Age: 22

Eric Vosburg

Occupation: Makeup artist
Hometown: Gonzales
Age: 18

Websites work to nix nasty comments

Mix blatant bigotry with poor spelling. Add a dash of ALL CAPS. Top it off with a violent threat. And there you have it: a recipe for the worst of online comments, scourge of the Internet. The Associated Press reports a growing number of websites are reining in the Wild West of online commentary. Companies including Google and the Huffington Post are trying everything from deploying moderators to forcing people to use their real names in order to restore civil discourse. Some sites, such as Popular Science, are banning comments altogether. Locally, The Advocate changed the way it displays readers comments this year to decrease anonymity and identify readers through their Facebook accounts. These and other efforts put sites in a delicate position. User comments add a lively, fresh feel to videos, stories and music. And, of course, the longer visitors stay to read the posts, and the more they come back, the more a site can charge for advertising. What websites don't want is the...

Jumping markets

WAFB General Manager Sandy Breland is leaving the local CBS affiliate to become vice president and general manager of WVUE-TV in New Orleans. Raycom Media, which owns WAFB, will begin providing operational services this month at WVUE,

2016 hopefuls make bid for evangelicals by embracing 'Duck Dynasty' star

Few could have predicted that the storylines of the hit A&E reality show Duck Dynasty and the 2016 presidential contest would ever converge. But as The Washington Post reports, that unexpected mash-up played out on Thursday as conservative politicians rushed to defend Phil Robertson, the shaggy-bearded, homespun star of the breakout series, who was suspended by the cable network after his published comments about gays stirred a storm of controversy. Gov. Bobby Jindal was among the first politicians to wade into the controversy—going to bat for the Robertson family personally and criticising A&E for its move to take Phil off the show—but he wasn't the only one. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, another probable 2016 candidate, chimed in on Facebook, writing: "If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the...

Natchitoches museum named top global architecture project of 2013

A Toronto-based publication on contemporary design and architecture has named the Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches—designed by Baton Rouge-based Trahan Architects—the top architecture project in the world for 2013. "The museum's defining gesture is its exterior composed of pleated copper panels that control light, views and ventilation," says Azure of the $23 million, 27,500-square-foot museum, which opened in June. "Inside, the space becomes wildly organic with a sinuous Great Hall and circulation spine clad in white stone connecting the museum galleries and the hall of fame with various supporting spaces, including a bookshop, a gift shop and classrooms. Any metropolis would be proud to have such a powerful building. What's great is that this new museum is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, with a population of just 18,299." The museum is the only U.S. project on the Azure list of the top 10 projects in the world, and it beat...

'225 Weekender': See a Southern take on The Nutcracker

What do you get when you mix the classic ballet The Nutcracker with a bit of Southern charm and atmosphere? 225 Weekender says you get a production that's become a Baton Rouge tradition. Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre will perform The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou this weekend. The production started in 1991 and has drawn sold-out audiences, thrilling children and adults alike. The show incorporates a lavish set, more than 300 area children and music from the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Performances are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the River Center. Tickets start at $23. Get more details and find out about other events slated to take place in the Capital Region this weekend in the new 225 e-newsletter.

NYE now has a theme song

In preparation for downtown Baton Rouge's first-ever New Year's Eve bash, there is now a theme song and music video to go with it. We take a look at all the amazing parts of your new favorite song of the year.

'Duck Dynasty' outselling Britney Spears with Christmas album

It seems like just about everything the Robertson family of West Monroe touches these days turns to gold. The family's latest venture, an album of Christmas music entitled Duck the Halls, is currently in the No. 2 spot on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, down from the No. 1 position last week. The album is receiving favorable reviews, and artists of the caliber of Luke Bryan, Josh Turner, George Strait and Alison Krauss lend their talents to the mix. With the popularity of the Duck Dynasty TV series and the rollout of every imaginable piece of Dynasty-related merchandise, success may have been assured. The same could not be said of another Louisiana icon, Britney Spears, whose latest effort, Britney Jean, sold an estimated 115,000 units in its first week—impressive but still less than Duck the Halls and the superstar's worst first week ever, according to Idolator, an arts and entertainment website. —Staff report

The 45 days of Christmas

For a dozen years, radio station KRVE-96.1 The River has featured Christmas tunes in the run-up to the holidays. And in long-standing tradition, the station this year kicked off its annual 24-hour festive format a full 45 days before Dec. 25.

Moon Honey releases album, new video

While the Baton Rouge band Moon Honey is wrapping up its tour of the West coast, its new album Hand-Painted Dream Photographs saw a release on iTunes this week.

AMC inquires about beer sales at its Mall of Louisiana theater

Moviegoers at the AMC Cinema at the Mall of Louisiana may be able to enjoy beer with their popcorn beginning some time next year. The theater has notified the parish Alcoholic Beverage Control office that it intends to apply for a rezoning request, the first move in a multistep process it must undergo in order to serve alcohol. Planning Commission Interim Director Ryan Holcombe says his department has not yet received the request, but that an attorney for the theater has contacted the commission by phone. "They asked us about the process for rezoning and we expect to receive their application by the next deadline,” which is Dec. 12, Holcombe says. If and when the Planning Commission approves the request, the Metro Council must also sign off on it. Then the theater must go before the ABC and formally apply for a permit to sell alcohol, according to a spokesman with the ABC. A state permit is also required. Calls to AMC requesting comment were not returned today in time for...

Kathleen Howell

It's a Tuesday morning, and Kathleen Howell is ready to roll. Just like nearly every fourth Tuesday for 12 years now, she has her bow tie on and a stack of hats and songbooks in hand. Showtime is almost here.

Yolanda Dixon

Fest for All, to Yolanda Dixon, is a perfect exemplar of the mission of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.

Image is everything

Though we are surrounded by conversations, written words and text messages, our view of our city is shaped most powerfully by the images we see: a swathe of picturesque scenery, a mouth-watering plate of food, a friendly face.

Hot tech gifts

Price: $1,069
New Intel fourth-generation CPUs and Intel HD Graphics 5000 deliver high performance using less power, giving this new version up to 12 hours of battery life. Wireless performance is up to three times faster with the right conditions.

'Advocate' circulation up overall but down in B.R.

Unlike many newspapers across the country, The Advocate saw its daily circulation increase over the past year—by nearly 35%. However, most of the growth appears to have come from new readers outside of the Baton Rouge market, specifically New Orleans, St. Tammany Parish and Lafayette. In the The Advocate's core market—the Capital Region—readership actually declined by about 8% during weekdays and by more than 12% on Sundays. "We are extremely pleased with how we are doing in New Orleans and Lafayette," says Dan Shea, general manager and chief operating officer. "There was some erosion in Baton Rouge, but most of that took place before we bought the company." New Orleans businessman John Georges acquired the newspaper from the Manship family last spring and has spent the past seven months making an aggressive push into New Orleans and Lafayette, which now have their own versions of The Advocate. The circulation data, released annually by the...

'225': Local vendors plug into the growing film industry

Local businesses are playing roles in several big-budget films shot here in the Capital City, and though you won't see their owners' faces, 225 reports that if you know where to look, you can see their work in the details. Anne Arceneaux and Carmen Cantwell, owners of The Gilded Lily, a jewelry shop located on Lobdell Avenue, got their first taste of Hollywood working with the blockbuster series Twilight. To their surprise, a producer showed up at the store one day inquiring about a custom piece for the film. "We felt a real responsibility to make sure we created something beautiful, something that represented the author's vision and something that we, along with the rest of the community, could be proud of," Arceneaux says. They did just that, designing a custom bridal comb worn by actress Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella Swan in the series, when she marries Robert Pattinson's Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1. They also designed a...

Radio station finds success with early switch to Christmas music

For a dozen years, radio station KRVE-96.1 The River has featured Christmas tunes ramping up to the holidays. But this year the station kicked off its annual 24-hour festive format a full 45 days before Dec. 25. While some listeners on The River's Facebook page say "Bah humbug" to the switch so far in advance of Thanksgiving, the station's operators say ratings soar during this yearly format change. "The email requests that we now start receiving as early as the first week of October have shown that listeners rely on us to deliver the Christmas music every year," says Sam North, program director and on-air personality at The River, a Clear Channel station. "As for ratings, in most cases they've ranged from a 50% increase to double our average ratings." This successful strategy is being replicated in other Clear Channel markets, with one of Clear Channel's executives saying in Billboard, "There's no other programming tactic in radio history that consistently delivers ratings increases...

'225 Weekender': Check out local businesses at Highland Nights

Ahead of the annual White Light Night in Mid City, there's also another neighborhood art hop to experience: Highland Nights. As 225 Weekender reports, the Highland Road Merchants Association will take over part of the historic road Friday night with arts, food and celebration of local artists and vendors. With more than 20 participants, ranging from Bustle Bridal Gowns and Accessories to Yoga Bliss to Frameworks Gallery, you can get a glimpse inside a series of Highland Road businesses and take in offerings by local artists at each venue. The free event is from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Staring Lane to Kenilworth area, and a shuttle will be available to transport art hoppers. Get more details on this event and find out about more local happenings on tap this weekend from the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

BR Walls celebrates the blues tonight

If you look toward downtown Baton Rouge while driving on the Mississippi River bridge, you might be amazed at what has materialized in recent weeks: a 10-story-tall mural of a blues harmonica on the side of a parking garage at the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino. As 225 reports, it's the largest piece of public art in the city. Renowned muralist Robert Dafford and a small team began working on the piece in late September and completed it this week. The mural is titled "Baton Rouge Blues" and is the latest installation from the BR Walls Project, a beautification and economic development nonprofit. The piece will be officially unveiled to the public tonight at the Harmonizing the Arts event, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Belle of Baton Rouge. The event will feature live music from Kenny Acosta, a live and silent auction, and more. Patrons can also sign up to become members of the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation for $20. Read the

The Office closes, will reopen with new name in early December

The Office, a Third Street nightclub and lounge, has closed its doors and will reopen in early December as Breakroom @ IPO. The date and details about the new look will be revealed via The Office's Facebook page as the opening date nears. The Office is just the latest Third Street bar or restaurant to change up its concept in an attempt to attract new business . Earlier this summer, Puncher's closed and reopened as Third Street Pub, and Restaurant IPO brought Chef Scott Varnedoe back in September. —Staff report

'Business Report,' WAFB partnering on new business news broadcast

Business Report and WAFB Channel 9 are teaming up to deliver "It's Your Business," a news segment that will air during 9News This Morning each Monday beginning Nov. 11. Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel will provide news and insight on business events and trends in the Capital Region. "This new franchise will enhance WAFB's coverage of local business news, trends and transactions. We know our viewers will welcome this addition to our Monday morning lineup," says Robb Hays, WAFB news director. "We look forward to the November 11th launch." Riegel has extensive experience in business reporting and in television news. She was with WWL in New Orleans for 12 years and has covered business news for Business Report since 2006. "The local economy is heating up and impacting people's lives in significant ways," says David Dodson, executive editor of Business Report. "We are pleased for this opportunity to team up with WAFB to help its viewers start...

Stars align in B.R. for 2014 Bayou Country Superfest

With pre-sale tickets already on sale as of this afternoon and the full lineup of artists announced at a press conference earlier in the day, the countdown to Bayou Country Superfest 2014 is officially underway. As it marks its fifth anniversary in LSU's Tiger Stadium, the country music festival will expand from two days to three over Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25. In addition to previously announced Friday night headliner George Strait, the schedule now includes Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Reba McEntire. Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice and more will also perform. McEntire will play Friday night, Bryan headlines Saturday night and Aldean headlines Sunday. See the complete daily lineup. Three-day packages, Saturday-Sunday only tickets and single-day passes are all available and will go on sale to the general public...

News alert: Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Reba McEntire and more to join George Strait at 2014 Bayou Country Superfest

Bayou Country Superfest organizers have unveiled the full lineup for next year's festival in Tiger Stadium. Along with previously announced headliner George Strait, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Reba, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice and more will appear at the 5th annual festival, scheduled for May 23-25. See the full lineup. Nearly 70,000 people attended the 2013 event, with 10 performances including Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and others. 225 and Daily Report will have further coverage on the 2014 lineup announcement later today.

Bayou Country Superfest announces lineup

Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Reba McEntire will join George Strait as headliners of the fifth annual Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge next May.

Edwin plays along on must-miss TV

When the previews of The Governor's Wife first aired, my response was that it would be both unwatchable and unmissable, much like a train wreck. It was that way in viewing its debut on A&E Sunday night, but when the second 30-minute episode started right afterward, two train wrecks were too many.

Maginnis: Edwin plays along on must-miss TV

When the previews of The Governor's Wife first aired, columnist John Maginnis says, his first response was that it would be both unwatchable and unmissable, much like a train wreck. "It was that way in viewing its debut on A&E Sunday night, but when the second 30-minute episode started right afterward, two train wrecks were too many," Maginnis writes. "This is pretty awful TV, as it makes Duck Dynasty look like Masterpiece Theater. But given that American Hoggers and Swamp People have secured their places in the vast wasteland of reality programming, who's to say that The Governor's Wife won't find its audience? For its image, Louisiana should be so unlucky." Louisiana viewers, particularly the residual fans of the ex-governor, may have tuned in expecting to be entertained by a running stream of his quips and ripostes about his life and times, Maginnis says. "His fan base was deeply disappointed. There is nothing gubernatorial, or even...

Howard Kadair

"After more than 50 years in the business, I was ready to write a new chapter in my book. My first hope was for a third-generation family business, but none of my sons had the burning desire to pursue the retail business. After determining that was not an option, I pursued qualified buyers in the industry. However, due to the tenuous economic climate, potential buyers were not confident enough to expand out of their marketplaces. Looking forward to retirement, I hope to travel, boat, play tennis, do photography, exercise, and volunteer. I'd love to give back to the Baton Rouge community, which has given me and my family so much over the years."

Greg Milneck

"I became a filmmaker because, as kids, there was always a camera in our face."

Edwin Edwards: 'I don't have an extraordinary life'

With the premiere of their new reality TV show, The Governor's Wife, just around the corner, 86-year-old former Gov. Edwin Edwards and his 35-year-old wife Trina sat down with 225's Matthew Sigur today to discuss their thoughts on the show and reasons for doing it. Edwin says he wasn't sure about the idea of a reality show at first, but as the shooting started, he became more interested in the premise. "I'm not quite sure I said I wanted to do this," he says. "Trina was enthralled with the idea, and I went along with it. I think people have an unusual and unreal opinion of what my life is about. I'm a very ordinary person. I do the ordinary things. I don't have an extraordinary life." The Edwards' marriage, Trina's relationship with Edwin's daughters Anna and Victoria, Trina's discovery of Edwin's reserve of frozen sperm and her desire to deliver Edwin's baby are just some of the elements on display in the new reality show, which premieres on A&E this Sunday, Oct. 27,...

This is Halloween

With Halloween coming up, Baton Rouge has already started celebrating with pumpkin patches, mazes, parties and more. Here's a rundown of events happening this week and onward as you get in the mood for a good scare, plus a playlist of Halloween party-ready tunes!

Uncommonly good

Culture Candy's Uncommon Thread wearable fashion show returns with a showcase at the LSU Museum of Art this weekend.

Show me the money

While the responsibilities of anchors and other on-air TV talent have increased, the salaries they make have not.

Lights! Camera! Insurance?

When Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise—known for performing his own movie stunts—lands safely on his feet after making a death-defying leap from an impossible height, it's not just the Oblivion theater audiences who breathe easier. The insurer that indemnified Universal Pictures against liability connected with the film likely shares their relief.

The changing face of TV news

News anchors have always had a demanding job. WAFB's 9 News This Morning co-host Matt Williams is at the station before 2 a.m. Before he goes on the air at 5 a.m., he culls stories from the newswires, the Web and the previous night's newscast, helping his producers rewrite the content into broadcast-style copy. He edits sports stories and finds factoids and warm, fuzzy features to fill holes in the show. He crafts teases, bumps and lead-ins to read during the folksy, fast-paced two-hour newscast.

Kadair's to close in early November

Kadair's, the city's oldest camera and electronics retailer, will be closing its doors for good in early November. In a letter to longtime customers dated Tuesday, Kadair's assistant manager Steve Ducote says the reason for the closure is the pending retirement of the store's owner, Howard Kadair. "The core of our team has been working together for a long time," says Ducote, himself a 27-year veteran of the company. "I am proud to have been associated with a group of individuals who have the finest work ethic and extend the best customer service in the industry." Ducote referred a call seeking comment to Kadair, who did not respond to the request for comment in time for today Daily Report PM. Kadair's opened in 1946, and from the 1960s until the 1980s operated several camera and film-processing stores locally, including three on Florida Boulevard and its current Essen Lane location. It closed the last of those Florida stores in 2009. Locally owned camera and film-processing...

'225': Eric Holowacz arrives to lead Arts Council in bold new direction

While he waits for his family to arrive from Mildura, Australia—a temperate, flat region in the southeastern part of that faraway continent—Eric Holowacz is getting used to the Baton Rouge humidity. As 225 contributing writer Amy Alexander details in the magazine's latest cover story, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge's new CEO has a lot to keep him busy while he waits. "Along with learning about the various events the Arts Council already organizes, he's working on new ideas. He's planning virtual sculptures that appear only when viewed through a smartphone, old cigarette machines that dispense five-dollar original works of art instead of smokes, and CDs filled with local and regional music to be given to every newborn baby—a symbol of the rich culture they are born into," Alexander writes. "He's also shepherding several ambitious projects kicked off by his predecessor, Derek Gordon, who passed away last fall. Sunday in the Park, River City Jazz...

'Business Report': Metro 21 at center of debate over how to spend extra Cox fee revenue

Though Cox Communications subscribers may not have noticed much change to their monthly cable bill, Business Report notes they've been paying an extra fee since January. "It's called a PEG fee, which stands for public, educational and governmental access, and it amounts to one-half of 1% of the total bill. For the average Cox subscriber, that's a mere increase of about 50 cents per month," writes Stephanie Riegel in an article from the latest issue. For the city-parish, which collects the pass-through fee from Cox to help cover the capital cost of running government access channel Metro 21, the PEG fees are generating $55,000 per month, or about $385,000 so far this year. "It's a modest windfall, but city-parish Public Information Officer Dennis McCain—in charge of Metro 21—has big plans for spending it," reads the article. "McCain wants to revamp the Metro Council chamber's audio visual system, upgrade the cameras and recording equipment, relocate the control...

Director says Manship Theatre 'poised to increase economic footprint'

Renee Chatelain says patrons of the Manship Theatre and the numerous nonprofits, art galleries and other entities housed in downtown's Shaw Center for the Arts spent more than $3.7 million at the venue's shows and surrounding businesses in 2012. "We are poised to increase our economic footprint with new offerings in the coming year," the Manship Theatre's executive director says. Speaking to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, Chatelain highlighted the various offerings at the Shaw Center for the Arts and the economic impact of the center on Baton Rouge. Chatelain also took advantage of the Rotary Club's visit to her venue to show off some of the theater's acoustics with a short performance by Rotarian George Bell and his band, including drummer Herman Jackson, who will leave Baton Rouge on Thursday to begin a tour as drummer for B.B. King. Chatelain says visitors at the Manship Theatre went from 35,000 in 2010—the first year of her tenure—to more than 75,000 last year. "We...

Fee flap

Though Cox Communications subscribers may not have noticed much change to their monthly cable bill, since January they've been paying an extra fee.

A Q&A with Reddit's Alexis Ohanian

Forbes has called him the "Mayor of the Internet." Tech Crunch's Michael Arrington described him as "one of the most passionate and audacious young entrepreneurs in tech today." Alexis Ohanian—best known for co-founding the social news site Reddit in 2005—will be in Baton Rouge as the keynote speaker at the Louisiana Technology and Innovation Breakfast on Oct. 16. He took a few moments to share his thoughts with Business Report on crawfish, the best way to start a company and why Baton Rouge shouldn't bother trying to be the next Silicon Valley.

Edward Closson Smith

Stacks of books are everywhere—fodder for the linseed and turpentine creatures that wheel out of Ed Smith's mind and down his arm onto canvas.

A lovely legacy

Some days, the doors of the small elevator inside the old Art Deco firehouse that shelters the Arts Council will yawn wide open, but there won't be anything there. "We always joke that is Derek coming to check on us," says the council's events manager, Jonathan Grimes. "We still believe he is with us."

Off to a fast art

It's June, but Eric Holowacz's family is cold.

'Baton Rouge Blues Harp' to tower over downtown as sister mural to 'New Orleans Clarinet'

The 10th installment in the BR Walls mural project will be the biggest yet: a 10-story-high harmonica on the south side of the Belle of Baton Rouge parking garage that will be visible from the Mississippi River bridge. "We're the home of the blues for this region, and we want everyone who comes to Baton Rouge to know it," says BR Walls Executive Director Casey Phillips. "This has taken about a year to put together. It's going to be an amazing piece of art, but we also wanted to do something that would be a signature piece for the entire city." Renowned muralist Robert Dafford of Lafayette will complete the mural, which will be a sister piece to the "New Orleans Clarinet" that rises 15 stories on the side of the Holiday Inn on Loyola Avenue. Phillips says some work on the mural has already begun, and it should be completed sometime in late October or early November—weather permitting. "We'll be having a series of events and happenings as we progress on it so everyone can...