Content tagged “Arts, culture and entertainment”

Bayou Country Superfest to include third day again in 2015

When the Bayou Country Superfest returns to Tiger Stadium for its sixth year over Memorial Day weekend next year, it will be a three-day festival for the second straight year. When Festival Productions Inc. confirmed the festival would return in 2015 earlier this year, it initially only indicated a two-day festival. Today, organizers confirmed the 2015 engagement will include a full lineup of artists on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 22-24. The first four festivals were all two-day affairs. The full lineup of artists for the 2015 festival is due to be released on Nov. 5. During this year's first three-day festival, area hotels took in a record $3.4 million, according to figures from Smith Travel Research. The extra day also boosted overall festival attendance to a record 135,000 fans. Last week,

'225 Weekender': Hear the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra kick off its season tonight

The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra begins a new season tonight with help from a critically acclaimed guest performer. As 225 Weekender reports, violinist Yevgeny Kutik joins BRSO for a Masterworks performance at 7:30 p.m. at the River Center Theatre. Tickets start at $39. Kutik and the orchestra will perform works from Marschner, Bruch and Schumann. Though he calls Boston home, Kutik has toured the globe as a guest soloist, appearing with the Riverside Symphony in New York City, the Tokyo Vivaldi Ensemble and the Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. He made his debut with the Boston Pops in 2003 as the first-prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Young Artists Competition. In March, he released his second album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures. Get the scoop on more local events taking place this weekend in the new 225 Weekender...

New Orleans art project with $23M impact expands to Baton Rouge

This Friday will mark the opening in Baton Rouge of a three-month-long, multigallery contemporary art series called Prospect.3 + BR: Notes Upriver, the first iteration of which, held in New Orleans for eight weeks in 2008, had an economic impact of $23.2 million citywide. One in eight gallery visitors, many who needed to stay in hotels, took home a piece of art. Consumer spending by attendees totaled $13.9 million, and New Orleans and the state drew in $1.25 million in sales tax. The exhibit was able to bring vacant space, in auto repair shops, empty lots and churches, into commerce, as it will this year in Baton Rouge. The entire, usually vacant, fourth floor of Chase Tower South downtown will be filled with art from 50 local, regional and national artists from Oct. 25 to Jan. 25. This is Baton Rouge's first year to participate in the exhibition. In addition, fifteen galleries will host art throughout the city between Oct. 17 and Jan. 24, kicking off with an opening at 5 p.m. Friday...

The name game

Where once .com, .org, .net and .biz prevailed, companies soon will have more than 1,000 generic top-level domains from which to choose to brand themselves online.

Case Study: What can be done to manage online reviews of my company or product?

How your business leverages positive comments while managing negative reviews, and learning from them, is crucial to its success. Digital reviews are becoming increasingly influential, so Business Report recently asked three local business professionals—BlinkJar Media founder and CEO Jared Broussard; Covalent Logic CEO Stafford Kendall; and Gatorworks founder and President Brian Rodriguez—for their thoughts on the best way to manage an online reputation. Broussard suggests five tips for managing negative reviews, the first of which is just being aware of your online presence and reputation. Along with using tracking software and claiming your business profiles on review sites to best manage what people are saying, he says you should have a process in place for responding to negative reviews. "When your business responds to a negative review, it shows that your business cares and values feedback from the consumer," he says. The task of managing everything that's...

BR-shot 'The Maze Runner' tops box office in opening weekend

Despite somewhat slow sales for its Thursday night and Friday matinee shows, The Maze Runner finished strongly to gross an estimated $32.5 million in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend, topping the box office and solidly meeting expectations. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the film adaptation of a young-adult book of the same title—which was made for roughly $30 million and shot primarily in the Baton Rouge area—sped past other new releases this weekend. The Liam Neeson thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones came in second with $13.1 million, followed by the comedy-drama This Is Where I Leave You, which took in $11.9 million. Maze Runner production designer Marc Fishichella recently spoke with 225 about shooting the film here. He says designing the main attraction—a gigantic maze with...

'Times-Pic' request for Kenner to rebid ad contract falls on deaf ears

The Kenner City Council has decided, for now at least, not to reconsider its selection of The New Orleans Advocate as the city's official journal of record. Earlier this month, NOLA Media Group, which owns The Times-Picayune/, accused Advocate President and COO Dan Shea of inflating the newspaper's circulation data in the New Orleans area and asked the Kenner council to reconsider the contract it awarded The New Orleans Advocate in June, making it the city's official newspaper. At its regular meeting Thursday night, however, council members cited an opinion from the Kenner city attorney, saying there is no legal reason to throw out The Advocate's bid. At least one council member also said circulation data was not the basis for awarding the contract. NOLA Media Group Executive Vice President David Francis, who testified at Thursday's...

How to do PARK(ing) Day right

The return of the global event PARK(ing) Day to Baton Rouge this Friday will create temporary mini-parks at 16 sites across the city—and will probably cause countless double takes from confused passersby.

Ah, look at all the lonely people!

This Thursday at 7:30 p.m. the Louisiana International Film Festival presents an advance pre-release screening of the new romantic drama The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby at Cinemark Perkins Rowe. The screening is free, but tickets are limited.

Case Study: What can be done to manage online reviews of my company or product?

In a perfect world, customers would base their buying decisions on the actual quality of a business or service instead of on opinions of anonymous Internet users whose remarks may or may not be valid. Word-of-mouth recommendations are still important; but online, comments and posts live in perpetuity and can influence purchasing decisions for weeks, months, even years to come. How your business leverages positive comments while managing negative reviews—and learning from them—is crucial to its success. Digital reviews are becoming increasingly influential, so we asked three business professionals for their thoughts on the best way to manage an online reputation.

Reinventing AllBrands

When he was in the seventh grade, John Douthat had an encounter with a pig that he thought was a sure sign of his future career path.

'Times-Pic' accuses 'Advocate' of inflating NOLA area circulation numbers

NOLA Media Group, which owns The Times-Picayune/, has accused The Advocate of inflating its circulation data in the New Orleans area and is asking the Kenner City Council to reconsider the contract it awarded in June to The New Orleans Advocate, making it the city's official newspaper. In a letter sent Thursday to Kenner Mayor Michael Yenni, NOLA Media Group Executive Vice President David Francis says The Advocate's President and COO Dan Shea overstated the paper's New Orleans-area circulation for the first quarter of 2014 by 18% and for the second quarter by 22%. Francis says Shea also overstated Kenner circulation figures by 17% and 22% during the same periods. "Mr. Shea should have known these significantly lower figures," Francis writes. "Instead, he stood at the podium and told you inflated figures." Circulation data is important because the...

Tipitina's looking to expand BR presence with new facility on Melrose

Tipitina's Foundation, the not-for-profit charity organization that grew out of the iconic New Orleans music venue, is looking to expand its reach in Baton Rouge. The foundation has filed a conditional use permit with the City-Parish Planning Commission, saying it hopes to buy property on Melrose Boulevard to "provide rehearsal space, educational programs and services for our area's current and emerging musicians." The foundation currently provides such services at its location at 2600 Government St., where its Tipitina's Music Office Co-Op has been located since 2006. According to the application, a company called Studio Network LLC is seeking to acquire and renovate buildings at 5049 and 5069 Melrose Blvd. on behalf of the foundation. The properties are located just off Florida Boulevard, across the street from the Baton Rouge Community College campus. "The buildings will be converted into office and classroom space, audio and visual recording studios, digital media editing suites,...

Be a hero

There is something to be said for indulging our childlike love of silly games, putting on costumes and playing pretend.

Moving up the dial

The Jim Engster Show is leaving public radio station WRKF 89.3 FM and moving to Guaranty Broadcasting's Talk 107.3 FM. The one-hour talk show will expand to two hours and air live statewide during the weekday afternoon drive time from 4 to 6 p.m. The host's final broadcast on WRKF will be on Halloween. For Engster the move is an opportunity to reach a broader audience. His network, the Louisiana Radio Network, produces the show and will offer it to Guaranty affiliates around the state. Bill Profita, who currently hosts drive time talk on 107.3, will be moving to mornings, from 5:30 to 10 a.m. No word yet from WRKF on a program replacement.

Red Jacket Firearms cuts ties with 'Sons of Guns' star accused of raping child

A Baton Rouge firearms company at the center of the reality show Sons of Guns is distancing itself from the program's star this week after he was arrested on charges of repeatedly raping a child. Will Hayden was arrested Tuesday. Today, Red Jacket Firearms says that it is "with heavy hearts" that it has legally cut ties with Hayden, but that it will continue to operate. "We are the heart and soul of Red Jacket and will remain steadfast in our commitment to quality and our customers, for years to come," reads a statement on the company's website. An email request sent by The Associated Press for information from the company was not immediately answered. After the arrest, The Discovery Channel canceled the show, citing "the serious and horrific nature of the charges" against the star. Hayden remained in prison as of this morning, jail records showed, with bail set at $250,000. He was arrested on aggravated rape charges involving a child, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's...

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

Baton Rouge Gallery pairs an iconic silent film with a never-before-heard live soundtrack in its Movies & Music on the Lawn series. 225 Weekender reports the latest installment features local electro-pop duo England in 1819 providing the live soundtrack for Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger on Friday evening. The screening begins around 8 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes free bottomless popcorn. The film stars Ivor Novello as a quiet, secretive young man whose arrival in a London boarding house coincides with the terrifying actions of Jack the Ripper. England in 1819, which has been called one of Louisiana's top acts by Paste Magazine, released its third album, Fireball Electric Tomorrow, last year. Get details on more local events happening this weekend in the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

Georges talks about decision to build new BR headquarters, newsroom

Several factors were behind publisher John Georges' decision to build a new corporate headquarters for The Advocate on the site of the newspaper's Reiger Road printing presses. “You can't ever put a single reason on a decision I make,” Georges tells Daily Report. “But one of the main factors is that I prefer always to own buildings rather than rent them, if possible. Call me old-fashioned.” Georges today announced his plans to build a three-story, 48,500-square-foot building that will house the newsroom for the Baton Rouge Advocate, as well as the business offices for all three editions of The Advocate. Georges declines to say what he plans to spend on the new building, but the market rate averages between $200- and $300-per-square-foot for new office building construction, which could put the price tag in the range of $10 million to $15 million. The high visibility of the site—which can easily be seen off Interstate 10 at the...

WBRZ hires anchor to replace Vann on '2une In'

WBRZ News 2 has hired Kylie Dixon as longtime anchor Whitney Vann's replacement on the station's 2une In show. Dixon, who is coming to Baton Rouge from KXII News in Sherman, Texas, will make a cameo appearance on the show Wednesday, and will begin co-anchoring the show with John Pastorek on Friday. Vann, who announced she is stepping away from the program in June, has co-anchored it for the past 17 years—the longest anyone has hosted a morning show in Baton Rouge, WBRZ says. “I've had an amazing 17 years hosting 2une In. But it is time to pass the baton in Baton Rouge to someone else,” Vann says in a prepared statement. “I know the station did a nationwide search for that special someone who would be the perfect fit on 2une In. Kylie is that person. I look forward to welcoming her on 2une In and introducing her to our loyal...

Engster leaving WRKF for Talk 107.3 FM, expanding show to two hours

The Jim Engster Show is leaving public radio station WRKF 89.3 FM and moving up the dial to Guaranty Broadcasting's Talk 107.3 FM, which will expand the one-hour talk show to two hours and air it live statewide during the weekday afternoon drive time from 4 to 6 p.m. Engster made the announcement on the air this morning. His final broadcast on WRKF will be on Halloween, Friday, Oct. 31. For Engster the move is an opportunity to reach a broader audience. His network, the Louisiana Radio Network, produces the show and will offer it to Guaranty affiliates around the state. "This is a return to the show's roots in a statewide audience," Engster says. "People all across Louisiana will be able to talk to newsmakers directly." For Guaranty, which launched its talk radio station in 2011, the Engster show brings the potential for a devoted following of listeners. "It's really a wonderful combination," says Gordy Rush, Guaranty vice president and Baton Rouge market manager. "Jim is one...

'225 Weekender': See singer-songwriter Don McLean

Don McLean, the voice behind hits such as "American Pie" and "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)," performs at the River Center Theater on Friday at 8 p.m. As 225 Weekender reports, since his career took off in 1971, McLean has garnered more than 40 gold and platinum records across the globe. In 2004, he was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. In 2009, McLean released his 20th album Addicted to Black. Though McLean is now considered one of folk music's gems, his debut album, Tapestry, was rejected more than 70 times by labels before finally being released in 1970. Find out about more events on tap for this weekend in the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

'The Advocate' acquires 4 weekly newspapers

The Advocate announced today that it is acquiring four weekly newspapers to increase its coverage of the Baton Rouge area as it continues to expand across south Louisiana. The papers are the Zachary Plainsman-News in Zachary, The Watchman in East Feliciana Parish, The St. Francisville Democrat in West Feliciana Parish and The St. Helena Echo in Greensburg. The terms of the agreement between Capital City Press—the parent company of The Advocate—and Louisiana State Newspapers weren't disclosed. The sale of the four newspapers includes the assets of their websites and a free "shopper" publication, the Zachary Plainsman-Xtra. Advocate Publisher John Georges says the move builds upon the company's strategy to give advertisers and readers more options for local news, in print and online. "We will continue to expand our portfolio of community weeklies to provide additional reach beyond the already powerful market penetration of...

Naaz Boutique closes its doors at Perkins Rowe

New Orleans-based Naaz Boutique has closed its Baton Rouge store in Perkins Rowe, which was located in suite E160 between Anthropologie and Sur La Table. The women's fashion boutique had a temporary tenant lease at Perkins Rowe, says Donna Taylor, senior vice president of asset management and new business at Stirling Properties, which in January became the property management company for Perkins Rowe. Taylor says the boutique closed its doors last month. "We have temporary tenant leases that we do at Perkins Rowe for tenants who come in and they're not quite sure whether or not this market is the right market to be in," Taylor explains. "In this case, Naaz found that [Baton Rouge] was not the market that they were going to be successful in." Taylor says that Naaz isn't relocating elsewhere in Baton Rouge. "They're simply closing [the Perkins Rowe] store," she says. Perkins Rowe does...

Celtic Media Centre executive: The American Dream is alive and well in Louisiana, thanks to film

Patrick Mulhearn says the American Dream "is alive and well in the Louisiana film industry," and the state should continue to compete for new film and television projects to support "a nonpolluting industry [that is] reversing the brain drain" that has been the state's curse for decades. Mulhearn, executive director of film studio Celtic Media Centre, reminded the Baton Rouge Press Club today that "everybody wants [the film] industry for a reason. These are good-paying, green jobs," and their numbers have grown exponentially as a result of the Louisiana Motion Picture Tax Incentive, a system of credits paid to companies that spend more than $300,000 a year in the state making films and television shows. "Right now, it is estimated that 14,000 jobs are supported by the film industry in Louisiana," Mulhearn said. "Compare that to the 16,000 jobs in the seafood industry." The incentive program is crucial, Mulhearn said, because the competition is so cutthroat among states and provinces...

​'225 Weekender': Hear Chris Hillman perform in Red Dragon's Songwriter Series

Singer-songwriter Chris Hillman, a founding member of 1960s bands The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers, will perform at Manship Theatre Friday at 7:30 p.m. as part of Red Dragon's Songwriter Series. Tickets start at $59, and Herb Pedersen will join Hillman on stage. Both songwriters have extensive country and bluegrass backgrounds. Hillman's credits include co-writing The Byrds' hit "So You Want to be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" and The Desert Rose Band's "I Still Believe in You." Read Jeff Roedel's interview with Hillman. Local songwriter Ryan Harris, who is preparing to release a new album, will open. Get the scoop on the rest of this weekend's Capital City events in the latest edition of the weekly e-newsletter 225 Weekender.

Jim Engster

"Director Woody Allen said that 'Showing up is 80 percent of life.' He made that statement five days after the death of Elvis Presley, both of whom were born in 1935. Allen has weathered the ravages of age, sometimes brilliantly, other times scandalously, while Elvis has presumably been dead for the past 37 years. I arrived as a freshman at LSU on the day Elvis expired at age 42, and I watched more talented classmates veer down the Presley path, burning out far too early due to a lack of commitment to excellence. Even in the often-fickle media world, success is predicated more on dedication than on ability. Allen called it right. Excellence in life starts by showing up."

'Times-Pic' adds Monday, Saturday print editions for fall

The Times-Picayune has announced it will publish two extra printed editions per week during the upcoming football and holiday shopping seasons. In a letter to readers, published online on Saturday and on the front page of the printed, Sunday edition of The Times-Picayune, the paper announced that as of Sept. 6 it will begin offering "bonus editions" on Mondays and Saturdays to its three-day, home-delivery subscribers at no additional cost. "The bonus edition will contain a full lineup of news, sports and entertainment news produced by Louisiana's largest news organization for the state's largest audience," the statement says. "Our readers' interest peaks in the fall and so does our advertisers' desire to reach them. So we are expanding our print coverage to meet the heightened reader intensity and to serve our advertisers, who depend on us to serve their customers." The move comes a little more than two years after the beloved New Orleans daily inflamed...

From welder to auditor to the world of fashion

It's hard to see the welder from Walker in the 29-year-old man with close-cropped black hair, black-and-white Chuck Taylors, tuxedo trousers, and black and gray checked shirt collared loosely with a turquoise tie in a half-Windsor knot. Doug Secrest has come a long way.

'225 Weekender': See Theatre Baton Rouge's 'The Shape of Things'

Neil LaBute's controversial play The Shape of Things is coming to the Capital City. As 225 Weekender reports, LaBute explores in the play how far a man goes for love. Theatre Baton Rouge's production begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22. Additional performances take place Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Sunday's show also includes a post-performance discussion. Performances will also take place next weekend. LaBute's play is an R-rated retelling of the fall of man and revolves around a shy, insecure Adam who gets involved with the sexy, aggressive Evelyn. Get more details and the scoop on more events taking place in Baton Rouge this weekend in the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

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...