Tuesday, November 11, 2014

All about the ARTS in Ruston!

Written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council is pleased to present its 17th annual Holiday Arts Tour in downtown Ruston, November 20-23. Holiday Arts Tour is “all about the arts,” with music, visual artists, writers, dance and theatre.
Beginning on Thursday, November 20th, there will be live music each day, including jazz, bluegrass, country, barbershop harmony, classical, blues, Chinese harp, reggae and body percussion. Thirty-five downtown Ruston locations will play host to artwork by regional artists, as part of Ruston’s Main Street Christmas Open House. 

On Friday, artists will be on site in these shops selling their works from 5 till 9pm. One of the special parts of the Arts Tour is the artist-viewer dynamic; it’s an interactive weekend. Shoppers are welcomed to speak with the creators about their works and to get the inside scoop on these one-of-a-kind items. Saturday’s hours are noon till 6pm and will expand to include artists’ demonstrations, such as oil painting, printmaking, and quilting. In the afternoon there will be a round-robin poetry reading featuring four regional poets. The poetry reading was added to last year’s Tour and was a great success.

On Sunday, from 1:30 till 3:30, will be Sprout Sunday, art projects for children with six of the participating Arts Tour artists. A book reading by a local children’s author, a fiber-based ornament and a paper-folded puppet are included in the roster.

A perfect ending is the Community Variety Show at 4:00pm on Sunday. This show will include dancing, vocal and instrumental music, and theatre. It’s an entertaining line-up!
Photo credit: Peter Jones
All of the performances and activities in Holiday Arts Tour are free to the public as part of NCLAC’s mission to foster opportunities for creative expression and build a region where the arts can thrive.
For a complete schedule and listing of all artists and sites, please visit nclarts.org/HolidayArtsTour.
Holiday Arts Tour is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

 Tell us about your adventures in #RustonLA!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Ruston has the charm!

Local revitalization and numerous outdoor activities led USA Today Travel to crown Ruston one of the most charming small towns in the South. Author Carri Wilbanks uses the beautiful photography of Tim Mueller as a showcase to share some of the highlights of Ruston's charm.

Best known as the home of Louisiana Tech University ... 

Ruston, La., is an eclectic mix of hip, artsy 
districts as well as a large historic downtown.

Nestled in the north-central region of Louisiana, 
this college town of approximately 20,000 has also been 
featured in "Where to Retire" magazine for its outdoor 
offerings, quality of life and reasonable cost of living.

Some of the features, which draw both 
students and families alike, include bass fishing, 
camping and biking in Lincoln Parish Park.

The Dixie Center for the Arts – a 600 seat 
vintage movie theater with a legacy as 
big as its large marquee - is also a big draw.

 As is the Squire Creek
 Louisiana Peach Festival each June.

Here is what's being said locally!

“Ruston and Lincoln Parish have so much to offer visitors in the way of outdoor parks and recreation, live sports and entertainment, and arts and theatre. Most importantly, as our community continues to grow, we have preserved a warm and friendly culture that makes these visitors feel welcome and want to come back, year after year. The recognition by USA Today is significant and I hope it will draw more visitors to Ruston and Lincoln Parish to experience the people and places that make our community special.” 
      -Dave Guerin, Louisiana Tech University

"Since moving to Ruston a little over a year ago, I have been impressed with the way the community comes together to make things happen, and how they really love and respect each other. My husband has always talked about moving back to Ruston since receiving his two degrees from Louisiana Tech University, and now being here I can speak from experience that it is the people that make this place so charming!"
      -Ivana Flowers, Chamber of Commerce

"Ruston is a charming city, because it offers a small town atmosphere with access to metropolitan opportunities through education, cultural and sporting events at Louisiana Tech. Ruston is a charming city rooted in tradition, but focused on progress."
      -Robyn Brown, Heritage Reality 

 Tell us about your adventures in #RustonLA!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rosemary's Kitchen - Simply Unique

Written by Erica Clark, CVB Interim Administrative Assistant

Rosemary’s Kitchen, along with the mother-daughter duo Rosemary Thomas and Sara Corley, are celebrating their second year of business at the end of September. Rosemary’s Kitchen is a restaurant unlike any other. Using old family recipes and new world flavors combined with the freshest ingredients, they serve some of the best homemade food around.  I was asked to write a little something and was overwhelmed with excitement because Rosemary’s is one of my favorite places to have lunch

Rosemary Thomas and Sara Corley
To help me learn more about what goes on at Rosemary’s Kitchen, I met with long-time employee and Wait-Staff Manager, Ansley Judd. Ansley has been with owner, Sara Corley since just after the grand opening in September of 2012. When asked what she thought has made Rosemary’s so successful, Ansley responded, 

"When you eat at Rosemary’s, it feels like you are coming home for Sunday dinner."

"That is what people expect and that is what we give them. We really get to know the people we serve and it creates an overall ‘homey’ and safe atmosphere. People really like that.” She followed up with this statement: “But I can honestly say that the community and the customers make the business for us. Without you guys, we wouldn’t have the extreme success we have had.” I would like to elaborate a bit of here. I agree with Ansley “Sunday Dinner” comment. I am a college student at Louisiana Tech and for many of us, it is nice to have a place where we can feel at home – especially when we cannot be at home for extended periods of time. Personally, I love seeing familiar faces and being treated with a bit of southern charm and warming hospitality.

Homemade bread is available for purchase.
Moving forward on the topic of success, I asked Ansley since Rosemary’s has grown a great deal over the years since their opening whether she foresees them needing to relocate to accommodate more people. 

Ansley said, “We actually just added seating, we can now serve a little over seventy people. But to address your question more directly, would we like to expand? Eventually yes, who wouldn’t want to expand…? I don’t think any of us (the staff or even Sara) expected Rosemary’s to grow so popular so quickly. Right now, we are taking things as they come. We are all very excited, I am happy for Sara and Mrs. Rosemary.” 

"So you enjoy working at Rosemary's?"Judd surprised me again with her response. She said, “I love working there, I love the people I work for and the people I work with. Sara is not just our boss. If we are short-handed, she will be out there waiting tables with us.” 

Only the freshest ingredient are used daily!

I then asked her to walk me through the daily routine at Rosemary’s. She told me the day can start as early as 5am. All of the food is fresh daily, so there is a lot of prep that goes into lunch. Everything served to customers is locally grown; they use local vendors - when we don’t get things from Rosemary’s own garden, of course. Even their beef is local. “We strive the have the most natural products for our customers, ones without additives. Some of our goods come from the Ruston Farmer’s Market too.”
"Would you believe that the Farmers Market is actually where Rosemary's originated? Most people don't know that Sara and Rosemary sold goods there."  
As if any of that wasn’t surprising enough, Ansley told me that Rosemary’s Kitchen is actually the first restaurant that the two have owned. When asked about the recipes, Ansley said, “Their recipes are original and their own, if they share them with you it’s a big deal… Most of our staff doesn’t know anything about the recipes. Sara has given me one of my favorite recipes - the Carmel Latte Cake, but even when I try to make it on my own it just doesn’t turn out like hers.” I couldn’t get her to spill anymore about their recipes; however, she did tell me some interesting facts about the most popular dishes. One of which, is a personal favorite of mine - the Chicken Salad. I was shocked to learn that Rosemary’s goes through 70-90lbs of chicken a week! Can you imagine? She also mentioned that they have various knickknacks to purchase around the restaurant including dish clothes, aprons, and bags. Much emphasis is placed on everything being made by hand and by locals.

Goodies on the go!
After interviewing with Ansley, my heart for Rosemary’s grew (like it needed help). I am sure after reading this blog, others of you will feel that way too. In closing, I would like to thank Ansley Judd for being so open with me. 

On behalf of Rosemary’s Kitchen, she would like to invite you to attend their upcoming event – Utterly Sweet Tasting. This unique taste testing will be held on site Friday, October 3rd beginning at 5:30pm. There will be a live music, along with a chance to tasting some of the local products they sell and use in the store. If you are not able to attend this event, do not fret. They host events every few months and they are always serving lunch from 11am - 1:30pm (and open until 5:30pm) Monday through Friday.  

Beef and Bean Chili
Rosemary’s Kitchen is located at 400 South Bonner Street, Ruston, LA 71270. The menu items change weekly and can be found at rosemarys-kitchen.com. For more information, check out their website or call 318-202-5951.

 Tell us about your adventures in #RustonLA
and remember to #EatLocal!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Peace, Love Art & YOGA

Did you know Ruston is home to a festival devoted entirely to the well-being of your mind, body and spirit? It’s the PLAY Festival hosted by Louisiana Yoga & Paddle. Come out October 11 to celebrate Peace, Love, Art & Yoga!

There’s no doubt yoga is rapidly growing in popularity as a way to stay physically and mentally balanced. The multitude of benefits range from stress relief and heart health to better posture, improved flexibility and weight management. 

The Yoga Barn

Yoga instructors from North Louisiana have joined together to bring this festival into its second year as a way to give back to the community. You can expect a variety of yoga and fitness classes throughout the day, led by different area instructors. Events on the agenda include stand-up paddleboard demonstrations, sessions in slack lining, aerial yoga and acro yoga. There will also be classes on belly dancing and Zumba. Yoga sessions will be held in various locations on site like the open-air Yoga Barn, the beautiful pond for stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga and a colorfully-decorated open pasture.

Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga

The PLAY Festival will also be showcasing a variety of works from local artists. Visitors will have the opportunity to shop jewelry, clothing, paintings, pottery and much more. Food vendors will be on site, as well as local musicians providing live entertainment. And the fun won’t stop until the sun goes down! 

Bring the entire family; there’s something for everyone! Yoga classes for beginners and children will be offered throughout the day. Also featured are presentations on stretching, meditating and nutrition. Other activities for the kids include wilderness trails, face painting and farm animals! 

Last year, the PLAY Festival was a huge success for Courtney Thibault of Louisiana Yoga & Paddle and the many instructors who donated their time. More than 400 people of all ages and backgrounds were in attendance. With more than 20 exhibitors registered, this year’s festival is becoming a highly anticipated event. 

Aerial Yoga
Come out and celebrate yoga, art and a healthy lifestyle. This event is free and open to the public, beginning at 8 a.m. Not experienced or don’t think yoga is for you? This is the PERFECT opportunity for anyone interested in a healthy lifestyle to learn more about yoga and its benefits!
Louisiana Yoga and Paddle is located at 3458 LA Highway 818, Ruston, LA 71270. For more information visit 
www.yogaandpaddle.com or call 318-548-7071.
Grab your yoga mats (and a change of clothes for SUP Yoga) and we'll see you there!

 Tell us about your adventures in #RustonLA!

Friday, September 12, 2014


Written by Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director

Now that we have passed Labor Day, I find myself yearning for Fall. Most of September is officially the fall season, even though Louisiana weather often disagrees. However, everyone is back in school, football has begun, and our minds begin to wander toward pumpkins and cooler weather. To celebrate this new season and enjoy an early evening outdoors, be sure to come downtown for the Fall Crawl. Several arts-businesses in downtown Ruston are joining together for a great evening on September 19, from 5-8pm.

Painting by Frank Folino, OFM
Fine Line Art Supply will be featuring Frank Folino, OFM, of St. Thomas Aquinas. Father Frank’s mixed media paintings, with bold color and deep relief, are expressionistic and engaging. Kelly Moore Bag will be featuring husband and wife photography team Hannah Cooper McCauley and Zachary McCauley. These artists are Masters Candidates at Louisiana Tech and each has been recognized, awarded, published and exhibited nationally in the last year. This is a great opportunity to buy works by artists on the rise. Kelly Moore Bag will also be hosting music by Josh + Jenn.

Be sure to stop by Main Street Exchange, who will be featuring toys created by Christiane Drieling, whose craftsmanship is impeccable. Main Street Exchange’s featured nonprofit of the month is NCLAC—so sales at the shop will support our organization this month! Makers Union will have James Gilcrease from Day Old Blues Records with a pop-up shop chock full of vinyl. He’ll be spinning records, of course, so head over to treat your ears.

Works by Andi and Robert Moran

Just down the street at Studio 301 is another husband and wife team, Robert and Andi Moran, who will be exhibiting sculptural works. Robert and Andi are a creative powerhouse, with experience as designers of furniture, ceramics, lighting and more. Around the corner at Pastry Moon, owner Bonnie Ferguson will have her new autumn soaps as well as the artists she regularly features, such as Dorene Kordal’s felt, Whitney Caskey’s photography, and Lora Lee’s jewelry. I hear a buzz about a musician at Pastry Moon as well… Frame of Mind will be exhibiting new works by artist Peter Hay, who recently graduated from LA Tech’s MFA program, but has since moved back to Oklahoma. Peter is a fine printmaker and painter, with a style rooted in surrealism, often depicting beautifully illustrated animal imagery.

At the Dixie Center for the Arts, Dubach artist Nina Stephens’ oil paintings will be featured. As a self-taught artist, Nina channels her emotions and energy by creating pieces that represent personal journeys along with locally inspired pieces and animal portraits. Art Innovations is joining the Fall Crawl, and will have an installation titled A Walk in the Woods, featuring bird houses and bows by Francis Carson, and small paintings by Jackie Cochran. Alexandria Bozeman will be on site creating “Energy Portraits,” and there’s rumor of hot dogs and s’mores!

Plans are still begin generated, with conversations about food, music, and book readings, so be sure to mark this date on your calendar. If you remember, there was a Spring Crawl earlier this year, and there were people everywhere! It was a wonderful night. Let’s make it happen again. Grab a friend and head downtown after work. Join our facebook event for continued details.

 Tell us about your adventures in #RustonLA!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Top Fall To-Do in Ruston, LA

It's going to be a great fall in Ruston! We hate to see summer go, but with cooler weather and beautiful Autumn colors also comes many of our favorite events. Festivals, music, theatre and of course, FOOTBALL! Don't miss out on all the excitement. Take a look at the Top To-Dos in Ruston this coming Fall.

Masters of Soul

October 21 at 6 p.m.
The Masters of Soul is a celebration of Motown artists and their music and lifestyles. You don't want to miss the stylish costumes, choreographed tributes and of course, the dynamic vocals of these seasoned musicians!
Lincoln Parish Library - 910 North Trenton Street - Ruston, LA 71270

Eli Young Band
November 13 at 9 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.)
We love great music out on the big stage! Come check out one of country music's hottest bands at this outdoor concert! Get your tickets here.  
The Revelry - 2647 South Service Road West - Ruston, LA 71270

Jason Coleman
November 15 at 7 p.m. 
Don't miss this inspiring performance from Jason Coleman and the Piano Magic of Floyd Cramer! This unique concert features Jason honoring his Grandfather Cramer at the piano.  
Dixie Center for the Arts - 212 North Vienna Street - Ruston, LA 71270

17th Annual Holiday Arts Tour
November 20-22
It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts. Join us for this celebration of local artists as downtown merchants host a weekend of art, music and shopping. For more information visit www.nclarts.org.
Downtown Ruston, LA

October 24 from 5 to10 p.m.
This annual event benefits the North Central Louisiana Arts Council and features local brewers providing sample of their beers alongside many regional and national beer providers. Food trucks will also be onsite site! Come out and support the arts! 
Norton Building - 207 West Mississippi Avenue - Ruston, LA 71270

Louisiana Chicken Festival 
September 26-17
It's time again for this annual festival in Dubach, LA! You can enjoy arts & crafts booths, live music, a parade, carnival rides and so much more! For more information visit www.rustonlincoln.com
Downtown Dubach, LA

P.L.A.Y Festival
October 11 beginning at 8 a.m.
What does NELA have in common with San Francisco, NYC and London? An annual festival centered around the well-being of your mind, body and spirit! Come out and celebrate Peace, Love, Art and Yoga!
Louisiana Yoga & Paddle - 3458 LA-181 - Ruston, LA 71270

Country Western Boot Skoot Boogie Night
October 25 at 6 p.m.
Put on your blue jeans and dust off those cowboy boots for this shindig at the library!
Lincoln Parish Library - 910 North Trenton Street - Ruston, LA 71270

China Circus Acrobats
September 27 at 7 p.m.
You do not want to miss this incredible performance from the China Circus Acrobats! 
Dixie Center for the Arts - 212 North Vienna Street - Ruston, LA 71270

Til Beth Do Us Part
October 9-12
Come have a few laughs as the Ruston Community Theatre acts out this romantic farce written by Jones Hope Wooten. 
Dixie Center for the Arts - 212 North Vienna Street - Ruston, LA 71270

Spooktacular Night at the Dixie
October 30 
It's going to be a night of Halloween reels and chills featuring the Tom Hanks 1989 comedy and suspense film The 'Burbs!
Dixie Center for the Arts - 212 North Vienna Street - Ruston, LA 71270

LA Tech vs. Northwestern State
September 20 at 6 p.m.
Come out and watch the Bulldogs dominate the field! For a complete game schedule visit www.latechsport.com. Check out the list of home games below.

October 4 - LA Tech vs. UTEP
October 18 - LA Tech vs. UTSA
November 1 - LA Tech vs. Western Kentucky (Homecoming)
November 29 - LA Tech vs. Rice

21st Annual Piney Hills Classic Mountain Bike Race
September 27-28
Round 3 of the Texas Cup, this is one of the oldest races in the south! Join this cross country race open to all ages and abilities!
Lincoln Parish Park - 211 Parish Park Road - Ruston, LA 71270

Grambling State University vs. Alcorn State
October 11 at 2 p.m.
Football frenzy is swing! Check out the GSU Tigers take on Alcorn State University. For a complete game schedule visit www.gsutigers.com and take a look at the home games listed below.

October 18 - GSU vs.University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (Homecoming)
November 15 -  GSU vs. Alabama State University 

Cotton Country Horse Show
October 18
Come enjoy these beautiful creatures in this all-breeds horse show.
Northeast Louisiana Exhibition Center - 165 Fairgrounds Road - Ruston, LA 71270

Gulf Coast Bike Championship
November 16
Watch as the top racers from Mississippi and Louisiana go head to head to determine who is the best in the Gulf Coast Region.
Lincoln Parish Park - 211 Parish Park Road - Ruston, LA 71270

 Tell us about your adventures in #RustonLA!