Bossier Arts Council says it’s in talks with city council to continue management of East Bank District

This comes after the city council proposed cutting funding to the BAC earlier in October.
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 1:32 PM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - The Bossier Arts Council (BAC) and the Bossier City Council are discussing terms so the BAC can continue to manage the East Bank District.

This comes after the city council proposed cutting funding to the BAC earlier in October.

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The BAC posted on its Instagram account on Tuesday, Oct. 18 saying they met with the city council during its regularly scheduled meeting earlier that day.

Executive director of BAC, Brittainy Pope, released the following statement about their meeting with the city council:

“The possibility of Ordinance 71 being repealed has transformed into a resolution to explore the terms of Ordinance 71! We would like to thank the Bossier City Council for a reasonable resolution that speaks towards efforts to continue the harmonious relationship with the City of Bossier. The Bossier Arts Council looks forward to working with City Officials to reach agreeable terms that will allow the BAC to continue managing The East Bank Plaza. At this time, we would also like to thank everyone that has chosen to advocate for us! Without your voices, our efforts to be a voice for the arts and cultural development of Bossier Parish would not go as far in the world. Though the voices are many, the sound of your concern and support is one! Our supporters fuel our continued efforts to uphold our mission for years to come, and we are forever grateful for each and every one of you.”

Bossier City Councilman Vince Maggio represents the East Bank District.

“I love the Bossier Arts Council and I love what they do for the East Bank District. I’m going to fight for them to have their way,” he said.

“I am absolutely happy and I’m optimistic now that the opportunity has presented itself for us to sit down with all parties involved, the city and us, to be able to negotiate the terms,” said Pope.

The BAC says it’s grateful for Maggio’s support.

“I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about him [Maggio] and his support towards us, and that’s touching honestly,” said Jeremy Hefner, venue coordinator for the BAC.

The BAC is especially grateful because of its long-term involvement with the district.

“There was one vision that was set out from the beginning. The growth that has come a long the way, we’ve been here along the way for that growth,” Pope said.

The BAC says the loss of funding would’ve been rough for them.

“When a nonprofit hears that a fifth of their budget is gonna’ be cut, they get a little nervous,” Hefner said.

The arts council has a number of reasons why they believe they should continue to manage the events space.

“The fact that we’re directly across the street in and of itself is a very good point. We have eyes on the plaza at all times. We have cameras facing it. We have marketing directed at it. We have an LED screen board facing the plaza promoting the events there. Anything that needs to be done, even maintenance-wise, we keep our eyes on it,” said Hefner.

Most importantly, the BAC says it wants to protect the culture of the space, and the events held there.

“We have so many annual events that people look forward to every year. If we have a renewal contract or some form of agreement to where we can continue to manage the space, then those events don’t have to go anywhere. Those events can continue to be a staple of the historic gem known as the East Bank District and Plaza,” Hefner said.