Friday, November 21, 2008

Chris Broussard wins Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Angel Award

Cultural Crossroads’ founder and long time advocate for children and the arts was honored in Baton Rouge recently as one of eight statewide recipients of the Angel Award.

Chris has championed children’s involvement in the arts and regional culture for more than two decades, filing a gap in Webster Parish school curricula with art, music and dance instruction.

Chris founded and managed The Children’s Center, Minden’s first afterschool enrichment program twenty two years ago. With her own money and no financial support from any state or federal agency, she grew the business and provided one of the few if not the only privately owned institution that fostered the arts in Minden. She sold her business in 2007 so she could give her time and talent full time to Cultural Crossroads.

Chris serves as Chairman of the Board of Cultural Crossroads, a non profit 50l©3 arts agency she helped to establish. She is the founder and the driving force behind the annual Spring Arts Festival which will celebrate its 15th year in 2009.

A $20,000 grant was awarded Cultural Crossroads in Chris’ honor. These funds will be used to upgrade and enhance the Moess Center for the Arts & City Farm, better known as simply ‘The Farm.’ The Farm is a four acre homestead located on the corner of Talton and East Union that was donated to Cultural Crossroads in 2000 by Chris’ long time friend and fellow co-founder of Cultural Crossroads, Zenobia West.

The Board of Directors of Cultural Crossroads is proud of Chris and all the work she so selfishly gives to the children and the arts in Minden.

To learn more about the Angel Award, visit Blue Cross Blue Shield on the web at

New Officers and Board Members Announced for Cultural Crossroads

Cultural Crossroads will hold their annual meeting Tuesday, 6:30pm December 16th at Christopher’s in Minden to announce their newly elected board of directors. Members of Cultural Crossroads, corporate partners and special honored guests are invited.

Taking the position of President this coming year is Julie Vogel, the new owner and director of The Children’s Center. She will lead an executive committee of officers that will include Vice Presidents, Gloria Clark and Amy Bryant. Elaine Eaton, a former recipient of Cultural Crossroads’ coveted “Cultured Pearl Award and Scholarhship” will serve as Secretary. Chris Broussard will serve again as Chairman of the Board.

The Board of Directors for the coming year are: Cora Lou Robinson, Janice Mourad, Pat Palmer, Dennis Palmer, Charlotte Martin, Lori Plunkett, Br. Mike Marsters, Br. Ben Martin, Jackie Lewis, Cynthia Sandidge, Kimberly Ellington, Emili Modisette, Ejay Colvin and Kerry Easley. Board Members at Large are: Nan Jones, Betty Purdy, Janell Thornton, Angelique Feaster and Jean Stevens.

The Ellington Art Exhibit is a huge success

Kerry Ellington and his daughter Kim opened their art show at Easley’s Fine Art & Photography in Minden the first of November to a packed house. “It is one of the most successful showings we’ve had since I opened over a year ago,” states Kerry Easley.

Several local art enthusiasts will be taking home their Ellington originals following the showing that is expected to end on December 31st. “Sales of their work have been exceptional,” Easley adds.

“Requests to show their work in other galleries have overwhelmed both Kerry and Kim,” states Chris Broussard, Chairman of the Board of Cultural Crossroads, co sponsors of the art showing.

Future shows at Easley’s Fine Art & Photograph located on Main Street in historic downtown Minden include a showing of Kerry Easley’s photography in 2009and a special art showing is being planned in April for original works by local artist, Chris Broussard.

To learn more about Easley’s Fine Art visit his website at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Father and Daughter Art Exhibit Opens This Week

Kerry Ellington and his daughter, Kim Ellington, will exhibit their first collection of fine art together at Easley’s Fine Art and Photography in Minden. The local artists will present their collection of work ‘Keeping it in the Family” which will include a large collection of original paintings and sculptures. Kerry Ellington an accomplished and much sought after sculptor will present one of the largest selection of his sculpted faces to his hometown during the months of November and December. While ‘keeping it in the family’ he is joined by a new and emerging artist, his daughter, Kimberly.

Kerry paired up with professional sculpture Larry Milford and the two presented their works at an exclusive art show with the Bossier Arts Council a couple of years ago. Since that time, Kerry has aggressively pursued his passion for the arts and left his full time job in Shreveport to take up his art full time. “Cultural Crossroads played a big part in my art development,” state Kerry. “ I signed up for a clay workshop they sponsored a few years back and Larry Milford was the instructor,” he adds. “From that time on, Larry has been generous with his time and knowledge and I will be forever grateful for that.” When asked to comment about Kerry Ellington’s work, Larry Milford offered his praise saying that ‘down the road, you’ll regret not acquiring an Ellington original.’ “Kerry Ellington’s style from realism to distortion includes an array of sculpted faces of everyday people,” Milford adds. “They have a tendency to look like someone you know. I think his work is really going to move. I could not be prouder of him.”

Kimberly Ellington has her own story. As a Children’s Center alumni, she offers up thanks to Chris Broussard for some of her early exposure to the arts. “Mrs. Chris taught me the basics of shading and my high school art teacher, Mrs. Sandra Brown, gave direction and art instruction that helped to define my style,” states Kimberly. “I’m not surprised that Kimberly has pursued a career in the arts. She showed real talent as a child. I am so proud of her,” comments Chris Broussard.

Cultural Crossroads has teamed up with Easley Fine Arts to present the duo to the community on Thursday, Nov. 7th as the new exhibit opens to the public. A reception honoring the artists will be held on Thursday, Nov. 6th from 5:30pm to 9:30pm and the public is cordially invited. Live music will be provided by local musician and singer, Cynthia Sandidge. “I am so excited about this exhibit, “ adds Kerry Easley, owner of Easley Fine Arts. “Exposing Minden and the surrounding communities to the local talent that exists in our parish gives me great pride. We hope that we are opening the doors to more opportunities to celebrate the works of our new and existing artists. This is going to be a great show and I am personally inviting the public to our opening reception this Thursday,” concludes Easley.

Easley Fine Arts is located on Main Street in downtown Minden. Gallery hours are 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. More information about the artists and their works can be found on Cultural Crossroads blog at

You can contact the Easley Fine Art Gallery at 318-377-1500.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Farm Enjoyed Monstrous Success!

Over 500 costumed characters made their way to the Farm Friday and Saturday nights for the final weekend of "Moon Over Minden." Sponsored by Cultural Crossroads, this Halloween celebration included one of the largest outdoor fright light displays in the parish. The four acre farm was transformed to include a haunted hayride, a haunted garden tour and a Monster Ball on Saturday night. Nearly a hundred volunteers from across the parish donated their time and talent to make this month long celebration a huge success. "We were very pleased with the turn out. I think this little spot on the corner of Talton Street and East Union not only lit up the night sky but little faces as well," stated Chris Broussard, chairperson. "It's all about the kids and I think we were successful once again in bringing something to this community that we could all come together to enjoy. We're growing culture here while cultivating the arts and our "Moon Over Minden" Halloween celebration included all those elements."

The more than $15,000 spent on the event was made possible by a state grant from Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and the Shreveport Arts Council. A capital grant and marketing grant were funded by the Webster Parish Tourism Commission. Construction and ground preparations were made possible by assistance from the Webster Parish Police Jury. Cultural Crossroads is the official arts agency of Webster Parish and supported by the police jury. "The police jury has provided us with much needed man power. We could not have done this without their help and assistance," said Mrs. Broussard. "Our next big event for the Farm will come in the Spring when we get ready for our 15th annual Spring Arts Festival set for April 23-25, 2009."