Friday, September 18, 2009

Arts In Education Residency

Beginning September 14, students will begin reading abridged versions of The Grapes of Wrath and working on lessons that bring the book to life through imaginary "Letters From Home" about the people who were put to work through the WPA, the CCC, and other New Deal initiatives in North Louisiana.

Hear from some teachers already engaged in the program:
Webster Jr. High-Malinda Beardon:
"Today we listened to the interview with the three Thornton sisters (ranging in age from 105 to 115 and interviewed over the summer by Chris Broussard) from Webster parish. The Thornton sisters held their attention. My kids were disappointed when the bell rang for lunch! They loved it!"

Glenbrook School-Lyn Stubbs:
"Tomorow we will begin reviewing the Great Depression with our 8th graders. Another teacher (Leigh Ann Pruitt) found great Jeopardy games on Power Point, which they'll play after I review the Great Depression with them. Tuesday we'll talk about the Hobo symbols and have the students pick out their favorite one and write why they chose it. Thursday and Friday we'll probably watch the American Girl movie, which takes place during the Great Depression."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Social Innovators Institute

Seen above is a picture of Cultural Crossroads of Minden, Inc. (members from Left: Charles Odom-Webster Parish Police Juror; Jean Doerge-State Representative, District 10; Jennifer Reynolds-Webster Parish Sheriff's Department; Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu; Chris Broussard-Cultural Crossroads Chairman of the Board; Benjamin Martin-Pastor, St. Rest Baptist Church of Minden, Inc.) in attendance at the first Social Innovators Institute as one of the top finalists in a grant competition of the Louisiana Office of Social Entrepreneurship, a division of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Commemorating the Great Depression and the New Deal Era in North Louisiana.
This year's event is a cooperative effort between Cultural Crossroads of Minden, Minden Main Street, Dorcheat Historical Society, the Minden Community Chorus, Minden's Historic Residential District and a host of businesses, schools and municipalities in conjunction with 21 other parishes in the largest cultural event in North Louisiana history. Below you can find the schedule of events for both Cultural Crossroads and Downtown Minden, LA.

Triumph Over Tragedy: Cultural Crossroads Schedule of Events:

Saturday, October 3rd: at “The Farm” 417 East Union in Minden:
Turning on the Lights: “Moon Over Minden” fright light display will light up the corner of East Union and Talton during the month of October. Drive down historic Hwy 80 just blocks from downtown Minden and enjoy the spectacular display of lights.

Saturday, October 10th: Webster Parish Library Main Branch
“Celebrating Our Elders”— pictorial exhibition at the main branch of the Webster Parish Library will honor three Centenarians residing in Minden. A special pictorial history created by Cultural Crossroads will showcase the lives of the Thornton sisters. Maggie Thornton Renfro will be 115 in November. As the oldest person in Louisiana, the 5th oldest in the nation and the 7th oldest in the world her life will be celebrated alongside her three sister, Carrie and Rosie Thornton. FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

Friday & Saturday, October 30 and 31st: at “The Farm” 417 East Union in Minden……8pm-until
Cultural Crossroads presents: “Moon Over Minden” Harvest Festival Cultural Crossroads presents their annual celebration of Halloween with a new twist. The two day outdoor festival will include ghosts from the Great Depression era including Bonnie and Clyde and Webster Parish’s most famous ghost, Sallie Baker. producing “Sallie Baker’s Carnival” is a two day outdoor harvest festival and a project of Triumph Over Tragedy. Built during the Great Depression, the organization’s historic farm house and adjoining four acres will be transformed to a time when traveling freak shows were entertainment and gangsters were immortalized. Minden’s annual “Moon Over Minden” Harvest festival will include a haunted hayride and haunted house and garden tour featuring Webster Parish’s most famous ghost, Sallie Baker. The Farm House built in 1933 will be open to the public for the first time in nearly a half of a century.
ADMISSION: $8 per person for the Haunted Hayride and $8 per person for the Haunted House and Garden Tour or $15 for both. Children under 3 will be not be allowed to enter.

Triumph Over Tragedy: Downtown Minden, LA Schedule of Events

Friday & Saturday, November 6th and 7th: Downtown Minden
“Main to Main” Sponsored by Main Street communities across the state, this annual event offers miles and miles of roadside vendors stretching across the state and in Webster Parish from Minden to Springhill. Downtown Minden will include reenactments commemorating the Great Depression from a bank robbery by the infamous Bonnie & Clyde to soup kitchens and special window displays and public art exhibits up and down Main Street.

“WPA Art Exhibit” at Easley Fine Art & Photography Gallery
on Main Street. Original WPA works on display along with a variety of artwork contributed by area professional artists commemorating the Great Depression. Free exhibit. Donated works will be auctioned off with all proceeds to benefit the arts in Minden. 511 Main Street. OPEN: Mon-Fri. 9am-5pm. Extended gallery hours for special occasions.

“Dorcheat Museum” “Tornado of 1933 exhibit” Downtown Minden suffered through hard times when the banks failed, the tornado tore up half the town and a fire burned the other half in 1933. OPEN: Tues.-Fri. 10am-1pm;2pm-4pm Sat. 10am-12N Also open by appointment. Adults $4. Children $2. ½ price for groups of 10 or more. For more info, log onto or call 318 423 0192.

“Public Art in the Alley” The launching of one of the largest and most extensive outdoor exhibitions of art by local artists will go on display during the month of November.

“Tours of Historic Downtown Minden”
sponsored by the Historic Residential District, festival goers can catch a free ride and hear the fascinating stories about the people, places and events that make Minden so unique.

“Marathon on Broadway” Dance at the Minden Civic Center on Broadway Street. Sponsored by the Dorcheat Museum. $25 per person. Pre-registration $20 per person. Dancing begins at 5:00pm and ends Saturday at 4:30pm. Reminiscent of the Great Depression dance marathons and the subject of the movie “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?” this dance marathon will reward endurance with a $1,000 cash prize to the last couple standing. All proceeds will support the Dorcheat Museum. For more info, log onto or call 318 423 0192.

Saturday, November 7th: Christopher’s Downtown Minden
“Soup Kitchen and Children’s Art Exhibit” at Christopher’s, 615 Main Street. Start the day early with an early morning breakfast reminiscent of the depression era and come back for lunch. Special art exhibition of children’s work depicting the Great Depression Era will also be on display. Co sponsored by Cultural Crossroads and Minden Main Street. Breakfast and lunch only. Dine inside or on the sidewalk.

Saturday, November 7th: Minden Civic Center….7:00pm
Cultural Crossroads presents a Mahogany Theatre Ensemble production of “Steal Away.” “Triumph Over Tragedy” in Minden will be commemorated with live theatre and a dining experience reminiscent of the 1930’s. Mahogany Theatre Ensemble is producing “Steal Away” a project of Triumph Over Tragedy, set in the Great Depression. This light-hearted, outrageous comedy set in Chicago during the 1930’s will be presented dinner theatre style. This play is about five upstanding church ladies who raise funds to send young black Women to college by holding bake sales, selling church suppers, and the like. To increase the number of scholarships, during the Depression era, the women come up with a new idea to raise the money by robbing banks. This evening of live theatre will follow a boarding house style meal reminiscent of Happy Turners boarding house of the 1930’s in Minden when dining at Happy’s place always included ‘passing the peas.’ TICKETS $25.00 each. All proceeds will benefit the arts.
For Tickets call 393 5991 or email reservations to

Saturday, November 7th: 10am-4pm First United Methodist Church
“Artisans Fair: Sponsored by the Chancel Guild of First Methodist Church of Minden located at 903 Broadway Street in Minden. This indoor art, crafts and gift show is in honor of the more than 5,000 artisans who left behind more than 225,000 works of art created during the Great Depression and New Deal Era. It is this legacy of the thousands of workers who labored at their craft for little money but great pride which we have to inspire us today. For more information, contact Helen Hinton at 318 377 8097 or Cora Lou Robinson at 318 377 4371 or the church office at 377-1483 Open 10am-4pm in the activities building. Admission is Free.

Saturday, November 7th: The Children’s Center
“The Children’s Center American Doll Tea Party & Convention” Saturday afternoon, children of all ages are invited to dress up and bring their doll to a special tea party. For more info, call Julie Vogel at 377-0319.

Sunday, November 8th : 2:00pm Minden Civic Center
“Centenarians Celebrated” Maggie Thornton Renfro will turn 115 in November. As the oldest resident of Louisiana, the 5th oldest citizen of the United States and the 7th oldest person in the world, Cultural Crossroads and State Representative Jean Doerge will honor her life and that of her two sisters, Carrie Thornton who is 107 and Rosie Thornton who is 103. This special birthday party reserved for family, friends, corporate sponsors and distinguished guests will conclude Minden’s contribution to the North Louisiana commemoration of the Great Depression known as “Triumph Over Tragedy.” Special musical entertainment will be provided by the Minden Community Chorus under the direction of Dr. Dan Gibbs. By Invitation only!