Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

No Moon Over Minden at The Farm

The ghost of Sallie Baker will be taking a break this year while Moon Over Minden at the Farm has been cancelled. According to the board of directors of Cultural Crossroads the sponsoring organization does not have the funds to produce it. The ghost of Sallie Baker and her ghouls will sit this one out and hope for a better year in 2012. State budget cuts to the arts coupled with the slow economy led the board of Cultural Crossroads to have to cut some of their programming.

“This was one of my favorite events,” states Chris Broussard, Chairman of the Board. “It’s been a really scary year and not in a fun Halloween kind of way.” Broussard continues. “We’ve had to tighten our belt and make some tough decisions about what areas to cut. We’re hopeful that 2012 will be a better year and we can bring ole Sallie back.”

Cultural Crossroads is one of many arts organizations across the state that has had to adjust their budgets and programs due to deep cuts in State funding to the arts. “We’re a little concerned about our annual Spring Arts Festival, too,” adds Broussard. Cultural Crossroads was recently awarded a $4,000 grant from the State Decentralized Grants Fund which was approximately half of what the organization has received in previous years. A $7,500 grant from the Webster Parish Tourism office helped to offset this year’s festival. “We will be sponsoring a fundraiser early next year in hopes of raising the additional funds so that we can continue our three day arts festival,” Broussard continues. “Right now, we can only afford one day of the three day festival. “ The Spring Arts Festival now in its 18th year has been known for bringing the arts to area school children. “With no arts curriculum in the public schools aside from the Gifted and Talented program, the Spring Arts Festival has been filling that void and bringing to many of our children their first real art experience,” Mrs. Broussard explains.

Cultural Crossroads annual budget of nearly $100,000 doesn’t include any paid staff. The nineteen year old organization has operated without an executive director so that 100% of their contributions could go towards programming. A quarter of their annual budget comes from support from the Webster Parish Police Jury while another quarter of their support comes from local corporations and businesses and the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. Earned income generated from admission fees to their events and grants make up the other half of their annual budget. Cultural Crossroads has been successful in bringing to the parish more than a million dollars in state and federal grant dollars over their nearly twenty year existence.

The organization is writing more grants than ever this year and their future plans for the Farm will include some future projects that will offer more earned income opportunities to insure the Farm’s future sustainability. “Our four acre Farm has so many rich resources and we’re hoping to tap into those resources in the future so that our community’s children can enjoy the benefits of creative expression and intellectual refinement for years to come,” Broussard adds.

To learn more about Cultural Crossroads of the Farm or make a donation visit their website at

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pearl Fest 2011 Attended by Many Out of Towners Along With Mindenites

Pearl Fest Was a Real Jewel!

MINDEN, LA-- Pearl Fest lived up to its tag line “All music. All People.” Hundreds showed up in Minden this past weekend for Cultural Crossroads’ second annual music festival raising hundreds of dollars. The local arts organization that owns and manages the four acre festival sight known as ‘the Farm’ delivered on its promise. The range of musicians was as diverse as the crowds. Young and old and everything in between were out of their seats and dancing to songs they knew and songs they had heard for the first time.

More than fifty musicians donated their time this past weekend while showcasing their music and the reason they were there…. to raise funds for the “Cultured Pearl” scholarships.” Young musicians from area schools and seasoned musicians from area cities brought their talent to the back porch of the Farm and the main stage of the pavilion. “The caliber of music provided here this weekend was incredible,” states Randal Wilson of Baton Rouge. “It’s hard to imagine it any better. The atmosphere at the Farm was equally incredible. We had a wonderful time.”

Remembering the late Percy Mayfield and his music was highlighted Saturday evening with a video of one of Percy’s last interviews. The crowd cheered the Minden native who penned lyrics for Ray Charles and BB King. “They clapped and reacted to the film as though Percy were here in person, “states Julie Vogel, co-chair for the event.

Other highlights of the evening included the explosive performances of Angela Wills, Clinton Keener and Dorothy Prime, Louisiana’s Queen of Soul. Dat Band from Shreveport brought the evening to a close but not before coaxing singers from the crowd to chime in including local school board member Johnnye Kennon.

Surveys conducted at the gate revealed a significant increase in the number of out- of- towners to visit the Farm. “Folks came from Breaux Bridge, Baton Rouge, Monroe, Shreveport, Bossier, Houston, Dallas, Magnolia, Arkansas and all areas in between,” boasts Chris Broussard, Chairman of the Board. “Our attendance was definitely larger than last year, thanks to the incredible weather and an impressive lineup of talent,” adds Mrs. Broussard. “We heard over and over again from not only the people in attendance but the musicians as well that the Farm was the perfect outdoor venue for music. “

Pearl Fest was sponsored by Blazer Construction of Sibley and funded in part by an advertising grant from the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Pearl Fest 2011 Schedule Is Here!

Friday, September 23rd (7pm-12am)

-7:00 – 7:30: Casey Dozier
(Back porch)
-7:35 – 8:05: Jason Quarles (Back porch)
-8:15 – 8:30: Ethan Spillers & Nick Joslin (Back porch)
-8:35 – 8:50: Aubrie Stahl (Back porch)
-8:50 – 10:00 Sanchez & the Symbiotes (Main Stage)
-10:15 – 11:00: TANDEM (Main Stage)
-11:15 – 12:00: Federalies (Main Stage)

Saturday, September 24th (2pm-12am)

-2:00 - 2:15: Brianna Wiese (Back porch)
-2:20 - 2:25: Meredith Nelson (Back porch)
-2:30 – 2:55: Brandon Ratcliff & Quincy Hicks (Back porch)
-3:00 – 4:00: AJ & The Two Tone Blues Band (Main Stage)
-4:00 – 4:30: Brad Ewing (Back porch)
-4:30 – 5:00: Irene & the Sleepers (Main Stage)
-5:00-5:30: Ben Jenkins (Back porch)
-6:00 – 6:20: Derek Rice (Main Stage)
-6:25 – 7:10: Joel Jordan (Back porch)
-7:15 – 7:30: Danielle Evans(Main Stage)
-7:35 – 7:55: Angela Wills (Main Stage)
-8:00 – 8:20: Jim Reed (Back porch)
-8:25 – 9:00: Engine (Main Stage)
-9:00 – 9:30: Percy Mayfield Video
-9:25 – 9:45: Clinton Keener (Main Stage)
-9:50 – 10:30: Dorothy Prime (Main Stage)
-10:30 – 12:00: Dat Band

-Show up around 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled time.
-Each band member will receive 1 free ticket for entry to be redeemed at the gate.

Location: 417 E. Union in Minden, LA at the corner of Talton St. and E. Union (Hwy. 80).

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Farm's Water Park Day Recap

Many had a blast at last Saturday's Water Park Day at The Farm (Sat., August 6, 2011). Kids were waiting at the gate when it opened at 10am. Between 30 and 40 children were in and out all day enjoying the nice, big tubs full of refreshing and cool water. Parents got to enjoy watching the kids splash and have fun in the shade. For some children, it was their first time to get to play in the water this Summer. We're so happy the children got to experience it! All the kids were offered chips and popsicles every half hour.

Thank you for supporting Cultural Crossroads and the many projects it provides the community. If you would like to support, please go to to find out how to help!

Name This Flower!....

We have a mystery plant growing at The Farm and we need your help figuring out what it is. This is one of the plants that has recently been let to "go wild" and this is the gift it gave back. It is one of the original plants of the property that Mrs. Zenobia West and her two Aunts planted. It grows on a vine. So help us figure out what plant this is....

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beat the Heat -- Cooling Stations Are Here!

Cultural Crossroads and St. Rest Baptist church have teamed up to address the scorching hot temperatures by providing a couple of 'cooling stations.'

St. Rest will open their new community center with special activities for seniors and children. Cultural Crossroads' Farm located just a half a block from the church will open up Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10am-3pm with an old fashioned water park. Fully equipped with cold water in brand new horse troughs, the makeshift swimming pools will provide neighborhood kids with a cool dip in the water. With plenty of shade, the four acre Farm will provide a nice retreat for neighborhood children. Popsicles will be handed out compliments of Sheriff Gary Sexton. Lots of ice cold water and chips are compliments of Gene Reynolds, candidate for State Representative. And Coca Cola Bottling Company has donated bottled water for the church's cooling station.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 3rd - Minden's 1st Blues & Old School Music Festival

On July 3, 2011, many fine Minden folks enjoyed great food, friends and music at The Farm on Talton St. The event was produced by Penal Farm Rd. Entertainment, LLC.

(Penal Farm Rd. Entertainment Owners: Avrett, Sugar Bear, and Lavert)

-- Part of the crowd enjoying the live music under the Farm pavillion.

-- House band, "Dat Band", keeps the crowd entertained.

-- A young patron dancing to the live music.

-- Unique's Barbecue smoking on the grill.

Nearly two hundred people converged on the Farm in Minden recently for the first Blues and Old School Festival. Among the musicians and singers to perform was Dorothy Prime. Mrs. Prime has been singing for forty five years and has performed with Johnny Taylor, Ike and Tina Turner, and BB King. Her most recent engagement included assisting Eric Clapton with his latest album. The Homer native who sells cars for Harper Motors in Minden toured in Italy and London and has two top hits of her own, “Find Yourself” and “Alcohol Blues.” Other musicians highlighted included Angela Mills, Hollywood Hayes of Houston, Texas, Derrick Rick, Ceasar Calloway, and Clinton Keener while the house band “Dat Band” accompanied many of the singers.

“I’ve been to many music festivals and this one was over the top,” states Julie Vogel, board member of Cultural Crossroads.

The first Blues Festival was produced by the Penal Farm Road Entertainment LLC of Minden. The group is already working on next year’s festival. The Penal Farm Road Entertainment Co. will join forces with Cultural Crossroads this spring to assist in the production of the second annual Pearl Fest to be held at the Farm. For more information visit the website

Some other facts about musicians from the 1st annual event:
-Dorothy Prime - singing for 45 years; performed with Johnny Taylor, Ike and
Tina, and BB King and helped Eric Clapton on his latest album. Toured in Italy
and London. Top hits "Find Yourself a Job" and "Alcohol Blues"

-Angela Wills - Minden native...independent gospel recording artist...project
entitled "My Everything" to be released this November.

-Hollywood Hayes - Houston native...former member of Marvin Sease Band...first
single "We Have Some Problems" next release "In the Mood"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Earth Campers 2011

Our art camp kids created their first piece of original art using handmade stencils. These 'Fleur De Leaves' were one of several pieces of art completed this week. Next week, an entirely different group of kids will meet up at the Farm for week two of Earth Camp.

The Farm was the perfect location for Earth Camp. While temperatures were in the 90's, there was always a cool gentle breeze at the Farm. It was surprisingly comfortable and the atmosphere was perfect for bringing home the message that we need to 'take care of our Earth.'

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Farmer's Market Starts This Weekend!

Please join us this coming SATURDAY May 14 at "The Farm" (across from Sav A Lot Grocery)..We will be opening to the public at 7:OO A.M. Having a variety of goodies i.e.: Jellies, Candy, Cookies, Eggs, Handmade soaps, some vegetables. We will also have bee and bat boxes, bird feeders and bird houses. This is only a sample of what will be available. We also will have some yard sales.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I have called Minden my home since 1971. I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to encourage, expose, teach and promote the arts. With all the studies that show the value of an arts curriculum and how the arts play an important role in brain development of a child, I am constantly amazed how that message isn’t getting to the right people. Or that it has been discounted, down-played and out-right ignored. I’ve even come to wonder if there’s a conspiracy to dumb down our children especially when you consider that we seem to be putting all of our emphasis on teaching children how to pass a test. Aren’t we simply teaching them ‘what’ to think and not ‘how’ to think? With all the studies that show the role the arts play in critical thinking and problem solving, and with no arts curriculum in our schools, there’s no wonder our children’s scores are lacking. And I’m not surprised that our drop -out percentages are as high as they are.

Many of you are parents and you have to be seeing the same thing I am. You have to be wondering who is making the rules and who is turning our schools into prisons for our children. Instead of unlocking their minds, we’re limiting their brain development and we’re limiting their future prospects. I remember a learning environment when I was young that included music, art and theatre. I remember a school environment that made me want to go to school every day because I had something to look forward to and I felt challenged. Today’s children are stressed and the challenges they face appear to be the aggressive nature of another child.

As the founder of the first afterschool enrichment center in Minden, I know first-hand what the arts can do to not only improve a child’s self image but also what it can do to spark a child’s imagination, create a desire for learning and open their mind to unlimited possibilities. Right now, we are simply teaching them how to answer questions. Without a stimulating environment, it’s only a matter of time before more of our children will become statistics.

While considering the future of our country and the many challenges our children and grandchildren will face, they’re going to need more creative thinkers. We may not be able to change the school system but we can change the opportunities we provide to children through community-related activities.

And while we may not be able to solve the current financial challenges that seem to keep the arts out of school, there is another alternative. Community partnerships with the arts. We do have a local non- profit that has been filling the void for nearly two decades. Cultural Crossroads has already been providing what little art enrichment there is in the schools aside from the Gifted and Talented Program. Their annual Spring Arts Festival has provided opportunities for real art experiences free of charge to area children. This all volunteer organization led by a group of dedicated advocates for the arts and children have brought in nearly a million dollars to our parish in the past 15 years in the form of grants and foundation dollars. And they would do more but they are limited, too, limited in their funds and in the community support they receive. They need more volunteers. They need more corporate dollars so they can provide matching money for more grant opportunities. And they need more people to support their efforts.

As the chairman of the board of Cultural Crossroads, I do have an agenda. …to provide more opportunities for children to unlock their minds while increasing their desire for learning through the arts. I know it works. I am living proof.

If you would like to learn more about Cultural Crossroads and their programs visit their website at www.artsinminden. com. And if you would like to become a community partner, call me at 318-393-5991.

Passionate about the arts,
Chris Broussard

This letter ran in the Minden Press Herald in April of this year. We thought it was important enough to circulate on our blog.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

SAF 2011: Children's Yarn & Thread Contest Winners


1st Place Sarah Walker
1st Place Laece Poe
2nd Place Gerrica Cheatham
1st Place Hannah Pickard Button's Pillow
2nd Place Erica Ruch Bowl
3rd Place Whitney Hudgens Pillow
Hon Men Raven Hall Pillow
LaCandio White Pillow


SAF 2011: Poetry Contest Winners


1st Place Emily Ramie "The Chicken Day" Glenbrook
1st Place Sarah Renaud "Lions" Richardson
1st Place Jaycee Johnson Springhill
2nd Place Cassiday McKinney "Cassidy" Phillips Middle School
3rd Place Cassiday McKinney "Green" Phillips Middle School
1st Place Bridget Cone "Haiku" Glenbrook
2nd Place Chase Adams "Love" Springhill
3rd Place Olivia McIntryre "Trials & Tribulations“ Springhill
1st place Andrew Evans "I said a Prayer for you" Springhill
2nd Place Kayla O'Neal "Stop Waiting" Homeschool
3rd Place Jasmine Mills "Mid summer” Homeschool
4th Place Kayla O'Neal "Get Back Up Again" Homeschool
1st Place Kara O'Neal "Rain" Homeschool
2nd place Kara O'Neal "Light's Dance" Homeschool
3rd place Leslie Abdelkader "Death of a Firefly" Springhill
4th place Kara O'Neal "There's a Certain Magic" Homeschool

BEST OF SHOW Kayla O'Neal "Once I loved" Homeschool
BEST OF SHOW Alexis Brophy "I know" Springhill

Monday, May 2, 2011


Mixed Medium
1st Place Stella Powell "Funky Chicken" Glenbrook
2nd Place Jordan Coleman "Blue House" Harper
3rd Place Paige Beck "Funky Chicken" Glenbrook
4th Place Caden Thornton "Blue House" Richardson
1st Place Kaleigh Foster "Red Sam" Richardson
2nd Place Timiah Hawkins "Red Sam" Webster PreK
1st Place Anna Lee "Chef Anna" Glenbrook
2nd Place Gracie Purvis "Let's Eat" Glenbrook
3rd Place Maleah Barker "The Chef" Glenbrook
4th Place Ansley Glasscock "The Cook" Glenbrook
1st place Colin Herndon "Karate" Harper
2nd Place Emile Talry "Lighthouse" Browning
3rd Place Jacob Powell "Funky Chicken" Glenbrook
4th Place Sophie Spiullers "Untitled" Webster PreK
4th Place Elyse Jackson "Flower" Glenbrook

BEST OF SHOW: Paige Lott "Funky chicken" Glenbrook


GRADES 1-2 186 Entries
Mixed Medium
1st Place Aidan Harris "Bluejeans & Quilts Glenbrook
2nd Place Jackson Powell "Lights on" Glenbrook
3rd Place Hannah Mosley "On the Farm" Glenbrook
4th Place John Gilbert "Blue House" Richardson
1st Place Jemma Killingworth "Scarecrow & Barn" Glenbrook
2nd Place Grady Brasher "Sunflowers" Glenbrook
3rd Place Emma Earnhardt "Scarecrow & Barn" Glenbrook
4th Place Katelyn McNight "Cat" Richardson
1st Place Aidan Harris "Self Portrait" Glenbrook
2nd Place Annistan Jordan "Have a Cupcake" Glenbrook
3rd Place Elizabeth Walker "Rainbow Rooster" Homeschool
4th Place Emily Ramie "Carrots Anyone" Glenbrook
1st place Aiden Harris "Starry, Starry Holy Night" Glenbrook
2nd Place Jake Moro "Funky Chicken" Harper
3rd Place Kaylie Nelson "Bug" Glenbrook
4th Place Rhodes Greer "Daffodil" Glenbrook
1st Place Connor Humphries "Chicken" Glenbrook
2nd Place Cheyenne Moore "Chicken" Glenbrook
3rd Place Harvey Cole "Mask" Browning
4th Place Katelyn Massey "Chicken" Glenbrook

BEST OF SHOW: Jackson McKinney "Blue Dog" Harper


GRADES 3-4 165 Entries
Mixed Medium
1st Place Kerigan Sanders "Spring Cleaning" Glenbrook
2nd Place Kacee Nixon "Ruff Ruff" Stewart
3rd Place Katherine Chumbley "Grandma's Quilts" Glenbrook
4th Place Ally (?) "Barn" Glenbrook
1st Place Emma Whyte "Weird Blown" Glenbrook
2nd Place Daniel Miller "Come on Crows" Glenbrook
3rd Place Savannah Moro "Red Sam" Harper
4th Place Aubrie Dickson "Curly" Glenbrook
1st Place Eli McGraw "Louisiana Cook" Glenbrook
2nd Place Savannah Moro "Funky Town" Harper
3rd Place Skylar Davis "Want a Snowcone" Glenbrook
4th Place John Curtis Brown "Fleur de lis gardener" Glenbrook
1st place Hayden Whyte "4 Pears" Glenbrook
2nd Place Shadra Neal "Barn" Brown Upper
3rd Place Katie Hortman "3 Pears" Glenbrook
4th Place Dreunna Washington "Ode to Jocob Lawrence" Brown Upper
1st Place Avery Dye "I'm such a pretty egg" Glenbrook
2nd Place Michaela Waits "Oh No my egg broke" Glenbrook
3re Place Darbi Walker "I'm so Eggy, right?" Glenbrook
4th Place Hope Kennedy "I wanna play play play all day Glenbrook
1st Place Logan Bailery "Chicken with Tree" Central
2nd Place Logan Bailery "Chicken with Flowers" Central

BEST OF SHOW: Katherine Chumley "Pears on Plaid" Glenbrook