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