"Creative professionals get development grants"
Debbie Hollis 7:34 p.m. CST January 5, 2015
Four creative professionals have received grant funding from the Shreveport-based nonprofit Works In Progress Louisiana.
Since incorporating in May 2014, Works In Progress Louisiana has awarded a total of six grants to regional cultural workers.
Recent awardees include author Mike Sledge, painter Tony Reans, multidisciplinary artist Micah Harold from Shreveport and painter/sculptor Mark Charleville from Benton.
"I've been gone for a while, and have come home to find a thriving art culture driven by many people with talent, inspiration, dedication, and a sense of purpose. I appreciate very much Works in Progress' contribution to my career and to those of other North Louisiana artists," Sledge said.
Sledge is a contributor to local arts newspaper Heliopolis and author of "Soldier Dead: How We Recover, Identify, Bury and Honor our Military Fallen" and "Gerald's Star." Funding for web development and design will position Sledge for commercial success as he finalizes his next novel.
Experimental painter Tony Reans will use investment capital from WIP to create a new series of large-scale abstract expressionist paintings. Reans' popular work has been featured in numerous gallery and museum exhibits, and his paintings are in several notable collections throughout the South.
Mark Charleville is a gifted arts instructor and well-travelled Louisiana native. Now settled in Benton, Charleville has transformed his rustic barn into a functional, creative workspace. His studio remodel will be completed with WIP funds to purchase vertical shelving for storage of his artwork between exhibits.
WIP's newest grantee is acclaimed pop/visual/drama/tattoo artist Micah Harold. Harold has remodeled his swanky shop/studio space at 451 Kings Highway in Shreveport and will use grant funding to create a live-work space for nationally-recognized traveling artists.
"For the first time in Shreveport/Bossier history, we will be able to enjoy the (artistic) benefits of (hosting) traveling custom and private tattooists and painters," Harold said.
Modeled after Creative Capital in New York, Works in Progress Louisiana supports adventurous artists with bold ideas through funding, mentoring and career development services. The group teach artists to negotiate contracts, create project proposals, prepare business plans and measure performance using metrics and benchmarks — all in partnership with professional business advisers.
Investors interested in engaging with creative professionals should contact Debbie Hollis, Director, at email@example.com. All contributions to Works In Progress Louisiana are tax-deductible.