64 Parishes

Pivoting from Pandemic

A new look for Christmas in the Sky

Published: November 29, 2020
Last Updated: February 28, 2021

Pivoting from Pandemic

Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Joe Bluhm, Bernd, 2019. Acrylic on canvas.

Beginning on the second Saturday of December 1982, and continuing for more than thirty-six years, thousands of northwest Louisiana arts patrons have donned their best black-tie outfits and pulled out their wallets to bid on destinations, diamonds, and designer art at a grand gala called Christmas in the Sky to fund the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) arts programs in Shreveport and northwest Louisiana. Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our norms, but it has also opened our creative souls and helped us discover all over again that the arts are our chance to pivot away from emptiness and discover new ways to collaborate and engage.

On the second Saturday of December, SRAC will launch a new approach to Christmas in the Sky, pivoted for the new pandemic reality: Club 365. Sponsors will gather for a glitzy, Sky-styled event that transforms its nationally recognized gala into a 365-day-a-year prize-drawing extravaganza valued at more than $365,000. Each day features a prize worth at least $365, and many are valued in the thousands of dollars, including lavish trips with two years to travel; glitzy designer jewelry from favorite stores such as Sid Potts, Inc., McCary’s Jewelers, and Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry; one-of-a-kind art by Lauren Ross Simmons, Bruce Allen, Dorothy Kristin Hanna, William Joyce, and more; health, fitness, and beauty products and services; and a wine and spirits collection. Daily prizes will be announced live on KTAL NBC 6 beginning December 12, 2020, and continuing through December 11, 2021. At $1 per day, a $365 membership fee at joinclub365.com gives you ten entries.

The presenting sponsor for Club 365 is Michael T. Acurio, MD. Other major sponsors include Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Homes, Linda B. Goldsberry, Sandi and Jeffrey D.J. Kallenberg, Sid Potts, Inc., Republic National Distributing Company, Eagle Distributing, and Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.

“Club 365 is the pivot to do something different to keep people connected every day of the year in SRAC’s mission to engage the citizens of northwest Louisiana by maximizing access to the arts,” says SRAC Executive Director Pam Atchison. The success of Club 365 will determine how the arts continue to generate dynamic programming such as ArtBreak (the largest student art festival in the south), a Collectors and Collectible Artist Series, exhibitions at the downtown gallery artspace, artist residencies with renowned artists such as Nick Cave, and the important Critical Mass Annual Invitational Exhibition and Critic Series. These programs produce an annual $190 million economic impact for northwest Louisiana.

This year’s Critical Mass 8 was the first SRAC event to feel the pangs of the pandemic, which closed the exhibition only hours before its public opening on Friday, March 13. Critical Mass 8 Critics Choice–winning visual solo exhibition by Joe Bluhm, solo literary presentation by Mawiyah Bomani, and a performance showcase by Richard Dennis and Moni will be among the first SRAC events to be offered again to the public on January 21. Professional critics Robert Pincus, Kwame Dawes, Shantay Robinson, Lauren Smart, and Manny Mendoza chose the top artists from over two hundred northwest Louisiana artist entries, and SRAC is pleased to have another chance to share their selections with the community.

Through this pandemic, we have discovered all over again that art is the something that touches us deeply enough to remind us that we are alive and whole and that there is still fresh air to breathe and that there are minds and hands to create and discover. It’s time to pivot, to take a chance on art. Visit SRAC’s joinclub365.com.