Cultured Pearl Chris Batton Donates $ 1,000 to Cultural Crossroads at Meet & Greet

Last weekend, the Cultural Crossroads Board hosted a Cultural Products District on-farm welcome meeting, an opportunity for people as well as community leaders to come and see what the designation of Minden as a District of cultural products could mean for the city.

“We have had our Cultural Products District designation for almost fifteen years, since Patty Odom was Director of Main Street. But we’ve never had any events or anything for a very long time. There has never really been a collaborative effort to use it the way it’s supposed to be used, ”said Elaine Eaton, Chair of the Council of Carrefour Culturel.

“Ultimately that’s my goal with this, and that’s why I wanted everyone to come to the table, so that The Cultural Crossroads could be a part of this conversation, so that we can come together and we help each other at our various events. “

This designation as a cultural products district has its advantages, including access to grants and tax credits, as well as being part of a network of towns around Louisinana that all aim to promote their local arts.

Kelsea McCrary, director of civic design in the cultural districts of the Louisiana Arts division, explains, “The program focuses on the arts and culture as economic recovery, economic development, stimulating revitalization. Minden is one of 115 cultural districts with 41 parishes and 71 towns. When you become a cultural district, you have access to historic tax credits to attempt to revitalize your eligible historic buildings. You can also allow your artists to exempt qualifying original works of art from the local sales tax rate. “

“So that’s a marketing incentive, but more than that, you have access to our office, technical support, and other resources you can apply for, such as grants or project assistance. We can put you in touch with other agencies that are part of our family, but you also get me, so you get a relationship with the Louisiana Division of the Arts and you get a connection with these other cultural districts. . So all the Elaines and Mahalla around the world come together and can share ideas, resources, contacts and things like that.

Ultimately, the objective of this program is to contribute to economic growth by giving places the necessary tools to better support and develop their local artistic scene. There is perhaps no better example of the good that investing in the arts can do than The Cultural Crossroads Cultured Pearl Fellow Chris Batton. “He’s been here since he was little. He was trained by Chris Broussard, our founder, and then Jennifer Heard, so he grew up here in a way, ”said Eaton.

Unexpectedly at the event, Batton requested a moment to make a surprise presentation, during which he revealed that he and his mother had decided to donate $ 1,000 to The Cultural Crossroads for the years that they supported him as well as to honor the memory of his late father, OB Batton Jr.

“My father, he was a bit of an artist himself. He loved to draw old models of vehicle trucks. He lived in the countryside in the parish of Claiborne. He was just the coldest, most understanding father. He has always supported my art, ”said Batton.

“I am grateful to have been at a cultural crossroads since I was about eight years old. Me and my mother wanted to contribute. We thought about art and the cultural crossroads, and we wanted to contribute during the years that they have supported me and my works. So we talked about it and decided that we wanted to give them a contribution to help us. “

“I know he would have liked that,” Batton said, referring to his late father.

Eaton said after receiving the donation, “I was amazed he did this. It was so generous and meaningful. I say this really without reservation. He’s one of the cutest, cutest, sweetest people you can ever meet. He might as well have given us a million dollars, because of his importance. ”

The impact the Cultural Crossroads had on Batton’s life underscores the importance of investing in local arts programs. “If we could touch more lives like this, then everything we do is worth it,” Eaton said.

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