Rodrigo Mondragon, Co-founder of Ki' MexicoVisit websiteHometown: Mexico City, MexicoCurrent City: Shreveport, LA
Why do you love Louisiana? How are you helpingto make a difference?
The best part of Shreveport is seeing how the city is embracing new ideas, flavors, and things to do. Of course, Ki Mexico is changing the city flavor-wise - it took us a little time to be accepted since all we cook is different from what people used to have. Now they love what we do. Another characteristic of this town is that If they like what you do, they would love you and support you forever. Gracias Shreveport! Viva Shreveport!
Katy Larsen, Owner - The Agora BorealisVisit websiteHometown: McKinney, TXCurrent City: Shreveport, LA
I love Louisiana because it's an untapped state; it can only get better each and everyday with conscious efforts! I currently own the only artists marketplace in Shreveport, LA. The Agora Borealis represents the tri-state area in handmade, local and artistic goods. We also will be offering classes in arts and local economics in the near future. Overall, I want to educate people on the importance of art and the effects we have on one another on a daily basis.
Patrick-Earl Barnes, ArtistVisit websiteHometown: Shreveport, LACurrent City: New York City, NY
Louisiana is my birthplace and I love the wonderful people who live there. I service the world with my deepfolk art - I respect where I come from, where I have been and where I am to go. I pay homage with my ideas and labor to all of my spirits. To all of the people who have passed through me and made me the person I am and will be.
Stephen "Speederson" Pederson,Organizer - Bike Shreveport, Writer - Heliopolis,Engineering Tech - Burk-KleinpeterVisit websiteHometown: Otis, LACurrent City: Shreveport, LA
Why do you love Louisiana? How are you helpingto make a difference?
Louisiana feels like home. The people and the food are amazing, and they smell the same. I feel a greater chance to have an impact here than anywhere else, so why not? Louisiana has some of the highest rates of pedestrian and cycling accidents or crashes in the US. - sounds like a good reason to stay and improve the situation. Find where you can make a difference, and do that.
Dave Brooks, MusicianVisit websiteHometown: Shreveport, LACurrent City: Nashville, TN
First, it will always be my home. Growing up in Shreveport and attending college in Baton Rouge has informed my music in too many ways to count. It doesn’t matter where I’ve been in the country but once you uncover that Louisiana connection all acquaintances evolve into friendships. In my case, it helped me meet my wife! My goal is to write honest songs that resonate with others and Louisiana continues to play a pivotal role in my songwriting. It’s in my blood. Period.
Matt Bailey, Communicator, organizer, drummer, husband, father Visit websiteHometown: Jena, LACurrent City: New Orleans, LA
Louisiana is my home and has a magic that you just don't find anywhere else. Anytime I've moved away, it has always pulled me back. Since last coming back six years ago, I've spent a lot of time working to address the leadership deficit that contributes to many of our state's most frustrating challenges. I believe that when each of us uses our voice, we have a power that can change our community, inspire those around us, and in turn, leave a mark on the world.
JR Ramsey, Communications & Marketing Specialist,Warner BrothersHometown: Ruston, LACurrent City: Los Angeles, CA
Although I live in Los Angeles (the other LA), routinely eat Kale and Quinoa, and occasionally say things like "Ya know, pescetarianism actually sounds like a pretty good idea," at my core, I'm a Louisianian. Growing up in Ruston, I learned that even a smile and a nod can vastly improve someone's day, even if that someone is a stranger on the sidewalk. Here in California, I still strive to make others feel valued and important in some small way (even if it's with a simple smile and nod).
Michael Futreal, Musician & Instrument-builderVisit websiteHometown: Warsaw, NCCurrent City: Shreveport, LA
Louisiana is the wetlands to most of the country: everything flows through here, transformed by the state's swampy vibe - and adding new timbres to that vibe. It's a great place to build things that blend old and new, so I'm fortunate to use my time here towards creating new music and instruments that juxtapose the traditional with the experimental.
Lee DuCote, NovelistVisit websiteHometown: Shreveport, LACurrent City: Heber Springs, AR
I have traveled throughout the world and have never come across a place like Louisiana. The people, culture, and food are just a few reasons why I love the Bayou State. One of my novels (Waterproof) takes place in south Louisiana and encompasses the traditions of the Cajun people. I love meeting with people and working close with libraries to encourage reading.
Rachel Stuart-Haas, Artist & AstrologerVisit websiteHometown: Shreveport, LACurrent City: Shreveport, LA
I’m proud to live in such a colorful state! I was born and raised in Louisiana and as many times as I’ve moved away, I keep coming back. There is a wonderful, creative community here that is continuing to grow and evolve. Being a part of that and being able to share my art makes me feel like I’m helping. I find so much receptiveness here to what I do. In my own way, I hope to add even more color.
James Gilcrease, Owner - Day Old Blues RecordsVisit websiteHometown: Shreveport, LACurrent City: Shreveport, LA
Growing up in Shreveport, I've gotten to see my home town really change. What use to be night clubs and neon lights has changed to an artistic hotspot for many talented people. The sights and sounds come at you from all over the place, in Shreveport and beyond - beautiful architecture, amazing music, and great food. You can have it all in the Boot. Running Day Old Blues Records gives me the opportunity to showcase the musicians that are cutting their teeth at local venues.
Lindsay Nations, Co-founder and Vice-Presidentof Great Raft BrewingVisit websiteHometown: Shreveport, LACurrent City: Shreveport, LA
Shreveport is my hometown and I love the stories and flavors that make this city and state unique. In Louisiana, people love to drink beer, but as a state, there aren't many breweries to keep up with that demand. Since starting Great Raft in 2013, I've been committed to helping create a local craft beer culture in Shreveport, one beer at a time.
Christy Kirkley, Former Executive Director of theRenzi Education and Art CenterVisit websiteHometown: Ponchatoula, LACurrent City: Shreveport, LA
The thing I love most about Louisiana is the amazing people I meet. The folks who create and live our unique culture are my inspiration. Our center provides free after school arts and academic opportunities to a really diverse group of kids. We employ local artists and teachers to grow the next generation of Louisiana musicians, film-makers, chefs, and dreamers. That's pretty exciting!