We, the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, have had the honor to recently elect multiple wonderful people onto our board. Continuing our blog post series called Meet the Board Member, we think it would be a important for the community to get to know our new board members and to learn what they are doing in our area! This week we had the pleasure to interview one our new board members, Brandi Cole.
Q: Tell me about your background; where are you from, what was your childhood like, what is your family like?
A: I was born in the Dallas area and grew up in West Monroe with my parents (a schoolteacher and a salesman) and two siblings. I had an awesome childhood in north Louisiana – back in the good old days when we didn’t have electronics and spent a lot of time outside. I also spent a lot of time with my nose in a book. I graduated from Louisiana Tech with an accounting degree and then went to LSU Law School. I practiced Labor & Employment law in Baton Rouge for five years at a regional firm. About 4 years ago, I found my way back to northeast Louisiana with the hope of providing my kids with the same upbringing I enjoyed – being surrounded by family and a great community.
Q: What is your current job, and what else are you involved with in the area?
A: I am an in-house attorney at CenturyLink, where I am in the Ethics & Compliance group and perform internal corporate investigations. We now have nearly 50,000 employees around the globe, so every day brings on a new set of rewards and challenges. I am also involved with the Twin City Ballet, my kids’ schools, and my church.
Q: I know you are affiliated with the Twin City Ballet Company; can you tell me about the organization and your involvement?
A: I am on the board of the Twin City Ballet, which is a non-profit operated under the artistic direction of Mrs. Linda Lavender Ford. The two main purposes of the TCB are to create exciting dance experiences in the community and to offer an opportunity for training and stage experience for young talented dancers. I love being part of an organization that provides such opportunities for dancers and brings culture to our area through dance performances and events throughout the year.
Q: When did your passion for dance begin, and why are you so passionate about it?
A: I first fell in love with dance at the age of 3, and I still dance with my kids, my husband (who is actually an incredible dancer, especially for a banker) and at my weekly adult hip-hop class, which is the most fun I have had in years! I can’t think of anything that feels better than dancing. Dance is an outlet for artistic expression, and it is a beautiful way to tell a story.
Q: Where do you go or what do you do to get inspired?
A: I run, I pray, I spend time on the trails at Kiroli Park or I talk someone into taking a trip with me!
Q: What are some things most people do not know you are passionate about?
A: I don’t keep many secrets, but I am secretly passionate about some classic rock – think Bob Seger, Eric Clapton. I credit my dad for making me listen to all his music growing up.
Q: What made you decide to accept the position as a board member for the NELA Arts Council?
A: Barry is very persuasive. Just kidding – I think we are lucky to live in a small town with a talented art community and rich culture, and I want to be involved in making sure people in NELA are aware of how great it is to live here. I also love the events the Arts Council puts on.
Q: What special asset do you believe you can bring to the table as a board member?
A: Although I wish I could offer up something more interesting, I will have to say – my legal skills.
Q: What are you most looking forward to as a new board member?
A: Learning more about the Arts Council!
The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council is absolutely thrilled to have Brandi as one of our newest board members, and we know she will be a wonderful asset to our Board and as well as towards our arts community.