Brown Bag Concert Series
Each April and October, the Arts Council of Northeast Louisiana hosts a Brown Bag Concert Series in downtown Monroe. The Arts Council sponsors a similar West Monroe Brown Bag Concert Series, produced by the West Monroe/West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, in May and September. Bring a chair or a blanket and come out to Anna Gray Noe Park in Monroe every Wednesday in April and October to enjoy some great music provided by local musicians.
In 1986 the Arts Council began recognizing local businesses for their support of the arts in Region 8 with the Business ART (BART) Award. In 1989 the Arts Council added the Volunteer of the Year Award. Additional categories have been added through the years with the current categories of the BART Award, the Volunteer of the Year Award, an Artist of the Year Award for both Visual Arts and Performing Arts, and the Emerging Artist of the Year Award. New in 2021 is the Arts Organization of the Year Award. This award is given to an organization that has shown a tangible impact on the region's residents, tourists, youth, and businesses with innovative programing, progressive outreach efforts and exemplary creative vision.
Nominees are submitted by individuals and organizations throughout Region 8. Winners are selected by panelists from outside of Region 8. Periodically, the Arts Council Board of Directors selects an outstanding individual or organization who they feel has performed long term service of such value that it has had a dynamic impact on the cultural face of Region 8. This award, given on an irregular basis, is named after long time local arts lover and advocate Mary Lee Milam.
North Delta Food and Wine Festival
Who doesn't love food and wine? Begun in 2015, the North Delta Food & Wine Festival has been held the second weekend every October. Canceled in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic, this popular festival has gone back to the drawing board for a review and revamping. Stay tuned for what the future holds for this eagerly anticipated event.
Blend of the Bayou
The Granddaddy of arts fundraising events in northeast Louisiana, the Blend of the Bayou has enjoyed immense success since its beginning in 1997. This one-of-a-kind event is held the first Sunday in May each year. Area business leaders and professionals who love to cook underwrite and serve their specialties to an eager crowd. Drinks are provided by local sponsors as well as beer crafted by local homebrewers. While enjoying great food and drink, listening to live music, and visiting with old and new friends, attendees can also participate in a silent art auction featuring more than a dozen local artists. Known as the quintessential southern lawn party, the Blend of the Bayou is eagerly anticipated every year. The COVID pandemic forced cancellation of the 2020 event, but with COVID inspired nuances, Blend MAY be back in 2021. STAY TUNED!
Herons on the Bayou
Herons on the Bayou is a public art project connecting our talented artists with the local community. Fifty heron sculptures are spread out throughout Ouachita Parish, and each one has it's own unique, beautiful design. Hop in the car and visit as many as you can!