Bossier Arts Council Executive Director bids farewell to Bossier City – Bossier Press-Tribune Online | Candle Made Easy

BAC Director Robin Jones stands in the East Bank Festival Plaza area, just outside the front door of the BAC building. (Sean Green/Press-Tribune)

Stacey Tinsley
Bossier Press-Tribune

After a tenure of over 10 years, Robin Jones is leaving her position as executive director of Bossier Arts Council, a local non-profit arts organization.

“Over the years I have met our local artists and made many friends. I think I will miss her the most. Sitting at the One Stop and showing an artist how to write an artist statement; Assistance in the development of their online platform; or just talking to them about their future plans in general, those things feed my soul a lot,” Jones said.

“It’s my absolute favorite thing to get a card or an email from an artist that shows what my guidance has helped them,” she added.

“I will miss the laughter of the children in the Kunsthaus in front of my office window. And I’m going to miss walking around the East Bank District and stopping by all the traders,” Jones concluded.

Jones’ journey to Bossier Arts Council began in 2010 when she started as a volunteer.

“In 2010 I started volunteering with Bossier Arts Council. They needed help at the front desk to greet visitors and answer the phone. I’d visited the gallery a few times and really fallen in love with the potential,” Jones said.

Because of her theater and events experience, she began processing bookings for the building and was promoted to site and education coordinator. She began developing outreach programs for local students. In 2016 she was appointed Managing Director.

“When I first started working at Bossier Arts Council there was very little money for programs of any kind. The programs that were there were put together on a minimal budget and weren’t performing to the capacity they were supposed to. With the help of an incredible board of directors, we’ve assembled an amazing team that has helped us better support our mission,” said Jones.

“I started a rebranding of the Bossier Arts Council. If the general public doesn’t know who we are, how could they know what we can do for them? This included adding programs that would encourage a sense of community and get supporters through the door. As the supporters came, we were able to implement new programs,” she said.

Jones continued, “During my tenure as director, I started a program called Project Art Supplies. This is a program where we collect or purchase art supplies for area teachers to add to their classrooms. We just don’t think teachers should spend money out of their own pockets on art supplies. Now in its sixth year, Project Art Supplies has helped hundreds of teachers enrich their classrooms.”

“We also attend and support local festivals by providing children’s activities and educating the public about the benefits of the Bossier Arts Council. This was something that wasn’t done before my time with the Bossier Arts Council (BAC). It helps us connect with the public and give back to supporters in the community. It gives my employees a purpose in their community,” she said.

“We’re doing theater again. Due to lack of money we could not produce large productions. We now have a 12ft revolving stage and the ability to bring quality productions to the community,” added Jones.

“One of my favorite additions during my time at BAC is the Little Free Art House and Library. During Covid we had an urgent need to help students who were stuck at home by giving them access to art supplies. With the help of a local family we were able to build it. The best part of my day is sitting in my office and listening to the kids squeak with excitement as they receive items from the Little Free Art House and Library. We also leave a container of sidewalk chalk outside. As a result, the children are gifting us with incredible works of art,” Jones said.

Jones continued, “The BAC has grown from a little-known arts council to a major player in the arts community. I’m proud of that. And I’m proud of my people and the impact I think we’re making. Local artists now have a home that provides both the support and space to bolster their careers. Children have a place that encourages their creativity and provides them with art supplies. Teachers have a resource to help them complement their lessons and showcase their work. And supporters know that their donations go straight back into the arts.”

Given the growth in the East Bank District over the years, Jones says she’d like to see further growth in the East Bank District that includes “artsy” types of businesses.

“Alongside the growth of the arts council, the city has made wise investments in East Bank infrastructure. This combination has created a crowd-friendly area that has attracted many fantastic new businesses. And now this is the place to be if you want a night out on the town or a quiet family lunch in a fun atmosphere. The plaza has provided us with a place to gather as a community and support all of the wonderful and rich culture that lives in Bossier City,” Jones said.

“I would love to see artsy shops and attractions opening that give people more things to do while in the East Bank District. I want BAC to continue to grow programs and provide services to the community,” she concluded.

As Jones and her family bid farewell to Bossier City, she leaves her team, board and community with these parting words: “There are simply no words that can express my gratitude for allowing me to be a part of this amazing project his organization. I will cherish my time at BAC. And I will never forget the good work that has been and continues to be done here. Every single artist, teacher, student, staff member, board member and patron has contributed to BAC’s many achievements. I’m so proud of this work and you should be,” Jones said.

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