New art group meeting Monday

Published 1:24 am Saturday, October 3, 2015

The newly-formed Washington Parish Community Arts Association (WPCAA) is hosting a public gathering on Monday in Bogalusa.

The social event and presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. and take place in Bogalusa at the 437 Restaurant downtown on Columbia Street. Light food and drink will be available.

The main speaker and presenter will be Bruce Sampson, who is also the founder of the organization. Many people in the parish are familiar with Sampson as one of the directors of the internationally acclaimed performance and outreach group, The Young Americans. He is also the creator and director of the Believe Summer Camp Experience Project that has produced camps in Louisiana, Mississippi, California and three cities in China.

Although the parish arts group was started only two months ago, they are already quite busy and have begun their first major project, “The Believe Christmas Spectacular” workshop and show for parish-area students between third and high school seniors. They are also deep in the planning stages of spring 2016 classes, workshops and events that will be offered parish-wide.

“It’s a big vision that’s designed to do more than just expand the arts offerings in the parish,” Sampson said. “The big-picture goal is ultimately about bringing the community together and creating more opportunity for all.”

Sampson said he plans to convince local artists, musicians, writers and more to be part of conducting classes for young and old alike. He has also been in touch with some of his professional performing arts contacts to bring them to Washington Parish for special events as early as next spring.

“Some of my friends from Broadway, television and the music industry have already expressed an interest in supporting this effort,” Sampson said. “The WPCAA has also begun the process of bringing at least one major outdoor event that could draw folks from near and far to the area with big-name talent and events, while showing off local talent and aspiring artists as well.”

The WPCAA also plans to use proceeds from upcoming events to update and improve various school and public venues throughout the parish.

Sampson and the members of the WPCAA encourage folks to come find out more about the organization and their vision for the future. They hope to encourage more folks to get involved and support this community effort.

For more information about the meeting and the WPCAA, email or call 951-371-5239.