Saturday, February 1, 2014

Artisanal Spaces and History Tours Discussed at Last Meeting

Notes from the Meeting of January 20th

In attendance: Feico Kempff, Brittany Turner, LeVette Fuller, Stephen Pederson, Maurice Loridans, Loren Demerath

In pre-meeting small talk, Maurice recounted how Stephen passed him the other day on a “fixie”; and he once climbed Mr. Driskill on one.

Biking on the parade route before the parade was a topic, and how it’s a natural Cyclovia.  {Loren later wrote about it for a column in the Heliopolis newspaper.} LeVette recalled the San Francisco Grand Prix bike race where people could ride the route before the race.  Maurice uses the Centaur and Gemini for his own Cyclovia.  Stephen recalled how this past weekend people did it the night before the Houston marathon.

Feico has sent a book notice about happy cities; about how the advent of cul de sacs and roadways that’s created a development system that’s really an “autopia” that keeps people from walking and biking and using your car to do everything.  An example is Coates Bluff apartments.  Part of it is a fear of crime and part of it, LeVette, noted is perhaps a bit of elitism.

Some To-Do’s for us on getting a used bike depot started:
Loren reported talking to Don Hooper about a space, and it could be that people would drop off the bikes near his office and we could collect them from there.  Don Hooper gave the o.k. to use a certain amount of space, and gave ideas about a storage design.  Loren later then talked with Chris Sampite about putting a bike donation bike rack along the eastern wall of Centenary Square on the southern corner, right across from the laundromat, at Woodlawn and Kings.  Looks like we’re likely to get approval.  
    The next step is making a sign, maybe one that might read:

Used Bike Depot
Take One or Leave One

(and in small type below:)
You can visit or {QR code} to learn how a new
bicycle cooperative will use your old bike to benefit those in bicycling need,
and how you can attend coop clinics to learn bike repair. 
Thanks for your donation and for facilitating fun and healthy transportation! 

For keeping our tools, placing a shipping container near the storage area might be useful. For downtown locations it was mentioned that under the Makers Fair location the DDA has been renting space that will soon come available, but at $400/month it’s too rich for our blood.

We discussed Feico’s idea forwarded the week before about developing a particular space to be used by artisanal entrepreneurs.  An artists and musicians cooperative is more specialized, but utilitarian craftspeople could be included, like tailors, shoemakers, quilters, weavers; and more utilitarian crafts like welding, glass blowing, pickle making; the list kept going! wool, candles, furniture, decorative arts, vodka making, chocolate making, pencil making!  Maurice noted that in Mexican towns they’re called “artesianas” where people can go to buy things from artisans.  LeVette noted that in Paducah, Kentucky, the city gave away a lot of downtown space to artisans. has used Ashville as a base.  One furniture maker some of know in town is Wade Easley; people like him might be interested. 

LeVette wondered if it might not make sense to offer an alternative to what SHRAC already has so much momentum on with the Shreveport Common.  Others pointed out that there’s an artist’s tour in Highland right now of people that aren’t incorporated into  SHRAC.  Dorothy Christy Hannah exhibits work in Highland, and one artist/craftsman has just built a workshop in the area.

In this particular location proposed by Feico, the current owner—the School Board—might continue to own it and get credit for it.  The Rescue Mission had made an offer but was only going to pay half of what they asked for it.

Feico also floated an idea of the old Rex Theatre, cum Don’s Seafood and Steak House, and now a possible funeral home, becoming a music venue supper club.  LeVette was skeptical the neighborhood would approve, but Feico’s vision wasn’t for a bar.  It was noted that neighborhood is continues to transition, as Styr has just closed.

There are other ideas that have been floated in recent years, like the Blue Goose District.  In Copenhagen there’s a neighborhood called Christiania that was made by people squatting there.  The hard part may be rounding up people that’d be interested.   Maybe the library makers-spaces could be incubators for developing those interests.

Maurice asked about the Red River District, Loren said Carolyn is representing ABS on the committee, and she's since reported that haven't met for a few months. They’re doing “Free Fridays Forever” under the bridge, starting at 9:00, but really it started more like 10:00; the Lackadaisies played there recently and were great.

History tours were also discussed.  Brittany Turner has posted an opportunity to partner with the library and the DDA on hidden history tour; photographing sites and loading them onto “Historypin” (a mapping site run by archivists and librarians; a wiki based site where folks can add things to a map; e.g., a picture of the Methodist Church without its steeple) and organizing them into different tours, music, crime, politics, etc.  April Dahm with Stephanie Pedro did a walking tour.  The difference here is that it’s live and you can supplement it.  As well as the usual suspects, Dan Garner and Brain Salvatore were mentioned as others interested in Shreveport history and as possible helpers in getting something like that going.

Our recommended bike routes map is almost ready to go.  We have a group of transportation cyclists on email to which Loren will send it out.  The group includes Garrett Johnson, Jon Soul, Robert Trudeau, Troy Messina, Ed and Beth Leuck, Chris Chiocetti, Ian Webb, Carolyn Manning, and the map’s primary authors: Maurice Loridans, Stephen Pederson.  We’ll ask for one more go-round of feedback, then get it ready to print and distribute!

Dog Park was asked about… Word is we need one more signature, the Mayor’s, and we can’t think of a reason he wouldn’t sign now.  Fingers are crossed!

Since that meeting: Loren sat in on a conference call with members of the advocacy group of the HGIO coalition pushing for a network of paths and trails.  The call was with Jennifer Ruley, a state expert on getting that kind of thing done.  It was a very useful call, and Loren will summarize it at the next meeting.

Other agenda items to come:
Coates Bluff Trail – Final Leg Ready to Be Completed!
Bicycle Depot and Cooperative – Might We Be Ready to Start?!
Bike Map Revisions and Final To-Do’s – Are We Ready to Print and Distribute?!
Canoes News  And a Springboard for a Centenary Outdoor Adventure Cooperative?
General Updates – Speaking of Finalities, Doggedly Reached!

To discuss those things, we’ll meet Monday evening, 6:00-7:00, in the Wright Math Building on Woodlawn, across the street from the Magale Library on Centenary’s Campus, two blocks up from the Gold Dome.

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