Recently, representatives from the Governor's Office of Film and Television Development were in Lafayette for a seminar showing howÂ we can better prepare Acadiana to take advantage of film and TV production opportunities coming to Louisiana, especially through the state's tax incentive program. Some at this seminar felt that the state bypassed Acadiana in favor of Shreveport who is now hosting "runaway" Hollywood productions who were running away again, this time from Katrina in New Orleans.
To the state's credit, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu commissioned economic research and evaluation of arts and culture in Louisiana. The results were revealing, yet not surprising. Here are a few points from that study that may be useful to us in Acadiana's creative economy.
"One of the most important principles in economic development is to build upon the assets and strengths that you have, and not try to compete in areas where you have limited competitive advantage."
Bottom line, Hollywood is in Louisiana mainly for the tax credits. Our local cultural brand has eroded to the extent that anyone can "download" Cajun and Creole for their own fun and profit. Forget runaway productions; we've got a serious problem with a runaway culture. We must restore the integrity of our cultural brand and begin enhancing its authenticity before no one is left who can de-mystify our so-called "mystique."
"There remains enormous potential in the overseas tourism market, particularly among populations that have a natural affinity to Louisiana and want to experience something other than mainstream American popular culture."
Are we effectively tapping into the global market? Our local Francophone culture remains of great interest to Canada, France and French-speaking Africa. Even in Shreveport they will not deny that our French connection has historically been the main ingredient in the Louisiana brand. If Acadiana really wants to be a player in the film industry, we cannot afford to simply feature our unique culture as a backdrop: it should take a leading role.
"The cultural economy needs fresh talent and provides an attractive avenue for young people to channel their considerable creative energies."
One way to get the attention of film and television producers is to have a trained workforce. We know Louisiana people have a stronger sense of place than anywhere else in the country. When our young people are offered opportunities to truly connect with their culture, fewer and fewer will feel compelled to leave.
The state could do more to promote Acadiana as a film and television site, but Acadiana needs to take the lead in sustaining our local indigenous culture, making it a full partner in this and in all sectors of the cultural economy. This is our greatest resource, and few can compete with it.
Louisiana's annual state sales tax holiday is Friday and Saturday.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
NJ lady beats Donald Trump; Israel calls up more troops; border hearings accelerated and more national and international news for Thursday, July 31, 2014.
State Rep. Lenar Whitney — one of a handful of Republican candidates vying for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district — has been described by Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman as one of the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s ever met following her reaction to an interview last week.
Mid-August hearing dates have been set for dueling lawsuits over Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards in public schools.
An investigation into the last-minute passage of a pension hike for the state police superintendent continues, despite Col. Mike Edmonson's decision not to accept the increase.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
Here's how one nationally recognized conservative political pundit reacted upon hearing the news Monday that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was leaning toward an endorsement of Louisiana’s lone Democrat senator.
With the qualifying deadline for Lafayette Parish School Board elections quickly approaching, a series of candidate forums have been announced by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council.
The investigation and potential prosecution of the man charged in the recent hit-and-run death of a Youngsville cyclist won’t happen overnight, according to local law enforcement officials.
Louisiana's state school board is holding a special meeting to consider whether to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal in an ongoing dispute over the Common Core education standards.
A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
The world is a politically tense place these days with hot spots ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where the political chessboard tends to be a lot less threatening and at times entertaining, this election season is living up to expectations.
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."