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.
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.