By Stacey Tinsley, BIZ.
As of October 1, 2021, Bossier City’s East Bank District has been certified as a cultural district by the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
So, what does this certification mean for one of the East Bank’s long standing establishments, The Bossier Arts Council (BAC)?
In simple terms, it means that those in the East Bank District selling original artworks will receive a tax break on their art sales. And, the new businesses moving into the district will be eligible for historic tax credits.
“When visitors are looking for places to spend their time, they look for areas that serve as experiences. They also look for areas that are visually appealing. No one wants to hang out in an area void of culture. Tax incentives enable the creation of new art and they expand art events, not to mention the fact that rehabilitation tax credits for properties are also a huge draw for new businesses,” said BAC Director Robin Jones.
The cultural district designation means so much more for other businesses within the district because of the tourism and marketing benefits associated with the title.
“The East Bank District and Plaza is one of the most unique areas around. And with each new business/event announcement, we are adding more tourism dollars to the city which provides local artists with more opportunities to thrive,” said Jones.
“Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and his staff at the Louisiana Division of the Arts have been a constant source of support. And, we wish to thank them, along with our local city officials, for taking pride in this wonderful area where we are so proud to live and work. We hope that the community will continue to explore the East Bank District and visit all of the shops, attractions and restaurants that make this district so wonderful,” Jones added.
The Louisiana Cultural Districts Program was created by Act 298 of the 2007 Regular Session of the Louisiana State Legislature. The primary goal of this initiative is to spark community revitalization based on cultural activity through tax incentives, technical assistance, and resources.
Since 1980, the Bossier Arts Council has supported the local arts community by focusing on community theatre, visual arts, festivals, arts education, public art, and grant opportunities.