Organizations

In Louisiana, general public art information, direction, encouragement, and guidance is always available from the helpful and knowledgeable staff of the Division of the Arts, Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. This is the office within the state agency that handles public art issues, initiatives, and grant opportunities. Their web address is www.crt.state.la.us/arts/publicart; the site includes information about public art in Louisiana communities and the Public Art Coalition, the main source of information and first-hand experience about public art in Louisiana communities. This loosely organized coalition meets quarterly, with two meetings per year in Baton Rouge and the other two in different communities. This group has generated a long-range strategic plan and works to facilitate public art programs and projects in communities throughout the state. To obtain a copy of the Public Art Coalition's long-range strategic plan, contact the Louisiana Division of the Arts, 1051 N. 3rd St, 4th Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70802; (225) 342-8180.

By default, some agencies that are involved in public art programs will also be called upon to deal with issues involving existing local sculptures and monuments. The national source for data in this area is Save Outdoor Sculpture!, a public-private venture originally organized to inventory monuments and outdoor sculpture in America. In Phase I of their program, state-by-state volunteer efforts inventoried, catalogued, and in some cases photographed public sculpture for a database housed at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC. Many public art advocates throughout Louisiana were involved in this inventory and assessment. Efforts of Phase II, now in progress, are aimed at preservation and conservation of endangered public sculptures. Check out their web site (www.heritagepreservation.org); the telephone number is 1-800-422-4612.

Another good source for outdoor sculpture preservation and conservation information is the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, an interdisciplinary group of experts who "work with partners in the preservation and conservation community to advance the art, craft, and science of historic preservation." One of their interests is in the conservation and preservation of outdoor sculpture.

NCPTT is an office of the National Park Service and is located on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. Their web site address is www.ncptt.nps.gov.

A national organization to look at for general issues related to community development and improvement is Partners for Livable Communities (www.livable.com); 1429 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; telephone (202) 887-5990. A nonprofit organization dedicated to community-based improvement, they sponsor publications and act as a clearing-house for information; they also have a bookstore with books and references on community development.