Rainbow City in Caddo Common Park
Caddo Common Park’s spring, summer, and fall programming will launch this month, announced The Parish of Caddo Parks and Recreation Department and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.
Caddo Common Park is the city’s first programmable greenspace, located in the heart of Shreveport Common on the western edge of downtown. The program series is sponsored by Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and combines a healthy dose of exercise, wellness education, and fitness opportunities with dynamic, diverse arts programming.
All programs and activities are free of charge and are designed for multi-generational audiences.
Caddo Common Park programming kicks off from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 25 with “Sunday in the Park.” Featured artists include Chessi May leading yoga, a hands-on art activity with Jerry Davenport, and plein air painting with Bonnie Kirkley demonstrating watercolor techniques. Performances will be by HARK!, Songbook of the South, “Little Mermaid” by StageCenter Theatre Company, and an AMP concert produced by Chris Chandler of the American Millennium Project featuring The Joanitones.
Rainbow City Sponsor Sneak Peek was Nov. 1 in Rainbow City at Caddo Common Park. (Photo: Paul L. Schuetze/The Times)
A special edition to “Sundays in the Park” is the addition of the area arts organization and Shreveport Common social service organizations who are participating in Give for Good, the online giving program through the Community Foundation of North Louisiana. Visitors may meet the staff and learn about the programming of these organizations that are registered for Give for Good. There will also be food trucks and a small arts market.
Beginning in May, there are weekly and monthly programs to get the community off the couch and into the park and shaped up for adventure. The monthly lineup includes:
Starting on Wednesday, May 5, every first Wednesday of the month is “Wellness Wednesday” from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with fitness instruction and warm-ups to help participants walk a mile through and around Caddo Common Park. Also, a wellness education program will be presented by Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport along with Cattina Williams, Recreation Coordinator, and Mary Murphy, Athletics and Fitness Coordinator for Caddo Parish Parks & Recreation.
Starting on Thursday, May 6 and every first Thursday of the month, Caddo Parish Parks & Recreation presents “Fit and Strong Thursdays” from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with creative core building and strengthening games and exercises designed with older adult fitness in mind, but open to all.
On Thursday, May 20, and every third Thursday of the month, features the “Active Living Every Day” program from 10:30 a.m. to Noon, with programming designed to get participants moving in a fun and creative dance with Roshanda Spears. Try the Caddo Common Conga, Downtown Line Dance, and Texas Avenue Two-Step around the park. Leave the park with a “Healthy Heart” recipe created by the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Team.
Every third weekend of the month is an Uncommon Caddo Common Weekend with Saturday “Wild Wonders” programming and “Sundays in the Park” with artists.
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“Wild Wonder Saturdays” begins at 8 a.m. with a different genre of exercise each hour at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 10 a.m. Exercises include aerobics, pilates, Zumba, yoga, and basic calisthenics, such as jumping jacks. Then from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the team from the Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park brings out the Animal Ambassadors and flora and fauna, such as animals, bugs, birds, and critters.
Each month is themed with an introduction to the Wild Thing that lives or grows at the Nature Center, storytime, and a hands-on Make and Take activity to remember the introduction to the Wild Wonder. Stacy Gray, Education Coordinator for the Walter B. Jacobs Nature Center has selected monthly themes, which include: May – Birds of a Feather (meet a raptor and other birds of prey); June – Perfect Pollinators; July – For Goodness Snakes; August – Patterns of Nature (See the Golden Mean and the Fibonacci patterns;) September – Multicultural Wild Wonders; October – Creepy Crawlies (vultures, snakes, and spiders); and November – Fall in Love with Nature.
A design concept of Caddo Common urban greenspace in Shreveport Common, downtown Shreveport by Nicholas and Associates (Photo: Courtesy of Nicholas and Associates)
“Sundays in the Park with Artists” are scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and begin with a yoga program and hands-on activities at 2 p.m., plein air painting and drawing with professional artists, and solo performances featuring spoken word, storytelling, soloists, and dancers at 3 p.m., and a concert at 4 p.m.
There are also special programs planned in the park that will appeal to all.
Saturday, September 11 features the Festival of Cultures with the Multicultural Center featuring exhibitions, food, entertainment, costumes, and stories of the 16 cultural groups in Northwest Louisiana. An evening of “Hoots and Hops” is scheduled for Friday, October 8 – meet the owls of the Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park while tasting area craft beers.
The Caddo Parish Parks & Recreation Department has “Date Night” programming for older adults. Thursday, May 6 debuts the 2021 “Date Night” with “Getting to Know You” games and activities. Guests don’t have to be single to attend, bring a spouse or partner and see how well you know one another. Team up with a new mate, date, or friend and enjoy dinner at Parish Taceaux or a movie at the Robinson Film Center.
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“Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation is proud to work side by side the Shreveport Regional Arts Council to take health, fitness, wellness and recreation to a whole new level in a whole new park — Caddo Common Park the epicenter for health and creativity in Caddo Parish,” said Patrick Wesley, Director of Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation.
Caddo Common Park is located at 865 Texas Avenue, in the heart of Shreveport Common, the City’s newest/oldest cultural community spanning nine blocks in the western edge of Downtown.
Within weeks, construction begins on the Theatre Pavilion with a state-of-the-art Digital Wall by Ochsner LSU Health, signaling an opportunity for major outdoor concerts and theatrical events, movies, and even sports games projected for all to see.
“We want the community to come and experience intimate events and exercise opportunities in Caddo Common Park to prepare for the big theatre experience coming soon,” said Natorshau Davis, Caddo Common Park Coordinator for the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.
“We are proud to partner with the Parish of Caddo and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council to encourage healthy lifestyles through the venue of Caddo Common Park,” said Chuck Daigle, CEO for Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport. “Many of the Fitness Instructors and Wellness Activities will come from the Louisiana State University Health Shreveport while monthly healthy heart recipes and other wellness programming are developed by the team at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.”
Organizations and groups are encouraged to book creative public productions in Caddo Common Park. Programs are approved by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and must receive a City of Shreveport Permit. Call or email Natorshau Davis at [email protected] or (318) 673-6500.
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