It’s That Time

Brad Goins Thursday, December 19, 2019 Comments Off on It’s That Time
It’s That Time

It’s once again time to start gathering donations for the area’s largest annual book sale. Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd is collecting new and used books in good condition for the massive sale, which will be held in the spring of 2020. 

Books, DVDs, and audio books (but not encyclopedias or textbooks) can be donated in the drop-off boxes located in the covered drive-through at  the side entrance of Good Shepherd, 715 Kirkman St., Lake Charles. The church will accept book donations until March 1. 

Last year’s proceeds of $25,000 were given to local charities. As we get closer to the event, I’ll give you all the details about when it’s being held.

Two Galleries Come To City Hall

The Historic City Hall arts and cultural center just released some news that will have a big impact on Southwest Louisiana’s art scene.

Photo by Michael Caroff

Two galleries that have long been major parts of that scene are opening in the Historic City Hall. These art spaces are the Black Heritage Gallery, which has been located for 20 years in the Central School at 809 Kirby St., and Gallery by the Lake, which has long resided at 106 West Pryce St. near the lake.

For the opening of the Black Heritage Gallery, there will be an opening reception Friday, Dec. 6, 5:30 to 8 pm. The gallery’s mission is to champion and nurture artists at all stages of their career and lead a diverse audience to discover works by African-American artists.

Gallery by the Lake is a membership-managed gallery that provides a space for a community of visual artists to create, interact and exhibit. The gallery will open in the new venue in January.

Mayor Nic Hunter said the addition of the two galleries will allow for a “robust cultural experience … Visitors want to be able to see as many attractions as possible under one roof …”

The Historic City Hall (1001 Ryan St.) has also changed its hours to Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. These new hours will be good for those who want to drop in after work or who were pressed by the abbreviated Saturday hours in the past.

Said Hunter, “We must be open when families are able to visit or when couples can come check out the exhibits …”

Hunter announced the exhibit schedule for 2020. There will be four national touring exhibits during the year. One will feature 77 images of John F. Kennedy from Kennedy’s Presidential Library and Family Archives. 

An exhibit curated by the National Air and Space Museum will showcase photos taken from Apollo landing sites on the moon. The “Modern Masters” exhibit, showing in the summer, will focus on the first half of the 20th century. Artists represented will include Arp, Miro and Calder. The fourth show will feature more than 30 large-scale paintings by New Orleans artist James Michaloupoulos.

Historic City Hall will also showcase a number of local artists next year; these will include Donna Price, Ron Gibson and Lyd Walls. 

A group exhibition, “Lake Charles Legends,” will feature paintings by 15 local artists of Alvin Dark, Dr. Michael Debakey, Nellie Lutcher and other well-known people who are associated with Lake Charles.

“We are committed to booking exhibits with mass appeal,” said Hunter. The art space is always free to the public.

For more information or to download a 2020 exhibit schedule, visit

Holiday Art Sale

If you pick up this magazine when it hits the stands, you’ll still have time to go to the McNeese State University Student Art Association’s annual holiday art sale, which will be held Friday, Dec. 6, 8 am to 4 pm in the Grand Gallery on the first floor of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex at McNeese.

More than 300 artworks produced by McNeese art students and faculty during the fall semester will be offered for sale. These works will include wheel-thrown and hand-built mugs, vases and containers as well as photographs, drawings, artists books, paintings, mixed media works and a wide range of printed works.

For more information contact the McNeese Department of Visual Arts at 337-475-5060. Persons who need accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at 

The Real Housewives Of Lafayette

The day after the election, Lafayette’s The Current magazine ran this headline: “Election 2019 is in the books. On to the next crisis.”

In the same issue, Erin Bass reported on a Lafayette production of Shakespeare’s risqué play The Marry Wives of Windsor.

The production sought to keep the naughty nature of the original play but put it in a 2019 context. Amy Waguespack, director of the Acting Up In Acadiana production, suggested that the best name for the play they put on was “The Merry Real Housewives of Windsor.” The Current reported that the theater troupe is “turning up the trashy themes,” but is doing so with such current cultural trends as “bawdy video selfies.”

Said Waguespack, “We’re putting it in a lighter, sort of reality TV kind of feel to let us laugh at ourselves, I hope … We’re playing the women as pretty much housewives … They have wealthy husbands and hang out in their backyards and are toting wine and mimosas back to each other, but they get the upper hand on the men in the tricks that they play.”

Students Do Real-World Counseling

When counseling students at McNeese State University attend the school’s Kay Doré Counseling Clinic (KDCC), they do a lot more than just study. They counsel people in the real world. Many of these clients are people with serious mental concerns who are in great need of counseling.

Caitlyn Kudrecki and Caitlin Burcham, of Lake Charles, are both graduate students and counselors with the KDCC. In this role, they have the opportunity to work with patients while also receiving guidance from faculty members. 

Even though students are under faculty supervision, the internship allows them to apply their knowledge from the classroom in a real-world setting. KDCC offers counseling to the community for $20 per hour for those without insurance, Burcham says. Her clients are diverse and have various counseling needs. 

“The diversity of clients has definitely helped me decide what I want to do after I graduate — specifically working with people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,” she says. “It’s fantastic on the job training. The clinic is really a benefit for people in the community who can’t afford traditional counseling.”

The KDCC also connects students with off-campus professional development opportunities. Counseling interns participate in the Peer Initiative Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT) program at Sam Houston High School by training high school students on how to discuss topics such as bullying, depression and suicide with their peers who might be at risk. For students who need professional help, counselors like Burcham and Kudrecki travel to the school one day a week for counseling sessions. 

“I’ve had a broad range of experiences while working in the clinic,” Kudrecki explains. “This internship has not only prepared me for any situation I might face, but it’s also solidified for me that I want to work with children after graduation.”

No Hard Feelings

Even after his three visits to Louisiana to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidates, President Trump called Gov. Edwards after his victory to congratulate him. Trump is always friendly to Louisiana. The N.O. Advocate’s Elizabeth Crisp reported on the story.

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