OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
Here’s a question for you. What is Art?
There are various possible answers. From the personal and pragmatic, “I know it when I see it,” to the wide-ranging and ideological, “Anything that holds up a mirror to society.”
When we talk about art on a show that is about business, I can tell you one thing that art is not. It’s not something you go into to get rich. It’s hard to imagine any other human endeavor that we regard as essential to our well-being and happiness, being as openly unrewarded. Could you even imagine the National Football League as being a non-profit? It would be laughable. But it’s totally acceptable for arts institutions to be un-funded, receive no special tax-credit status, and to make no money. That’s why both of Aileen's guests on this edition of out to Lunch Acadaiana have businesses that are blatantly, openly, legally, and factually, “non-profit.”
Sam Oliver is the Executive Director of the Acadiana Center for the Arts. The AcA is a home for the Arts with a capital “A.” They showcase visual and performing arts. They serve over 300,000 people a year, and pay over 2,700 artists.
Cindie Axtell has a more modest but extraordinarily innovative arts operation. It’s called Deuxieme Vie Creative, which is French for “Second Life Creative.” It’s a unique combination of a recycling program, an arts program, artist studio, art school, and art gallery. The concept is simple – if you have something you are about to throw in the trash that could be used to create art, don’t throw it out, take it down to Deuxieme Vie Creative. That something could be as obvious art supplies, or less obvious, like maybe a piece of a vacuum cleaner that’s broken that somebody could use in a piece of artwork. And if you’re an artist, or an aspiring artist, you can go to Deuxime Vie Creative and use the recycled supplies to create art.
Photos over lunch at Chopsticks restaurant on Ambassador Caffrey Parkway in Lafayette.