Where the Streams Meet
Arnaudville's International Art Scene
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The NuNu-Arnaudville Experiment is featured in the 2010 Creative Placemaking report of The Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation.
Along with 13 other cities and towns selected from throughout the United States, the NuNu-Arnaudville Experiment is celebrated as an example of cultural industry innovation.
For national and international recognition received by selection for the Creative Placemaking report, NuNu Arts and Culture Collective and the town of Arnaudville received a 2012 Louisiana Culture Connection Award.
Brunet learned of NuNu in November when Marks and Frugé visited the French Consulate. Information presented about ongoing work at the collective struck a chord of familiarly. Here was this small collective making proportionally huge strides toward the growth of a cultural economy, and there was Les Articulteurs, eight years in development and proving successful as a process for economic growth.
“Cultural economy is an attempt to combine culture and local economy, creating jobs, training opportunities, showing to the young people that they can still stay home, where their roots are, enjoy the festivals and music, practice their passion for arts, and still make a living, thereby contributing to developing local economy,” Brunet says.
Cultural economy in the Brittany region of France combines French and Celtic cultural roots and, like Louisiana, emphasizes the importance of cultural roots, the importance of economic development based on many small and medium-size enterprises and the importance of eco-tourism, he adds.
“Louisiana and Brittany share in this sense a very similar vision, including this particular combination of diverse, very vivid cultures in their local communities,” Brunet says. “Cultural economy is a very interesting avenue for cooperation between Louisiana and France and especially Brittany with Les Articulteurs.”
Initial programs formulated as a result of that first meeting are:
- Exchanges of musicians, visual artists and food/beverage for festivals and events between Rennes, France, and the Acadiana area
- A pen pal program establishing relationships by connecting students to students, musicians to musicians, artists to artists, businesses to businesses and so on
- A partnership with St. Landry Parish Tourism, St. Landry Parish Waste Management and French company Charier Enterprises in the development of an arts-education program for the purpose of promoting recycling
- A partnership with the Yves Rocher Foundation to facilitate a photography festival that focuses on the “person in the environment,” mirroring that of one in France
- A partnership with the town of La Gacilly in France for the establishment of an artist-in-residence program.
Ongoing activities include:
- A monthly Pooldoo Party, during which Donnie and the Pooldoos perform and invite guest participation
- A monthly artist retreat, during which artist members host working sessions for production of salable art
- A weekly quilting circle - en Français
- A monthly pot luck social, during which there is music, dancing, socializing and featured works, all for the cost of contributing “a favorite dish” to communal tables
- La Table Française, a monthly morning gathering of French speakers
- Monthly Sunday performances by members of Artists as One Voice, a collective of emerging and professional musicians and performers