Soundsuit artist nick cave is 2015-16 artist-in-reisidence for the shreveport regional arts council talking Points/Fact Sheet

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  • NICK CAVE is internationally renowned as a “Soundsuit” artist, teacher and a messenger. Through March 2016, Nick Cave is the Artist in Residence with The Shreveport Regional Arts Council where he plans to create his “biggest project yet, in the smallest community in which he’s ever worked.”

  • This is Nick Cave:

  • Nick Cave is known across the world for the colorful, extravagant sculptures he calls “Soundsuits.” These elaborate, symbolic suits that he makes to hide the human and expose the inner message of social consciousness stand alone in galleries in Sydney, Paris and Chicago, and come to life as vehicles of sound and movement when worn by dancers moving as a herd through Grand Central Station or sashaying across a stage in a high school auditorium.

  • The international artist has exhibited at the Smithsonian, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Seattle Art Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum and the Trapholt Museum in Denmark. He has worked around the world in places including London, Paris, China, Seoul, Jerusalem and Portugal. Private collectors including Beyoncé and Jay Z display Cave’s art in their homes.

  • NICK CAVE has been referred to as the hottest, most popular, most innovative artist in the world, and he is working in Shreveport as The Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s artist-in-residence.


  • As a part of an almost eight-month Artist in Residency series, Mr. Cave will do something he has never done before anywhere—go into four social service agencies within the nine-block neighborhood of SHREVEPORT COMMON--Providence House, Mercy Center, the VOA McAdoo, and students at the VOA Lighthouse--to share his world famous technique with the residents there and to help them create elaborately beaded, woven and constructed NICK CAVE “BLANKETS,” rather than soundsuits. The blankets will allow these disenfranchised people to make “blanket statements” and to tell their stories that are not often heard in our community.

    • Providence House is a homeless to home resident program for families

    • Mercy Center is Philadelphia Center’s residences for those with AIDS or who are HIV+

    • The McAdoo is a Volunteers of America staffed-apartment complex for those with moderate disabilities

    • VOA Lighthouse is an after-school program that provides tutoring for children from Northwest Louisiana’s most disenfranchised neighborhoods.

  • Why blankets and not soundsuits? Nick’s work in Shreveport is with social service agency residents who are seeking shelter as well as job skills, The social service organizations “swaddle” their residents with love, comfort and skills needed to feel safe, protected and ready to advance. When the time comes, each resident then “sheds” the blanket of protection to move out and up. The blankets that are beaded by the residents and the public will be the feature of the Nick Cave performance, “AS IS,” that results from his eight months of work in Shreveport.

  • Nick Cave’s work in Shreveport also brings an opportunity to local artists to work with someone of his national caliber to grow, to improve skills and work ethic and to prove what amazing things can be accomplished through collaboration and mutual respect. Cave has selected local artists Heather Beauvais, Jerry Davenport, Karen LaBeau, Sherry Tamburo and Kathryn Usher as partners for making the beaded blankets and raffia costumes with the residents of Providence House, Mercy Center, the VOA McAdoo, and students at the VOA Lighthouse.

  • THE PAYOFF and grand unveiling to the community at large will be a NICK CAVE GALA PERFORMANCE entitled, “As Is,” at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, 2016 performed at the newly renovated Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium.


  • Cave is working with local performing artists in the production of the “AS IS” performance. They include: Luther Cox, Jr., Artistic Director, Inner City Row Modern Dance Company, who will be the Production Choreographer; Poetic X who will serve as spoken word artist; Evan Falbaum, Moviesauce Creative Director, who will be the filmmaker and documentarian. Dancers from the Northwestern State University Louisiana Creative & Performing Arts School will be dancing along with members of the Inner City Row Modern Dance Company.

  • The Shreveport Regional Arts Council is producing the NICK CAVE Residency. Josh Porter is the Production Director; John Durbin will do digital animation, Michael Futreal, original score; Brenda Wimberly, soloist; Angelique Feaster-Evans, music coordinator and Sereca Henderson, choir director.

  • When asked how he would describe the upcoming “AS IS by Nick Cave” performance, Nick himself said, “AS IS will be a visually stunning multimedia performance of music, dance, spoken word and elaborate digital stage design that transports audiences beyond the normal limits of entertainment into a spectacular world that will have you asking, ‘What just happened in front of me?’ This spectacle of social consciousness is designed to transform the audience, and I hope prompt them to ask, ‘How can we not accept each other ‘AS IS”?”



  • Shreveport Common was named 2015 Louisiana Cultural District and cited as a “leader in Creative Placemaking” in M.I.T.’s study on Creative Placemaking, “Places in the Making.”

  • The nine-block neighborhood of SHREVEPORT COMMON is an “UNCommon” cultural community located in Shreveport’s most historic yet most blighted area surrounding The Municipal Auditorium. Shreveport Common is in year five of implementing a $100M, 30 partner, public/private urban revitalization with the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and City of Shreveport as the lead.

  • A unique goal of the Shreveport Common creative placemaking project is to value the authenticity of the area with no displacement of the current residents. SRAC wants to replace blight with a thriving, vibrant cultural district that will attract the creative sector and do so without displacing the existing neighbors. That commitment: to keep the mostly disenfranchised existing neighbors integral to the new community is why the artists and neighbors are working together.

  • Heidi Ettinger, Arts Chairman for the Educational Foundation of America said, “The EFA especially values the authenticity of the nine-block neighborhood known as Shreveport Common and the commitment to “no displacement of the current residents.” The EFA recently awarded a $190K grant to SRAC for the development of Shreveport Common through the yearlong artist-in-residency of Nick Cave and to support an artists’ capacity study for an artists’ live/workspace in Shreveport Common.

  • Nick Cave made his first visit to Shreveport for this eight-month artist in residency program in July of 2015 and will return to Shreveport numerous times before his gala performance on March 20, 2016. Mr. Cave’s visits upcoming visits are scheduled for the following dates:

January 6-9, 2016

February 25-27, 2016

March 12-18, 2016

  • Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., March 20, 2016 is the date of The NICK CAVE GALA PERFORMANCE, “AS IS” at the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium.


  • “I like the neighborhood in which I am working in Shreveport and the five local artists with whom work,” says Mr. Cave. “The neighborhood is a nine-block area called Shreveport Common that is completely “UNCommon” because of its amazing quirks and diversity. The artists with whom I am working are talented local men and women who have agreed to work with social service agencies in Shreveport Common to make symbolic blankets that tell the people’s stories. My work here is like nothing I’ve ever done, a brand new idea. It is about change and about being proactive. I hope that it will be the mortar that unifies this neighborhood and that helps the rest of the world recognize who is here and see how we value and recognize that they matter.”

  • Nick Cave likes to make a difference. He refers to himself as “an artist with a conscience,” and says that his Soundsuits reflect his interest in being “an artist with a civic responsibility.” He is constantly looking for a way to use his Soundsuits as a way of unifying communities, and his partnership with The Shreveport Regional Arts Council and Shreveport Common will do just that.

  • Nick Cave has just completed a similar project in Detroit, “Here Hear.” Detroit is a city emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, and Cave views the many challenges of the city as an opportunity--a place where public art and the expression of creativity will allow for pride in the community.

  • Through his collaboration with local artists and his work with the residents who live within the care of the social service organizations inside Shreveport Common, Cave hopes that this community and the world will hear the voices of Shreveport’s disenfranchised. The “blankets” they create in Nick Cave fashion will symbolize their stories that are not heard well enough or often enough in our community.

  • And finally, Cave’s Gala “AS IS” Performance at the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 20th will “UNcover” the stories of these “Unseen” people through theater, dance, art, music, film and sound.


  • Nick Cave’s presence in Shreveport is a part of the ongoing Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s UNSCENE! event series created to revitalize the nine-block downtown Shreveport Common neighborhood that is being rebuilt as a cultural arts district.

  • Cave’s eighth month artist in residency series will allow him to work side-by-side with the four social service agencies (Providence House, VOA McAdoo, Mercy Center and VOA LightHouse), their residents and teens and the artists who will serve as their mentors to weave their stories into the costume elements that make up Cave’s Soundsuits. This will help give voice to each agency’s cultural identity and help build and strengthen our community.

  • The residents of Providence House, VOA McAdoo, Mercy Center and VOA Lighthouse will benefit from learning through art how to better have a voice in the community. They will have an opportunity to learn or strengthen craft and costuming skills from an internationally renowned fashion artist as they participate in beading, quilting and designing.


  • THE EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION OF AMERICA recently awarded a $190 grant to SRAC for the advancement of Shreveport Common through the year-long artist-in-residency of internationally renowned artist, sculptor and educator Nick Cave. This grant will support the first “infusion” of arts into the lives of residents of the social service organization that “reside” within the nine-blocks of Shreveport Common: Providence House, Mercy Center, VOA McAdoo Center and VOA Lighthouse with:

    • the commissioning of internationally renowned soundsuit artist Nick Cave to equip Northwest Louisiana artists to teach his techniques and processes to the residents of the Shreveport Common social service agencies and

    • the commissioning of Artspace Minneapolis to work with SRAC to conduct a study of the Northwest Louisiana Arts Community to identify artists who are interested in and possess the capacity to move into Shreveport Common in either single family dwellings or in affordable Artists’ live/workspaces that offer loft living in spaces that accommodate the Artists’ studio space.

  • The Shreveport Regional Arts Council has received three grants from the Educational Foundation of America during the past five years. Each grant award propels the Creative Placemaking planning and implementation process forward for Shreveport Common, the nine-block neighborhood in downtown Shreveport that surrounds The Municipal Auditorium.

  • The first grant from EFA to SRAC supported the planning and design for the Central ARTSTATION and the Shreveport Common Vision Plan.

  • The second grant paid for the fabrication of ART the DALMATIAN, a collaboration with Academy Award-Winning Artists Bill Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, who designed ART as a housewarming gift to the Central ARTSTATION.

  • Arts at the Educational Foundation of America (arts@efa) is a national program that supports Arts-driven approaches to social and economic revitalization of depreciated communities. By investing in artists, creative initiatives, and cultural institutions, arts@efa hopes to encourage artistic and community collaboration, deepen local pride, and champion the Arts as an economic driver.

The public is also encouraged to Bead a Part of the Fun at “Bead-A-Thons” held monthly at Central Artstation and fun for various groups. Anyone can Register at

    • Nov. 14 – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    • Dec. 3 – 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

    • Dec. 4 – 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

    • Dec. 5 – 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

    • January 8-9—a beading marathon from noon to midnight on Friday and 10 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday

    • Feb. 26 – 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

    • Feb. 27 – 10:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


*Shreveport Regional Arts Council website:

*The Shreveport Times:

*The Shreveport Times:

* New York Times (July 15): For Detroit Artists, Almost Anything Goes 

* Washington Post Article(June 23)- Nick Cave dons mantle of an artist who inspires and elicits introspection:

* The New York Times Style Magazine (June 16) - Nick Cave Revisits Detroit, Soundsuits in Tow:

* Nick Cave PBS Special:
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