This week’s Art Talk Monday is by John Emory, Jr., Programming Director for the Dixie Center for the Arts.
One of our biggest Dixie Center events is right around the corner. On Saturday, April 12, the ninth annual Joe Woods Widwood Express Showcase will take the historic stage at 6:00pm. We celebrate the life and legacy of Joe as we bring back band members who played in his original band and singers who often have a tie to Joe, and always a tie to the music he performed at the Dixie Theater every Saturday night.
Joe Woods was the one who kept the Dixie open when many had walked away from the theater that is truly Ruston. Joe was determined to provide good family entertainment and great music for our community. Many of those who were regulars in the shows are gone now, but their memoires are always around us in the theater that we all love.
The tribute show began as a fundraiser for the Dixie but it’s much more than that. The venue, music and the people on the stage and in the audience represent all that is good in us. Much credit is due those who make sure the presentation is a success year after year. Mildred May who supported Joe and the orginal band from day one continues to raise money for the Dixie. Mary Ann Woods gives much of her time and talent to producing the show with a spirit of kindness and warmth making everyone feel welcome and at home. One of the busiest men I know is Travis Woods, but he sets aside time each year to promote the showcase and orchestrate an experience that we simply can’t miss.
A genuine commitment to the needs of others was always found in Joe Woods and the Wildwood Express Band. Joe encouraged young people he met through the Ruston Police Department and also raised the self-esteem of adults and children by giving them a place to share their musical talent. Joe and the band, joined by loyal patrons, could be found raising money for medical emergencies, in addition to special Christmas shows for children, giving each child a gift of fruit from Santa. Joe’s spirit of giving and community support live’s on in the Dixie Center for the Arts today.
Join us Saturday night as we pay tribute to Joe Woods and continue his dream of providing family entertainment in North Louisiana.
To reserve tickets call Libby at 255-1450 or drop by Dixie at 212 North Vienna in beautiful downtown Ruston. Tickets are $15
NCLAC would like to take a moment to thank one of our continuous supporters, Patricia Willis and The Children’s Shoppe, for her donation to our annual Silent Auction. The shop’s name was inadvertently left out of our thank you article in February. Thanks, Patricia!