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ALA//Gallery By The Lake Lake Charles,La
Founded in 1984, Associated Louisiana Artists, Inc., is a fully accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located in, but not limited to, Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the membership maintains a studio for professional artists to share, and learn together, and where they sponsor Gallery by the Lake, a showplace for its artists work, and The Creative Arts Center, a state of the art teaching facility for workshops and classes.
One of the missions the organization wishes to accomplish is to bring original art to the community, and to assist in any way possible to bring the beauty of art where it is needed. Throughout its years, \'ALA\' has been called upon by other non-profits to donate their time and talents to its causes. Some of the organizations, to mention only a fraction, are: United Way, First Baptist Church, ACTS Theatre, Junior League of Lake Charles, YMCA, the Autistic Society, Lake Charles Symphony, and the Mental Health Society. ALA members have donated their services through teaching classes, painting backdrops, painting chairs to raffle, and contributing their paintings for fundraisers for the aforementioned non-profit groups. Additionally, an art scholarship is given each year to a deserving McNeese State University student by the membership.
Providing space for classes in various media at ALA's CREATIVE ARTS CENTER, their workshops gained a national reputation for excellence in acquiring degreed, experienced master artists to the area so that emerging artists could attend and hone their skills. Another mission, developed in 2005, is the ALA Protégé program, which is designed to bring emerging artists together with professional artists who mentor them in a one-on-one situation.
In 2006, ALA, through a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, worked with the City of Lake Charles to bring a 'breath of fresh air' to the community and lift its spirits after Hurricane Rita's destructive visit to Southwest Louisiana. The innovative 'Sidewalks of New Art' program, an 'art by the foot' (pun intended) idea of painting the sidewalks with uplifting and wise quotation illustrations, gained wide appreciation by the public as well as visiting tourists who follow a map to 58 sites downtown to view them. The sidewalks paintings were executed by 'everyday folks' who were not necessarily artists, but residents who cared. Once again, art was therapeutic, and proved its importance in the community.