Ebb & Flow Festival

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge introduces the Ebb & Flow Festival, celebrating our region's connection to the Mississippi River.

Ebb & Flow Festival

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge introduces the Ebb & Flow Festival, celebrating our region's connection to the Mississippi River.

Program Details

April 1-2, 2017

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, along with a growing number of artists, creatives, engineers, and architects are creating a new festival for Baton Rouge. The Ebb and Flow Festival, to take place April 1 and 2, 2017, is one that will invite innovation, intrigue, and inspiration to visitors through unique artistic offerings, makerspaces, and culinary delights.

In true Louisiana fashion, the festival will include a flavorful music lineup, representing local, national, and international talent. Look for two days of performances on multiple stages: the Headliner Stage at Repentance Park, the Cox International Music Stage at Riverfront Plaza, and a Buskers Stage at the Baton Rouge Dock – also known as the Paperclips. The festival will also feature performances by flamenco dancers, singer songwriters, and slam poets, all set against the backdrop of the country’s grandest waterway – the Mississippi River. Full lineup to be announced in March 2016.

With creative experiences ranging from yarn bombing and bubble art to creative makerspaces and an interactive sculpture garden, this festival on the Baton Rouge Riverfront is not to be missed. Temporary sculptural installations from Icelandic artist Steinun Thorarinsdottir will dot the walking path along the levee. Activities and stations for interactive play will offer opportunities for visitors of all ages to enjoy and learn more about the history of the Mississippi River. They include: “Kidd’s Corner” at the USS Kidd, theatre performances at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, storytelling booths, a “human library,” and an exhibition by the West Baton Rouge Museum highlighting the river’s connection to Creole culture.

Here are some of the wonderful things we have lined up for this year’s festival…

Live Music on Two Stages: Two days of music performances representing local, national and international talent.

River Stage: The Baton Rouge Dock (the Paperclip) will be the focal point for a variety of live performances including musicians from the 3rd Street Songwriter’s Festival, Flamenco guitarist Kristofer Hill, and a new site-specific physical theatre piece created for the inaugural Ebb & Flow Festival by internationally-trained theatre director Jeanette Plourde.

Old State Capitol: Interior and exterior of this majestic historic building will serve as a setting for showcases of local theatre, poetry, dance, and film arts.

Artist’s Village: The marketplace will include dozens of visual artists and makers from across the region selling original artwork, handcrafted jewelry, garments, and more.

Sculpture Garden: In partnership with Glassell Gallery and LSU School of Art, Ebb and Flow will present an exhibition of BORDERS, a series of 22 iron and aluminum figural sculptures by Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir. The sculptures will appear on the walking path along the levee and will remain on the grounds for the next year.

USS Kidd: The hub of activities and entertainment specifically for our younger festivalgoers. The “Kidd’s Corner”, sponsored by the Junior League of Baton Rouge, will be overflowing with performances and activities by LSU Museum of Art, Playmakers of Baton Rouge and more.

Why Here?

Studies have shown that exciting cultural identities transform a city economically and educationally and improve quality of life. Austin, Memphis, and Nashville are a few prominent examples among many.  Baton Rouge, with the introduction of the Water Institute of the Gulf, the continued development of downtown, and the bustling river industry is ready to be the next exciting place to live, work, and play.

Historically, Baton Rouge has served as a conduit for other culturally rich locations throughout the state, but has not claimed a clear cultural identity of its own. Enter: The River. This festival will showcase the city’s meaningful location on the Mighty Mississippi River with an annual celebration of arts and culture tied to themes associated with the concept of Ebb and Flow.

Why Now?

Taking place on the first weekend of April, Ebb and Flow serves as an anchor event for Louisiana’s festival season, with the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, Festival International, and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, among others, to follow. With Baton Rouge celebrating the bicentennial of its incorporation in 2017, there is no better time to brand the Capital City as a cultural hub.

Arts Council President and CEO Renee Chatelain sees the 2017 Ebb and Flow Festival as the first chapter in an exciting story that connects the river’s past with the creative future of Baton Rouge. “With additional financial investment from individuals and businesses, we plan to grow the festival in the next 3-5 years to include the addition of offerings onto barges that will serve as exhibition spaces, and expanding the footprint to include the completed Water Campus as a focal point,” said Chatelain.  “Also included will be an internationally-juried design festival, with the winners exhibiting on the barges.”

Chatelain credits the idea of a river festival for Baton Rouge to conversations she had with many stakeholders about the need to create an appealing cultural brand for the Capital City, especially those ideas spawned in conversations with Alkis Tsolakis, the Dean of the LSU College of Art and Design.  

The joyful, generosity of spirit and willingness of so many to share their talents and creative ideas reflects the essence of all that is great about living in Baton Rouge.  

Ebb and Flow Festival – April 1 and 2 at the Mississippi Riverfront in Downtown Baton Rouge.

Want to be involved? Contact Mina Estrada at mestrada@artsbr.org or at 225.344.8558 Ext. 233. 

Call to Artists for 2017 Ebb & Flow Festival!

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge invites you to apply to the Ebb & Flow Festival as a juried artist.  The Ebb & Flow Festival will celebrate the capital region’s cultural, economic, and ecological connection to the Mississippi River and all things that ebb and flow.

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We are currently collecting handmade items for a yarn bombing project that will take place during the Ebb and Flow Festival, a new program of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. The project aims to raise visibility for the Diversity House, and all items will be donated to the Diversity House after the festival.

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