Of the arts
The Red River Revel is a multi-arts festival—a celebration
of the arts—bringing to the people of the Ark-La-Tex
quality in various areas including:
- Visual Arts
- Performing Arts
- Creative Experiences
- Children’s Aesthetic Education
200+ visual & performing artists
Established in 1976, the Red River Revel has made roots within the vibrant tapestry of downtown Shreveport, Louisiana. Initially spearheaded by the Junior League of Shreveport-Bossier, the event surged in its first six years. In 1982, a milestone was reached as a nonprofit was established, accompanied by the recruitment of staff tasked with orchestrating the festival’s annual operations.
Over the next 40 years, the Revel’s legacy continued to evolve. The mid-1980s heralded the creation of an art education initiative, catering to 4th grade students in Caddo & Bossier Parishes. This program continues today, standing as a testament to the Revel’s commitment to fostering creativity and enriching the lives of the community’s children.
From its humble beginnings to becoming a stalwart cultural institution, the Red River Revel embodies a legacy of growth and unwavering dedication to both artistry and community enrichment in the SBC.
Music • Art • Food
The festival offers the highest level of national and regional musical performances. Split between multiple stages, the Revel provides musical performances all day for nine days in downtown Shreveport.
In addition to the music lineup, the Revel fosters a vibrant atmosphere that caters to diverse interests. Throughout the week, local businesses arrange lunch outings, offering an opportunity for networking and camaraderie among colleagues and friends. Families eagerly participate in a multitude of creative and educational activities during nights and weekends, relishing in the bonding experiences it provides. Meanwhile, the festival serves as a magnet for talented visual artists nationwide, attracting individuals from various regions who eagerly showcase and sell their art, captivating both local residents and visitors traveling from hundreds of miles away.
Past Music & Artists
Sophie B. Hawkins
The Polyphonic Spree
The Red River Revel manages an annual budget of around $1.5 million to support its operations, drawing income from a diverse array of sources such as underwriting, sponsorship, sales & commissions, fees, grants, and fundraising events. Notably, underwriting, sponsorship, and grants contribute 26% to the festival’s income, while fees, sales & commissions, and fundraising events collectively contribute the remaining 74%. Impressively, about 79% of the festival’s expenses are allocated within the Ark-La-Tex region, demonstrating a strong commitment to local investment.
A significant portion of the festival’s income—about one-third—is channeled back to the community in the form of commissions for local nonprofit organizations and vendors who leverage the Revel as a platform for their fundraising efforts. Visual artists participating in the event typically achieve sales averaging over $10,000, while the festival ensures fair compensation for nearly every performing artist.
It’s worth noting that the Revel has been experiencing a period of expansion, witnessing consistent growth in revenues and spending over the past four years, signifying a promising trajectory for the festival’s future.
The Red River Revel is administered by a Governing Board of Directors who is tasked with guiding the organization in its finances, policy positions, network, and mission. The Governing Board meets 11 times per year to maintain its directive in these areas. The festival itself is organized by the Festival Production Committee, a group of two dozen board members, community volunteers, business owners, and artists who volunteer a massive amount of their time in late September and early October.
The Festival Production Committee is the main implementation
workforce for the festival and is categorized into the following
- Music & Performing Arts
- Visual Arts
- Food & Beverage
- Finance & Money Operations
- Site & Resources
- Family Activities & Education
The backbone of the Red River Revel consists of a dedicated team, blending expertise and commitment to ensure the festival’s success. At the helm, guiding the vision and operational intricacies, are the Executive Director and Director of Operations, whose leadership sets the tone for the festival’s excellence. Complementing this leadership are key contributors like our contracted Marketing Director, a proficient professional steering the festival’s outreach and engagement efforts. In support, a part-time accounting professional lends their expertise to ensure meticulous financial stewardship.
Beyond this core team, the Revel enlists additional temporary staff when needed to meet the festival’s requirements. They are the driving force behind the scenes, orchestrating seamless daily operations, extending primary support to pivotal committees like the FPC and Governing Board, and meticulously coordinating the intricate web of meetings that fuel collaboration and innovation.
Their unwavering dedication extends to monitoring every facet of the festival, from its initial planning stages to the realization of initiatives and their tangible achievements. Their commitment is not just to the event itself but to the community it serves and the profound impact it creates. Their combined efforts infuse vitality into the Revel, ensuring it stands as a beacon of culture, creativity, and community spirit.