Shreveport-Bossier is home to more than 30 museums and galleries of every imaginable size and type. Writing for the Wall Street Journal in 2012, art critic Willard Spiegelman described R.W. Norton Art Gallery, which sits on 43 acres of lush garden space in the center of Shreveport’s historic Highland neighborhood, as “an excellent little museum” worth a detour or even a trip. “The Norton” as it is known to locals, is home to a collection of American and European art spanning seven centuries.
The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum is Louisiana’s only Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. The museum is home to an unpredictable assortment of original art and historic artifacts, manuscripts and documents, including paintings by celebrated folk artist Clementine Hunter, a collection of Native American artifacts comprising the Webb Native American Galleries, and a mind-bogglingly intricate gallery of 22 beeswax dioramas known as “Louisiana in Miniature.”
Downtown Shreveport rewards artsy explorers with a variety of cultural attractions. Artspace, under the direction of Academy Award-winning writer and illustrator William Joyce, is a beautifully-restored gallery housing nationally-touring exhibits on three floors. Downtown Shreveport is also home to the Official State Theatre of Louisiana. The glorious Strand Theatre, a lovingly-restored 1925 “movie palace” rivals the world’s finest opera houses. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Strand has been recognized by USA Weekend magazine as “one of the top five glitziest theatres for live performance anywhere in the United States.”
Located just steps from the Strand Theatre’s entrance, Robinson Film Center is a two-screen, not-for-profit cinema arts complex exhibiting independent, foreign and classic cinema daily. In addition to film exhibition, the venue hosts several annual film festivals, offers hands-on film production classes for children of all ages, and is home to Abby Singer’s Bistro, a full-service restaurant and bar featuring Shreveport’s only outdoor dining balcony.