Hundreds brave chilly weather to support local arts at BAC’s Artini event

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Custom glasses were used by guests for sampling martinis at the event. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Hundreds braved the chilly weather Saturday evening to support local arts at the Bossier Arts Council’s Artini event.

The signature fundraiser for the BAC was held next door to their headquarters at the outdoor festival space in the East Bank District and Plaza in downtown Bossier City. 

The event generates funds that will go towards the BAC’s programming, services and facilities for emerging and professional artists in Bossier Parish. 

The Queue Tavern 2.0 makes a martini for a guest. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

“This fundraiser is the core of the funding for our programming throughout the year,” said BAC Executive Director Robin Jones. “Without this fundraiser, we wouldn’t be able to do any of our programs. Artini is a celebration of the art of spirits featuring artwork by local artists, music, and more.”

The 10th annual Artini featured 18 restaurants and bars competing for top martini honors in three categories. “Judges Choice,” “People’s Choice” and “Most M’artisanal.” Competitors created a signature martini, specifically for this event, in hopes their recipe will stand out and win over the guests and judges. 

This year’s winners were:

  • Flying Heart Brewing & Pub, Judges Choice
  • The Remington, Most M’Artisinal
  • Superior’s Steakhouse, People’s Choice

Competitor for the last three years and winner of this year’s Judges Choice award,  Flying Heart Brewing & Pub made a “Silkie Sundae Beer Tini.” 

Chrissy Crego, bartender at Flying Heart Brewing & Pub and creator of the drink, said, said, “I love doing this. It makes it easy to create new recipes when I just love it.”

First time competitor, The Queue Tavern 2.0, made a “Super Mario Sunshine martini.” This Super martini included pineapple, caviar (gelatin eggs) and other special ingredients. 

Chris Davis, owner of The Queue Tavern 2.0, said, “We’re her tonight because I like to help out the community and participate in events that help the arts and bring the community together.”  

Serving a non-alcoholic martini option to attendees was another first time competitor, Retro 521 Coffee, Cafe & Venue. Their “Retrotini” was created by D’Anna Allen, who said, “It is our flower child tea. It has great health benefits and very refreshing. It’s a big hit with our customers who come into our store.”

One of the many in attendees at this year’s event was local resident Charlie Corbett. He said he and his wife look forward to attending “the best party thrown every year.”

“My wife and I look forward to Artini each year. It’s affordable, it’s stylish, the food is always exquisite, and the martinis are unparalleled. It is a guaranteed good time and the East Bank Plaza was the perfect venue,” said Corbett.

Each year, Artini presents a featured artist at the event. This year’s featured artist is Megan Davis Taylor. Taylor created a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, which went to the winner in each of the martini contest categories and the recipient of the “Movers and Shakers” award.

The Mover and Shaker award goes to a member in the community that leaves an impacted legacy within the community. This year’s recipient of the Mover and Shaker Award is Bossier Schools Talented Arts Instructor and Artist Steve Porter. 

“It was a very nice surprise when Robin called and told me. I believe that we all have the ability to make a positive difference in a child’s life. When given the opportunity to do something, then do it — advocate for, speak for, and fight for those that are so often over looked,” Porter said.

You can see more photos of the event below: (all photos by Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)