By Scott Anderson

hat do you get when you mix the Bossier Arts Council, the retro stylings of "Miami Vice" from the 1980s, and the cool sophistication of a martini and stir — not shake — them together? You get the 13th annual ARTini fundraiser, Destination: ARTini.

“The ‘Miami Vice’ theme, coupled with our featured artist [Paige Powell], really resonated with our committee and the board of directors,” said Emerie Eck Holtzclaw, chair of the organizing committee. “The theme carries into the decor, drinks, and of course, the attire. We want you to feel like it really is Destination: ARTini!”                   

Holtzclaw said Louisiana Downs Racetrack and Casino will be transformed with the look and feel of south Florida in the 80s .”Greenery, palm trees, and neon… we want you to feel like you are in a Miami night club,” she said. “We will throw a few surprises in for sure!”


But the night’s highlight will be the custom cocktails that area mixologists will create. “This is an opportunity for local restaurants to promote their businesses,” said Brittany Pope, BAC’s executive director. “It’s a cocktail competition that involves 15 to 20 restaurants. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet these entities all in one space.” These local mixologists will create signature martinis and compete for the “Judges Choice,” “People’s Choice” and “Most M’artisanal” awards.


Before the big event, the Bossier Arts Council will host painting parties, inviting the public to hand paint the martini glasses for ARTini. BAC will announce the dates for the free painting parties.     


The funds raised from the event support the Bossier Arts Council’s programming, local artist advancement support, and community outreach projects for the entire year. “We exist to create, support and promote any opportunity, any programming, any event that speaks to the cultural identity of Bossier Parish,” Pope said. “It includes supporting local artists — visual and performance — programming on- and off-site, producing a show in our theater. Our gallery has a new show every two months. It also goes to outreach, local festivals and especially to support the arts community as a whole.”     


Pope said BAC applies for many grants to assist with funding. But while those grants tend to support specific projects or goals, the money raised by ARTini and other fundraisers serves a broader purpose. “It helps the mission at large,” she said. “We can find grants. But a lot of grants are very specific. Sometimes operational costs aren’t as well supported. ARTini helps with operations, outreach, and really encompasses the full range of our mission statement. It also helps us support other endeavors we may partner with.”


This fundraiser for the Bossier Arts Council will take place at 7 p.m., June 10 at Louisiana Downs Racetrack and Casino. Tickets are $75 and include entrance to the event, more than 20 different martinis to sample, a hand-painted martini glass, live music and entertainment, and catered food.


“It is our primary fundraiser,” Pope said. “In the past, there have been smaller efforts. People support us year-round. But this is our party with a purpose. It’s taken on a different meaning. It’s become part of the social and cultural landscape.”          


Tickets for ARTini may be purchased on Eventbrite. For more information, visit Bossier Arts Council on Facebook