Arts Council staff at "the paperclips" of City Dock. Photo by Collin Richie.

First-ever Ebb & Flow Festival turns the Mississippi into an arts haven

The downtown Baton Rouge riverfront will be taken over this weekend by a brand new festival making its claim on the city art scene. Ebb & Flow, set for Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2, will take place on River Road between Government Street and North Boulevard. Put together by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, this free and family-friendly event aims to introduce Baton Rouge to the creative energy in art, technology and culinary excellence brewing within its own borders.

The event will feature a musical lineup of local, national and international performers on the iHeart Radio Stage at Repentance Park, the Cox International Music Stage at Riverfront Plaza, and the Entergy River Stage at the Baton Rouge Dock (also known as the Paperclips). Flamenco dancers will complement the scene, along with singer-songwriters and slam poets, all against the backdrop of the Mississippi River.

As visitors stroll along, they can stop at several “makerspaces” manned by leaders from local arts nonprofits and other craftspeople. Look out for booths from local arts nonprofits, try your hand at unique crafts like “bubble art,” and check out the Wonder South Makers Lab. inRegister readers will recognize some of the makers who will be demonstrating their crafts live from the magazine’s new department “The Creatives,” written by Wonder South co-founder Jeff Roedel. These local artists and innovators will include cinematographer Brian Dryden, community radio maven Karla King and calligrapher TahJah Harmony.

Temporary sculptural installations from Icelandic artist Steinunn Thorarinsdottir will also be viewable along the levee, and activities and stations for interactive play will let visitors young and old learn more about the history of one of the most historically significant rivers in the United States, from the “Kidd’s Corner” at the USS Kidd and theater performances  at the Old State Capitol to a storytelling village, a “human library,” and more.

To find out more about this inaugural festival, check out