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Community Arts Programs (1979)

Of Equal Value



Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1979-07-03

Duration: 00:28:58

Subjects: Community arts projects | Theater | Smith, Valerian E., 1926-1992 | African Americans | Theatre of the Performing Arts of Shreveport


  • Wilmore, Hedi Host
  • Smith, Valerian Interviewee
  • Whitfield, Vantile S. Interviewee
  • Christopher, Gloria Interviewee
  • Bean, Monroe Interviewee
  • Johnson, Patricia Interviewee


This segment from the July 3, 1979, episode of the series “Of Equal Value” features Hedi Wilmore’s report on community arts programs for African Americans in Louisiana. Wilmore recites “Sympathy” by poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. She then interviews Dr. Valerian Smith, who discusses his creation of the Baton Rouge Community Chorus and Playhouse for African Americans during segregation in Baton Rouge. Next, she interviews Vantile S. Whitfield, the founding director of the Expansion Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts, during his visit to the Governor’s Conference on the Arts in Baton Rouge. Lastly, Wilmore visits the Theatre of the Performing Arts in Shreveport. She interviews: Gloria Christopher, the director of the Theatre; Monroe Bean, the visiting director and founder of the Ethiopian Theatre in New Orleans; and Patricia Johnson, an actress.