Tasha Michelle Daigle’s grandfather was a barber in Mid City Baton Rouge for 50 years. Five years ago, she started working with him, and two years ago, she bought the business.
Since taking over Hair Art & Company on Government Street, she has been active in the Mid City Merchants association, immersing herself in the area’s arts and business culture.
“People pass through here every day, but if you blink, you’ve missed a business,” Daigle said.
This weekend, however, visitors will slow down and experience a little bit of everything Mid City has to offer during the 15th annual Hot Art, Cool Nights festival. Daigle is the chairwoman for this year's festivities, which run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.
At Hot Art, Cool Nights, nearly 40 businesses from Circa 1857 on Government Street to Sabai Jewelry Gallery on Jefferson Highway, will offer food, live music and works by local artists. Daigle said to expect all types of art.
“We have art from every walk of life,” she said. “Anything you can possibly think of in the art realm, we will have.”
That means sculptors, painters, jewelry designers, photographers and soap makers. And since Mid City is a designated cultural district, purchases are exempt from local sales tax.
The festival will also feature performances from bands such as the Taylor Rae Duo at Hair Art, New Orleans funk band Noisewater at Circa 1857, and 3 Blind Mice at ELS Landscape Architecture Studio/Mid City Makers.
A free shuttle bus service will be available. Uber will also offer discounted rides in the area by not implementing the surge pricing that would be expected at a high-demand event.
Festival proceeds will go toward the purchase of public art and distinctive street signs for Mid City.
For more information, including a map of the festival, visit midcitymerchantsbr.org/hot-art-cool-nights.