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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Brown Bag Concerts spotlight local artists

Katherine Babin

Ian Smith captured the attention of the attendees of the Brown Bag Concert with his incredible voice last Wednesday.  

 Residents of Monroe and West Monroe come together every year to meet genuine people from the community, shop for fresh, locally grown produce and, of course, listen to the performer of the evening. This year, they were able to get singer and songwriter Ian Smith to perform a small concert. 

 As Smith started singing on the pavilion, everyone gathered around him, sitting as close to him as they could. People were mesmerized by Smith’s voice; he sang everything from his own authentic songs to covers of Adele and more. 

 “It really brings togetherness, and it’s something our community needs: happiness,” Allison Cattar, an event sponsor, said.  

 Despite switching from a band to a solo career, Smith did not seem nervous to be playing the piano and singing in front of a crowd.  

 “I do this for fun, and it helps me grow. It’s a fun job on the side, and it’s nice to meet all kinds of new people,” Smith said.  

 Encouraged by the hosts to bring brown bag lunches, the attendees enjoyed their prepackaged lunches along with the concert. 

 Bringing people together, enhancing the community and supporting local artists from here in Monroe and West Monroe is just what the Brown Bag Concerts do every single year. The West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce has continued to host this event at the local farmers market for over the past 40 years.  

 The Brown Bag Concert gets support from local restaurants such as Newks and businesses such as the Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union to help sponsor the event. Some of these sponsors even gave out cookies and sold lunches in brown paper bags. 

 “I have been coming to the Brown Bag Concerts every year since they started.” Lisa Pervis, a local resident, said.  

 The Brown Bag Concerts encourage residents of Monroe and West Monroe to join the next few concerts in October. 

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