Passions, Produce and Philanthropy
“If the eyes are the window into the soul, the voice is the echo.” Jodie Glorioso’s opening line to her Centenary Students on the first day of Voice for the Stage class.
A constant champion of all things art in our community, Jodie Glorioso has dedicated her life to the arts, and thankfully she belongs to Shreveport/Bossier City.
Building art communities is not an easy feat, yet those who live and play in Shreveport/Bossier City have access to something artistic every night of the week. Films, art walks, galleries, live music, fashion shows, gourmet meals – all creative, all art, all here in the SBC thanks to those that help cultivate our thriving arts community. Jodie is quick to explain that nothing is done alone, but those around town know she is certainly one of our art cornerstones as well as an advocate for the community.
Her calling is a spiritual one as her love of all things art penetrates to the depths of her soul. Every part of Jodie is embedded with art from her fashion choices and art gallery downtown to her teaching career and family produce company, Santa Maria. Each and every aspect of her life embodies art in some form or fashion.
Her love affair with the stage began at a tender age in the 1950‘s as one of the child ushers with the Shreveport Little Theatre wearing a dress, Mary Jane type shoes and the loveliest shade of blue velvet cape with matching Tam cap – every little girl’s dream.
Being raised in a home with her mother’s piano playing and Grandfather’s opera singing voice – classical music was always at the forefront of her childhood. The musical background coupled with her love of the theatre was encouraged by the Nuns at St. Vincent’s as a grade school girl which is where she had her first taste of theater life. However, it was Shakespeare that sealed her fate when she was able to join the traditional all boys Jesuit’s spring production her Junior year – the year Jesuit allowed girls to join for the first time.
Jodie studied theatre at Loyola University in New Orleans and completed her degree at her beloved Centenary College where she has taught a Voice for the Stage class since 2003. Gaining entry into a master’s program in Dallas, a highly competitive degree at the time, Jodie graduated with a Masters of Performing Arts with an acting emphasis which gave her the credentials necessary to lead her fabulous life.
As a mentor, Jodie cited that piece of paper as most important for those looking to pursue a career in acting/performing arts or any type of art medium. She explained how that one piece of paper affords the ability to be able to be in a classroom on a collegiate level. Those serious about this journey must have this degree in order to provide benefits and still preach their passions.
Fueling her acting and performing love, teaching allows her creative energies to flow, yet her greatest thrill is taking the stage with her students. From intimate surroundings to performing in the “GREAT LADY” as Jodie calls the majestic Strand Theatre – all stages suit as she said best, “If you are blessed enough to get a role in the Theatre”.
Jodie is often quick to explain the easiest ways to support our performing art community is simply by buying tickets or showing up to the events and while she holds the theatre near and dear, attending the events is another avenue of her passions. Using her chic fashion style, she is an icon in Shreveport/Bossier City – always dressed thoughtfully to match the occasion. Her favorite form of creative expression – fashion helps to heighten her theatre experience and emerge her into the event. To become one with the performance as a watcher – she dresses the part so take note as her fashion is carefully thought out.
As an art collector, Jodie has amassed quite the collection of sculptures, jewelry and paintings – her art collection is so large she and dear friend, Rick Rose, opened a gallery to display their collections in downtown Shreveport. All of her art choices reflect her life in terms of people she’s met, places she’s traveled, and pieces that have inspired her.
Jodie now runs the Santa Maria Produce Company with her brothers – all third-generation owners. Celebrating 100 years in business in 2021, the company has over 30 workers some of whom have spent their whole working lives with Santa Maria delivering fresh produce daily, serving some customers over 50 years. Radiating from Shreveport, the delivery trucks travel as far South as Lake Charles but also drive to Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas delivering produce from all over the world.
When the first delivery trucks rolled out, Jodie’s grandfather, Charles Maggio applied his passion for art by creating the first public mobile artworks right on the side of his delivery trucks. Hand painted works of art that common folk could easily view such as the well-known Michelangelo Truck of the Last Supper hand painted on canvas and applied directly on the truck still in use today. The last three trucks have kept up with the times using digitized artwork, but be sure to look for the American flag on each truck. It was important to Mr. Maggio to show his love of this country, the country that embraced him and provided a beautiful way of life for generations delivering fresh produce to those that would otherwise not have this opportunity.
Jodie says our art community is alive and well because of other’s work, but I think we have Jodie to thank for being a champion of our area’s arts. Always. She’s always been there, in some form or fashion. Either behind the scenes or stealing the show, she’s always had our hearts. Protector of the Arts – Jodie Glorioso.