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About the Foundation
- Created with government leaders, the Foundation starts The Water Institute of the Gulf, which will gather the scientists to provide solutions to the double threat of rising seas and subsiding lands.
- Collaborating with Manship Theatre, the Foundation uses grants from the Rick Hartley and David Vey Fund to upgrade the venue's smaller stages and concession area, while adding a marquee entrance on the new Town Square. Also, the Foundation has its best year in history, with donors putting nearly $140 million in charitable funds. Among the gifts is $100 million from BP to help deepwater rig workers affected by the federal moratorium.
- Discovering that thousands of dogs and cats are put down each year by East Baton Rouge Animal Control, the Foundation recruits animal advocates to start a No Kill Baton Rouge movement, which leads to the creation of the Companion Animal Alliance. The Alliance takes over the EBR Animal Shelter in summer 2011 and quickly quadruples the number of dogs and cats saved and adopted. Also in 2009, cancer-killing technology, supported by a Foundation investment, enters human clinical trials with the promise of a new treatment that zeroes in on cancer cells only.
- To guide downtown's rebirth for the next decade, Plan Baton Rouge Phase II is launched with grants from the Foundation, Fannie Mae and parish government. Unveiled in 2009, the plan is being implemented.
- With Mayor Kip Holden, the Foundation forms the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority to restart neglected neighborhoods. The authority since has created neighborhood improvement plans, secured and distributed millions in tax credits to spur inner-city projects and much more.
- The Foundation and the Center for Planning Excellence hire the Urban Land Institute to review Baton Rouge's Horizon land plan, which leads to Mayor Kip Holden hiring Fregonese Associates to create a new comprehensive plan. Local government adopts FutureBR in 2011.
- The Foundation funds the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana to expand philanthropy in Calcasieu, Beauregard, Allen, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes. Also in 2007, a study underwritten by the Foundation says the airports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans have enough capacity for 25 more years, ending debate over building another expensive airport between the two cities.
- The Wilbur Marvin Foundation, a supporting nonprofit that holds most of the Foundation's real estate assets, reopens Capitol House Hotel as a Hilton. Also in 2006, our donors begin the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, an annual book award for a rising African-American writers. And the Northshore Community Foundation is formed with civic leaders to grow philanthropy in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. Helena and Washington parishes.
- Asked for a hand in reforming public health care, the Foundation dispatches its civic leadership department to work with LSU Health Sciences Center and local hospitals. In 2010, LSU and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center agree to create clinics closer to patients, with OLOL building hospital rooms for treatments requiring overnight stays.
- The Foundation raises more than $45 million to respond after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, granting the money to feed and shelter evacuees at first, then to help Louisiana rebuild stronger and smarter. Grants are made to create Louisiana Speaks, a rebuilding strategy for South Louisiana, and InCourage, a free mental health counseling program that can be replicated after disasters.
- The Foundation hires a consulting firm to help the EBR Housing Authority secure an $18.6 million federal grant, which is used to knock down housing projects and build new affordable homes in Old South Baton Rouge. Reclamation of OSBR continues with assistance from the Foundation, resulting in an increase of population in 2010 after decades of decline. Also in 2003, the Citizens Task Force on Education, with the Foundation as partner, negotiates an end to the EBR school desegregation case.
- In keeping with the Foundation-funded Plan Baton Rouge, BREADA opens The Main Street Market in the first floor of the state parking garage in downtown. BREADA remains the focus of the burgeoning local food movement.
- Begun in 2001, the downtown Arts Block initiative has produced the $55 million Shaw Center for the Arts, which includes the LSU Museum of Art, restaurants, office space, lofts and The Manship Theatre.