GeoDad was more or less standard issue as Prothonotary Warblers go. Bright-eyed, blunt-tailed and just five inches long, the songbird with a yellow head and a plump body was a confirmed father by his second breeding season at BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center—all standard stuff for a species also called the Golden Swamp Warbler. But what happened in GeoDad’s second year wasn’t customary.Read More
Planned redevelopment of Plank Road in north Baton Rouge centers on a model of fast, comfortable and reliable bus transit with a record of sparking investment in blighted corridors of big U.S. cities.Read More
The Foundation has hired a coordinator for a Safety and Justice Challenge project. Chris Csonka will collaborate with local justice officials to reduce the local jail population. The goal is to create an framework where justice system officials can partner to implement reforms across the system, such as measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of case processing. The Foundation won a $350,000 Safety + Justice Challenge grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to work in this area.
Serena Pandos replaced Carol Gikas, who retired after 39 years, as Louisiana Art and Science Museum president and executive director. Pandos was president and executive director of the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen, Texas. She is a native of Baltimore.Read More
The stakes were always high for New Schools for Baton Rouge, which set out to give 12,000 students in the parish’s worst schools better options by recruiting top charter-school operators to Baton Rouge.
It has opened 15 schools in six years. Three years ago, its schools enrolled 1,000 children. Today, the number is 5,000 students in kindergarten through 10th grade, a figure that will swell to 10,000 when its existing schools are fully operational.Read More
The draft of a master plan for developing a parishwide network of bike and pedestrian paths recommends 140 miles of new bike lanes and other on-road features, including 50 miles of new bike lanes separated from car traffic by curbs or other physical barriers.Read More
Just under the buzz of barber shop owner O’Neil Curtis’ silver and black clippers comes the soft voice of a young student named Mason Wheeler. As the 37-year-old barber cuts his hair, Wheeler reads from a novelized version of Marvel’s The Black Panther. It’s an unusually warm evening in December, and today’s event marks the start of the fifth year of Line 4 Line. The nonprofit literacy and mentorship program provides children with a free haircut, a meal and a book if they read to their barber while they are sitting in his chair.Read More
Jamel Brinkley won the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for his debut collection A Lucky Man. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation started and oversees the $10,000 book award, which this year is underwritten by the McMains Family. In its 12th year, the award recognizes the best work of fiction by an African-American writer. And it honors Louisiana native Ernest Gaines’ extraordinary contribution to the literary world.Read More
Nicholson Drive and Plank Road do not intersect, but linking them is at the heart of a new project that could create a 10-mile corridor through the city’s urban core, supported by Bus Rapid Transit, a fast, efficient electric-powered express bus system, and a key component in transit-oriented developments across the country. Working on the project is the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, a creation of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation with parish leaders.Read More
Few public health problems are as complex as obesity.
Forty percent of adults in the United States now struggle with the condition, the highest rate on record. Its causes are many, its cures little understood and its ripple effects undeniable. Obesity is the spark that ignites a litany of costly diseases, including diabetes, heart, kidney and liver disease and many forms of cancers.
It’s within this complex cycle of causes and effects that Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s newest executive director, John P. Kirwan, Ph.D., finds endless professional inspiration.Read More
Gentrification’s meaning is increasingly relevant to Baton Rouge. In its Mid City neighborhood east of downtown, millions of dollars in private and public investment are changing the look of the Government Street commercial corridor. Until now investor interest has centered on Government Street itself. Now small-parcel projects are altering residential streets in a pocket of Mid City where there had not been a new house built in decades.Read More
Within the neighborhood is a fully functioning boutique farm complete with raised beds, a large hydroponic greenhouse and a burgeoning orchard. 5401 North residents can buy fresh produce from the operation, named Purple Martin Farm, through its just launched Community Supported Agriculture program.Read More
White Star Market is the brainchild of Clark and Whitney Gaines, native Louisianans who wanted to bring a modern food hall concept to Baton Rouge. Among their goals was to create a space that offered imaginative food and drink in an atmosphere that felt disarming.Read More
With resources from the business he created, Matt McKay has been on the forefront of education causes, including an automotive training center that lets Louisiana students remain in state to learn a trade.Read More
Evangeline Area Boy Scouts of America want to expand its Swamp Base project. A planned multi-million dollar center with education buildings and living areas could draw thousands of tourists to the Atchafalaya each year.Read More
Old warehouses are a temptation to maverick architects and developers, who have started converting abandoned buildings into destination businesses in Mid City.Read More
Mid City Studio focuses less on public policy and more on curriculum development, design initiatives and all-welcome events to impact the area.Read More
New Orleans writer Ladee Hubbard’s novel, “The Talented Ribkins,” has been named winner of the 2017 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.
Now in its 11th year, the Gaines Award is a nationally acclaimed $10,000 prize given annually by Baton Rouge Area Foundation donors to recognize outstanding work from rising African-American fiction writers, while honoring Louisiana native Ernest Gaines’ extraordinary contribution to the literary world.Read More
ustin Ehrenwerth was named president and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf early this year. Founded in 2011, the nonprofit Institute researches coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems to help governments, businesses and residents prepare for an uncertain future. Currents, our quarterly magazine, had a conversation with Enrenwerth.Read More
Visitors arriving at Maison Chenal might be left a little disoriented. The 18th century Creole cottage is quite unlike the houses we’re accustomed to these days. So are the surroundings; the gardens outside, the furniture and fixtures inside. All of the French Louisiana material culture was gathered over 50 years by Jack and Pat Holden, who have brought it together on their property in Pointe Coupee Parish.Read More