Something to prove
Lanes of their own
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.
Nonprofit: Line 4 Line
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.
Jamel Brinkley, Gaines Book Award winner
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.
A Tale of Two Streets
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.
Pennington Biomedical's Next Act
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.
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.
Foundation's community in NC includes working farm
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.
Open table: Building community at White Star Market
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.
Driven: Matt McKay's powerful commitment to community
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.
Boy Scouts project could draw thousands to Atchafalaya
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.
EBR's Emerging Warehouse District
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.
Mid City Studio
Old warehouses are a temptation to maverick architects and developers, who have started converting abandoned buildings into destination businesses in Mid City.
Ladee Hubbard wins 2017 Gaines Award
Mid City Studio focuses less on public policy and more on curriculum development, design initiatives and all-welcome events to impact the area.
Meet Justin Ehrenwerth
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.
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.
Library's big chip project
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.
Mid City redux
Baton Rouge’s library system will tag its entire collection with RFID chips. At a cost of more than $1.5 million, the tiny chips and readers will be good for patrons and library workers, who won’t have to wander the stacks to hunt and file misplaced books.
Dr. William Hansel: the venerable scientist
Q&A with Dyke Nelson, who has partnered with David Weinstein to redevelop in downtown and now in Mid CIty. There firm is reinventing the former Entergy warehouses on Government Street.
Louis D. Curet
Dr. William Hansel worked well into his late 90s at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. A drug he created with other LSU researchers is showing promise in clinical trials.
Louis D. Curet retired nine years ago after 55 years as an estate attorney in Baton Rouge, but you wouldn’t know it from the pace he keeps in his 87th year on this planet.
Driven by a no-nonsense conviction that the world must get better each day, he raises funds for nonprofits and is a champion of causes.
Since 1952, he’s been in charge of selling tickets to the Kiwanis pancake breakfast at LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has acquired millions of dollars in life-saving medical equipment with his help. And Curet has assisted in raising millions for the French program at LSU, where he graduated in 1947.