Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge Responds to Recent Events Surrounding the Alton Sterling Shooting


Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge Responds to Recent Events Surrounding the Alton Sterling Shooting

July 12, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. July 12, 2016: Renee Chatelain, President and CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, prepared the following statement in response to the recent events surrounding the Alton Sterling shooting:

“The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge is deeply concerned about the recent events in our community, and those of the rest of the country. We know that the arts are an integral part of our being as individuals as well as a society, and especially in challenging times, artists provide open doors for dialogue, expression, advocacy, support and ultimately, change. Arts ARE the positive change agent, though the processes can be painful and exposing. We are honored to be in a position to meet and support the very people and organizations that are feeling deeply and acting responsibly to make positive and necessary steps forward in our community. What is especially inspiring is that the artists in Baton Rouge have been doing this positive work on race relations and unifying communities, including those relations between law enforcement and high crime communities, on a daily basis before this set of events with the tragic events associated with the Alton Sterling shooting in Baton Rouge. We believe that it is this day-to-day work that will ultimately make us better.”

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge would also like to draw attention to the following organizations that are engaged in awareness, advocacy, and healing:


“LSU Museum of Art continues its Neighborhood Arts Project, a free summer art outreach program that works with children and youth in six different Baton Rouge communities throughout the summer. Following Sterling’s death, we began painting prayer flags with kids as part of the program. On Saturday with blessing of the Triple S store owner, we hung a strand of over 50 flags created by children and teens from Eden Park and Old South Baton Rouge around the front awning of the store. We will continue the prayer flag project this week—and perhaps longer—allowing participants to take their own flags home or donate them to Triple S as a way of processing the trauma they have experienced these past few days and expressing their own frustrations, hopes, dreams and prayers to make our community and world a more just place.”


“The Galleries at LSU School of Art are partnering with local arts organizations to create public art projects such as an art, poetry, dance and music event to give local artists a way to channel their energies into a force for justice and peaceful change. We are planning to use our combined talents to support institutional change, not just lip service but actual reformation, reconciliation, recovery and change. If not now when? We asked Maxine Crump and Dialogue on Race Louisiana to be a collaborative partner and guide.”


“New Venture Theatre would like to formally express how saddened we are by the tragic death of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and all of the events that followed. Our prayers are with the families as well as our great nation and it is our hope that with this next production “Hands Up!” citizens, politicians, and law enforcement will be educated and fully comprehend the trauma, and suffering that follows police brutality and injustice.”


“Kids’ Orchestra uses music to bring children of all cultures and backgrounds together to develop understanding. It’s part of our mission. Leonard Bernstein said it best: ‘This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.’”


“We must learn from our past and not keep making the same mistakes. Fear breeds violence. We must create safe places where people can come together to express themselves. The River Road African American Museum (RRAAM) is one of those places.”


“Elevate: A Community Dialogue and Healing Event” presented by Eclectic Truth

Tuesday, July 12

7:30 – 10:00 PM

Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge

Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments

Saturday, July 16

2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

LSU Claude Shaver Theatre

River Road African American Museum Free Jazz Concert

Sunday, July 17

6:00 – 8:00 PM

406 Charles Street, Donaldsonville


For more information contact Joshua Allred at 225.344.8558 Ext. 222 or