We’ve talked a lot on this show about how businesses have adapted to the challenges created by the pandemic. But for nonprofit organizations, which sort of live in a constant state of responding to challenges – closing gaps and providing services to the community in any number of ways – the pandemic and post-pandemic has created its own set of obstacles and opportunities for growth and reinvention.
Renee Chatelain is President of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, a nearly 50-year-old nonprofit that promotes cultural growth, economic development, and educational enhancement through the arts in and around the 11-parish Capital Region that it serves. As the Arts Council of the Capital City, the organization is a hub for information and resources benefiting organizations and residents statewide.
Renee has been at the helm of the organization since 2015 and in that time has helped grow the Arts Council and lead it through its recent expansion and relocation. The new center opened in the fall of 2021, just as the community was emerging from the fourth surge of the Covid crisis, a time when many arts organizations were grappling with very real challenges to their sustainability. Thanks to the leadership and stewardship of Renee, Baton Rouge didn’t lose any organizations to Covid.
Chelsey Laborde Blankenship is a longtime board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Louisiana, an organization that, like the Arts Council is providing an invaluable service to the community. Actually, make that nine communities!
In April 2021, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge merged to become the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Louisiana in order to better serve some 20-thousand families in nine southeast Louisiana parishes. The organization provides out of school programs for boys and girls, including dynamic opportunities to promote the healthy lifestyles and academic success of its members.
Chelsea spent four years at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge as its resource development and marketing associate before branching out and creating her own communications and marketing firm, CLB Consulting.
Out to Lunch Baton Rouge is recorded over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard. Photos by Erik Otts. And check out more recent conversation about Baton Rouge arts and sciences with artist Rob Carpenter and PC OG Tim Rauls.