Who said serving on boards and panels was all "fun and games?" Last Sunday I spent over 7 hours going through 15 grant applications from the various Baton Rouge arts organizations. The Community Fund for the Arts raises money from individual and corporate donors for all of the major arts organizations in the city. It is now in its thirtieth year and I have been involved with its development on and off since its beginning when I served as its first gala chair. The theme for this event was "Magnolias, Mint Juleps and Money for the Arts." It was held at the old Belmont Hotel to a sell-out crowd of over 800. I will never forget that night; its was blast and everyone was so excited about the potential for raising monies for the arts community in a new United Way type of fashion. While reviewing the CFA grant requests, I observed that all of our major arts organizations have dynamic leaders, plan strategically, collaborate with other community organizations and focus on audience development of both the young and old. More importantly, our arts organizations realize the significance of planning, budgeting and general fiscal management to insure sustainability.
Baton Rouge has been referred to as the "Creative Capital of the South." I am not sure if we are quite there yet but we are definitely making great strides in that direction. The arts are alive and well in our city. Pick your favorite arts medium and give it your attendance and monetary donations. Support the Arts in Baton Rouge!
P.S. Received this "beautiful" flower arrangement as a thank you for my work on the CFA grants review panel, a "classy gesture."