Dig Baton Rouge

The Latest Scene in BR

By Hannah Womack

Our lovely city is becoming a new hot spot for young professionals to find a career and start new lives. Baton Rouge has a few groups or organizations that can help newcomers meet and enjoy the city together, and the latest of these groups is Scene Rouge.

For the more artistic individuals, Scene Rouge is a networking circle fixed on arts and culture. For $35 a year, young professionals can join and have access to half-priced tickets for arts events in the Baton Rouge area. The ticket discount is, of course, a benefit of joining, but more importantly the network offers the chance for individuals to meet compatible people in the community while patronizing the arts.

The president and CEO of Baton Rouge’s Arts Council, Renee Chatelain started Scene Rouge after learning about a group called the Fringe in Los Angeles, a group that offers its members discounted tickets to theater events in the area, and applied the same concept to Scene Rouge.

“We adapted the program to fit the size of our city, encompassing multiple artistic disciplines,” said Grants and Community Development Director for the Arts Council Jessica Ottaviano. According to Ottaviano, Scene Rouge is cultivating a population of young arts supporters and giving them opportunities to become aware of the different art organizations in the city. Scene Rouge has been successful so far, said Ottaviano. The response when the program first started was “overwhelmingly positive” from the individuals that joined and from the partner organizations.

“Diversifying a membership base is essential for the sustainability and growth of any organization, and Scene Rouge is developing this not only for our own organization but for all of our partner organizations,” Ottaviano said. Current partner organizations include Opera Louisiane, Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, Louisiana Sinfonietta, Theatre Baton Rouge, Swine Palace, New Venture Theatre and the Baton Rouge Gallery, A BREC facility.

When asked what this organization will do for Baton Rouge, Ottaviano said Scene Rouge gives young professionals a glimpse of the city’s artistic offerings, endorses cultural programming going on in the city, and ultimately improves the quality of life in BR, encouraging these young professionals to stay. The expectations The Arts Council has for Scene Rouge is that it will develop a new population of young arts enthusiasts, patrons and advocates.

Future plans for Scene Rouge look promising. According to Ottaviano, they are trying to partner with local bars and restaurants to provide food and alcohol for mingling sessions before events. For example, before Into the Woods, Theatre Baton Rouge may have a cocktail reception for members of Scene Rouge to socialize and share their interests in theatre.

“They have encouraged each partner organization to offer a social component exclusive for the members of Scene Rouge the night of their event,” said Ottaviano, “Like a pre-show dinner or post-concert drinks specials.”

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