Baton Rouge is the location of this project. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and located in East Baton Rouge Parish along the Mississippi River (Baton Rouge, Louisiana Population 2018). The city is a large research, medical, technology and industrial center of the South. Baton Rouge is the second-largest metropolitan city in Louisiana with a population estimated at 230,000. The Greater Baton Rouge area, however, has a population of 825,000 while the urban area has close to 600,000 people. Baton Rouge has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the South with a population that exploded briefly after Hurricane Katrina when it accepted about 200,000 displaced residents. It is still one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country among areas with a population under one million. Last year, the city was ranked number one in the country for economic growth (Baton Rouge, Louisiana Population 2018). East Baton Rouge Parish School System is a school district in Louisiana that served 41,937 students in 87 schools during the 2013-2014 school year (East Baton Rouge Parish School System 2016). This district was the second-largest school district by enrollment in Louisiana. East Baton Rouge Parish School System employed 3,171 K-12 teachers during the 2012-2013 school year. East Baton Rouge Parish outperformed the state of Louisiana as a whole in terms of education achievement in 2013 (East Baton Rouge Parish School System 2016).
Not one of Baton Rouge’s 87 schools is a creative arts high school. There is a significant absence in appreciation for artist culture in this city. The Downtown Baton Rouge Arts & Entertainment District was formed in 2008 to provide a means for growth and development through arts and entertainment related activities (ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 2014). The goal is to create a district that has a balance of arts and entertainment and a positive reflection of Baton Rouge. Found in the heart of Downtown, the Arts and Entertainment District has galleries, shops, restaurants, nightlife, festivals, and free concert series, all within walking distance. The Shaw Center for the Arts is the hub of art in downtown Baton Rouge. The Shaw Center for Arts is a contemporary visual and performing arts facility. It features the Manship Theatre, LSU Museum of Art, LSU School of Art Gallery, Forward Arts, as well as dining and retail options. The Arts and Entertainment District also features the Louisiana Art and Science Museum and the Baton Rouge River Center and Performing Arts Theater (ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 2014). The addition of Baton Rouge Center for Creative Arts will help the Arts and Entertainment District grow. It will also will raise awareness in the community to support the arts and our youth.