BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Baton Rouge General (BRG) announced the
winners of its 2019 Community Enhancement Award: the Arts Council of Greater
Baton Rouge and Front Yard Bikes. Each organization will receive $25,000/year
for three years.
BRG’s Community Enhancement Award (CEA) supports organizations that
positively impact the Baton Rouge community by addressing social determinants
of health. The grant program started in 2018 when BRG selected HOPE Ministries’
The Way to Work program. This year, the committee chose to split the grant
between two recipients.
“I’m a big fan of the work Front Yard Bikes is doing to train
young people for long-term careers, and I also love how the Arts Council
is promoting heart health with trails throughout the city,” said
Edgardo Tenreiro, President and CEO of BRG. “Ultimately, we couldn’t
choose between the two and decided to support them both.”
Front Yard Bikes was selected for its youth development program in partnership with Cristo
Rey Baton Rouge. “With workforce training, we can combat unemployment
and incarceration rates, especially in a community with limited resources,”
said Dustin LaFont, founder of Front Yard Bikes.
BRG’s investment will support high school equivalency testing and
job training for hundreds of young people between 14 and 22. The grant
will fund apprentice training for four Cristo Rey students who will then
assist instructors in certifying other young people in mechanics or welding.
Both fields are in high demand in the Baton Rouge region.
“Many young people in Baton Rouge encounter enormous challenges to
finish high school and then after high school graduation, to gain employment,”
said Tenreiro. “We are proud to support Front Yard Bikes where these
young people have the opportunity to learn a skill, the value of work,
and a sense of self-worth and ownership, giving them an incentive to earn
their high school diploma and the skills to be meaningfully employed.”
Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge was selected for its heART trails project, which
will use existing infrastructure to develop heart-shaped walking trails
throughout Baton Rouge. The trails use temporary art installations for
way-finding and to celebrate local “Trailblazers.” BRG’s
investment will allow for the design and installation of three heART trails
at targeted locations around Baton Rouge.
“We are building the Baton Rouge we all want, a city that encourages
a healthy lifestyle by being walkable and bikeable,” said Tenreiro.
“The heART trails project takes what we have – infrastructure
and talent – and tackles the challenge of making moderate aerobic
activity accessible to everyone. The heART trails will safely connect
people, neighborhoods, businesses, health and art to create a true community
“Through these heart-healthy trails, which will have art that changes
and grows over time, participants can discover and rediscover all that
is wonderful about our city,” said Renee Chatelain, President and
CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. “We are so excited
to have the opportunity to be part of the Baton Rouge General’s
vision to restore and maintain health, one person at a time.”
The Arts Council piloted the heART trail concept at the Ebb & Flow
Festival in April. The trails will be created and designed by Taylor Jacobsen,
who is currently working on his master’s degree in LSU’s Landscape
Architecture program and is the co-founder of United Aerial, a Dallas-based
company, and the owner of New Land Development.
CEA program allows BRG to support large projects with significant, multi-year grants,
focusing on initiatives that are transformative for the Baton Rouge community.
Non-profit organizations seeking support are asked to address complex
challenges like social determinants of health, quality of place and population health.
Informational sessions about the grant process will begin in January for
the 2020 award, and applications will be accepted in the spring.
About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community
hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General
opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community
with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital
since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as an affiliate of Tulane University
School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including
a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine
Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine
Fellowship Program. For more information, visit
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