Arts Council’s new Arts Ambassadors program aims to give members a front-row seat to Baton Rouge arts

Backstage passes. Private tours. VIP festival access. The new program from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, dubbed the Arts Ambassadors, wants to give the public those experiences and more.

Arts Council board member Bradley Sanchez and four other members proposed and developed the program pre-COVID-19, though the rollout took a hiatus during quarantine as they brainstormed how to navigate in-person events. 

Now, as museums and other arts venues start to open and allow more visitors, the Arts Ambassadors program is opening registration and planning its first events.

Arts Council President Renee Chatelain says the group’s purpose is to bring people who love the arts together and give them special access and opportunities. Anyone can join for $10 a month, and they will get opportunities to attend exclusive access socials quarterly as well as monthly arts meetups. An Arts Ambassadors membership also includes membership in the Arts Council.

The special incentive, however, is that program members will get to experience local events in a much different way than the general public. During access socials, members will be granted entry to backstage tours, conversations with artists, private museum tours and VIP access to arts-related festivals. 

“The core goal is to directly engage members of the community with arts organizations and artists at a higher level than they might usually experience,” Sanchez says. 

For example, the first event, scheduled for next Thursday, March 25, is tied to the opening of the National Building Museum’s touring “Evicted” exhibition at the Arts Council’s Firehouse Gallery. The exhibition will showcase stories from people across the country who have dealt with the eviction and the housing crisis. Starting at 6 p.m., Arts Ambassadors will be given a private behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibition. Afterward, the group will meet for light bites and cocktails at Cocha. Those interested can RVSP here.

“It’s offering a networking experience and a social experience, and everything is directly associated with the arts and artists,” Sanchez says, “which people may not have felt connected with on that level before.”

Chatelain says she hopes the program allows people in the Baton Rouge community to meet others with similar interests. 

”It’s a great way for people to network who love the arts,” she says, “especially people new to the city, along with people who live here and just want to be able to meet in a setting that’s arts-related. I think, as the Arts Council, we exist for the whole arts sector, and this is another segment of that sector: the audience.”

To learn more about the Arts Ambassadors membership program, visit the Arts Council’s website.

Editor’s note: 225 Editor Jennifer Tormo is an Arts Council board member and part of the Arts Ambassador program.