Chatelain gets to work as new Arts Council CEO/President _lowres

Chatelain

Renée Chatelain and staff spent Monday, her first day as CEO/president of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, cleaning out the public spaces upstairs at its downtown headquarters, the historic Bogan Fire Station.

“We all got to know each other a little better,” she said of the process, which took several days to complete.

The purge is part of Chatelain’s vision for the Arts Council.

“Our theme is ‘It’s a New Day,’ and [we’re] putting our house in order and having an appreciation for our home,” she said.

A dancer, arts educator and attorney, the 50-year-old Chatelain is full of ideas for the Arts Council. She’s bringing the same excitement and vision she had as executive director of the Manship Theatre, a post she held for the past five years.

“I’ve spoken to some of my predecessors — Everett Powers, Adrienne Moore — and that made me really excited,” Chatelain said. “There’s such a new opportunity for the Arts Council to play a role in our city.”

Already, she’s met with a few locals to talk about how the organization can help.

“The Arts Council had stepped out of that role (of leading the way, driving the conversation) but that’s what its role is,” she said. “We need to define who we are as an agency.”