The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge recently introduced its first Arts Ambassadors membership program.

The new program is accepting members, welcoming anyone who is passionate about and believes in championing the local arts community, while prioritizing openness and inclusivity. To join, become an Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge member for $10 per month at artsbr.org/membership-20.

The group’s mission is to connect, engage and inform, while having a great time. Those who join will get opportunities to connect directly with local arts organizations and artists through social events and gatherings.

Members will gain entry to exclusive experiences through Access Socials, such as meet-and-greets with artists and musicians, behind-the-scenes tours of local arts institutions and much more. The organization will host four quarterly Access Socials per year.

Monthly meetup events will provide more casual opportunities for meeting others in the community while exploring different cultural hubs, venues, restaurants and bars around town.

The Arts Ambassadors goal is to build strong relationships between residents and arts organizations. The program aims to increase locals’ access to the rich art culture in the city while simultaneously elevating the visibility of arts groups, artists and performers.

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The organization’s debut event will be a March 25 private tour of the Arts Council’s new “Evicted” exhibition at the Firehouse Gallery. The exhibit explores and provides calls to action for America’s eviction crisis. The National Building Museum’s exhibit was inspired by Matthew Desmonds’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City." 

The Arts Ambassadors’ tour will be led by a Housing First representative and Brian Morfitt, who is the Arts Council’s director of visual arts and the exhibit’s curator. During two 30-minute tours, Arts Ambassadors will be able to ask questions about the exhibit. Tours begin at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Arts Ambassadors board members will be present throughout the tours to welcome and chat with those interested in becoming members. Afterward, join them for light bites and drinks down the street at Cocha.

Prospective members can also meet the group at its second event, an April 21 River City Jazz Masters performance by Poncho Sanchez, a Grammy-winning Latin jazz conga musician. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Shaw Center for the Arts’ River Terrace.

The events will follow COVID-19 safety precautions, and masks and social distancing will be required.

Arts Ambassadors board members include Bradley Sanchez, Mikki Matthews, Jennifer Tormo, Robert Wise and Sherri McConnell, with Mysti Byrnes as Arts Council staff liaison.