I was privileged to give the keynote address at the first Business Awards banquet back in early Since then I have been impressed with the vision, entrepreneurial flair, character and obvious ability of the publication to make things happen for Baton Rouge. Congratulations on your 35th! Throughout the following three decades, Business Report has covered the people, companies and events that impacted the times and helped our area grow so dramatically.
Over the years, I have noted that all too many people like to criticize Louisiana's capital city. People love the state and its culture, but some make an exception about Baton Rouge. Many residents and especially non-residents think that it lacks any expressions of folk culture even though it is home to an array of individuals who maintain Louisiana's defining traditions.
I started wondering why Baton Rouge, a mid-sized Southern city that has boomed since World War II, is perceived as having no folk culture. I knew that as the capital city, it is a cultural microcosm with people coming from across the state—as well as southern Mississippi—to work, especially since the economic boom of the s.
Others have moved here from throughout the United States for employment at the universities and in industry. I began to realize that Baton Rouge has an identity issue.
Others have documented the city's history1 but not its cultural traditions. An important part of any community's sense of place, cultural traditions—while often rooted in history—tell who we are today. Traditions such as music and food strengthen a community's pride and sense of place and help connect diverse cultural groups.
They are also a key reason why tourists want to visit a place. Saroj Welch crochets prayer shawls for the Methodist Church's prayer ministry. The shawls are given to those in need. Clearly, they had not been recognized, much less celebrated or promoted. I concluded that Baton Rouge has low folk cultural esteem, in other words, both locals and non-residents do not hold the local folk traditions in high esteem.
There is little awareness of the wealth of folklife the city offers. Such identity problems are common among capital cities and cities that benefited from the rise of suburbia2 Daum and Mauch Baton Rouge is both.
Being sandwiched between New Orleans and Lafayette, cities with strong folk cultural identities, doesn't help the situation.
Many cultural groups in Baton Rouge have annual sacred or secular events, such as the St. Joseph altars, but they may have little other presence through the year. The newspapers and magazines do a good job of covering cultural events and feature stories on traditions maintained by groups or families.
Yet Baton Rouge, unlike New Orleans and Lafayette, doesn't have organizations that regularly present folk traditions to the public and contemporary artists generally do not draw upon the city's folk traditions for inspiration like those of New Orleans and Lafayette. The tradition bearers are here; they are just harder to find because many are hidden in private or sacred spaces or practiced by families, clubs, or other groups not intended for the general public.
Also, they are not regularly celebrated as a community. George Simoneaux carved saints for his kitchen cabinets. I have known or known of many Baton Rouge tradition bearers and cultural groups. I have seen hidden in suburban homes and inner-city residences quilts, crocheted bedspreads, and home altars.
One woodcarver had carved saints and mounted them on his kitchen cabinets. Bedrooms have been turned into Buddhist holy rooms or craft rooms where cloth dolls are created. Some residents who otherwise don't have vegetable gardens have small patches of green onions and parsley in a flower bed, evoking memories of the kitchen herb gardens of the past.
Front yards display statues of the Virgin Mary. Living rooms host jam sessions for bluegrass, blues, Cajun, zydeco, and, for a while after Hurricane Katrina, Mardi Gras Indian practice. Offices have holiday parties and display elaborate decorations.
Memorials to lost loved ones may be found on roadsides or appear on t-shirts. In workshops, duck decoys are carved and mandolins made. Baton Rouge has a wealth of traditions and traditional artists—some public and some private, some unique to the city and some not—that make it the community it is today.
I have known families who grow far more vegetables, especially tomatoes, figs, and satsumas, than they can consume in order to give some away in an informal economy of exchange.
And immigrants maintain gardens in order to have vegetables not readily available here. I have seen groups gather for barbeques, crawfish boils, and fish fries at home, parks, or at tailgate parties. Hunters and fishermen arrive home with the state's bounty and then process it in extensive outdoor kitchens and offer feasts for family and friends.As part of an annual Special Issue, Baton Rouge Business Report celebrates its Book of Lists, highlighting local and regional companies in various rutadeltambor.com the engineering category, firms are ranked by the total number of local, licensed professional engineers.
Watch, surf, text, and save in Baton Rouge with the perfect bundle Combine the perfect services for you, including TV, wireless, home phone, and high-speed internet from AT&T, on a single, simple bill. Serving as a City Year AmeriCorps member is a complex and challenging, yet rewarding commitment.
This role is designed to help students build the social-emotional and academic skills to . Is that Former Tiger Ryan Clark's house in BR Business Report? - The 2nd to last house pictured was bought by Ryan Clark.
Just curious if it was him and if he. LSU Fan Baton Rouge Member since Apr posts. re: Is that Former Tiger Ryan Clark's house in BR Business Report? With $ million in revenue in , Pronger is the 15th-largest practice group in the Chicago area, according to Crain's Book of Lists. Recommended for You View the discussion thread.
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