Everything to know about tonight’s MPAC event and the new Cary Saurage Community Arts Center
This year’s MPAC event—now in the hands of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge but originally created in 2014 by 225 and inRegister as a celebration of “Music, Performance, Art and Community”—is doubling as tonight’s grand opening party for the new Cary Saurage Community Arts Center. If an all-inclusive evening spent enjoying outdoor musical performances on a downtown rooftop accompanied by drinks, bites and art sparks your interest, then this is the night for you.
After the doors open at 7 p.m., guests can enjoy entertainment by The Chee-Weez, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra Quartet, DJ Marquis, Bayou Cirque and more.
As for the Arts Center, this new 12,000-square-foot building is one of a kind in the region, featuring creative meeting spaces for artists and organizers to meet, gather and create. Also included on the grounds are a recording studio, visual arts studios, an exhibition gallery, several conferences rooms and a rooftop terrace.
“The Saurage family has been and continues to be a vital part of any success in this community,” says Renee Chatelain, president and CEO of the Arts Council. “Cary Saurage is responsible for so much of the growth of the visual and performing arts in Baton Rouge. Citizens and visitors alike in our area are the beneficiaries of their deep generosity and important advocacy.”
Cary Saurage has been a longtime supporter of the arts locally and around the world. To him and the rest of the Saurage family, art is vital to any city’s success. “The arts really define the quality of life in any community,” says Donna Saurage, Cary’s sister-in-law. “And that’s why it’s so important. It’s what makes a community special.”
Arts Council leaders say having a community center for the arts is imperative for the growth of local art in our area. “There haven’t been many opportunities for people in that younger age group—those who are still figuring out what their artistry is or where they fit in within our region—and we end up losing them to places like New Orleans, which has those opportunities and that cultural identity,” says Mysti Byrnes, director of public relations for the Arts Council. “But we have so many talented artists here. So really the center’s main focus is to help retain those artists and bridge that gap.”
Get MPAC details and tickets here. Learn more about the Cary Saurage Community Arts Center on its website here, and read more about the arts center’s origins in this story from the inRegister archives.