EBR Schools approves Baton Rouge’s first fine arts school; set to open in 2023

Local News

East Baton Rouge Parish School Board

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – East Baton Rouge Parish Public School students will soon have a place where they can pursue their passion in the visual arts.

On Thursday, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board approved the parish’s first arts conservatory.

Superintendent Sito Narcisse said, “this conservatory school is going to be our Juilliard as everyone is calling it.”

The magnet school will offer students the opportunity to study music, film, dance, theatre and much more.

“We are now creating schools and providing options where we have children that have a lot of talent and opportunities to express themselves in different ways,” said Narcisse.

“Now the children in this city actually have a voice particularly if they are talented. Now our talented community [has] a hub to know where talent is,” said Director of Fine Arts for EBR Schools Sean Joffrion.

The school is one of several options Narcisse is using to make the district more attractive.

“To send your child to a conservatory is a pretty penny and many times they have to go out of state. So to have a program here that can meet a child’s individual needs is awesome,” said EBR Schools Director of Magnet Programs Theresa Porter.

The board made a unanimous vote to approve the conservatory, but board member Dawn Collins said the school could take away from others.

“You are not only concentrating your financial and your staff resources, but you’re also concentrating certain demographics of students on those populations while simultaneously not giving the same amount of attention to your remaining traditional schools,” said Collins.

The school is the first of its kind in Baton Rouge, something district leaders hope will help get students more excited to learn.

“It’s something fresh, something so unique,” said Porter.

“Everything you do in life comes back to how creative you can be,” said Joffrion.

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