Uniquely Baton Rouge: New Mid City mural highlights diversity in education

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If you’ve driven down Government Street lately, you’ve likely noticed the improvements being made to roads, sidewalks and even some business storefronts. Now, you’ll notice a new mural that’s not only changing the look of an old building, but also highlighting diversity in education.

“Art is one of the oldest languages we have as humans… without that- I dont’ know how we can sometimes communicate these messages” said local artist Taylor Jacobsen. “Art is powerful because anybody can read it and therefore we take that as a changing of the landscape if you will” he said.

Jacobsen is the artist who completed the new mural wrapped around the Louisiana Key Academy; a school for those with dyslexia and other challenges.

“1 in 5 children suffer from reading disorders and dyslexia” Jacobsen said. “That’s where a lot of this creation was coming from- showing the actual children that come here and showing the power of reading… it’s bigger than life, books can be things that take you away, and so they’re helping everyone have that same right and ability” Jacobsen said.

The mural is the latest in a number of projects organized by the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance and Mid City Merchants.

“Several improvements were made, businesses were remodeled, landscaping was done and public art was always a piece of that” said Marlee Pittman. “This is creative placemaking so creating a sense of community through art and through neighborhood projects and investment, so that people take care of the area that they live in” she said.

For Jacobsen, an artist in the middle of a pandemic, commissioning the mural was work that served an even greater purpose.

“People would be coming by and saying thank you for helping us change the space thank you for helping us tell the message of the children” Jacobsen said. “Every time you do a piece, you’re going to feel a little bit more about the community and what they’re looking for- for me it’s more about giving back. This will be a new piece for them to fall in love with their city and see some new things that they didn’t see when they had to stay at home” he said.

The mural is located at the Louisiana Key Academy, 3172 Government Street in Baton Rouge.

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