On March 8th the Downtown Business Association announced the Live After 5 line up for spring of 2017. The event has gone on in downtown Baton Rouge for several years. This years line up has no black bands included in the lineup. The one black act listed on the website is a feature. Shawn Ward a local violinist is featured in the final week on May 26th with the band Flow Tribe. (Full lineup click here)
The Downtown Business Association gets $38,000 in city-parish tax payer dollars to help with events like Live After 5.
The event not having any black acts is a poor representation of who Baton Rouge is. There should have been some consideration of diversity when selecting the acts to include.
The way to resolve this issue is for the Downtown Business Association to add some talent to the lineup. Great bands like U4ria, The Michael Foster Project, Tank and the Bangas, and others would be great additions to the event.
Tara Wicker is the metro council member for downtown Baton Rouge. I have sent her an email that you can copy and send to her, to urge her to intervene. Events that are funded with tax dollars should be more inclusive. If not, other groups should be given the same resources to help do events that showcase top talent in the area in a family friendly atmosphere.
Feel free to copy and paste the email and send to TWicker@brgov.com and ask Councilwoman Wicker to step up and have these events diversified, to reflect our city-parish.
Live After 5 is an event hosted downtown that is partially funded through tax payer dollars. The recent lineup only has 1 black person performing in the 8 weeks and he is a feature with another act. This doesn’t reflect the diversity of talent and people in our city-parish.
As the council member who represents downtown Baton Rouge, I am asking that you immediately intervene and have the Downtown Business Association add black acts to the spring lineup.
If we were more inclusive as a community, we wouldn’t have to continue to have these conversations.