Lighting the Bridge
Forum 35's first major project raised over $350,000.00 to install lights on the Mississippi River Bridge, which serves as a gateway into the Capital City.
Gus Young Park Cleanup
In 1998, Forum 35 organized a three-hundred person volunteer cleanup and beautification of the inner city Gus Young Park. In conjunction with AmeriCorps, more than 1,500 hours of volunteer service were compressed into a single day of work. The resulting improvements at the park are still visible today.
Forum 35 played an important role in organizing Bonne Fete, the 300th birthday of Baton Rouge. From distributing historical information to local school children and conducting essay contests to providing volunteers at the massive celebration, Forum 35 was there.
Plan Baton Rouge
Stefanos Polyzoides' lecture on New Urbanism in April 2007 as part of the Marcia Kaplan Kantrow Lecture Series for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation inspired BRAF and Forum35 to investigate the principles of new urbanism to see how they could be applied to Baton Rouge. Our members played a critical role in researching, developing and implementing a new urbanism plan for our city. The efforts resulted in hiring noted urbanist Andres Duany to conduct a community brainstorming session. Forum 35 became the catalyst organization for the creation of Plan Baton Rouge—a blueprint for the re-development of downtown into a 24-hour city.
Social Capital Initiative
Through the efforts of Forum 35 and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, our city was selected as one of 33 others across the country to participate in a Harvard University research study designed by Robert Putnam, known as the Social Capital Survey. The study revealed that our city is above the national and southern average for civic opportunity, with growth needed in the area of race relations. Forum 35 championed the study's findings by enhancing community pride through We Are BR! and by supporting the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott 50th Anniversary Observance in 2003.
ArtMob was created in 2005 to assist in supporting and sustaining smaller arts organizations in Baton Rouge with limited access to advertising opportunities. Modeled on "flash mob” events, members were invited via email to attend art events. The ArtMob generated a larger audience and therefore, a larger profit for these organizations. It also created a welcoming community around the arts.
The Economics of Staying in School
Once a week, volunteers taught early morning classes using simple, pre-planned lessons and practical examples of how life can be improved by receiving an education.
Art After School
Forum members lead a variety of arts projects for K-5th graders at the Baton Rouge School For Visual and Performing Arts. These projects included such themes as community service, cultural appreciation, diversity, and pride in Baton Rouge. Members volunteered just one day a month for 1-2 hours at the end of the school day.