Affecting the community takes consistent planning and collaboration, not an easy task to undertake. Yet for the past four years, The Walls Project has managed the cooperation of 150+ organizations to progress The MLK Festival of Service. Entering its fifth year and concentrating on Winbourne Avenue, MLK Fest 2019 plans to be bigger and more impactful than ever.
The MLK Festival of Service, now known as MLK Fest, started as a grassroots-level operation led by The Walls Project. Four years and 30,000 volunteer hours later, MLK Fest is the largest outdoor volunteer-led event, not only in Baton Rouge, but in the state. The goal of the event sounds simple, but the impact is far-reaching: coordinate large-scale volunteer numbers to clean, paint, and plant an entire neighborhood.
From January 18th to January 21st, volunteers work together on projects by painting, removing trash, gardening, and general beautification along Winbourne Avenue. This event poses an opportunity greater than logging in service hours. Volunteers will work hand in hand with citizens from every part of the Baton Rouge community. By strengthening local relationships across the city, we create a more connected community.
Additionally, planning meetings for the event are being held bi-monthly at Istrouma High School from 3 - 5 PM up until MLK Fest begins. Planning meetings are open to the public, and act as a workshop to continue the momentum of the program. Committees include Volunteer Outreach and Organization (Pat McCallister-LeDuff of CADAV and Helena Williams), Gardening and Blight Reduction (Kelvin Cryer of G.E.E.P. and Mitchell Provensal), Painting and Murals (Casey Phillips and Kimberly Braud), and Block Party Celebration Event (Raina Vallot and Sherin Dawud of Faith’s Fifth Event Planning and Nicole D. Scott of The Bridge Agency).