2009 – The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame, with collaboration of the office of State Senator Sharon W. Broome as Project Endorser received the appropriation of funds from the Louisiana Legislature to purchase land/building acquisition as a permanent site to house The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame Museum and Cultural Center. The facility was the historical Lincoln Theater in the state’s capital city — Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

2009 – One of Two: In-Kind Match Donor was B&D Calloway Properties donation of land to the project was used to serve as half of the in-kind match for the capital outlay grant allocation. The land donated was processed by Attorney Benjamin Brouillette of Accent Title, LLC.

2009 – Two of Two: In-Kind Match Donor: MEL, Inc. donation of in-kind professional services with St. Martin Brown & Associates Architects/Planning services provided during the initial planning phase of the project (2008-2009) served as the other half of the in-kind match for the capital outlay grant allocation.

2009 – Initial Environmental Inspection Donor: MEL, Inc. sponsored the project’s fee for its initial environmental inspection required by the state legislative capital outlay compliance contract.

2009 – The Foundation for Historical Louisiana sponsored the project’s state contractual requirement of an appraisal and its fees which was conducted by Valery Lowery of Lowery Enterprises of The South, Inc. Presently, in-kind partnerships with The Foundation for Historical Louisiana as historical compliance advisors of this project with Carolyn Bennett and the FHL staff office officially began in 2009.

2009 – The Legacy Partners Donors’ funds from The LBHHF completed the funding requirements for the purchasing of The Lincoln Theater. These donors were people in the community who had given donations to support the vision.

2010 – The Foundation for Historical Louisiana introduced The East Baton Rouge Re-Development Authority to The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame. The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame Board of Directors approved The EBR-RDA as The Project Management Leader of this team in September 2010.

2010 – The RDA partnered with the architectural firm of Chenevert Architects & Associates to join us. Thus the architectural and planning team of DeRon Brown of St. Martin-Brown & Associates and Norman Chenevert of Chenevert Architects developed the Architectural Rendering of the vision. The RDA obtained donors to sponsor the architectural design fees.

2010 – The Lincoln Theater and Community Partners Public Awareness Reception was held June 20, 2010 at The Purple Circle Social Club located in the community of The Lincoln Theater with the focus of introducing the vision and plans to the community. It was hosted by The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame, Councilwoman Tara Wicker’s District 10 Administrative Staff and The East Baton Rouge Re-Development Authority. Partners providing presentations of their part in this project included: The RDA, Chenevert Architects, St. Martin Brown & Associates, BREC Development in Expressway Park, DDD Greenway Trail, LHFA Housing Project and The Lincoln Hotel.

(5) CPEX, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge have hosted three meetings to discuss The Lincoln Theater Project and ensured its stakeholder input in The Kresge Foundation Planning Grant Development since December 2012.

2010 – The South Louisiana Brownfield Coalition/Revolving Loan Fund Clean Up Financial Assistance Grant administered by South Central Planning and Development Commission was awarded to The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame in August 2010. It was submitted by Shaw Environmental, Inc. This grant is to ensure that the project’s facility (The Lincoln Theater) is environmental sound. It was collaborated by The East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority.

2010 – The LA Department of Environmental Quality Grant was awarded to SHAW Environmental, Inc. to help produce the original clean-up plan for the project.

2010 – The Louisiana Recreational Trails Program Grant will be used for linking the Downtown Greenway, The Expressway Park to City Park and the street enhancements on Myrtle Avenue impacting the community and street beautification of The Lincoln Theater and community revitalization efforts while providing areas to walk, jog and ride bikes.

Plans are underway to seek a portion of these funds for The International Peace Park and Pavilion that will be staged across the street from The Lincoln Theater. It will feature a one-of-a-kind Life Size sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King shaking hands with Dr. T. J. Jemison as well as other peace makers of various movements throughout the nation. The Lincoln Theater is one of the civil rights meeting sites and office for the legal team behind The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott: The United Defense League.

2010 – The Lincoln Theater became a national certified historical monument {listed on The National Registry of Historic Places} on December 7, 2010 with the collaborative in-kind services of consultant Donna Fricker & Associates, The Foundation for Historical Louisiana, State of Louisiana Office of Historic Preservation, The EBR RDA, The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame and the prior contributions of Geri Hobdy.

2010 – In-kind partnerships with Phelps and Dunbar as the legal team advisors of this project through the expertise of attorneys Dennis Blount and Jeff Barbin officially began.

2010 – A Gift and Naming Opportunity Table for the project was developed by two professional development consultants of the community and state: Ashley Shelton & Associates and Sailor Jackson of The Office of The Louisiana Secretary of State.

2011 – The RDA partnered with Mr. Derek Gordon of The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge to help The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame develop a business plan for The Lincoln Theater.

2011 – The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame featured The Capital Campaign launching at its Annual Meeting held at The Old State Capital in October 2011. Community Partners included: The Louis A. Martinet Society, Members of The Legislative Black Caucus, State Attorney General Office, Entergy, The EBR-RDA, Capital Area Human Services District, O’Brien House, Judge Trudy White and her Administrative Staff, The LBHHF Board of Directors and Advisors from New Orleans, Lafayette and Baton Rouge.

2011– The Lincoln Theater was a “Planning Site” for the United Defense League, who helped to legally orchestrate the strategies behind The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott. The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame submitted a letter of consideration for the Baton Rouge Bus Company (CATS) to donate a 1953 Bus to the project for a special exhibition.

The Baton Rouge Bus Company donated a 1953 Bus “money exchanger machine” artifact to The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame in 2006. The goal is to have “The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott: A National Civil Rights Blue Print Exhibition” as a vital part of the showcase and historical presentations that will be offered to the public. One of our goals is to feature this in The Pavilion portion of The International Peace Park.

2012 – The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus Support Committee of State Senator Yvonne Dorsey, State Senator Sharon W. Broome and State Representative Patricia Haynes Smith has served in collaborative efforts within the Louisiana Legislature to request and obtain Capital Outlay Funding towards the project.

2012 – The Lincoln Theater Revitalization Project was a major component of the collaborative efforts to have The Old South Baton Rouge entitled a Louisiana “Cultural District” with the efforts of Councilwoman Tara Wicker, Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards, the City Council, The South Baton Rouge Civic Association and other Old South Baton Rouge organizations and individuals.

2012 – The East Baton Rouge Parish Library has sponsored space for The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame and The Lincoln Theater artifacts and treasures. We now have a depository to help organize and preserve our collections coordinated by Melissa Easton at the Baton Rouge Downtown Parish Library location.

2012 – Supporter and friend to the project, Derek Gordon, co-authored The Kresge Foundation Planning Grant that would help the planning and structuring of the entire OSBR Area in the area of Arts and Culture, thereby enhancing the project of The Lincoln Theater that serves as a revitalization catalyst.   The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame serves on this planning board.