In February 2006, the Capitol Park Museum opened its doors as the largest and most comprehensive survey exhibit of Louisiana history, culture, and art in the State. Its mission, “to collect, preserve and present, as an educational resource, objects of art, documents, artifacts and the like that reflect the history, art and culture of Louisiana for the citizens and visitors to the State of Louisiana” is supported by five full-time staff and a growing number of volunteers drawn from the Friends of the Capitol Park Museum, student interns, and community and corporate volunteer organizations.
In 2009, a group of enthusiastic and dedicated citizens came together to form the Louisiana State Museum Friends, later known as the Friends of the Capitol Park Museum or Capitol Park Friends. The Capitol Park Friends organized with the intent to further the museum’s educational mission and interaction with the communities it serves. Within a year, the first board was formed, 501(c) 3 status was sought and granted by the Internal Revenue Service, and a formal relationship with the Louisiana State Museum was established.
With a mission “to support the Capitol Park Museum’s educational mission and public offerings through membership, volunteerism, financial support and other resources” the Friends of the Capitol Park Museum has a growing membership-based primarily in the Greater Baton Rouge area, but with extended support and areas overlapping several other Louisiana State Museum sites and support organizations.
Together, these two organizations work to expand education and awareness of Louisiana history, art, and culture through programming based on LSM exhibits current topical historical and cultural events and commemorations, and community-based opportunities and partnerships. With an emphasis on residents, visitors, and K-12 schools in Louisiana, the Museum continues to reach an international audience while growing its visitation by, and impact on, Louisiana’s K-12 students.
Since its beginning, the Friends of the Capitol Park Museum have raised more than $100,000 to support the educational programming, exhibits, and special projects at the Capitol Park Museum. A few such special projects include the building of new signs in front of the museum in 2013; taking a lead role in raising funds for the traveling exhibit Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn in 2014 and in 2021 The Smithsonian’s Negro Motorist Green Book Exhibition. With events large and small including the Annual Spanish Town Parade Party Educational Walking Tours, and regularly sponsoring exhibit openings and monthly social functions. The Friends have a growing membership that would love to include you, consider being our friend join at capitolparkfriends.org.