Bocage Cultural District eyes expansion of tax-break zone

    Ann Connelly Fine Artís new studio and gallery is located at 1670 Lobdell Avenue in Studio Park. The nearly 4,600 square-foot property includes this workshop studio with a custom framing shop and storage for nearly 2,000 pieces of art. Ann Connellyís husband, Paul Connelly, of Connelly Construction, LLC served as the general contractor for the project.

    The Bocage Cultural District, one of five districts in Baton Rouge aimed at fostering the local art scene through tax breaks, is eyeing an expansion.

    Councilman Matt Watson will introduce a measure at Wednesday’s Metro Council meeting, requesting to expand the district—which currently encompasses an area along Jefferson Highway and Lobdell Avenue in Bocage—to include a stretch of Jefferson Highway to Brentwood Drive near Interstate 12.

    Mark Biletnikoff, who owns N the Art Space and who spearheads the cultural district, says he’s been working on an expansion of the district for a year or two, with the hope of including more art galleries and growing the art scene in the neighborhood. Galleries currently in the Bocage district include Ann Connelly Fine Art, N the Art Space and the Moreau-Reyes Gallery. Biletnikoff, who closed his Biletnikoff Gallery last year, quietly reopened earlier this year in the N the Art Space, a 14,000-square-foot studio and art education center, to showcase only his personal fine art.

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