Renee Chatelain is a native of Baton Rouge and a graduate of Louisiana State University, holding both a B.A. Degree in History and a Juris Doctor. She is the President and CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. Her career as a dancer includes performing with the Eglevsky Ballet in New York, Delta Festival Ballet of New Orleans, Tampa Ballet, and American Dance Machine in New York. Renee has been a guest teacher for Iceland Dance Theater in Reykjavik, Iceland, and at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, at Hunter College in New York City, Southeastern Louisiana University, as well as several local dance companies in Baton Rouge. She serves on the Advisory Board of the American Mural Project, supporting internationally known visual artist Ellen Griesedieck, and was selected to participate in South Arts Dance Touring Initiative. She is a co-founder of Mid City Dance Project, Inc. Most recently, she served as Executive Director at the Manship Theatre at Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA. Prior to her position at Manship Theatre, she founded the dance programs for two independent schools in Baton Rouge while serving on staff at both schools as a history teacher and community service director. Presently, she serves on the board of the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System, the Shaw Center for the Arts, and the City Club of Baton Rouge.
Renee is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, The Baton Rouge Bar Association, and has been a panelist for the Lt. Governor’s Cultural Economic Summit. She is a recipient of Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s John W. Barton, Sr. Award for Excellence in Non-profit Management, the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Most Influential Women in Business, the Unsung Hero’s Award by Louisiana State University’s Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs, the Esprit de Femme Award by the LSU Women’s Center, and has been recognized by the Louisiana State Senate for her contribution to African Americans in Louisiana through the Arts. She has been awarded The President’s Award by the Baton Rouge Bar Association, was a 2005 finalist for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Angel Award, was recognized by the Louisiana Association for Non-Profit Organization as a Louisiana Heroine, was a member the 2005 Leadership Class of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, and has been inducted into the Redemptorist High School Hall of Fame. She has served as a panelist at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in New York, at the inaugural Women in Dance Leadership Conference in 2015, and has served as a community coach for the City of Mandeville Louisiana, through the Louisiana Department of Culture and Tourism’s Creative Placemaking Initiative. Most recently, she has been on faculty at the Ballet Festival of India in Mumbai and has been a guest speaker at the Women in Dance Conference at New York University.
Renee considers her passion project the creation and staging of The Fading Line: A Commemoration of the 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, and is grateful to all of those who played a role – past and present. She is most grateful for the love of her life and constant source of inspiration, her husband, Kevin Lyle.