The History & Evolution of the St. Rose de Lima Complex
2541 Bayou Rd: St. Rose de Lima Church Performing Arts Center
Originally constructed in 1915, the St Rose de Lima Church served its congregation until 2005. Following Katrina, the church was deconsecrated by the Archdiocese of New Orleans and then purchased by Rose CDC and Alembic in 2016. The church now boasts multiple performance areas to showcase and advance the performing arts: a mainstage theater seating approximately 125 patrons for major productions; an open performance area inside the front of the church with a lounge and bar for a range of performance types; and an outdoor plaza and that opens up the building and programs directly to Bayou Road. From 2018 to early 2021, the performance space was home to Southern Rep Theatre, but now Alembic and Rose CDC are leading the facility in a new direction that can better serve community.
Alembic and Rose CDC are excited to transform the performance facility into a multi-tenant, multi-use BIPOC community centered, performance arts center that also serves as a venue for other compatible organizations and small businesses. The facility is expected to include a mix of resident theatre companies that reside on campus in their entirety and presenting arts organizations that have offices elsewhere but will make the campus their performance home. This new direction will allow programming to expand to be more inclusive and accessible to community members seeking opportunities for creative expression.
2539 Columbus: Parochial School Waldorf School of New Orleans
Originally constructed in 1925, the three-story brick St Rose Parochial School building served as a middle school for decades. The renovated building is home to the Waldorf School of New Orleans, a nonprofit school operating in New Orleans for more than 15 years that integrates academics with the arts, culture and community from nursery through 8th grade. The school brings a strong commitment to diversity and financial support to families: approximately 30% are students of color and approximately 50% of students receive financial assistance. WSNO has multiple outside spaces adjacent to the schoolhouse that are central to students’ learning through outdoor play and exploration.
2533 Columbus: Parish Hall Annex Parish Hall Offices
Originally constructed in 1938, the two-story wooden schoolhouse served as an elementary school until August 26, 2005: the Friday before Katrina struck New Orleans. The renovated building has been transformed into the Parish Hall Offices, a shared workspace highlighted by several strong nonprofit organizations, including Fund 17, KID smART, the New Orleans Arts Education Alliance, NewCorp, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Brothers Empowered to Teach, and more. In addition to conventional office suites, Parish Hall offers 2-3 person private offices, semi-private workstations and open desks in a shared facility with conference and meeting rooms, free wifi, printing and copying, a kitchen, and flexible leasing.
In the news...
Fund 17, a nonprofit organization that provides tailored business development and capital access assistance to community entrepreneurs and business owners in New Orleans, is the programmatic anchor for Parish Hall. Beginning in fall 2018, Fund 17 will operate a Community Business Incubator that combines training and mentorship programs, capital access, and accessible space and equipment for entrepreneurs in the 7th Ward and surrounding neighborhoods.