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The St. Rose de Lima Church Celebrates Grand Re-Opening as the Rose Collaborative

Written By: NTCIC

October 4th, 2018

NTCIC was excited to celebrate the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Rose Collaborative project located in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana on October 4th. Vacant since Hurricane Katrina, the former St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church building and two adjacent school house buildings have been transformed into a new cultural hub for the arts, education, and community.

Also known as the Bayou Treme Center for Arts and Education, the Rose Collaborative is a partnership of Alembic Community Development, a mission-driven developer, and Rose Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit that supports reinvestment throughout the local community. The Treme neighborhood, an important center of the city’s African American and Creole culture as well as the modern brass band tradition, has seen considerable disinvestment since the hurricane.

“While there has been massive public funding since Katrina, the focus has largely been on housing and downtown developments, with comparatively little investment for working-class neighborhoods,” says Merrill Hoopengardener, President of NTCIC.

The $11.7 million project was financed with a number of state, local, and federal sources, including $10 million of New Markets Tax Credit allocation and over $1 million in Historic Tax Credits equity generated by NTCIC. This was NTCIC’s tenth investment in Louisiana since Katrina. Subsidy generated by the New Markets Tax Credits allowed the project to provide leasing terms to anchor nonprofit tenants at 50% below market – increasing their capacity and strengthening their ability to serve the community.

The building, which was originally constructed in 1880, has been restored and repurposed to include a new performing arts venue managed and produced by the Southern Rep Theater, New Orleans, a well-respected theater production company with a 30-year history. Original features of the space have been preserved and celebrated through the unique ‘box’ theater design, which highlights the spaceʻs historic nature, without directly altering the structure. The exquisite stained-glass windows and pool-blue vaulted ceiling remain, but the pews have been replaced with risers to accommodate 125 people.

The former grammar school building is currently home to several temporary community-based tenants until it once again sees students within its halls as the new home to the Waldorf School of New Orleans. This private school integrates academics with the arts, culture, and community. The former cafeteria has been repurposed as a co-working space and resource center for emerging businesses such as the Louisiana Philharmonic, Kid Smart, and Brothers Empowered 2 Teach.

The ribbon cutting was held on October 4th and included stakeholders from across the community. NTCIC and other funders were recognized as “co-visionaries” who helped make this project come to life. For more information on this transformative investment: Read More >

To learn more about the organizations that made this incredible project possible, please visit