"We are sad to lose one of the great champions for the arts in our community, " said Kathy Scherer, acting director of the arts council. "Derek's work elevated Baton Rouge's profile on the national stage. His legacy will continue through the signature programs that he created including the River City Jazz Masters series, revitalization efforts of the Old South Baton Rouge community through the arts, and through providing greater access to the arts for the entire community."
Gordon, age 57, died Monday morning after a long illness. He took a medical leave from his duties on July 19 due to complications following an eye surgery. Kathy Scherer was appointed acting director during Gordon's medical leave.
Funeral Services for Gordon have been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in downtown Baton Rouge. Visitation starts at 9 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Derek E. Gordon Arts Fund through the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.