National Endowment for the Arts Leaders Visit New Orleans June 21 – 23
New Orleans, LA—The National Council on the Arts, the advisory body for the National Endowment for the Arts, will gather in New Orleans, Louisiana, for its summer meeting, June 21-23, 2023—only the third meeting convened outside of Washington, DC in more than 30 years. While in New Orleans, the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, and council members will meet with state and local arts leaders, visit arts organizations, and participate in a public meeting on Friday, June 23 that will feature presentations by local artists and arts organizations. The meeting will be held at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) beginning at 11 a.m. and will be open to the public to attend in person or watch online at arts.gov.
The National Council on the Arts advises the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, who also chairs the Council, on agency policies and programs, and reviews and makes recommendations to the chair on applications for grants, funding guidelines, and leadership initiatives.
“Louisiana has a rich arts ecosystem that contributes to both its strong cultural identity as well as its community resilience,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “I look forward to experiencing and learning more about the area’s cultural vitality as well as how national, regional, state, and local support efforts impact arts organizations and the wide range of urban, suburban, and rural communities they serve.”
“The National Council of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts serve a vital role in supporting art in our country. From world-renowned creators to local artists, it is crucial that we uplift art and the people who make it. It is especially important to me that all opportunities are accessible and equitable to everyone. The National Endowment of the Arts is making this a reality for creating and experiencing art throughout the United States. We’re excited to host you in New Orleans,” said Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02).
The Louisiana Division of the Arts and Arts New Orleans collaborated with the NEA on this visit to Louisiana. Over the last five years (FY 2018-2022), the NEA distributed more than $15 million in federal funds to organizations in Louisiana, either through direct grants or through state and regional partners.
Agenda for National Council on the Arts Summer Meeting
The following events will be attended by NEA staff, members of the National Council on the Arts, Louisiana Division of the Arts, and Arts New Orleans, as well as others noted in the following schedule. Media interested in attending or speaking with the Chair of the NEA must contact Liz Auclair at the NEA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
4:30–5:30 p.m. Site visit with Shaka Zulu, 2022 NEA National Heritage Fellow
In 2022, Shaka Zulu was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts with the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts for his work as a New Orleans Black Masking craftsman, stilt dancer, and musician. Participants will see his work on display and learn about his work as a teacher and culture bearer.
Location: Angela King Gallery, 241 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Thursday, June 22, 2023
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Site visit at Ashé Cultural Arts Center
Participants will tour the center and learn about their program I Deserve It!, which centers artists and culture bearers as community health workers that deliver health messaging, resources, and education to address the 25 year life expectancy difference experienced by New Orleans' majority Black neighborhoods.
Location: 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70113
- Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes, Chief Equity Officer, Ashé Cultural Arts Center
- Avis Gray, Health Equity Leader, I Deserve It!/Ashé Cultural Arts Center
- Naydja Cojoe, Artist & Influencer, I Deserve It!/Ashé Cultural Arts Center
- Monica Millon-Gray, Community Coordinator, I Deserve It!/Ashé Cultural Arts Center
- Brian Washington Jr., Community Health Worker, I Deserve It!/Ashé Cultural Arts Center
- Constance Thompson, Creative Producer, Ashé Cultural Arts Center
- Karel Sloane-Boekbinder, Arts Services Coordinator, Ashé Cultural Arts Center
2:30–4:00 p.m. Site visit at Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
Participants will tour the center, hear a performance by students, and learn about the center’s work as a community resource and a catalyst for cultural preservation, including the Musicians’ Village.
Location: 1901 Bartholomew Street, New Orleans, LA 70117
- Ann Marie Wilkins, Board President, Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
- Lisa Dabney, Executive Director, Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
- Dr. Daryl Dickerson, Director of Music Education, Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
- Michael Harris, musician and Musicians’ Village resident
- Ellis Marsalis Center for Music students
4:15-4:30 p.m. Site visit to see youth-driven murals in New Orleans East
Participants will meet at the East New Orleans Regional Library to see the mural led by artist Journey Allen and learn about additional public art projects in the area, supported by an NEA Our Town grant.
Location: East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127
- Joycelyn Reynolds, Executive Director, Arts New Orleans
- Sarah Woodward, Deputy Director, Arts New Orleans
- Wendo Brunoir, mural artist
- Martin Payton, sculpture artist
Friday, June 23, 2023
Public Meeting of the National Council on the Arts
This event is open to the public and will be webcast live at arts.gov.
Location: New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), 2800 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70117
10:30 a.m. Doors open
11:00 a.m. Welcome, council business, remarks from the NEA Chair
11:45 a.m. Presentations:
- Joycelyn Reynolds, executive director of Arts New Orleans, discusses the work of the local arts agency and their Luna Fête project.
- Transdisciplinary artist and storyteller Monique Verdin (Houma) discusses her work at the intersection of culture, environment, and climate in southeast Louisiana.
- Performances and discussion with 2022 NEA Jazz Master Donald Harrison, Jr. and 2005 NEA National Heritage Fellow Michael Doucet, moderated by Nick Spitzer, 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellow. Spitzer will lead the conversation, exploring the importance of jazz and Cajun music to Louisiana’s culture.
1:00 p.m. Adjourn
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
Liz Auclair, email@example.com, 202-604-0110