Archive for the ‘Community Events & Forums’ Category
Southern Rep Theater, in conjunction with the CAC presents now through April 14 the latest play by John Biguenet in his Rising Water trilogy, Mold. His previous two installments, Rising Waters and Shotgun received critical acclaim, and this third installment also rises to the occasion. Be informed, there are spoilers to follow.
I knew this would be a difficult play to watch, but I didn’t realize how difficult it would be until I walked into the theater, saw the stage and then felt the wounds of Katrina reopening inside. The set evoked a visceral reaction: the screen door wide open, the furniture looked as if it had been agitated in a washing machine, the buckled floor and warped ceiling fan blades drooping from gravity’s pull and the splattered walls of Katrina patina that looks like a speckled yard egg. When Emile Guidry (played by Trey Burvant) and his wife Marie (played by Kerry Cahill) pushed open the swollen front door, the audience could then see the orange Katrina X-code: 9/21 – CA7 – 0 – 2 dead.
In the first act, Emile and Marie are in his parents home 1 year after the storm waiting to meet the insurance adjuster. It took them a long time to return and the shock of the condition inside as they push the front door open is overwhelming. The third character, Mrs. Delachaise (played by Carol Sutton) a volunteer with the City of New Orleans shows up first, and is tasked with condemning properties and marking homes for demolition, the Guidry home included. Emile is beside himself dealing with the grief of destruction as he meets the coldness of bureaucracy embodied by Mrs. Delachaise, but as he sulks off, Marie and Mrs. Delachaise bond on the porch with Mrs. Delachaise reliving her experiences going through Hurricane Betsy and then astutely diagnosing Marie expecting a child. It was one of those bonding experiences we all know during a storm: with the power out and no electronic gadgets to distract us, we turn to the old ways of conversation and story telling and bonding with strangers while sharing the experience going through the disaster.
The second act opens with the fourth character Mr. Bernard the adjuster (played by Randy Maggiore). He introduces Emile to the 5th kingdom of mold, and the battle that everyone endures fighting for insurance payouts to become whole again. The arguing sets off Mr. Bernard, who angrily relives rescuing people with his boat in the aftermath of the flood, pointing out that Emile was far away, sipping coffee in Houston. Turns out after all the discussion, Emile’s parents don’t have flood insurance, and the grand total of the settlement comes to a measly $1200. It is after Mr. Bernard leaves that the struggle ensues between Emile wanting to remain in New Orleans, the proud mantra that “I’m a New Orleanian and anything is possible” clashing with Marie’s realistic view that there is no money to rebuild, nowhere to live if they did decide to do it themselves and no point in living amongst the ghosts of what New Orleans was and will never be again. Then she reveals to her husband that she is pregnant…
In the brief Q&A that followed the play, Biguenet informed the audience how he had stitched together all the vignettes from countless Katrina stories into the script of Mold. He indicated that Mold was written for all the New Orleanians caught up in the diaspora who remain in exile, as much as for those mold rooted, tenacious New Orleanians that were able to return and rebuild. One audience member wanted Biguenet to add more stories to his trilogy, but others said it was complete. I believe he has covered the experience of enduring Katrina. Mold ends with the couple holding onto each other, the future unknown, the collective experience of discovering the extent of destruction in the immediate aftermath having passed and coming to terms with the loss of loved ones and possessions. The rest of the story has yet to be written with the next step down the path different for everyone as life moves on, and that is where the trilogy ends, for now.
Thanks to Southern Rep for extending the invitation to attend. Experience Mold for yourself, its an entertaining and thought provoking journey to traverse. I hope that this trilogy makes it to the New York stage: in the aftermath of Sandy there will be a whole new audience that can appreciate the relevance and profound message Biguenet’s stories portray.
One of my favorite things in the word has to be fashion. I absolutely adore it! The creativity is what I love. It’s all about the art of you and your specific personality. Imagine my excitement when Nola Fashion Week (NOLAFW) got started in 2011. NOLAFW is the next best thing to getting to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, but probably with a little more flavor.
Nola Fashion Week was the brainchild of the Nola Fashion Council, whom work to connect designers with resources and exposure throughout the South and beyond. The Nola Fashion Council puts on NOLAFW biannually not only to showcase Southern talent, but to offer industry based education workshops as well as access to local designers and retailers.
Southern born and /or based designers come together to show their greatness and to in my opinion put a smile on my face. From the efforts of Nola Fashion Week, we’ve come to know and see the rise of phenomenal designers such as Amanda deLeon, Andrea Loest, Matthew Arthur, Jolie & Elizabeth and more. It’s quite amazing to watch the talent right here at home doing innovative things.
Happening this week is Nola Fashion Week A/W 13’ showing. Showcasing this year is 17 designers which include Amanda deLeon, Andrea Loest, Anthony Ryan, Blackout, By Smith, Ella ose, Fair Fit, Hazel & Forange, Iacono, Izavel , Jolie Elizabeth, Libellule , Loretta Jane, Matthew Arthur, Noel Martin, The Dope.Game and Tallulah’s Designs. These designers will not disappoint with great pieces you will daydream about for days as well as ready to wear pieces you will probably find at local stores this year! Also on the schedule are several cool workshops such as Sustainable Dyeing so you can get your learning on.
The great thing about NOLAFW is there is something for everyone! In whatever way you want to get involved from financial support to volunteering, to retail therapy and more; its something for you with NOLAFW. Not only are our brightest designers showcased, but also all the amazing individuals based right down in Louisiana making things happen behind the scene from makeup artist to stylist, to bloggers and more. This state produced a talented bunch and NOLAFW proves it just by the high value production put on since the beginning.
I don’t co-sign most events, but I look forward to NOLAFW each year and can’t get enough of the Nola and Southern Talent.
Anyone who grew up here in New Orleans should remember watching our beloved Morgus the Magnificent. For over half a century, Morgus prefaced the weekend horror movies with his own New Orleans style horror vignettes. Morgus, along with his sidekick Chopsley would entertain us with his weekly scientific experiments gone wrong, dissecting and poking and prodding various New Orleans B-listers, with the week’s story line progressing during the commercial breaks of Godzilla or Mothra, or Godzilla-Mothra-King Kong end of the world movies. I swear, Morgus’ dry, morbid sense of humor has affected generations of New Orleanians, claiming his rightful place alongside the satire of Mardi Gras and the unique New Orleans musical soundtrack of our lives.
Well today, the ever elusive character has proverbially come out from hiding – behold the man behind our Morgus!
Allow me to present Sid Noel Rideau, a.k.a. Momus Alexander Morgus. Sheila Stroup of the Times Picayune wrote a beautiful article profiling Mr. Rideau with his latest contribution to New Orleans culture, the New Orleans Public Library’s Internet Story Club of America. What an admirable endeavor, and it seals the deal that future generations will have the privilege of being entertained and enlightened by Morgus the Magnificent, now publically known as Mr. Rideau. Thank you sir for all you’ve done, and continue to do for our city.
“This Tuesday’s Women’s Wellness Program session is our monthly cooking class, held down the street at Algiers United Methodist Church on Opelousas. All women are welcome! This month we’re focusing on healthy snacks.” ~Via Common Ground’s FaceBook Page
Something close to my heart has always been teens and resources. Many teens are working hard and just do not have the resources to accomplish the goals they set for their selves as well as not knowing anyone or having no clue where to go for resources to aid them in their success.
I’ve always been blessed to have extremely involved parents and high school (Warren Easton) and a resource obsessed mind, but many around me growing up didn’t So as a teen, I always took it upon myself to try and find resources such as scholarships, schools, summer opportunities, etc. for myself and friends.
As I got older it became more important to me and friends to share our resources to help teens as much as possible to not be left behind. We believe our youth are talented; they just aren’t giving a chance to experience their full potential. So instead of being afraid of our youth in the city it’s important to see the child in them just looking for a chance as well as not to punish the children who are trying to do right. There are so many ways to get involved through mentoring, offerings resources or just supporting programs working to better the teen population of Greater New Orleans.
My friend Chris Boudy and I have a love for technology. Three years ago we decided to create a technology conference to start giving teens with interest in technology more resources and teens who never considered technology industry more options to consider. Through this idea came Teen Tech Day.
TTD is a one-day interactive conference exposing Greater New Orleans youth to technologies such as video game design, robotics, programming, graphic design and more. Technology offers opportunities to explore math, science, as well as engineering in which Teen Tech works to open the door of possibilities. Each year’s students between the ages of 13 through 18 years old are provided a positive outlet to explore opportunities and get excited about technology. As the future calls for more technological based careers Teen Tech Day decided to aid in building the local technology industry of the future. Our third annual Teen Tech Day takes place on March 23rd at Delgado Community College.
Last Thursday,NS and I attended the ‘M&Ms Better With M Dinner’ at the Foundry (thank you Charlotte). It was a star-studded event which celebrated the launch of their brand new marketing campaign ‘Better With M.’ Proceeds from the event went to New Orleans Habitat for Humanity.
No marketing campaign was needed to get me through the door, they had me at M&Ms.
I love me some M&Ms!
The three-course, chocolate infused dinner was created by New Orleans own Chef John Besh and for the entertainment…Vanessa Williams!
What a treat!
The event was spectacular!
As soon as you entered, there was a beautiful table set with gift bags of m&ms with your name on it. On the other side of the tag was the name of a street in New Orleans. NS and I were on Frenchman St. Later on, we learned that, the street was actually the table where we would be seated.
Cocktails were flowing in typical NOLA fashion (food and drinks everywhere) and the Grammy-award winning Rebirth Brass Band kept everyone grooving. I usually take pics of the food but those hors d’oeuvres didn’t stand a chance.
NS was in heaven as they were serving Glenfiddich 21-year-old Scotch. I even imbibed a cocktail or two.
I didn’t get the chance to take pics of too many celebrities. I did catch Neil Patrick Harris walking in though,
and I met Chef John Besh as he was walking around the room, talking to everyone. He is such a sweet man!
I eye-spyed Chef Arron Sanchez (my husband in my next life) walking around and well, there was no way I was letting that moment of opportunity get away.
After cocktails, we were all ushered into the dining area.
Unfortunately, I have no pic of the desert, but it was delicious! As soon as the wait staff began to bring out the deserts, Vanessa Williams hit the stage.
She looks incredible and her voice is flawless!
That woman can SANG!
Her daughter Jillian was also there as one of the background singers. I was floored by Vanessa’s performance. I always knew she had a beautiful voice, but I had no idea that she would put on such a great show.
For her last act, she changed her outfit and then sang her hit ‘Work To Do.’
She put a spin on it and did a Salsa that would put these young’uns to shame!
Way to go Vanessa! If you ever hit the road, count me there!
The city is really being hammered with festivities. We began with a week-end of parades, followed by the Super Bowl and now we’re back to parading with the Krewe of Druids and the Mystic Krewe of Nyx kicking it off Wednesday night.
I wouldn’t change it for anything.
The good times are rolling in full force,
and everything has been much better
The Vieux Carré Graffiti Abatement Program, a donation-funded grassroots effort, needs your time and energy this Saturday, January 12, 2013! Please pitch in and support this fun and satisfying event — you’ll see the results of your effort immediately!
From the press release regarding this volunteering opportunity:
WHAT: Volunteer Graffiti Cleanup
WHEN: Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
WHERE: French Quarter, NOPD 8th District Police Station, 334 Royal Street
For those passionate about making the French Quarter graffiti-free, please sign up and be a part of this fun and worthwhile event! There are opportunities to serve as a group leader, as well as hands-on tasks to participate. With the tools and instructions in hand, volunteers spread out through the Quarter and remove as many graffiti marks as possible. Volunteers receive a work t-shirt (while supplies last), all cleaning products and tools for the cleanup, and are treated post clean-up French Quarter lunch!
With the upcoming major public events, the French Quarter Business Association and VC-GAP invite individuals and groups to volunteer on Saturday, January 12, 2013 to help rid public spaces of unsightly graffiti. The clean-up will begin with check in at 9:00 AM in the courtyard of the New Orleans Police Department’s 8th District, 334 Royal Street.
The French Quarter Business Association (FQBA), along with other prominent French Quarter groups, implemented a French Quarter initiative named Vieux Carré Graffiti Abatement Program, or VC-GAP, in the summer of 2010. VC-GAP hopes to eradicate the structures in the French Quarter of the illegal graffiti.
Graffiti is a real community issue that businesses, activists, residents, and volunteers are willing to face head on. Please join VC-GAP in the fight against illegal graffiti and the eradication campaign!
To volunteer or donate contact the FQBA office at 504-309-1423 or email email@example.com
For more information, please visit our website: www.fqba.org. Donations to the effort are also graciously appreciated. Everyone can help!
Via the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans (MACCNO):
On 11/1/12, Councilmember Kristen Gisleson Palmer introduced two ordinances regarding activity in Jackson Square. These ordinances have been drafted with the support of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration.
In summary, the first ordinance would ban anyone from stopping, standing or loitering in Jackson Square between the hours of 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM. The punishment for loitering would be a “fine not exceeding $500 fine and/or imprisonment up to six months.”
The second ordinance states that only persons holding “A” permits or “B” permits may conduct business in Jackson Square. This is consistent with the current existing ordinance. “A” and “B” permits are for visual artists. Street musicians are not required to have permits and no such permits currently exist. However, what is different is the punishment for violating the terms of the permit. The existing ordinance states that the punishment for violating the terms of the permit is having the permit revoked. However, the new ordinance proposes a punishment of a “fine not exceeding $500 fine and/or imprisonment up to six months.”
The very nature of enforcing a punishment that is not limited to revoking a permit could mean that there are serious repercussions for anyone conducting business in Jackson Square that does not have a “A” and “B” permit. We are very concerned about the potential for the criminalization of street musicians, performers, and tarot card readers.
The highlighted sections are revisions to the existing ordinances: Proposed Jackson Square Ordinances
MACCNO is working to secure a meeting with Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer’s office ASAP to raise our concerns. We encourage you to contact her office to raise your concerns:
Mary Cunningham, Director, Constituent Services
If you do contact Councilwoman Palmer’s office, please remember to also thank the councilwoman for supporting Siberia in securing their permit for live music and ask her to continue supporting live music.
City Council’s Government Affairs Committee will be voting on the ordinances on Monday, 12/3/12.
Please spread the word about these proposed ordinances and attend our next meeting on Wednesday, November 28th at Noon, at Kermit’s Tremé Speakeasy, 1535 Basin St. At this meeting we will be having a teach-in and will be updating the group on the outcome of our meeting with Councilwoman Palmer’s office and presenting a proposed plan of action. Please be on the look out for further action plans!
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(For additional information, please see Jackson Square needs maintenance and patrolling, not superficial ordinances.)
Update 11/29/12 – The Governmental Affairs Committee is presently tentatively scheduled to meet at 10:00 AM on Monday, December 3, 2012, at City Hall’s City Council Chambers, 1300 Perdido Street. It is believed at this time that the two ordinances regarding Jackson Square will be discussed and considered at this meeting. Voting regarding these ordinances could occur at any subsequent City Council Regular Meeting; the next is scheduled for Thursday, December 6, 2012. For additional information, please see the New Orleans City Council Calendar.
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