Nov 112019
 

A child thanks a Kingsley House veteran at Friday’s ceremony. (courtesy of Kingsley House)

from Kingsley House

Kingsley House honored its veterans on Nov. 8 with a special celebratory ceremony that commenced with the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, a gift presentation by the Kingsley House children and remarks from guest speaker, William F. Ryan, a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer.

Most of the veterans honored are enrolled in the Kingsley Adult Day Care program on the Patrick F. Taylor campus, which provides effective day care in a community setting for at-risk seniors, medically fragile adults and veterans. Continue reading »

Nov 112019
 

Court Watch NOLA supporters Flozell Daniels Jr., Simone Levine, Pres Kabacoff and Eric Holtzman talk about the organization’s success. (Danae Columbus)

The volunteers at Court Watch NOLA are a well-oiled data collection machine that have made a significant impact on the operations of the Orleans Parish criminal court system for more than a decade. “We are a basic exercise in democracy,” said director Simone Levine. Through the information skilled volunteers collect, the agency publishes reports “that spur dialogue and bring much needed transparency and accountability to the courts.” Continue reading »

Nov 092019
 

King Ester, directed by Dui Jarrod, is the story of a black trans woman in Uptown New Orleans on the week prior to Hurricane Katrina. (via kingester.com)

The New Orleans Film Festival turned 30 this year, and their diversity in films and filmmakers is a point that they stress. This year, they screened “232 visionary, thought-provoking films that represent a wealth of perspectives,” 26% of which were Louisiana-made and 56% directed by people of color. One series based in Uptown New Orleans made its debut on the NOFF big screen and online simultaneously.

“King Ester”—directed by Dui Jarrod and presented by Issa Rae’s ColorCreative production company—takes the viewer into the world of a black trans woman right before natural disaster.  Continue reading »

Oct 262019
 

Self portrait of photographer Arthur P. BedouXavier University of Louisiana, in partnership with The Louisiana Creole Research Association, will celebrate the opening of “Picturing Creole New Orleans: The Photography of Arthur P. Bedou” on Saturday, Oct. 26.

The exhibition is part of LA Creole’s 15th annual conference, and it will feature collected photographs by the heralded New Orleans native who was personal photographer to Booker T. Washington.

“The purpose of the conference is to showcase Creole life in New Orleans in the early 20th century through the lens of Mr. Bedou,” conference organizers said. Continue reading »

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Oct 182019
 
Spy Bow Dow by Carl Harrison, Jr.

Spy Boy Dow Edwards is the subject of director Carl Harrison Jr.’s latest film, premiering at New Orleans Film Festival tonight. (via NOFF)

Dow Michael Edwards — a lawyer from Uptown New Orleans who grew up loving the Black Masking Indian culture — is headed for a big screen debut in the short film “Spy Boy Dow.” The film directed by Carl Harrison Jr. follows Edwards’ suit-making process in preparation for Mardi Gras Day.

This is Harrison’s second project to be accepted into the New Orleans Film Festival in three years, and it premieres at The Broad Theater tonight (Oct. 18).

The birth of Spy Boy Dow

“The Spy Boy is first in the front… he is ahead looking for trouble. Only a chosen few can be Spy Boy. It’s his job to send a signal to First Flag when he sees other Indians. First Flag signals back down the line to Big Chief. Big Chief has a stick that controls the Indians. When he hits the ground with the stick, they better get down and bow to the Chief.” – the late Big Chief Larry Bannock of Gert Town’s Golden Star Hunters, (via mardigrasneworleans.com)

Edwards is a partner at the Irwin, Fritchie, Urquhart & Moore law firm, and spy boy for the Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indian tribe. His interest was sparked as a child when watching Indians with his family on Mardi Gras Day. He admired the tradition and culture from afar until he found a way in. Continue reading »

Oct 012019
 
Sonya Brown of NOLA Vegan Café

Sonya Brown, chef at NOLA Vegan Café, at work in her kitchen. (Tyree Worthy, UptownMessenger.com)

At the corner of Leonidas and Spruce sits the Community Commitment Education Center, a public space for neighborhood engagement, summer programs for children, and now a plant-based restaurant. Formerly Stella’s Coffee House, the kitchen space at 1923 Leonidas St. is now officially home to NOLA Vegan Café, which opens today, Oct. 1.

The café is the work of Uptown’s Sonya Brown, a social worker and chef known for her vegan popups. Earlier this year, she met Nicole Bouie, CEO and director of the center, who also has a social work background. Continue reading »

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Sep 232019
 

In the third part of our ten-essay series by parents of students at public schools Uptown, Celeste Sparks writes about her children’s experience at Andrew H. Wilson Charter School. Uptown, like New Orleans as a whole, has many public school options for families—from college preparatory schools to three different language immersion programs, from a Montessori program to a technology career pathway school. In this series, we hear from parents themselves on why their child’s school is right for them.

Part of the Family: Why My Children and I Love Andrew H. Wilson Charter School

By Celeste Sparks, Parent

I have three children and I love them so much. Trinity, the oldest, is in fourth grade. She’s intelligent, aware, and doesn’t miss a beat. She’s so curious about what’s going on in the world and wants to know more. Travis is in third grade; he is also very smart. He is in the gifted program and is always so excited and eager to learn. He always has a book in his hand and is the first one ready for school each morning. Treydon, my youngest, is in Pre-K. He loves school, too. He’s already learned his letters, sounds and numbers. Now he is ready to learn to read! Continue reading »

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Sep 162019
 

LaToya Cantrell and Felicia Kahn at the opening of the Hillary Clinton headquarters in the 2016 campaign. Mayor Cantrell will speak at the awards dinner honoring Kahn. (Danae Columbus, UptownMessenger.com)

The New Orleans Coalition is holding the Felicia Kahn Citizenship Award Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 26, to honor the legacy of political activist Felicia Schornstein Kahn, who died June 21, 2018, at the age of 91.

Kahn fought long and hard for equal rights, civil rights and the Democratic Party. At age 90, she was the second-oldest delegate to the Democratic National Convention, her 10th convention. Continue reading »

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Sep 142019
 

The Patrick Taylor statue is located in the Lower Garden District. (courtesy of Kingsley House)

Kingsley House has unveiled a new sculpture, “Pointing the Way to a Better Future,” in commemoration of the late New Orleans philanthropist, Patrick F. Taylor.

Taylor pushed for the Lower Garden District agency’s expansion before his death in 2004, and whose foundation was a significant donor to its newest facility. The dedication ceremony on Friday included remarks from Phyllis Taylor, widow of Patrick F. Taylor, representatives from the Mayor’s Office and City Council, before the statue was unveiled by Kingsley House children. Continue reading »

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Sep 122019
 

The PRC exhibit at 923 Tchoupitoulas St. shows the lifestyle Pontchartrain Park residents enjoyed in the 1950s and ’60s. (Danae Columbus)

The Preservation Resource Center opens a new exhibit tonight on the history of Pontchartrain Park, the city’s first suburban-style subdivision for middle-class and affluent African-American residents.

Featuring historic neighborhood ads and newspaper clippings, information about architectural style and neighborhood design, as well as incredible personal family photos and stories from some of Pontchartrain Park’s founding residents, the exhibit is being mounted as a celebration of a joint submission to the National Register of Historic Places. The PRC and the Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood Association collaborated on the application for designation. Continue reading »

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Sep 092019
 

In this second of our ten-essay series by parents of students at public schools Uptown, Anna Derby and Rodolfo Machirica write about their children’s experience at John W. Hoffman Early Learning Center. Uptown, like New Orleans as a whole, has many public school options for families—from college preparatory schools, to three different language immersion programs, to a Montessori program, to a technology career pathway school. In this series, we hear from parents themselves on why their child’s school is right for them.

Anna Derby & Rodolfo Machirica, parents

Diversity, Community, and Warmth at Hoffman

By Anna Derby & Rodolfo Machirica

We have two young children: Gabriel is three years old, and Elijah is four months. Both as educators and as parents, we care deeply about where we send our kids to school, and we know these early years matter. That’s why we send them both to John W. Hoffman Early Learning Center, which serves infants through pre-K4. Continue reading »

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Aug 302019
 

Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes

Ashé Cultural Arts Center’s board of directors, Efforts of Grace, has appointed Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes as the new executive director of Ashé. She will take her post Jan. 1, 2020, succeeding founding executive director Carol Bebelle, who will retire from the organization at the end of December.

Ecclesiastes was selected after a rigorous search, said board President Beverly Guillory Andry.  “Ms. Ecclesiastes comes to the organization with vast experience and knowledge in the field of culture and arts, as well as an understanding of its transformational power in the community,” Andry said. Continue reading »

Aug 262019
 

The Right School for CJ

By Christopher Dobney, Parent

In the first essay of this ten-part series by parents of students at public schools Uptown, Christopher Dobney writes about his son CJ’s time at Benjamin Franklin Elementary Mathematics & Science School. Uptown, like New Orleans as a whole, has a wealth of public school options for families – from college preparatory schools, to three different language immersion programs, to a Montessori program, to a technology career pathway school. In this series, we hear from parents themselves on why their child’s school is right for them.

Christopher Dobney and son CJ

Christopher and son CJ

 My son Christopher, or CJ, is eleven years old. He and I are close. We read together each evening, we play sports together, and it is wonderful to watch him learn and grow. CJ is bright, thoughtful, and athletic. He loves robotics, reading, technology, and playing soccer. I believe he deserves the best possible education, and we have been lucky enough that he’s received that through New Orleans public schools. This fall, he’s starting his sixth grade year at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, which he has attended since kindergarten. Continue reading »

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Aug 072019
 
Tiffany Netters, 504HealthNet, Healthy Hospitality Initiative

Tiffany Netters (center), Executive Director of 504HealthNet, speaks at the Healthy Hospitality Initiative launch event on Tuesday, August 6, alongside Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams (left) and District B Councilman Jay H. Banks (right). (photo by Justen Williams, 343 Media)

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC), in partnership with 504HealthNet, have launched a program to provide New Orleans hospitality workers access to high-quality, affordable health care at over 50 sites around the city.

The new Healthy Hospitality Initiative debuted on Tuesday, August 6, after tourism and health care agencies collaborated with hospitality workers over the past year to ensure the program addresses their needs. Continue reading »

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Jul 092019
 

Philippe Étienne, ambassador of France

The newly appointed ambassador of France to the United States, Philippe Étienne, has chosen Louisiana for his first field trip since his arrival at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C., on June 17.

During his July 15 visit to New Orleans, a Bastille Day reception will be held at the Résidence de France, 2406 Prytania St.

Continue reading »

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