Wendell Pierce talks COVID-19, “Jack Ryan,” “Burning Cane,” and WBOK in interview with Kristine Froeba
New Orleans native, “Treme” and “The Wire” actor, Wendell Pierce is coming off of one of the most exciting periods of his career. And although COVID-19 has created a lull in almost everyone’s life and career, Pierce seems to be as visible as ever, both on the ground in New Orleans and on our collective streaming services. It is also Pierce’s instantly recognizable, dulcet tone that narrates the new Popeye’s NOLA Strong campaign released last week. It’s a video that caused more than a few locals’ eyes to well up. When the restaurant chain created its NOLA Strong family meal box, directing all profits to benefit the non-profit Second Harvest Food Bank, they called on Pierce.
The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University has canceled its inaugural event for 2020, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and adherence to university protocol. Tickets purchased for keynote addresses with John Grisham, Michael Lewis and Malcolm Gladwell will be fully refunded within 10 business days. The book festival had planned to run March 19-21, and festival organizers estimated around 30,000 visitors would attend the three-day event on Tulane’s uptown campus. However, the top priority for the festival organizers is that of the health and safety of the general public, authors, volunteers and Tulane’s faculty, staff and students. On Wednesday afternoon, Tulane University announced it would reduce the concentration of people on campus by conducting classes online beginning March 23 and through the end of the semester, reducing the number of gatherings and eliminating non-essential travel.
By Christian Willbern, Loyola Student News Service
While sitting in her hotel room complaining about the WiFi in Metz, France, Marthe Cohn scrunches her nose and sticks her tongue out at the camera, conveying how at the age of 98, the World War II spy is still a tour de force. Cohn stars in “Chichinette: The Accidental Spy,” a documentary portraying the tiny-but-mighty woman’s extraordinary battle against the Nazi regime during World War II. This was just one of several films exhibited during the New Orleans Film Society’s 23rd French Film Festival. The New Orleans French Film Festival screened 21 contemporary and classic francophone films between Feb. 27 and March 4 at the Prytania Theatre.
Food historian, educator, and author Zella Palmer will present her recently published “Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard, 1869-2019” this Sunday, March 8. Using recipes and research, Palmer’s book documents the African American culinary history of New Orleans through the lens of Dillard University. She will be signing copies of her work for 2 p.m. at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. The event page describes the collection as follows:
This cookbook shares over eighty years of international and indigenous New Orleans Creole recipes collected from the community, friends of the university, campus faculty, staff, and students, providing readers with a glimpse into the rich food culture of African-Americans in New Orleans. Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard is dedicated to Dillard University alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and family who enjoyed past campus festivals, dinners, picnics, Monday red beans and rice with fried chicken, and Friday fish frys in Kearny Dining.
St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church will present its 26th annual Jazz Service, an Uptown Mardi Gras tradition led by Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band, at 9 a.m. on Sunday (Feb. 23). Dr. White, renowned New Orleans clarinetist, and the Original Liberty Jazz Band have led the Jazz Service since it began in 1994. The Jazz Service always packs the church on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday as it presents a festival of hymns and spirituals in the New Orleans jazz style.
The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University announced today the daily lineups of more than 100 celebrated and rising authors for its inaugural weekend, March 19-21 on Tulane University’s Uptown campus. The book festival is free and open to the public with the exception of three keynote author sessions, which include a pair of opening-night events on Thursday, March 19, with “Michael Lewis in Conversation with Sean Tuohy,” from 5 to 6 p.m., and “A Conversation with John Grisham,” from 6 to 7 p.m. The author session on Saturday, March 20, will feature “Malcolm Gladwell in Conversation with Michael Lynton, Chairman of Snap Inc.,” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
General admission tickets for Thursday and Saturday keynote events are $10 each. Students will be admitted free with a valid identification card. Click here to purchase tickets. All events will take place on Tulane’s Uptown campus, including the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, McAlister Auditorium, Freeman Auditorium, Dixon Hall, Rogers Memorial Chapel and the Berger Family Lawn.
Writer Sarah Broom is from New Orleans, but not the part of New Orleans where she spoke on Tuesday (Feb. 4), the famed, oak-lined streets of Uptown. She’s from a yellow house on Wilson Avenue in New Orleans East. Her experience in that house — and what it says about New Orleans, the United States, and our relationship to our environment — is the subject of her debut book “The Yellow House: A Memoir.” It won the 2019 National Book Award for nonfiction. Broom was interviewed in Woldenberg Art Center on Tulane University’s Uptown campus by Atlantic staff writer Van Newkirk, another potent investigator of place and environment.
Tulane University’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library has acquired the complete archives of famed best-selling New Orleans author Anne Rice, thanks to a gift from Stuart Rose and the Stuart Rose Family Foundation. Born and raised in New Orleans — the setting of her most famous books — Rice is the author of 30 novels with more than 100 million copies sold, placing her among the most popular authors in recent American history. Rice’s work has included gothic and erotic fiction, as well as Christian literature, but she is best known for her novels in vampire and supernatural fiction. “That Tulane has provided a home for my papers is exciting and comforting,” said Rice, a former Garden District resident who grew up on St. Charles Avenue.
The Central City Library will open in its new location on Wednesday (Feb. 5) at 10 a.m.
The new branch library in the Allie Mae Williams Multi-Service Center promises to be larger and more accessible than the previous location in the Mahalia Jackson Center. The hours will expand at the new location to include Saturdays. The library will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It will have dedicated areas for children and teens and more public computers for the community to use.
Sarah M. Broom, a New Orleans native and winner of the 2019 National Book Award, will speak Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Tulane University as part of the “American Water and Actual Air” speaker series, which focuses on interpreting the environment across academic disciplines. Sponsored by the Tulane School of Liberal Arts’ Environmental Studies Program, the event will be in conversation format with Vann Newkirk II, a staff writer at The Atlantic. It will take place at 6 p.m. at Stone Auditorium at Woldenberg Art Center, beginning with a reception sponsored by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. It is free and open to the public.
New Orleans artist and international muralist Brandan “BMike” Odums will celebrate the opening of his latest exhibition, N̶O̶T̶ Supposed 2-Be Here, at Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane this Saturday, Jan. 18. This will be his first ever solo exhibition in a museum setting. Odums is most known for his large-scale artwork; he is the artist behind the murals on the Lafitte Greenway, Buddy Bolden on Rampart Street and parts of the Toledano Wall Mural. Much of his activist art lives inside Studio BE near his alma mater, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.