I have been in New Orleans for all of three days now and I have already visited and/or stumbled upon a host of awesome community and/or youth-focused arts organizations. (Note: please view the full list on my new “Directory of Organizations” page!)
I have to say, traveling in this manner (by planning my trip around visiting community-arts orgs) is by FAR the best method of tourism I’ve found. You really get to see the heart of the community by the ways in which they invest in the arts, and you get to see the type of artwork that really shows you who these people are.
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending an end-of-year showcase put on by several different school groups that operate under the umbrella of the Young Audiences program. Young Audiences does a number of things, but this particular program pays teaching artists living wages to go into schools and educate kids in their art form.
The event was held at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center (where I will be attending a women’s health class tonight – I have to go put on my workout clothes in a minute!) and it was AWESOME! There were easily 70-100 youth performing last night in all manner of performing arts, and the room was surrounded by their visual artwork as well. It was a true community event. I don’t have time to write more now, but please take a few minutes to view the video I made of the performances last night! Apologies for the sound quality – there were a LOT of people there.