New Orleans Jazz & Heritage CenterNew Orleans, LA
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is converting the 19th century building next door to its offices into a performance hall, music school, and community center. The renovated building will mix the best of old and new: the front half’s structure, façade and interior details will be preserved while the back half will be rebuilt from the ground up into a modern, elegant performance space.
Jazz & Heritage Foundation Director of Development Marc Barnes recently attended the ArtPlace Creative Placemaking Summit in Miami, FL to share his experiences with the capital project and to gain insight into creative placemaking from an assortment of experts in the field. Here’s what he had to say about the summit.
ArtPlace: What ideas did you gain or lessons did you learn from the Creative Placemaking Summit that you plan to apply to your initiative?
Barnes: The ArtPlace Summit was an extraordinary opportunity to gain renewed insight on the entire concept of Creative Placemaking. We discussed everything from what does “Creative Placemaking” mean to how can we best apply it to our communities for the good of artists everywhere.
One of the main lessons I took away from the summit is that we need to be more engaged with our policy makers. There are many issues that impact the lives of artists that are decided by city, state and federal governments. As an organization, we need to be there to advocate for the artists’ needs. We also need to take the artists to the table with us so that they can have a stake in the game. They are, ultimately, the people who make the place and their voices should be heard. We have to play a role in making that happen.
One of the more surprising lessons learned through a conversation with ArtPlace Director Carol Coletta was the perception of a lack of collaboration among arts organizations in New Orleans. We acknowledge that there are a lot of organizations forming, many of which have similar missions, goals and desired outcomes. There has not been a total community effort to ensure that all of the artists’ needs are being met.
To remedy this, our Executive Director Don Marshall is planning to lead an effort to bring all of the New Orleans area ArtPlace grantees and finalists together to discuss possible collaborations and how to increase the impact of our ArtPlace funding. We believe that the new collaborations that will come from this will not only attract additional funders to New Orleans, but it will exponentially increase the quality and quantity of services delivered to our artists.