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Live Fridays At Noon

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Jeanne's Take |October 15, 2021

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Dear Crosstowners,

     October! We are rocking! Prospect 5 is opening this weekend, beginning a run of three weekends for a phased opening of art exhibitions all around town. CAC up first, Then New Orleans African American Museum, then Ogden and more. Go online to see the full program at prospectneworleans.org


   As has been true for every Prospect New Orleans since it began, it wakes us all up from the summer doldrums, and demonstrates the power of the cultural workers of our city. I use that term cultural workers deliberately since there is an increasing recognition of culture bearers, and artists of all disciplines as cultural workers in the cultural economy which is increasingly being recognized as key to our economic future, here in New Orleans, but also around the world. And that is the issue! We need to do so much more to grow our creative economy in order to not let other cities out compete us as cultural centers, and to make it possible for our creatives to fulfil their potential here without moving to other markets.


   You have only to read  the Happy Birthday full page ad for Wynton Marsallis placed in the New York Times by Jazz at Lincoln Center to see what an artist can achieve in a city like New York with its financial resources and commitment to the arts. Then compare that with the editorial in The Advocate that ran on the same day about a starving artist in New Orleans who lived in flop houses as he poured his heart into more than 500 paintings. The difference is stark. Wynton's achievements are amazing. But would they have happened in New Orleans? 


   Prospect is helping, bringing in arts focused visitors. And all of our cultural organizations, collaboratives, and the Mayor's Office of Cultural Economy are working it! But we have a long way to go.


   Jason Berry's film, City of a Million Dreams builds on his book by the same name to trace the origins of our unique culture, with a spotlight on our jazz funerals, second lines and Congo Square cultural history. It was screened for the first time this week, but will also kick off the upcoming New Orleans Film Festival, a placement of honor. His co-producers Simonette Berry and Timothy Watson join us on the show this Friday at noon on WBOK 1230 AM to share what they learned about our unique history while working on the film.


   Prospect 5 artist Ron Bechet also joins us to share his excitement to be in that number as a P5 artist, and his understanding of how important Prospect New Orleans has been for us all. Bechet’s work, abstract yet strongly suggestive of the spiritual thread in nature. His role is not only as an artist but also a mentor to hundreds of students of his at Xavier University. 


   I can't resist giving my husband Robert Tannen a shout out for his REDART exhibition in our Esplanade Avenue jungle/garden filled with Chinese Fan Palms, and now everyday consumer items doused in Chinese Red to warn of the climatic implications of consumerism, and the dominance ofChinese manufacturing that once employed Americans in factories here. As a new slogan says, "American products are not in waiting ships". REDART opens on the same day as the opening of the Prospect exhibition at the New Orleans African American Museum, just a few blocks away. Both are open from 11-4. 


   Finally, just down the road by a little over twenty minutes from the French Quarter is what started as a pop up for Prospect 3, but has continued without stop at Crevasse 22 I River House including a sculpture garden and art center. It’s  sited in a bucolic setting of live oak trees, migrating birds, and a pond created by a natural crevasse, or breach in the levee in 1922 and themed on the beauty and risks of nature. Now  a special exhibition for Prospect documents historic, harmful projects that citizens fear may be repeated with a new containerized shipping facility planned by the Port of New Orleans in the middle of the parish.


     Also with a kinder and gentler exhibition of Earth-Works, or ceramic art, Crevasse 22 | River House is a must see for Prospect 5.


     Read more about all below, but be sure to tune in to hear what the cultural workers themselves have to say about our exploding October at noon on Friday on WBOK 1230 AM,

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Jeanne Nathan

Host and Executive Producer 

P.S. You will notice some format changes to this issue of 

N.E.W.S. We are in the mood to consider some changes to format, content, and distribution. So over the next few months, we may be trying out some ideas. We would love to hear your thoughts! We are aiming to finalize them for the New Year. You can send your suggestions and comments to us at crosstownconvo@gmail.com. Thank you!

Newsletter Sections

In Depth - Friday's Guests - In Other News - It's Your Body

It's Your Land - Art Works - Gimme Creative Shelter

Coming Attractions - Crosstown Scenes

In Depth

RedArt on Esplanade and Art about Port of New Orleans Plans for St. Bernard

Highlight New Orleans Based Exhibitions 

During Prospect 5

New Orleans, LA 10.20.21 The Prospect 5 citywide art festival opens with art exhibits featuring artists from around the world. New Orleans artists and arts organizations work to match P5’s exciting new work with important locally based arts exhibitions to emphasize the robust arts scene that has been growing here.


Images of RedArt on Esplanade

Jason Berry's 'City of a Million Dreams' Documentary Illuminates New Orleans Jazz Funerals

OCT 13, 2021

New Orleans journalist, author and documentarian Jason Berry spent much of his recent trip to the Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis commiserating. For years, he labored to bring “City of a Million Dreams,” his lyrical study of New Orleans’ jazz funeral traditions, to life, struggling with funding challenges, a disastrous hurricane and the death of a main character.

READ MORE or visit the official website for more information.

Credit: Keith Spera, The Advocate

Wynton Marsalis Publically Ackowledged on his 60th Birthday

DEAR WYNTON, On this joyous occasion of your 60th birthday, we stand together to applaud and thank you for your tireless work and inestimable contributions, some of which we would like to acknowledge below....


Credit: Jazz at Lincoln Center

Lonely Figure's Artistic Work Connected With Wider Audience

Olin John “Leroy” Evans’ everyday existence was marginalized, lonely. That was easy to know. Evans, 71, died alone last month in his central Lafayette apartment, a curiosity to those who for years watched him ride his bicycle on Jefferson Street...


Credit: Nola.com


Simonette Berry

Simonette Berry is a filmmaker, artist, and writer born and raised in New Orleans. She is Co-producer and Production Designer on the new documentary, City of a Million Dreams, which chronicles the history of jazz music in New Orleans through the eyes of two residents. Simonette worked as a scenic artist and designer on film sets for many years before joining her father Jason Berry to make this film, and she now represents below-the-line workers on film sets in Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama as the Assistant Business Agent and Chair of the Board of Trustees for I.A.T.S.E. Local 478.  

Timothy Watson

Tim Watson is a documentary film editor, writer, and producer in New Orleans.

Ron Bechet

Ron is a visual artist who works in mediums of painting and drawing, was born in New Orleans, and is Victor H. Labat Endowed Professor of Art at Xavier University since 1998. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. "For My Fathers" is part of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) permanent contemporary collection.

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From the Myrtle Banks Building in Central City, to the 9th Ward and Crevasse 22 | River House downriver in Poydras, Louisiana, CANO's  Creative Spaces  support the work of artists in New Orleans' underserved. communities.

CANO is now Booking Unique Insider Cultural Tours of New Orleans' Artist Spaces, Private Collections, and Art Venues


Call 504.218.4807 

for more information


See more on Etsy

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(504) 271-8421 

Visit here

In Other News

Labor Flexes Its Muscle as Leverage Tips From Employers to Workers

October 16, 2021

Workers are saying enough is enough.

And many of them are either hitting the picket lines or quitting their jobs as a result.

The changing dynamics of the US labor market, which has put employees rather than employers in the driver's seat in a way not seen for decades, is allowing unions to flex their muscle.

Already on strike are 10,000 workers at John Deere (DE), who hit the picket lines early Thursday after rejecting a tentative deal which would have improved wages and benefits. They joined 1,400 strikers at Kellogg (K) who are upset with seven-day work weeks and a two-tier retirement system. Other unions are preparing for walkouts of their own.


Credit: Chris Isidore, CNN Business

A Record Number of Americans are Quitting Their Jobs. Here’s How They Make Money After they Quit.

Getting by in ‘The Great Resignation’: How people who quit or retired are making ends meet. Many are counting on their savings and Social Security.

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In discussing the surge of workers quitting or retiring during the coronavirus pandemic, one question that I keep hearing, and that I asked last week, is: How are people who abruptly quit or retired from their jobs getting by financially?

Most of the departing workers I heard from had also asked themselves that question, but they had decided that they could more easily give up their paychecks than their well-being.


Credit: Karla L. Miller, The Washington Post

As Manchin Blocks Climate Plan,

His State Can’t Hold Back Floods

As the senator thwarts Democrats’ major push to reduce warming, new data shows West Virginia is more exposed to worsening floods than anywhere

else in the country.

The outdated water system in Rowlesburg, W.Va., releases raw sewage into the Cheat River during heavy storms. “It’s a lousy system that is extra lousy when there’s any rain,” the town’s mayor said.

In Senator Joe Manchin’s hometown, a flood-prone hamlet of about 200 homes that hugs a curve on a shallow creek, the rain is getting worse.

Those storms swell the river, called Buffalo Creek, inundating homes along its banks. They burst the streams that spill down the hills on either side of this former coal-mining town, pushing water into basements. They saturate the ground, seeping into Farmington’s aging pipes and overwhelming its sewage treatment system.

Climate change is warming the air, allowing it to hold more moisture, which causes more frequent and intense rainfall. And no state in the contiguous United States is more exposed to flood damage than West Virginia, according to data released last week.


Credit: Christopher Flavelle, NYTimes (photography by Erin Schaff)

On July 14, 1970, members of the Young Lords occupied Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx — known locally as the “Butcher Shop.” A group of activists, many of them in their late teens and 20s, barricaded themselves inside the facility, demanding safer and more accessible health care for the community.

Originally a Chicago-based street gang, the Young Lords turned to community activism, inspired by the Black Panthers and by student movements in Puerto Rico. A Young Lords chapter in New York soon formed, agitating for community control of institutions and land, as well as self-determination for Puerto Rico. Their tactics included direct action and occupations that highlighted institutional failures.


Credit: Emma Francis-Snyder, NYTimes

Jeff Bezos's Viral Tweet Is Only 38 Words, But It Teaches a Master Class in How to Handle Criticism

The Amazon founder's tweet shows how to deal with criticism, using an emotionally intelligent approach.

Oct. 11, 2021

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"Listen and be open, but don’t let anybody tell you who you are. This was just one of the many stories telling us all the ways we were going to fail. Today, Amazon is one of the world’s most successful companies and has revolutionized two entirely different industries." - @JeffBezos, Twitter

Listen and be open, but don't let anybody tell you who you are.

At the time of publishing, Bezos's tweet had already garnered thousands of retweets and tens of thousands of likes. 

It's simple advice, but it communicates a very emotionally intelligent and nuanced perspective--one that can help you to reap the benefits of criticism, without letting it define you.


Credit: Justin Bariso, Inc.

It's Your Land

Louisiana Parishes Face Some of Highest Flood Risk of any U.S. Counties, New Study Says

Oct. 18, 2021

Flooding in French Settlement, LA, on Thursday Sept. 2, 2021

Photo by Advocate Staff Member, Bill Feig

It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been caught in a sudden downpour in New Orleans, Lake Charles or many points between.

A new analysis laying out flood risks nationwide puts a brace of Louisiana parishes at the top of the list, highlighting a problem only expected to worsen as climate change accelerates. State officials say the study is further evidence of the need for flood mitigation and coastal protection projects, but, as always, financing them will continue to be a struggle.

It takes nothing even close to a hurricane to cause devastating flooding in the former swamp that makes up southern Louisiana, and the new study by the New York-based First Street Foundation makes clear what residents of the state and local government officials have long known through experience.


Credit: Mike Smith, The Advocate

Art Works

Go See These Black Operas —

Several Times

Oct. 19, 2021

In one of my first newsletters, I discussed an opera about Black people written by white men and suggested that we attend, as well, to operas written by Black people. I’ve experienced two of them lately. They, like “Blues Opera,” put me in mind of our current discussion about cultural appropriation — but not in the way some might think.

I refer to Terence Blanchard’s music for the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere piece of the season, the new “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” and “Highway 1, U.S.A.” by William Grant Still — the “dean” of Black classical composers — which the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis streamed until a few weeks ago.

Both operas are couched in the lush, and even dense, language of 20th-century modern opera. With busy, intricate scoring for a classical orchestra, the harmonic language in both pieces takes us, of course, far beyond the ordinary I-IV-V kinds of progressions of popular song, and beyond that, both challenge their audiences by withholding the easy pleasures of celebrated, hummable arias such as “La donna è mobile” from “Rigoletto.”


Credit: John McWhorter, NYTimes

Martin Margiela Is Back

The influential designer walked away from fashion in 2009, but he didn’t stop creating. Here’s a first look at his new career.

Oct. 19, 2021

“Red Nails,” 2019. Credit... Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times

More than 13 years after leaving fashion behind, Martin Margiela, the elusive and highly influential Belgian designer who changed how we dressed in the 1990s, is back. But not as part of a nostalgia-driven trend wave. As an artist.

On Oct. 20, Mr. Margiela’s debut solo show, which is untitled, opens at Lafayette Anticipations — Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Like the Margiela clothes, which deconstructed notions of the suit and beauty through unconventional materials and approaches, the exhibition creates a sense of wonder around the banal through some 40 sculptures, collages, paintings, installations and films. It is almost as though Mr. Margiela views the world through the lens of a photographic negative, highlighting the details most of us never see and demanding they be reconsidered.


Credit: Liam Freeman, NYTimes; Style

It's Your Body

The Unvaccinated May Not Be

Who You Think

Oct. 15, 2021

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Back when a viral pandemic killing millions around the world was just the plot of a scary movie, the film “Contagion” was lauded for how accurately it depicted the way such an outbreak would occur.

On the science of viral contagion, it was quite sharp, clearly explaining things like R0 (the measure of how widely one infection could spread to others, on average).

Of the human dimension of contagion, it did not prove as prescient. In the movie, fearful nurses walked off the job at the start of the pandemic, which begins to end as soon as vaccines become available, with people lining up eagerly for their turn.

The opposite happened in real life. Despite enormous personal risk, almost all health care workers stayed on the job in the first months of the Covid pandemic. Despite vaccines being widely available since spring in the United States, tens of thousands of people are dying every month because they chose not to be inoculated


Credit: Zeynep Tufekci, NYTimes

What Does the Aspirin News Mean for Me?

New recommendations about aspirin, heart health and colon cancer have left many people confused. Here’s what you need to know.

For years, many doctors have recommended that people in their 50s start taking a low-dose aspirin every day to protect heart health and, more recently, to prevent colon cancer. So it was a shock this week when an independent panel made recommendations to curb aspirin use.

But don’t throw out your aspirin bottle just yet.


Tara Parker-Pope, NYTimes

Is Coffee Good for You?

Yes! But it depends on the kind of coffee and the quantity.

Updated June 14, 2021

For years, coffee was believed to be a possible carcinogen, but the 2015 Dietary Guidelines helped to change perception. For the first time, moderate coffee drinking was included as part of a healthy diet. When researchers controlled for lifestyle factors, like how many heavy coffee drinkers also smoked, the data tipped in coffee’s favor.

A large 2017 review on coffee consumption and human health in the British Medical Journal also found that most of the time, coffee was associated with a benefit, rather than a harm. In examining more than 200 reviews of previous studies, the authors observed that moderate coffee drinkers had less cardiovascular disease, and premature death from all causes, including heart attacks and stroke, than those skipping the beverage.


Credit: Dawn MacKeen, NYTimes

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The Case for File Cabinets

Oct. 16, 2021

Sophia Foster-Dimino

Remember filing cabinets? Those lumbering, clattering towers of drawers stuffed full of Pendaflex folders? They were once vital to every workplace, as much a part of the landscape as desks and chairs. There was always a warren of them in a back room somewhere, and no matter what your eventual profession, if you ever served time as an intern, an executive assistant, a clerk or a catalog manager, you filed. You filed and filed until your thumbs wore down. You’d painstakingly recenter those metal rods, always prone to slipping free; you’d occasionally handwrite a label onto the perforated fragment of paper nested inside each plastic tab, folding it just so and inserting it, only to see it worm out the other end. And only after you’d climbed a few rungs on the corporate ladder could you let all this filing go to someone else, another rung down.


Credit: Pamela Paul, NYTimes

The Best Laptops

September 10, 2021

Smartphones and tablets may have taken over much of people’s screen time, but there’s still a need for a real computer sometimes—and for most people, that means a laptop. For school and office work and tasks like creating spreadsheets and editing video, there’s no good substitute for a decent keyboard and a big screen. But exactly which laptop you should get depends on how often you’ll use it, what you’ll use it for, and (of course) how much money you can afford to spend on it.

We regularly test the most promising laptops, from sleek ultrabooks to cheap Chromebooks to massive gaming laptops and beyond. Here are the best models you can buy in every category, along with advice on how to choose which type of laptop is right for you.


Credit: Kimber Streams and Andrew Cunningham, Wirecutter

Coming Attractions

Here are the latest opportunities to get involved in your New Orleans community!

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Krewe of BOO!

Returns this Fall

On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a statement allowing the annual Krewe of BOO! Halloween Parade to, once again, roll through New Orleans. 

For more information on the Krewe of BOO! festivities, please visit the official website

Prospect New Orleans Announces Prospect.5 Venue List and Exhibition Opening Timeline

Venue partners include New Orleans African American Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Contemporary Arts Center, Happyland Theater,

and more.

Click here to learn more.

Tipitina's Action-Packed October continues!

If you are a lover of live music and good company, then you can't miss these performances!

Visit the Tipitina's website to see their full schedule and to purchase tickets.

Come out on Thursday, October 28th for Crafts & Drafts at ...

Port Orleans Brewing Company! This FREE event is open to families and kids of all ages and will take place between 4-7pm. 

Register Here

Family Arts Fall Festival!

Saturday, October 23 | 11a-1p

Ages 5-12 | FREE

Click Here to Register

Crosstown Scenes

The Mayor's Office of Cultural Economy and Arts Council of New Orleans invited families to City Park for a great arts market, with music and food.

N.E.W.S. From Crosstown Conversations

Executive Editor: Jeanne Nathan

Editor: Anna Levy



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