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New Orleans Arts + Culture

There is an endless amount of arts and culture, music and history to discover in New Orleans.  Here are just a few ideas to inspire your next trip to New Orleans in  2015:

CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER NEW ORLEANS, located in the Warehouse District of New Orleans,  is a multidisciplinary arts center with curated exhibitions, performances and programs by local, regional, national, and international artists.  The 2014 lineup included powerhouse performances by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street BandAaron Neville and  Branford Marsalis.

“Since 2006, the CAC has awarded $350,000 in grants to individual New Orleans’ artists who were affected by Hurricane Katrina through the CAC Theatre Arts Fund and the SweetArts Katrina Fund. Offering creative outlets and opportunities, the CAC’s education department successfully engages over 10,000 children and adults annually, including those with special needs and those from economically deprived backgrounds.”

Coming to CAC |  MARCH 7, 2015:

 EN MAS’  s a pioneering exploration of the influences of Carnival on contemporary performance practices in the Caribbean, North America, and Europe.

JAZZ FEST is a music mecca for many.  They’ll be announcing the lineup of muscians in January, but start planning your trip to NOLA now!

JAZZ FEST 2015 | April 24-26, April 30-3, 2015

Make sure to check out the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation‘s  new state-of-the-art education and community center and  permanent home of the Heritage School of Music, the  George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center.

Find out more about Jazz Fest  and stay posted at FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM, YOU TUBE + TWITTER

 ARTS MARKET and  LUNA Fête may have just wrapped up, but you can find out more about The Arts Council New Orleans’  large-scale, open-air video and sound installation at their FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YOUTUBE, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST and VIMEO.  Definitely check out what the Arts Council is doing to integrate arts  into New Orleans’s public spaces through PERCENT FOR ART .

New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), is New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution.  Some must-see exhibitions:


PROSPECT.3: NOTES FOR NOW On view through

DEGAS’ LITTLE DANCER On view through March 1st, 2015.

and REPARATION :  an exhibition of 187 works by 180 New Orleans artists, young and old,  part of Luciano Benetton’s Imago Mundi collection.  On view through

One of the most inspiring initiatives that we are seeing in New Orleans since the hurricane,  nearly ten years ago, is MAKE IT RIGHT, founded in 2007 by Brad Pitt.  Learn more about what they are doing with CRADLE TO CRADLE homes, setting a new standard for GREEN BUILDING and design, and how they’ve collaborated with architects like  Gehry and Adjaye to rebuild and renew communities and to ensure that around the world, people are living in healthy communities and affordable, high-quality, environmentally sustainable homes.



The Maldives

Soneva Fushi and Jon Bowermaster launch ‘Learn to Swim’ Programme
May 2014

Maldives, May 2014:  The Learn To Swim programme is a joint initiative between Soneva Fushi, the leading sustainable resort in the Maldives, and ocean explorer and film maker Jon Bowermaster. The programme will take place from 25th May to 5th June 2014, with the aim of teaching 48 school children and their parents from the neighbouring Maldivian island, Eydhafushi, to swim and to understand and respect the marine ecosystem. Both parties intend for this project to subsequently persuade other resorts worldwide to implement similar Learn to Swim programmes in their local communities.

Soneva Fushi is sensitive to the difference in living standards between visiting tourists and local islanders in the Maldives, and of the fragility of the ecosystems both locals and tourism businesses depend on. Soneva Fushi and Eydhafushi are separated by just 700 metres of water, but most of the young local children in Eydhafushi rarely enter the water and many are unable to swim. Learning to swim will not only teach them a valuable life skill, but will also teach them about the extraordinary biological wealth of the coral reefs just a few metres offshore.

Soneva Fushi has pioneered a number of social and environmental programmes locally and globally that have impacted the travel industry, and has run a Learn to Swim programme with local communities for several years. At the recent SLOW LIFE Symposium, an annual event organised by the SLOW LIFE Foundation and sponsored by the Soneva Group, Jon Bowermaster and Federica Siena, Soneva Fushi’s marine biologist, proposed to expand the programme to significantly increase its outreach.

Jon Bowermaster, whose interests lie in the 3 billion people around the world whose lives depend on the sea, will equip the 48 children with a facemask and snorkel and will open their eyes to the oceanic wonders that surround their own island. In the process he aims to inspire a new generation of Maldivians to not just protect their endangered coral reefs, but to take control of its future.

Both Soneva Fushi and Jon Bowermaster will also work together to create a documentary film, available from September 2014, which will focus on teaching the local children to swim, while reflecting on the health of the ocean and coral reef in the Maldives. This video will be used as a compelling argument for resorts around the world to join Soneva Fushi and Jon Bowermaster in their cause.


logoOur work takes place in Sen Sok, a community of 16 villages and 9,000 individuals where water is notoriously hard to come across. This situation has severely limited the economic and social growth prospects of the 16 villages. Today, Community First Initiatives is working on an integrative approach to move the entire community out of poverty. By ameliorating access to water, health services, education, and training, we bring a comprehensive and holistic solution to the problems that create poverty. Thanks to our network of partners, Community First is now serving thousands of villagers through programs addressing the four essential areas of community development, which were developed in partnership between the villagers and our team. – See more at:

In 2014, Community First and Samatoa will be joining forces to develop and study the virtues of the plant in its aquatic environment, and how it can provide an all-organic and natural water filtration system. Today, you can visit this ancient craft being revived in Siem Reap City at the Lotus Farm by Samatoa, check them out onFacebook! – See more at: