Louisiana Orgs: Endymion, Prospect New Orleans, Shreveport Zombies, GNOF

GNOFToday's Louisiana Organization Buzz takes us to Shreveport, Mardi Gras, charitable awards, New Orleans Convention Center, Santas and more.



Here are press releases:  

Prospect New Orleans Announces Brooke Davis Anderson As New Executive Director And Announces Dates for Prospect.3 New Orleans

The Board of Directors of U.S. Biennial, Inc, the organizers of Prospect New Orleans, has announced the appointment of Brooke Davis Anderson as its new Executive Director, effective January 21, 2013. The Board has also announced that the third edition of the international contemporary art biennial, Prospect.3, curated by Artistic Director, Franklin Sirmans, will open to the public on October 25, 2014 with vernissage days October 23 and 24, 2014. It will be on view through January 25, 2015.


“The Board of Directors of U.S. Biennial, Inc. is thrilled to welcome Brooke Davis Anderson as its new Executive Director,” says Susan Brennan, Chair of the U.S. Biennial Board of Directors. “Brooke’s enthusiasm for promoting and preserving the cultural life of communities and her impressive track record as a dynamic curator, dedicated community leader, and talented administrator will be invaluable in leading our organization. We look forward to her working closely with Prospect.3 Artistic Director Franklin Sirmans to realize a spectacular show in 2014 and providing vision and leadership for the organization’s future growth and development.”


“It is with great excitement that I join the Prospect New Orleans team and take on this new role. I have admired Prospect since its inception in 2008, and I am delighted to be working with Franklin Sirmans on the third edition, Prospect.3,” says Brooke Davis Anderson. “I am also looking forward to working with Prospect’s many partners in New Orleans and beyond to realize the organization’s mission of bringing important contemporary art from around the world to the culturally-exceptional city of New Orleans.”


Most recently, Anderson was Deputy Director of Curatorial Planning at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) from 2010 to 2012, and Director and Curator at the Contemporary Center and the Henry Darger Study Center at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, from 1999 to 2010.


With the announcement of Brooke Davis Anderson as Executive Director, the dates of the third edition of the biennial, Prospect.3, have also been announced. The exhibition will run October 25, 2014 through January 25, 2015, with vernissage days October 23 and 24, 2014. Anderson will work with Franklin Sirmans, and curatorial advisors Rita Gonzalez and Christine Y. Kim, Associate Curators of Contemporary Art at LACMA, to produce Prospect.3. Presented at venues ranging from museums and other art institutions to unique New Orleans sites, Prospect.3 will showcase the work of approximately 50 artists, including many works developed specifically for the city of New Orleans and in collaboration with various community partners. Further details on Prospect.3 will be announced in 2013.


About Brooke Davis Anderson, Executive Director:

Most recently, Brooke Davis Anderson held the position of Deputy Director of Curatorial Planning at LACMA, where she worked across several departments to develop strong relationships with the community and curators. In this role, Anderson oversaw several major projects, including the Watts Towers Conservation and Community Initiative, and initiated a Mellon-funded pilot program, the "Curatorial Diversity Initiative" to change the demographics of museum professionals in American museums. From 1999 to 2010, Anderson was Director and Curator at The Contemporary Center and the Henry Darger Study Center at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, where she curated more than twenty exhibitions, authored four books and eighteen articles, and gave lectures to promote the museum’s collections and programs. Previous to these posts, Anderson was Director of the Diggs Gallery and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, at Winston Salem State University, in Winston Salem, North Carolina; Adjunct Instructor at Columbia University, New York, and City College of New York, New York; Guest Curator at Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain; and Acting Director, Assistant Director, and Gallery Assistant at the Francesca Anderson Gallery, in Boston, Massachusetts.


Anderson has curated exhibitions and lectured extensively around the world. She has authored numerous books including Martin Ramirez: The Last Works (Pomegranate Press, California, 2008), Martin Ramirez (American Folk Art Museum with Marquand Books, 2007), and Darger: The Henry Darger Collection at the American Folk Art Museum (American Folk Art Museum with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2001), among many others, in addition to numerous articles and essays.


Born in Connecticut, Anderson was given a deep appreciation of the arts by her creative family, particularly by her grandmother, a portrait painter. Educated in printmaking and ceramics at Bennington College, Anderson received her B.A. from Hartwick College and an M.A. from New York University.


Floating Endymion

The world’s most sensational float was unveiled today at a press conference at Mardi Gras World with the Krewe of Endymion Captain and Officers and Blaine Kern Studios’ artists. The float, titled "Pontchartrain Beach, Then and Now"”, measures over 330 feet in length and can hold more than 230 riders. It will make it’s debut in this year’s Krewe of Endymion parade on the Saturday prior to Fat Tuesday, February 9, 2013.

“We are thrilled to unveil "Pontchartrain Beach, Then and Now" for this year’s Mardi Gras,” said Krewe of Endymion founder and Captain Ed Muniz. “Boasting a number of huge signature floats, our Krewe is one of Carnival’s Super Krewes; and now, we’ve even topped ourselves. We’ve truly made Mardi Gras history!”

“Pontchartrain Beach never had lights like this! The float’s lights will change from the way it looked in the old days to the way it would look if it was around today! So that’s why we called it Pontchartrain Beach, Then and Now,” continued Muniz.

The float was designed and constructed by Blaine Kern Studios, which began building Mardi Gras floats atop mule drawn garbage wagons nearly a century ago. Today, the company is the world’s leading maker of floats, sculpture, and props.

“This is the most technologically-advanced float in history- it is a wonder of Mardi Gras,” said Barry Kern, the president and CEO of Mardi Gras World and Blaine Kern Studios. “More planning went into this float than any other in the world.”

The theme “Pontchartrain Beach” pays tribute to an amusement park that was a New Orleans icon from 1928 to 1983 when it closed. While locals will surely have an affinity for the Pontchartrain Beach theme, visitors from around the world will revel in the living amusement park parading down the street.

“The Batt family is very flattered and honored that the Endymion Organization would recognize what Ponchatrain Beach meant to the community,” said Jay Batt.

Parade goers will experience the sights, sounds and even smells of the amusement park as the float rolls by.

Unlike traditional floats, this one features a never before used turbo LED lighting bars, which incorporate thousands of single LED bulbs wired together to bring the amusement park to life. They will be programmed by an expert carnival ride programmer to give the park rides an authentic, realistic look.

The float is built on an industrial farm chassis capable of holding more than forty tons. Eleven tons of the capacity are reserved for the throws that the riders bring on board. Its tires are solid rubber to avoid flats under the weight of the ‘Mega Float.’

The float incorporates eight separate controllers all synced up to run one show, which will be programmed in unison. It will be able to run individually as one car or as a train with all 8 cars together. This is unique because most floats are wired together and rely on each other.

This year’s Mardi Gras has been dubbed “Super Gras,” because the NFL Super Bowl is being held in New Orleans amidst the carnival season. The festivities are expected to break attendance records, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe.

“We are going to dazzle the world when the "Pontchartrain Beach, Then and Now" makes its way through crowds of revelers along its route from near City Park to the Superdome,” Kern, who co-chairs a Super Bowl Host Committee, continued.

The Krewe of Endymion also announced the 2013 theme “Ancient Mysteries.” The parade’s numerous are designed to carry the theme, and will include units such as Atlantis- Lost and Found,” “Dracula,The Rise and Fall of the Myan Civilization the Labor of Hercules, Easter Island and Stone Henge, the Egyptian Pheonix, and the Trojan War.

Endymion’s rich tradition of Celebrity Marshals continues in 2013
International pop sensation Kelly Clarkson will be Grand Marshall and the headline performer at the Extravaganza. Clarkson is best known as the winner of the inaugural season of American Idol and the biggest selling American Idol alumnus. Clarkson is known for her powerhouse voice and vocal versatility. Her music has mainly dealt with themes of heartbreak, independence, and self-empowerment for women. Clarkson’s fifth and latest album “stronger” became her most commercially successful. She has two Grammy™ Awards three MTV Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and a Woman’s World Award. Billboard also ranked Clarkson as one of the top fifteen artists of the 2000’s.

Endymion favorite Simply Irresistible will be also returning to perform as well as two of New Orleans’ top bands: Groovy 7 and The Wiseguys.

Almost as much as its parade, the Krewe of Endymion is know for its Mardi Gras ball, the Endymion Extravaganza. The formal affair will take place inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, February 9 starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available to Krewe of Endymion members only.

More at www.endymion.org and MardiGrasWorld.com.

Shreveport Zombie Walk

Shreveport, LA, October 16, 2012– Since 2008, the Shreveport Zombie Walk has been on a mission to raise two things: awareness of the hunger issues in our area and non-perishable food for the Food Bank of NWLA. This year’s Zombie Walk will be held 2 to 6 p.m., Oct. 27 on Festival Plaza’s west end in downtown Shreveport. The Walk gives attendees a fun, unique experience involving the spirit of community involvement and the pop culture phenomenon known as the “walking dead” - aka zombies. This family-friendly event charges no admission, and only asks that attendees come dressed in their finest zombie garb, bearing donations of non-perishable food items.

Chris Jay, Public Relations and Social Media Manager with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau had this to say about the annual event:

“The Shreveport Zombie Walk is a great example of an event with a regional draw that appeals to a diehard fan base. At past events, I’ve met visitors from New Orleans, Austin, Dallas and Houston who’ve come to be a part of the Walk. It’s the kind of thing that I could absolutely see growing into a larger event with a significant economic impact.”

The Shreveport Zombie Walk started in 2008 at Mall St. Vincent, and has significantly grown since. The first event saw 100 attendees and approximately 250 pounds of non-perishable food raised for the food bank. In 2011, the Walk was moved to McNeill Street in downtown Shreveport, and more than 600 attendees came together to raise approximately 1,400 pounds of food. This year’s Walk promises to be the biggest and best yet. Attendees can expect to enjoy hours of live entertainment, food and merchandise vendors, as well as an area dedicated to making sure little zombies have a great time. Door prizes and costume prizes will be awarded. Beginning at approximately 5:30 p.m., all zombies, led by the Twin City Knockers Women’s Roller Derby Team, will merge as one large horde of the undead, ready to shamble, moan and groan their way around all of Festival Plaza.

The entertainment line-up includes: a live performance from Shreveport’s very own band The Moulin Dudes Dead, featuring a dance performance from Bon Temps Burlesque; spooky-themed mixes of music by DJ Charlie Whiskey and skits from popular zombie films performed by the Caddo Magnet High Drama Club. Guest speakers will include noted horror authors Joe McKinney and Rhiannon Frater. Both will also be available to autograph and sell copies of their books for fans.

Growing Local NOLA

In honor of National Food Day, a time to champion affordable, healthy and sustainable food, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center announced a partnership with the Recirculating Farms Coalition and the New Orleans Food and Farm Network to create a urban food and farming center on 2.5 acres of land owned by the Convention Center, at the corner of Melpomene Street and Tchoupitoulas. The new center, named Growing Local NOLA, will be a hub for research, education, training, and community interaction on growing, marketing, and preparing healthy, fresh food.

“We are thrilled to host the new food and farm center on our site," said Bob Johnson, president/general manager of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. “This is an incredibly meaningful project that will showcase cutting edge urban farming methods and provide unique classes and activities for our community, as well as convention attendees and others visiting from all around the world.”

The core of the new center is to be an innovative water-based recirculating farm that uses hydroponics - growing plants in nutrient-rich constantly recycled water - and aquaponics - raising fish and plants together in one closed-loop system. Both methods are ideal for cities because they can grow a wide range of plants and fish on rooftops, or on oddly shaped or even paved lots, producing high yields in a small amount of space. The center will also have a community garden - with raised soil beds and fruit trees - a classroom, teaching kitchen, events space, and eventually, an on-site café serving farm to table local fare.

“This center will be a catalyst for personal and community farms and local food here in New Orleans and beyond," said Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition.

While New Orleans is famous for its unique cuisine, fresh healthy food is not always accessible and affordable for everyone. Louisiana has the second highest obesity rate in the country and with just over 20 grocery stores to serve more than 350,000 residents, New Orleans is one of the worst food deserts. The new center will help to change this.

The center’s farm will source fresh food to local distributors, restaurants and grocers, as well as direct to consumers through an on-site farmers’ market. It will also offer a wide range of gardening, farming, and farm-to-table cooking classes, programs for youth and seniors, and demonstrations, lectures, and presentations. The center will host special events too, such as harvest dinners and private parties, at its new Convention Center space.

Sanjay Kharod, Executive Director of the New Orleans Food and Farm Network, explained, "This center is all about inspiring people to grow healthy fresh food for themselves and for sale at affordable prices to their neighbors and communities, creating green jobs and preparing delicious, nutritious meals."

Growing Local NOLA will be built using grants from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and the Claneil Foundation. In addition to funding, the project has drawn much praise, enthusiasm and in-kind support.

"The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is excited about the creation of this food and farming center," said Commissioner Mike Strain. "We plan to work collaboratively with the Recirculating Farms Coalition, New Orleans Food and Farm Network and Convention Center on this important project."

The Tulane City Center and the Louisiana State University (LSU) Urban Landscape Lab are both providing in-kind support by designing a masterplan for the food and farm center. Tulane Assistant Professor of Architecture Tiffany Lin and LSU Professor of Landscape Architecture Elizabeth Mossop are leading the project. Lin said, "Our experienced professional team is working collaboratively to showcase the inspiring green mission of this urban farm. By using recycled materials and renewable energy sources, we hope to create an innovative design solution that is natural, efficient and welcoming." 

"This Center is an amazing collaborative effort that will support sustainable urban farming and healthy eating and lifestyles," Cufone said.

Plans for a groundbreaking ceremony are underway and expected to be announced in the coming weeks.


New Orleans, LA | October 24, 2012 – In New Orleans almost one in two children under the age of 5 lives at or below the national poverty level.* To help address this issue, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, in partnership with the  W.K. Kellogg Foundation, formed an initiative called Stand Up for Our Children. It identifies and invests in nonprofit organizations that train parents to develop leadership skills that enable them to become more effective advocates for their children.

“All parents want what’s best for their children and these grants are helping their voices be heard,” said Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Parents are the best change agents when it comes to improving conditions for their children.”

“The Greater New Orleans Foundation was a natural choice to partner with because they know the nonprofits on the frontlines working tirelessly to improve the lives of young vulnerable children,” said William Buster, program director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

A total of $575,366 was awarded to the following 10 organizations for their success working with parents and advocating for families .

Birthing Project of New Orleans was awarded $46,996 to support its Healthy Parents, Healthy Communities program which pairs mentors with parents to-be to promote healthy birth outcomes.


City of New Orleans Health Department was awarded $50,000 for its Healthy Start New Orleans which offers health education programs to parents.

Louisiana Children’s Museum was awarded $50,000 to support Word Play which teaches parents school-readiness skills so that children are prepared for school.

Neighborhood Partnership Network was awarded $50,000 for its Parents First Campaign in three targeted neighborhoods: Village De L’Est, Central City, and Broadmoor. 

Orleans Public Education Network was awarded $130,500 to implement the national Parent Leadership Training Institute model and to support its neighborhood engagement strategy.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast was awarded $50,000 to support a network of agencies that partner with parents to improve long-term health outcomes.

Puentes was awarded $50,000 to support its partnership with Families in Schools to increase the school-readiness of Latino children.

Total Community Action was awarded $47,870 to support the Total Family Parent Empowerment and Leadership Initiative.

United Way of Southeast Louisiana was awarded $50,000 to support its work in licensing family child care homes so that all environments promote healthy development.

Urban League of Greater New Orleans was awarded $50,000 to establish PRIDE Leadership Academy to increase awareness of early childhood issues.

In addition to receiving grants, all the organizations in the Stand Up for Our Children Initiative will participate in a learning community designed to share knowledge, foster coalitions and alliances in this work, and document lessons learned.

The second round of grants from the Stand Up for Our Children Initiative will be in 2013.


*Source: LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center

For more information regarding the Stand Up for Our Children Initiative, please call Flint Mitchell, program officer at the Greater New Orleans Foundation at (504) 598-4663.

About the Greater New Orleans Foundation
The Greater New Orleans Foundation is the community foundation serving the 13-parish Greater New Orleans region. We design and lead initiatives that improve the region, connect donors to community needs, identify and support great nonprofits, and strengthen civil society.  www.gnof.org


About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.



Who/What:       Daughters of Charity Health Centers (DCHC) will host its annual FREE health fair Saturday, October 27. Attendees can receive free flu shots, dental and                                                             

vision screenings, eyeglass repairs, prescription assessments, and much more at this year's event. Free food, entertainment, and giveaways will also be

                                available. Free flu shots and other giveaways will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

When:                  Saturday, October 27, 2012, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:                Daughters of Charity Health Center - Carrollton Location, 3201 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118

Why:                     DCHC providers and staff, along with many of the organization’s community partners, will be on hand to provide free information and screenings on a    

                                variety of health related topics in an effort to promote healthy living amongst area adults and children.


“2012 RUNNING OF THE SANTAS ” ANNOUNCED Popular Costume Holiday Event returns to benefit local military families

(NEW ORLEANS) – The 2012 “Running of the Santas,” a national event to raise funds for military families, will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2012, from Noon to Midnight in the city’s popular Warehouse District.

“Running of the Santas” started in Philadelphia 13 years ago and is now held in 22 cities across the country. The event featuring a day-long festival and “fun run” attracted more than 1,000 participants in New Orleans last year for its inaugural event.  On the day of the run, participants dressed in full Santa Claus and other holiday costumes fill the streets and local establishments.  Among the Santas are always plenty of Mrs. Clauses and the occasional Elf.

New Orleans’ day-long “Running of the Santas” festival begins at most warehouse district bars at Noon with Drink Specials. The action moves to the “South Pole” located at Lucy’s Surfer Bar at 701 Tchoupitoulas Street at 3 pm followed by a fun run at 6 pm from “Lucy’s” to the “North Pole” set up at Generations Hall at 310 Andrew Higgins Drive.

“Category 6”, a national rock band, will provide the entertainment at Generations Hall till midnight.

Event sponsors are planning to hold a “Cutest Mrs. Claus” contest and the “Best Holiday Costume” contest, sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue at

7:30 pm on the night of the event on stage at Generations Hall.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at www.Ticketfly.com or by visiting the “Running of the Santas” website at www.runningofthesantas.com/new-orleans.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit “That Others May Live Foundation”.  The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2002.  The foundation provides scholarships, family counseling, and aid to surviving children of United States Air Force

(USAF) Rescue Heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice during a rescue mission. The goal of the program is to ensure every child of a fallen personnel recovery service member receives every opportunity for success.

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