Local School Children to Visit Museum Dedicated to the History of Free People of Color, Thanks to Grant from The Helis Foundation

The McKenna Museums is expanding its educational outreach program in 2020 by offering free field trips and transportation to up to 2,000 elementary and secondary school students throughout the year thanks to a grant from The Helis Foundation. Students will be able to visit Le Musée de f.p.c., a house museum dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of free people of color through the program.

“Our goal is to reach as many 2,000 students throughout 2020” says Kimberly Coleman, McKenna Museums’ curator and historian. “Our school tours are designed to meet the education benchmarks in English/Language Arts, History, and Art for students in grades 7 through 12. Each student tour group will consist of 25 students accompanied by three chaperones. Each guided tour lasts 30 minutes with a 30-minute breakout session that will include a Q&A session.”

The McKenna Museums’ staff has reached out to dozens of area schools, extending the field trips to student groups. The field trips will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis throughout the year. 

“The Helis Foundation hopes these tours will engage and inspire learning and understanding among our young people,” said Jessie Haynes, Managing Director of The Helis Foundation. “Preserving our region’s unique history is of utmost cultural importance.”

The McKenna Museums is one institution in two locations, with each telling a different story. Beverly McKenna, co-founder and executive director of McKenna Museums, is excited about the opportunity to make McKenna Museums more accessible to students with the generous grant from The Helis Foundation. 

“Our museums have always been field trip destinations for school children,” says McKenna. “Students, teachers and other chaperones rave about their visits—the art, the history and culture that they encounter. Unfortunately, we began to hear one common echo from educators that accompanied students; and that refrain was that while the students gained invaluable knowledge from the tour, the costs associated with field trips were prohibitive, not only for the schools, but for the students and their parents. We are thankful to The Helis Foundation because this grant will allow area students to come and immerse themselves in wonderful history without worrying whether if they or their parents can afford it.” 

The grant will fund both the cost of admission for the schools and transportation, when needed. Learn more about The McKenna Museums at www.themckennamuseum.com and www.lemuseedefpc.com.

NORBCC Gears Up For Annual Policy Luncheon

The New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce has opened registration for its 2020 Policy Luncheon set for March 27, at the Hyatt The New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce has opened registration for its 2020 Policy Luncheon set for March 27, at the Hyatt Regency.

The theme for this years’ luncheon is the Vision of 20/20. 

NORBCC has members across the 10-parish region that it serves, including Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes.

Tickets, tables and sponsorship packages are available for the event. For more information, visit www.norbchamber.org.

Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen to Create District “E” Complete Count Committee for 2020 Census

Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen is working to create a District “E” Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census to ensure a complete and accurate count of every resident in the district. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding will be distributed to states, cities, and communities. 

“It is imperative that we count each and every resident living in District ‘E’ to ensure that we get our fair share of federal, state, and local funding,” said Councilwoman Nguyen. 

The District “E” Complete Count Committee will be comprised of representatives from various communities in our district. These individuals will help spread awareness and share information about the 2020 Census and encourage residents to respond either online, by phone, or by mail. 

If you would like to be a part of the Complete Count Committee, please sign up by texting your information to Councilwoman Nguyen at 504-410-6231. 

NOAAM Creates National Advisory Committee and Kicks Off $15 Million Capital Campaign 

The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, History and Culture (NOAAM) recently announced the formation of its National Advisory Committee, chaired by Marc H. Morial, president/CEO of the National Urban League and former mayor of New Orleans. 

“I am extremely proud of the opportunity to be part of an effort to revive NOAAM. It was with great pride that we initiated and created the NOAAM during my days as mayor of our beloved city. Now, we must bring it back better than ever,” says Morial. 

NOAAM also recently kicked off a $15 million capital campaign to support redevelopment of its campus, honoring the late Leah Chase (creole cuisine chef, art patron and collector), her family and the Chase Family Foundation by establishing the Leah Chase Gallery in the Villa Meilleur (main house) which will showcase the museum’s permanent collection, and establishment of the Paving Our Way Home Brick Campaign, which is currently underway. “The NOAAM project is very important for city, and specifically highlights the significance of the Tremé neighborhood’s role in our unique history,” says Mark Romiq, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for New Orleans & Company, the tourism industry’s marketing arm. “The New Orleans Tourism community is fully behind the effort to bring this much needed exhibit space to our city. We have the opportunity to tell the story of resilience and determination.”

“This capital campaign represents one of the most significant fundraising opportunities for New Orleans since the initial development of the National World War II Museum. Sharing the heroic stories of our people is key to our future,” says NOAAM’s Board Chairman Michael G. Griffin. “Totally restoring NOAAM’s campus into a world-class state-of-the-art facility is paramount to the overall success of this initiative. Adding the Leah Chase Gallery to the historic Tremé Villa enhances the important legacy and mission of this institution. “

Jewish Federation of New Orleans Launches Community Outreach Initiatives 

With the goal of serving the Greater New Orleans Jewish community and broadening its mission as the umbrella Jewish organization to develop deeper community relationships, the Jewish Federation of New Orleans recently announced the creation of the Goldring Family Foundation Center for Jewish/Multi-Cultural Affairs and the Sherry and Alan Leventhal Family Foundation Center for Interfaith Families.

 “I am very excited about the formation and launch of these two new Centers of excellence,” said Arnie D. Fielkow, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans CEO. “These two initiatives are critical to forming mutually-beneficial relationships between the Jewish community and the Greater New Orleans community at large. We are grateful to the Goldring Family Foundation and the Sherry and Alan Leventhal Family Foundation for making this work possible, and are excited to continue evolving to serve the needs of Jewish New Orleans.”

The Center for Jewish/Multi-Cultural Affairs will be led by its own Advisory Committee  and a full-time, dedicated executive director. The Center was made possible by a generous gift from the Goldring Family Foundation, which has funded the Center as a three-year pilot program.

The Center will initially focus on four primary outreach areas: [Jewish-African-American relations; LGBTQ relations, through the existing Jewish Pride New Orleans (JP NOLA) program; Jewish- Latin American relations; and Multi-faith relations. Programs that are already underway will be brought under the Center’s auspices, and new program ideas will be developed. The Center formally launched on Jan. 1, with a major community launch event slated for the spring. 

Fielkow, along with Aaron Ahlquist, regional director of the South Central Regional Office of the Anti Defamation League shared more about the initiatives, highlighted the work of both the ADL and the Jewish Federation, and discussed heightened concerns surrounding security in the wake of recent attacks against Jewish communities across globe at an information session, earlier this month. Both men expressed the hope that the Center for Jewish/Multi-Cultural Affairs would provide opportunities for African-Americans and Jewish people to be “better allies” and to rebuild and strengthen what has at times been a complex, historic, though sometimes tenuous relationship between the two communities.

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