Tremé  Fall Fest Honors Chef Leah Chase

As part of the Tricentennial celebration of the founding of New Orleans, the Historic Faubourg Tremé Association (HFTA) will host the fourth annual Tremé Fall Festival. The festival has a dual purpose: to celebrate, showcase and enjoy the music, food and arts that represent the historic Tremé’s rich and vibrant culture and to raise much-needed funds to keep its vital cultural and historic institutions alive and well in the 21stcentury. The past three festivals raised over $60,000 to help restore and paint the façade of St. Augustine Catholic Church. This year’s festival and patron party proceeds will be dedicated to continued repairs at the church and to provide grants for other neighborhood historic and cultural organizations.

The festival weekend kicks off with a Patron Party from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 at the George & Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart St. Admission to the party is $100 in advance and $125 at the door and includes food, drinks, live entertainment by Naydja Cojoe, a silent auction, and parking.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Honoree is Leah Chase, the executive chef Dooky Chase restaurant, one of the most culturally significant restaurants in New Orleans. Chase is internationally known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine,” and an advocate for Tremé and the city of New Orleans.

From 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, the free street festival featuring food, arts and crafts and live music will be held in and around grounds of St. Augustine Church, located at the intersection of Governor Nicholls and Henriette Delille streets. Fest entertainment features Tremé and New Orleans artists, including: Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Hot 8 Brass Band, John Boutte, Dejan’s Olympia Brass Band, Shannon Powell with the Tremé All Stars, Casme, Samba Kids, Batiste Father and Sons and Kid Merv & All That Jazz. There will also be various groups performing on the streets including the Zulu Tramps, Zulu Connection and buskers performing and giving dance lessons on Tango, Country/2 step, Swing and Line Dancing.

The family-friendly festival will offer tours of St. Augustine Church and activities for kids. Fest-goers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and/or blankets. Local artist, Ellen Macomber, has created a one-of-a-kind poster using a map and linear form to present Tremé’s neighborhood and culture that will be available for purchase.

The weekend concludes with a mass at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7 at St. Augustine Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls, followed by a jazz gospel concert in celebration of the church’s 177th Anniversary. The free gospel concert features the church choirs from St. Augustine Catholic Church, St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, Holy Faith Temple Baptist Church, St. Anna’s Episcopal Church, as well as Mark “Tuba” Smith and friends, and Flashpoint featuring Sharon Martin. The public is invited.

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NOTMC and Arts Council Unveil Tricentennial Mural

The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC)  and the Arts Council New Orleans recently gathered at the Bywater Art Garden Park to unveil the Upper Ninth Ward Tricentennial Mural. Covering the exterior wall of a Bywater Garden Park building, the mural pays homage to civil rights activist, Homer Adolph Plessy and the generations that lived and worked in the Upper Ninth Ward.

NOTMC commissioned New Orleans native and seasoned visual artist, Jamar Pierre, to produce a mural that illustrates a moment that has helped shaped the city’s 300-year history. In 1892, Plessy, with the backing of local civil rights group the Citizens Committee, challenged Louisiana’s racial segregation laws by purchasing a first class ticket on train from New Orleans and sitting in a Whites-only car. Plessy was arrested and his case, challenging Louisiana’s Separate Car Act, went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court

“Homer Plessy and the Ninth Ward represent years of resilience that have helped to shape the city’s 300-year history,” says Mark Romig, president and CEO of NOTMC. “We’re honored to continue celebrating our tricentennial year with this inspirational piece from Jamar Pierre, and present inspirational art by one of our wonderfully gifted New Orleans-based artist for both citizens and visitors to enjoy for years to come.”

Homer Plessy helped inspire future generations of the Civil Rights Movement by challenging Louisiana segregation legislation by refusing to move from a “whites-only” railcar in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. His case was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court and arguments from it were used decades later in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954. In his depiction of Plessy, Jamar includes pieces that represent the rich culture that has been cultivated throughout the years in the Upper Ninth Ward.

“As a New Orleans native, I’m honored to be able to utilize my talent to commemorate the city’s Tricentennial year,” says Jamar Pierre, New Orleans Visual Artist. “For years, African-Americans have worked to create the fabric of New Orleans. When asked to illustrate a moment that has contributed to our 300-year history I immediately thought about the rich history of the Upper Ninth Ward and Homer Plessy’s revolutionary legislation statement.”

The mural is accessible to the public at 3816 Dauphine St.

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