The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) will host a two-day activation, today (Aug. 13) and Wednesday (Aug. 14) in Edgartown, Mass., dubbed New Orleans on the Vineyard.

This experience, which will target African American visitors who are visiting Martha’s Vineyard, will use interactive programming, panel discussions and evening receptions to highlight the city’s abundant economic investment opportunities, higher educational options, and its one-of-a-kind culture that travelers love. Additionally, the event will give guests the opportunity to sample dishes inspired by New Orleans cuisine, engage with Mardi Gras Indians and immerse themselves in New Orleans culture. 

“The City of New Orleans and our partners at NOTMC are actively working to foster economic development across the entire spectrum of opportunity,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “New Orleans is ripe for investment and development, and we are being intentional about ensuring that everyone has a seat at the economic table. Through New Orleans on the Vineyard, we are showcasing all that our city has to offer and growing that table for our business, hospitality, higher education and cultural communities.”

The event will host several New Orleans-based national leaders as panel speakers. Some of the guests include Mayor LaToya Cantrell, U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond, President and CEO of the National Urban League Marc Morial, CBS News Anchor Michelle Miller, business leaders and culture bearers. This activation will showcase New Orleans as a leading business city and will feature opportunities for economic investment and education. 

“The events in Martha’s Vineyard will provide our city a very unique opportunity to reach a very important audience for our tourism industry,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of NOTMC. “We are also assembling some of our key community leaders and ambassadors to help illuminate why New Orleans has so much to offer, both culturally and economically.”

Hundreds of the 2019 edition of Welcome magazine, produced McKenna Publishing in partnership with NOTMC will also be distributed during the New Orleans on the Vineyard activation.

“We’re excited that this group will get the opportunity to acquaint themselves with Black businesses that are a part of the city’s thriving hospitality industry,” says Welcome publisher Beverly McKenna. “Increasing business opportunities and showcasing our city are important. But our goal is to ensure that all of the city’s residents and businesses, especially Black-owned businesses–the second largest employer of Black people and a major resource in Black communities–benefit from the increased economic development.”

Additionally, NOTMC has partnered with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), an American specialty television channel jointly owned by Discovery, Inc. and Harpo Studios.  Crew members from OWN’s hit show, Queen Sugar will be featured at the opening reception of the activation on Tuesday. The network is led by Oprah Winfrey and primarily features non-scripted lifestyle programming, as well as scripted drama and sitcom programming, and reruns of talk programming from the Harpo Studios library. 

“As the backdrop to OWN’s critically acclaimed drama series ‘Queen Sugar’ from filmmaker Ava DuVernay, our audience has delighted in the vibrancy of the landscape and culture of New Orleans as a backdrop,” says OWN GVP of Ad Sales and Partner Solutions for Inclusion Audience Sheereen M. Russell. “Today, OWN is proud to partner with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation to inspire audiences to learn more about the city’s rich history, cuisine, music and endless attractions with an exclusive opportunity for the series stars to engage with fans during the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival.”

New Orleans on the Vineyard visitors will get a chance to explore the history and culture of Mardi Gras Indians through an interactive workshop also includes an opportunity for attendees to create their own Mardi Gras Indian suit design on a souvenir patch through a guided class with Chief Shaka of the Goldenfeather Hunters and other Mardi Gras Indians. 

The first day of the activation on Tuesday will include an open house where guests can experience New Orleans sno-balls provided by local favorites, SNO-LA. There will also be an opportunity to join Shaka Zulu, Big Chief of the Golden Feather Hunters for an interactive experience dubbed Sip and Sew to learn more about Mardi Gras Indian culture.

“Having the opportunity to bring the rich history and culture of the Mardi Gras Indians to the Northeast is both exciting and humbling,” said Zulu. “There isn’t any city in the world that has what New Orleans has to offer. Whether it’s our people, cuisine, traditions or experiences, New Orleans is such a vibrant city, and I am just happy to share that with guests on the Vineyard.”

Wednesday’s experiences will include a college fair open house where prospective students and their parents can interact with five prestigious higher education institutions based in New Orleans. The college fair will include admissions and recruitment personnel from Dillard University, Loyola University, Tulane University, the University of New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana. 


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