Sharon Litwin

Host of Notes From New Orleans

Sharon Litwin is the founding president of, the only daily cultural not-for-profit website of its kind in the United States devoted to exploring all aspects of the quirky, diverse culture of New Orleans. Sharon, along with Renee Peck, NolaVie Managing Editor, wrote, and NolaVie received, a grant from the J-Lab Project of American University, funded through the McCormick Foundation in Chicago, allowing NolaVie to launch in February, 2011. Since 2012, Sharon has produced Notes from New Orleans, a weekly on-air cultural news segment for WWNO that is complemented by her weekly “culture watch” column on NolaVie.

Sharon Litwin retired in 2011 after a 12-year career with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra serving first as Executive Director and then as Senior Vice President for External Affairs. Prior to joining the LPO, Sharon spent more than a decade as an Assistant Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art, responsible for raising more than $26 million to build out three new wings and upgrade the original historic building in City Pak.

Sharon’s other professional positions have been as a feature writer for the Living Section of The Times-Picayune newspaper and executive producer with WYES-TV, Public Television in New Orleans. Sharon continues to write features and articles for newspapers and magazines nationwide on a freelance basis and is also the editor of the New Orleans Zagat Restaurant Survey, a position she has held for the past 20 years.

Sharon is the past president of the Contemporary Arts Center, Committee of 21 and Mental Health Association of Metropolitan New Orleans; a past board member of the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Community Access Corporation; and is the founding president of the Crescent City Farmers Market.

Ways to Connect

Hanna Rasanen

If you’ve ever driven through the Lower 9th Ward, you know that there is lots of land out there.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans Sharon Litwin catches up with Lower Nine gardener Jenga Mwendo of the Backyard Gardeners Network about putting vacant lots to use and what’s been happening in her neighborhood since the last time the two of them talked.  

To read more about the Backyard Gardeners Network, visit

Orleans Parish recently created a permanent family court judge position. Legal aid attorney Bernadette D’Souza is the first to hold the post.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks to Judge D’Souza about how she got from a convent in India to a courtroom in Louisiana.

To read more about Bernadette D'Souza, visit

It’s been 450 years since Shakespeare’s heyday. One has to wonder what the Bard of Avon would think of the myriad ways his plays are being presented these days.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Chaney Tullos, Director of Operations of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival, about their innovative yet traditional approach and their collaboration with Compleat Stage.   

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with local photographer Frank Relle about his recent experience inside Moscow’s art world during the height of the Crimea and Ukraine crisis.

Relle curated an exhibit called "New Orleans in Photographs" for the Moscow House of Photography. To read more about his experiences, visit

Thomas Walsh

George Dunbar is an Uptowner who finished school at 17, joined the Navy and served in World War II. After the war, he went to art school, traveled through Europe, and then came home when a family member got sick. That was more than 50 years ago.

These days, he lives and works in an older part of Slidell that overlooks the bayous and surrounding marsh land. George is one of the South’s most accomplished contemporary artists and the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans

Adi Nadimpalli

War brings countless injuries to the human condition. One of the most devastating consequences of conflict is disruption of basic medical services. These days it seems there are more and more stories on the radio and in newspapers about brave medical teams going into war-torn areas to treat the wounded and the needy.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with one physician who calls New Orleans home when he’s not on a mission with Doctors Without Borders.

Tulane Public Relations

What makes an artist into an entrepreneur? For jewelry designer Mignon Faget, it was less the kindness of strangers and more the assistance of friends. Mignon, now in her 81st year, still lives in the house she grew up in along Bayou St. John and is the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans.

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea surfaced to use the power of the Mississippi River as a source for energy. But it turns out that turbines placed near New Orleans weren’t going to be that effective after all. So some smart folks at Tulane University have come up with other ideas.

Genie Tidy

New Orleanians have always found ways to transform the mundane into something a little more festive and lively. Atop the list of monotonous things in this world — sitting in traffic. Next time you’re stopped at a traffic light, look right and look left because you might see something.

Thomas Walsh

It’s impossible to wager how many angry children have told their parents they’re running away to join the circus. Switzerland-native Meret Riyhner never had such a violent outburst with her parents, but she ended up in the circus anyway. Now, she’s the circus arts teacher at the International School of Louisiana located on Camp Street, and the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans.