Sharon Litwin

Host of Notes From New Orleans

Sharon Litwin is the founding president of NolaVie.com, 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.

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Notes From New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Is French Quarter Fest Still For The Locals?

Crowds swell at Woldenberg Park for French Quarter Fest. Many estimate that 250,000 tourists arrive for the annual event.
Credit Vincent & Bella Productions\flickr

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Over the course of 31 years, New Orleans' French Quarter Festival has grown from a small event to the largest free music festival in the United States. Along with Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, it's become one of the crown jewels in Louisiana's cultural economy.

On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin speaks with executive director Marci Schramm about the festival's growth and its plans for the future. 

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Dr. Jeffrey Rouse's Lessons From The Campaign Trail

Dr. Jeffrey Rouse is New Orleans' new coroner. He's only the second person to hold that seat since 1974.
Credit Jeffrey Rouse/rouseforcoroner.com

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Of all the people running in the most recent Orleans Parish elections, only one of the winners was a true newbie. On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the new coroner, about his first personal encounter with the facts of political life.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

After School Programs: Make Music NOLA

Some of the favorite moments Paul Macres has had in the classroom are when his students finally see the payoff of their discipline. He calls these eureka moments.
Credit Thomas Walsh

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Keeping New Orleans music alive for the next generation of our children means ensuring they have access to instruments, as well as to teachers who want to share the magic of melody with them. On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with a couple of musicians who are doing just that.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu March 6, 2014

The Rigors Of Robotics: After-School Programs At Military And Maritime Academy

Dr. Chuck Garner teaches students how to develop software applications for autonomous robot systems.
Credit Thomas Walsh

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These days there’s lots of talk about preparing young people for real life occupations after college. But here in New Orleans, one unusual high school is having that conversation with their students now. On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin goes to the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy to talk with one faculty member about what’s going on there.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Dan Davis The Wine Guy Wins Grand Award For Commander's Palace

Commander's Palace — killin' it since 1880.
Credit Infrogmation / Wikipedia

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Ella Brennan, owner of Commander’s Palace and doyenne of the New Orleans restaurant community, had wanted to win the Grand Award from Wine Spectator magazine for a very long time. When that happened in 2013, she gave full credit to the restaurant’s wine director, Dan Davis. On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Davis about how a Mississippi boy got into the world of wine.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Patrons Of The Arts: Sydney & Walda Besthoff

Sydney Besthoff's first acquisition of sculpture was made when he purchased what is now K&B Plaza in the 1970's. This Isamu Noguchi didn't cost him a dime.
Credit Creative Commons

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What is it that led the third-generation owner of an iconic New Orleans-based drugstore into the world of art? And how did his participation in the art world alter the way he looked at things? This week on Notes from New Orleans Sharon Litwin talks with Sydney Besthoff and his wife Walda about how art became part of their lives.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Jeff Rosenheim And The Talismanic Qualities Of Civil War Photographs

The latest exhibit at NOMA has over 200 photographs of the Civil War, ranging from family portraits to active shots taken on famous battlefields.
Credit Matthew B. Brady

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Jeff Rosenheim's time in New Orleans was plentiful. He earned his MFA degree from Tulane University, then gained professional experience at the Louisiana State Museum and the Historic New Orleans Collection. Lately, Jeff's been the Curator of the Department of Photography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with him about the Met’s extraordinary Civil War photography exhibition now on display at the New Orleans Museum of Art

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Notes from New Orleans
2:06 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Elevate New Orleans: Leadership In The Gym And Classroom

Members from Elevate New Orleans pose with Emeka Okafor, former member of the New Orleans Hornets and friend of Sky Hyacinth, executive director of the program.
Credit Elevate New Orleans

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It's a rare thing to be able to take a not-for-profit organization and add a successful for-profit business to it. But that's what one young former Division I basketball star has done in New Orleans. On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Sky Hyacinthe about just that.

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Notes from New Orleans
2:19 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Is Recess Going Extinct In New Orleans?

Students at Edgar P. Harney elementary school play Duck Duck Goose during one of their supervised recess breaks, organized by Playworks.
Credit Thomas Walsh

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It’s probably been a few years since you last attended recess, but you’ll quickly recall it was a welcomed period to escape the four walls of your classroom and just hang out. So it may surprise you to learn about Playworks: a national non-profit that actually organizes recess for kids.

Their New Orleans branch is the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans

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Notes from New Orleans
2:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Hotel Monteleone And Saenger Theatre Come Together For The Beatles' Golden Anniversary

Chefs Randy Buck and Jose Manguia have crafted an inspired menu based on The Beatles' most popular songs, available at Criollo NOLA in the Hotel Monteleone.
Credit Thomas Walsh

It's been 50 years since The Beatles appeared in New Orleans. On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks about the contagion that is Beatlemania with some folks who plan to celebrate this still-remembered musical event

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