Notes From New Orleans

Fridays at 8:35 a.m.

Notes from New Orleans is a weekly peek inside the life and culture of the Crescent City. Sharon Litwin, president and co-founder of, covers all aspects of the unique and vibrant contributions of this creative society.

From established and emerging visual artists to the new breed of young entrepreneurs; from extraordinary musicians to world class performing artists; from Mardi Gras Indians to pop up restaurants — whether it’s going on Uptown, Downtown or Back of Town, their stories are sure to show up on Notes from New Orleans.

Ben Burkett

When the Crescent City Farmers Market was founded 20 years ago, farmers in nearby rural areas were hesitant about coming to New Orleans. To them the city was a haven of crime and traffic, but connecting the city to the farm created more opportunities than they imagined.

Renée Peck / NolaVie


Maxwell Williams first visited New Orleans 15 years ago, at the age of 21. Like so many first-time visitors, he was smitten with the city.


Sometimes, just sometimes, communities can actually get together to do something that transcends politics.

The greater New Orleans area will soon see such an event. Through a collaboration of the City of Kenner, New Orleans City Park and the folks at the Helis Foundation, the public good is going to be served in the most artistic of ways: with the installation of a very special, long-missing bronze sculpture. Created for the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans, The Wave is getting a new home in City Park.

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

Alliance Française

Hard on the heels of our own Fourth of July comes the French Bastille Day, celebrated on July 14. The Alliance Française of New Orleans has a week’s worth of events to celebrate the French national holiday.   

To read more about the Bastille Day celebrations in New Orleans, 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.