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 September 12, 2013

Doc Hawley Shares His Mississippi River Expertise At New Festival

Credit Marit & Thomas Hinnosaar/flickr

The first Mighty Mississippi Downriver Festival will take place at the French Market and the Old U.S. Mint this Saturday, September 14. Among the many presentations during the day-long event will be one from a man who has plied the mighty Mississippi for 60 years.

On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Captain Clarke Hawley, who has spent most of his working life on board paddlewheel steamboats.

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Notes from New Orleans
1:02 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Mark Cave Remembers Dave Dixon: The First Who Dat

Credit ScottS/flickr

Click here to listen to this week's Notes from New Orleans.

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, the Historic New Orleans Collection started seriously collecting oral histories. By 2009, the Collection moved on to The New Orleans Life Story Project.

Sharon Litwin recently spoke with Mark Cave, the HNOC's oral historian responsible for the project, and heard about his interview with Dave Dixon: the original Mr. Who Dat.

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Notes from New Orleans
8:43 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Julia Street Gallery Combines Art And Charitable Giving

At the Foundation Gallery 50 percent of the proceeds go to the artist, and 50 percent to charity.

Lafayette native Lila Heymann left Louisiana for the Big Apple. Then she went from  New York to Charlottesville, Virginia; and now she commutes frequently from there to New Orleans to oversee her art gallery on Julia Street.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks to Lila Heymann about the Foundation Gallery and why she gives all its income away.  

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Notes from New Orleans
11:43 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Gary Solomon Jr. On Bringing Business And Creative Know-How To Local Event Productions

The Solomon Group currently designs the exterior lighting for the Superdome.

When Gary Solomon Jr. graduated from the New Orleans Center from the Creative Arts, his plan was to go to New York University, become a lighting designer and never come back. Katrina changed all that.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Gary about the successful entertainment technology and design business he has built here.

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Notes from New Orleans
4:00 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Loyola Professor Studies Modern-Day Slavery In New Orleans

Laura Murphy.
Loyola University

New Orleanians have always had a relaxed attitude about many things other cities deem illegal. But what happens when such cultural acceptance is extended to really serious issues like prostitution — like Storyville back in the day — or what is now called human trafficking?

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Notes from New Orleans
9:30 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Historic French Quarter Theatre Makes A Comeback

Le Petit is one of the oldest community theaters in the country.

New Orleanians tend to be mighty protective about our historic properties, so it's not so surprising that the repurposing of the French Quarter's Le Petit Theatre was cause for much debate.

On this week's Notes from New Orleans Sharon Litwin talks to new Executive Director Cassie Worley about the theater's future. 

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Notes from New Orleans
12:20 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Opera And Jazz Unite In The Marigny

George Gershwin's 'Blue Monday' is a 25-minute jazz opera.

For the second summer in a row the Marigny Opera House is offering itself as a performance venue to a homegrown small opera company.

The 9th Ward Opera Company is the brainchild of Kathleen Westfall, a self-described “little Cajun girl” who’s equally comfortable singing on stage in New York or going crabbing in Thibodaux. Sharon Litwin talks to her about the two unusual one-act operas she’s presenting this month.

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Notes from New Orleans
4:14 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Elizabeth Futral, Opera Star And New Orleans Native, Returns For Benefit Concert

Elizabeth Futral has performed opera on stages across the world.
Credit John Grigaitis

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New Orleans opera lovers always feel a little starved over the hot summer months as they wait for the return of full scale performances in October.

But this Sunday, for one night only, the musical desert will bloom with the sounds of one of America’s great singers. Sharon Litwin talks with Elizabeth Futral about her life in the world of opera and what she plans to sing at Sunday evening's benefit concert at Loyola University

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Notes from New Orleans
5:58 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Recent College Graduate Jalisa Roberts Builds Youth Empowerment Program

Swarthmore College graduate Jalisa Roberts received a grant from her alma mater to lead a dancing program in New Orleans East.

Click here to listen to this week's Notes from New Orleans.

It’s coming up on eight years since Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath changed so much about this city. And while the population has grown back to almost 80 percent of its 2005 numbers, according to Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, there are still large areas of the city that continue to struggle with recovery.

On this week's Notes From New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with one young college graduate who’s returning home to try to change that.

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Notes from New Orleans
12:32 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Dana Reed Offers More Than Dance Classes At Hope Stone

Children gather for one of the many classes offered by Hope Stone throughout the summer.
Credit HopeStoneinc.com

Click here to listen to this week's Notes From New Orleans.

Dana Reed’s career as a dancer has taken her across the country. While studying dance education at the University of Southern Mississippi, she spent her summers at the nationally renowned Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine. There she met dancer and activist Jane Weiner, who introduced her to the concept of community arts programs.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Dana Reed about the project that has brought her to the Crescent City.

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