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.

Ways to Connect

Voices from the Classroom, a series presented by NolaVie and WWNO, explores local education through conversations with those on the front lines: the teachers.

While superintendents, experts, parents, politicians and pundits have weighed in extensively on what's right and wrong with the educational system in Louisiana, it's the people behind the desks who must deal, day in and day out, with students, evaluations, testing, behavior, curriculum and, ultimately, what works and what does not.

wikipedia/creativecommons

This coming Saturday evening is the beginning of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's 2013-2014 concert season.

On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with LPO Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto about what's in store for music-loving New Orleanians.

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.

ScottS/flickr

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.

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.  

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.

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?

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. 

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.

John Grigaitis

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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