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.

Anne Marie Fox


There was a moment for Robin Mathews two years ago, while she was spreading grits and cornmeal all over Matthew McConaughey’s face, when she thought, “This is either going to be the end of my career or the beginning of it.”

Fortunately, it turned out to be a major new beginning. Mathews’ work as makeup department head for the film Dallas Buyer’s Club earned the New Orleans native an Oscar nomination.

Matthew B. Brady

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

Elevate New Orleans

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.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

The Episcopal Church of Louisiana spent the past year making plans for a new ministry, aiming to address its history of racism, as well as other forms of racism in society.

Last week, the Washington, D.C.-based leader of the Episcopal Church came to New Orleans for a special service. At Christ Church Cathedral, the oldest Episcopal congregation in New Orleans, worshippers committed to racial healing and racial justice. 

Thomas Walsh

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

The Civic Theater

Welcome to 2014. While you’ve been making and breaking resolutions, I’ve been scouring the in and out lists to find out what’s hot and what’s not in New Orleans for the new year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be caught wearing a mini instead of a midi, or high-top boots instead of wedgy sneakers. So 2013.

So let me share with you a few trending topics in areas important to New Orleanians. Like, well, drinking.

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

Tommy Hughes

Actress Francine Segal played prison guard Georgia Ann Payne in 2001’s Monster’s Ball, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry and the late Heath Ledger. “I had a gun. It was a lot of fun,” said Segal.

There was some trouble on the set, however, as Ledger was not getting along with the dialect coach that had been brought in from L.A. to help him learn the thick Georgia accent his role called for.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

More than eight years after it flooded and closed due to Hurricane Katrina, the Circle Food Store on the corner of Claiborne and St. Bernard Avenues is about to reopen its doors. The historic landmark served the 7th Ward from 1938 up until the storm, and it’s said to have been the first New Orleans grocery owned and operated by African-Americans. Long time residents and customers voice their reactions to the long-awaited return of this neighborhood staple.

flickr/Pedro Sanchez

Jesse Rosen is President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, an organization with more than 800 members. In town for a meeting of the National Performance Network, he stopped by to talk with Sharon Litwin on this week's Notes from New Orleans.