Notes From New Orleans

Fridays at 8:35 a.m.

Notes from New Orleans is a peek inside the life and culture of the Crescent City. Sharon Litwin, president and co-founder of NolaVie.com, 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.

Tulane Public Relations

What makes an artist into an entrepreneur? For jewelry designer Mignon Faget, it was less the kindness of strangers and more the assistance of friends. Mignon, now in her 81st year, still lives in the house she grew up in along Bayou St. John and is the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans.

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea surfaced to use the power of the Mississippi River as a source for energy. But it turns out that turbines placed near New Orleans weren’t going to be that effective after all. So some smart folks at Tulane University have come up with other ideas.

Genie Tidy

New Orleanians have always found ways to transform the mundane into something a little more festive and lively. Atop the list of monotonous things in this world — sitting in traffic. Next time you’re stopped at a traffic light, look right and look left because you might see something.

Thomas Walsh

It’s impossible to wager how many angry children have told their parents they’re running away to join the circus. Switzerland-native Meret Riyhner never had such a violent outburst with her parents, but she ended up in the circus anyway. Now, she’s the circus arts teacher at the International School of Louisiana located on Camp Street, and the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans.

People United for Armstrong Park

When Jazz in the Park gets underway this Thursday afternoon at Congo Square, the age span may skew a little younger than usual. For the first time, the weekly jazz concert series will feature an additional tier of programming aimed at local youngsters. It’s called Congo Kids.

Thomas Walsh

In 2011, a group of more than 25 artists created the Music Box, a house made of found objects designed as a laboratory for musical expression. By the time it closed in Spring 2012, it had been visited by more than 15,000 people.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with artist Dawn Dedeaux about the return of the Music Box project.

Vincent & Bella Productions\flickr

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. 

Ron Roberts

More than half a million people are expected at the 31st annual French Quarter Festival this weekend. They come from far and wide — and a few of them come not only to enjoy the music, but also to take it back home. 

Jeffrey Rouse/rouseforcoroner.com

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.

Keeping The Tradition Of St. Joseph's Day Altars Alive

Mar 17, 2014
Billy Brown

Growing up, Nick Scramuzza’s childhood home never had its own St. Joseph’s Day altar.

“It didn’t need one,” said the co-owner of the Lost Love Lounge in the Marigny. “There was one on each side of us, one across the street, and one on the corner," he says.

"On my block alone, Kerlerec and Chartres, there were at least four or five altars on that one block.”

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