Opening day of the Essence Music Festival is kicking off with events geared for the young.

Crime, education and issues affecting today's youth will be tackled during the day at the Morial Convention Center before teen musical acts hit the stage at the Superdome.

Among the day's speakers are New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who launched a mentoring project called "Saving Our Sons," to help curb crime and violence in the city. His wife, Cheryl, launched "Girl Up NOLA," which seeks to inspire and motivate young girls.

Independence Day comes alive on Bayou St. John as the Krewe of Kolossos celebrates with its first boat parade. We go Inside the Arts for conversation with the Grand Marshall of the Krewe of Kolossos, Katrina Brees.

Festivities kick off July 4, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Bayou St. John at Orleans Avenue.

A Louisiana-shot film that took top honors at this year's Sundance Film Festival is back in the state where it was made for a Hollywood-style red carpet premiere before opening in select theaters nationwide this summer.

The mythical "Beasts of the Southern Wild" follows a motherless young girl living in the marshlands of the southern Delta with her ailing father as a storm approaches. It won the grand jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition at Sundance, and the Camera d'Or at France's Cannes Film Festival for best first film by director Benh Zeitlin.

FestiGals Weekend

Jun 20, 2012

Women from around the nation are gathering in New Orleans for the 2nd Annual FestiGals Weekend. It's an empowering getaway weekend festival created for women by women. Among the highlights this year are celebrity  designed bras to fight cancer.

More info at

Octavia Books, 89.9 WWNO and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts invite you to join us for a special evening with William Joyce, celebrating the release of his amazing new picture book, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

The program will include a screening of Joyce's Academy Award-winning short film inspired by the story, followed by an interview of the author by Susan Larson for WWNO's The Reading Life. There will also be a book-signing and light refreshments.

Larry Lorenz, professor emeritus in the Loyola University New Orleans School of Mass Communication, will examine the ever-changing face of media in New Orleans with "The Press of New Orleans: The Past. The Present. The Future?" on Friday, June 22 at 3:30 p.m.

The seminar will focus on the history of New Orleans' daily newspaper, The Times-Picayune, and discuss its future, in light of the recent announcement that the newspaper will print only three days a week as it shifts to an online media format.

Civil War-era children's games, a hike to learn which wild plants are edible and animal tracking for kids are among activities planned at Louisiana state parks and historic sites for the second National Kids to Parks Day.

Fourteen state parks and historic sites around Louisiana plan kids' activities on May 19.

It's promoted as a nationwide day of outdoor play, encouraging families to explore the outdoors and their nearby parks.

The National Park Service and the National Park Trust started the event last year.

The World War II Museum, which opened June 6, 2000, expects its three millionth visitor to arrive sometime Tuesday.

The museum has been experiencing record-setting attendance. Last month, it had a total of 44,807 visitors — the most ever in a one-month period — and over 1,000 more than its previous record month in March 2010.

Based on current visitor total and visitation trends, the museum will expect the three millionth visitor around midmorning.

A presentation ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. CDT.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The "American Idol Live!" tour will stop in the home states of gospel singer Joshua Ledet and country rocker Skylar Laine. Ledet, Laine and the other Top 10 singers will be at the Louisiana Cajundome in Lafayette on July 30, and in the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson on July 31.


In conjunction with Jazzfest, the 5th annual free entertainment industry conference called Sync-Up kicks off today.