POSTED Thu. Aug 8, 2013
Dirty Dozen
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

Arts aficionados, or just those who like good food, drink and pedestrian thoroughfares: the 12th Annual Dirty Linen Night (presented by Iberia Bank. Thanks champagne – er, sponsors!) takes place this Saturday, Aug 10th, from 6-10pm, across the 200 to 1000 blocks of Royal Street. All nine blocks will be closed to vehicular traffic from 2-11pm, but pedestrians are invited – hell, encouraged – to stroll the street.

The Arts Council of New Orleans is expecting 10,000 guests, up from last year’s 8,500, split fairly evenly between locals and tourists.
Dirty Linen started as a response/gentle tweaking of the nose of White Linen Night, held the previous week on Julia St. The idea came from Tracy Thomson, owner of Kabuki Hats if White Linen was Chardonnay and chic, Dirty Linen was a shot of whiskey in a funky co-op.

There’s been a lot of bleed over between the audiences at the two events in the past 12 years; White Linen has some grungies and Dirty Linen has some glitterati. They’re both damned fun. Here’s an insider take from Morgan Sasser, who works with the Arts Council and has been organizing the whole shebang.

Any can’t miss galleries?

I love Antieau Gallery. They’ve been at this for a few years. It’s a really beautiful space. There’s one female artist who works with quilt and collage concepts to design pseudo illustrative stories. They’re homey without being decorative, and they’re very unique, and they’re very inspiring. Like your inner 10-year old child given creative reign, but done tastefully.

Tresor Gallery – they’ve just opened up. Just walking into the space, it’s a small space, but it’s great. It has more contemporary work, and they tend to have a younger artist clientele base, and there’s just a lot of diversity. While older oyal St galleries may focus on New Orleans – which is great – I could see these guys taking precedent in Chicago or New York.

And Angela King Gallery, they’re wonderful. Closer to Canal St. it’s a bright beautiful space. There’s a lot of painterly work, going all the way to more abstract, DaDa structure.

Where should I park?
If you were coming from out of town, there’s a great lot, Central Parking Lot, at N Rampart & Conti. It’s usually pretty open. There’s also good street parking along Rampart street, but walk with somebody at night (Editor’s Note Burgundy St in the Quarter is bad for muggings).

What about food?
We’re adding food vendors this year for the first time. I looked no further than the vendors I use when we manage the arts market in Palmer Park. So we are working with Bratz Y’all and Woody’s Fish Tacos, Crepes a la Cart and bon vivant. Plus Plum Street Snoball, which is always a favorite.

I gotta get my drink on.
Well, also for the first time, we have five bars on the street this year. We have Abita stocked at all of those bars, and we have Republic stocking our liquor. And those bars will all be manned by Arts Council staff members.

How does one come correct to Dirty Linen?
Although wearing Dirty Linen was kind of the joke, it’s also definitely done. And I’ve seen people come out in dapper clothing. I’ve seen everything from full seersucker to burlesque dancers. It’s more creative then what you see on Julia St, more nitty gritty. Ultimately, most people will wear cool attire that keeps them breezy.

After the show it’s the…
After party. Definitely: hit up the after party at Latrobe’s. There’s gonna be drinks, DJs and drag queens. One is named Madonathan.
(from 9pm-midnight, 400 block of Royal Street; get tickets here).

What sets Dirty Linen apart from other Arts Council Events?
Our direct and immediate outreach to the community and the artists and the gallery owners. There are artists out there who are part of the Artist As Entrepreneur program, instructing artists on how to take their work to the next level, and it’s really inspiring to see someone who maybe participated in the arts market a year ago, who now has their own space or is part of a collective with real estate Royal St. That’s amazing.

Images courtesy of Dirty Linen


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    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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