POSTED Fri. May 8, 2015

Creative Culture

When Music, Art and the Wetlands Flow Together
Cree McCree
Written by CREE MCCREE

Coastal Louisiana loses about a football field’s worth of land every hour, the highest rate of coastal land loss in the world. But despite the urgency of the issue, it’s not front and center for many New Orleanians, and the multitudes of people who visit the city every year.

John Calhoun hopes to change that, by using art as a springboard to address a complex problem. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Tour, The Goodnight Show host and event founder has organized the 2nd Annual Wetlands Art Tour on Saturday, May 9, with related happenings throughout the weekend.

More than 100 artists, scientists and activists will convene at two dozen venues throughout New Orleans and neighboring St. Bernard parish for a host of wetlands-related activities, ranging from art openings, screenings and panel discussions to live Cajun music and dance.

Participants can even take a free bike tour to ground zero: Bayou Bienvenue, on the Orleans/St. Bernard border, where a once-healthy habitat is now a flooded forest of dead cypress trees. (Tour departs from Clouet Gardens in Bywater at 9 am Saturday morning).

“The bike ride to Bayou Bienvenue last year was really cool, because I witnessed people learning things they didn’t know before,” says Calhoun, who was inspired to create the Wetlands Art Tour after interviewing a number of Goodnight Show guests involved in coastal restoration.

“Lindsay Pick from Louisiana Lost Land Environmental Tours gave a presentation that got people talking, and they could see with their own eyes what had happened,” he added.

Those who want to go deeper into Bayou Bienvenue by kayak can reserve a spot through Kayak-iti-yat Tours ($70 per person, $5 of which is donated to Sustain the Nine, the Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development).

Throughout the day, Art Tourists can visit three fascinating downriver sites in St. Bernard parish: Crevasse 22, a group art installation at the site of a 1922 river flood; the Meraux Foundation, which features great views of the mighty Mississippi; and Ranch Film Studies, future home of a new production facility.

They can also celebrate the Mother Earth Festival at the All Souls Community Center (10 am -1 pm, 5500 St Claude Ave); stop by Piety Street Market for wetlands-inspired art and crafts (11 am -4 pm, 612 Piety St); and get a drop on the main event at NOCCA’s 5 Press Gallery, where exhibiting artists will talk about their work (1-3 pm, 5 Press St).

“How artists respond to coastal land loss through their work helps set the framework for the conversation,” explains Calhoun. “One of the speaker artists is Brooks Frederick, a painter from Houma, who collected tar and oil after the BP spill and used it to create portraits of local people affected by the disaster. “

The afternoon’s agenda also includes a screening of MRGO-ing, Going Gone, a documentary by Kevin McCaffrey, which explores the environmental consequences of building the “Mr. Go” shipping channel (NOCCA, 4 pm).

The Art Tour proper (6-9 pm) is pegged to the regular Second Saturday openings in the St. Claude Arts District. But for this special event, it expands beyond the St. Claude galleries to encompass numerous ad hoc venues in Bywater and Marigny: Faubourg Wines, Booty’s Street Food, Dancing Grounds, Kebab, Suis Generis, Tigermen Den, the Orange Couch and the Community Print Shop. Throughout the evening, Clouet Gardens serves as home base, dishing up Cajun food and live music by La Bande de Plaquemine Brulee.

Festivities kick off in Central City with an opening reception at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center (Friday 6-8 pm), and continue on Sunday in Bywater, where The Tigermen Den hosts a Cajun brunch and dance (Sunday, 11am – 3 pm).

There’s a lot going on, so be sure to pick up a map to point you in the right direction, available at any of the Wetlands Art Tour locations. For complete event listings, and addresses for all the venues, check the event page.

POSTED Jul 18, 2019

Creative Culture

August in New Orleans

August in New Orleans

New Orleans may be known as a party town, but locals work as hard here as they do in any city. Take a break from the routine with…....

Written by CREE MCCREE
POSTED Dec 14, 2018


Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Hey, the weather outside is kind of frightful! About as frightful as it gets down here anyways (also, note that next week temperatures will be back in the…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED May 10, 2017

Creative Culture

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

On May 12 the New Orleans Museum of Art will fling open its doors for Masquerade: Late Night at NOMA, a costume party replete with float builders, mask-makers,…....

POSTED Dec 23, 2016


Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Happy holidays, y’all. We hope you find plenty to occupy you during this busy Christmas weekend, but if you find yourself having a small, quiet moment, or just…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN

    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    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.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook