Thursday, June 15, 2006


JUNE 23rd - June 30th

Ashé Press

Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castel-Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70113
tel: (504) 569-9070,
fax: (504) 569-9075

Ashé Contacts:
Carol Bebelle, Director
Douglass Redd, Artistic Director
Gwen Richardson, Events Coordinator
Jerald L. White, Communications Team

Ashé Community Arts Center Commemorates International Middle Passage Remembrance Day with New Orleans Maafa Ceremony

JUNE 26, 2006 New Orleans, Louisiana: The New Orleans Community Maafa Remembrance & Renewal Committee invites the public to the 6th annual community-wide commemoration honoring the memory of the millions of African people and their decedents who suffered and perished during the period of African capture and enslavement in the Americans over 500 years ago.

The Maafa Commemoration ceremony will start at Congo Square in Armstrong Park on Saturday, July 1 at 6:30 a.m. (promptly at sunrise) and end at 9:00 a.m. in Woldenberg Riverfront Park. Community activists, spiritual leaders, artists and visitors to our city will lead a musical procession through the French Quarter to John Scott's "Ocean Song" sculpture in Woldenberg Park, where libations, prayers, and creative expressions will be offered in honor of the ancestors.

Following the Maafa ceremony at 10:00 a.m., there will be a breakfast gathering at Ashé Cultural Arts Center with guest speaker Dr. Robert H. Cataliotti , Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities & Media at Coppin State University in Baltimore

This initiative answers the call of the Washington, D.C. based Homeward Bound Foundation, asking the international community to set aside the first Saturday in July as International Middle-passage Remembrance Day. The New Orleans community chose to use a Kiswahili word "Maafa" offered by scholar and professor Dr. Marimba Ani, to capture in a language of the people most impacted by this gross violation of humanity. Maafa, which means horrific disaster, provides a much broader communication of the devastation that occurred than the popular term "middle-passage."

The New Orleans Maafa Remembrance & Renewal Committee is convened by Ashé Cultural Arts Center in partnership with the Congo Square Foundation. Other partners and sponsors in this event include: the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Christian Unity Baptist Church, The institute of Black Catholic Studies, the Twomey Center for Justice Through Peace, The National Coalition for Blacks in America (NCOBRA), European Dissent, YICI Productions, Ausar Auset Society, the Buddhist Community, the Muslim Community, and a host of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. The production team is composed of Carol Bebelle, Douglas Redd, Olayeela Daste, Luther Gray, Jerald L. White, Gwen Richardson, Gregory Rattler, Jr., and Briceshanay Gresham.


"There is still much work for us to do to foster healing and to create the opportunity for reconciliation in our community," said Luther Gray, Director of the Congo Square Foundation.

It is the desire of the committee that this commemoration inspire meaningful dialog about the Maafa in our schools, churches, cultural centers, public institutions, neighborhoods and homes. The painful and lingering legacy of enslavement in the United States is grossly minimized, often overlooked and consequently misunderstood.

"We are working to build a society full of communities where reciprocity in its fullest expression is the standard ethical value and the priority measure for accountability." added Carol Bebelle, Co-Director of Ashé Cultural Arts Center. " We consider reciprocity in its fullest expression to encompass the realms of economics, social issues, and education. Especially in this rebuilding era, the ethics of fairness, respect, consideration and full access to the rights and privileges of American citizenship are vital components to the success of our efforts."

Olayeela Daste, storyteller, community activist, and culturalist prays "that this time together each year will make us stronger in our resolve to make our community a place of peace for everyone."


# # #

JUNE 28th to July 1st

Performances, Film & Music $10
Workshops $10
All Festival Pass $50
Visual Art FREE

The theme of this year’s festival is Restoration. Special guest include Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Founder and Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women; San Francisco playwright Anne Galjour; and Philadelphia’s oLive Dance Theater, and other participating artists.

The visual art exhibit will open each night at 6:30 p.m. at Barrister's/Zeitgeist followed by performances and films at Ashé Cultural Arts Center beginning at 8:00 p.m.

In addition to performance, film, music and visual art, workshops conducted by oLive Dance Theater (Friday 10-12 p.m.), Deanne Feaster (Friday 1-3 p.m.), Ausettua Amor Amenkum (Saturday 10-12 p.m) and Jawole Will Jo Zollar (Saturday 1-3pm) will take place Friday and Saturday. There will be a panel discussion entitled Lighting the Candle: Artistic & Community Re-Generation on Saturday July 1 from 4-6 p.m. at Ashé.

State of the Nation is a regional festival and monthly performance series conceived by ArtSpot Productions that provides a forum for student, emerging and professional artists of all disciplines to share and create original performances, community workshops, visual art and film.

For further information please contact Mondo Bizarro ( at 504-304-7855, ArtSpot Productions ( at 504-866-7387 or the Ashé Cultural Arts Center at 504-569-9070.

Katrina Information Network and New Orleans Network

Friday, June 23rd
At the Ashe' Cultural Arts Center

RSVP/Questions: Corlita Mahr, (504) 908-6652

Purpose: convene grassroots organizing, advocacy and communications workers to develop clear strategies for building power, visibility, and basic agreeable steps toward 8/29 anniversary event(s) and the possibility of a more cohesive recovery agenda.

1-Informing one another of the work our respective groups are engaged in over the next few months;
2-Sharing information on those activities and peoples we know of that are not necessarily linked;
3-Laying out a calendar of upcoming 'static' dates;
4-Creating a space for cross-organizational activities;
5-Compiling reports and stories from our various efforts to disseminate jointly in the weeks leading up to the anniversary
6-Beginning to identify ways common efforts can boost visibility, cohesive action(s), and pressure


1. Make viable calendar(s) of events leading up to Anniversary of Katrina (8/29) and feasible ways to support common efforts and activities. 2. Link localized efforts (including Gulf South and those throughout the displaced diaspora) in impacting local, state, regional and national governmental accountability and implementation of relevant alliances and capacity building. 3. Communicating the calendar and reports from groups working directly with the displaced and most affected residents to our national and international allies, supporters, and media.

We recognize that big work is happening among groups that existed before the storm(s) and groups that have emerged in response to the unmet responsibilities and commitments of city, state and federal government. Following the largest compulsory migration in the U.S. since the Reconstruction Era of the late nineteenth century, we share an enormous and necessary task. The work has continued to grow among community organizers, advocacy groups, issue-based groups and many whom have not ever been affiliated with any of the above, including culture and arts groups, neighborhood groups, and relief agencies.

Even with these efforts to make sure a just and full rebuilding of the Gulf South is achieved, a harder push must be made.

This summer marks a critical time in history, for bringing the myriad of issues that we're all working to address to the forefront. The anniversary brings renewed attention and interest to the region, and with it another opportunity to better address the immediate and long-term needs of those most adversely affected by the hurricane season of 2005 that must be met. Many have answered the call, but those most responsible for the continuing catastrophe have not been held fully accountable for their lack of action or humanity.

The need for making these changes happen is equal to the opportunity. We represent a many approaches to tackling some of the largest challenges in U.S. history. The shared purpose of ending those conditions that allowed this tragedy to take place and that continue to wreak havoc on so many lives binds us far more than our differences separate us.

A calendar of events is not a recovery plan, but it is a way to begin the necessary next phase of communication and linking "on the ground" efforts to one another toward broader strategic planning and implementation.

If you are unable to attend please fwd the name and contact information for a rep. that may particpate in your place.

We are excited to propose and support this (initial) convening. Together we look forward to supporting the growth, coordination, action necessary to see that a just recovery and rebuild takes place.


Contact: Joycelyn L. Reynolds, Director of Grants Services or Karen Kern, Grants Associate,(504) 523-1465.

Arts Council of New Orleans Announces August 2, 2006 Deadline for Regional Arts Grants

New Orleans, LA ---- Arts grants are available for arts activities to take place in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes. Applications are now being accepted for grants through the Louisiana Decentralized Arts Funding Program made possible with state funds through the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Applications must be received in the Arts Council's office by August, 2, 2006.

Guidelines and application forms are available for download at Printed copies of guidelines and application forms are also available at the technical assistance workshops, at the Arts Council of New Orleans' office at 818 Howard Avenue, Suite 300, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and by request at 523-1465.

WORKSHOPS: Arts Council staff will conduct technical assistance workshops outlining grant guidelines and providing information on how to submit a competitive application. Workshop attendance is strongly
recommended for prospective applicants. Workshops are free and open to the public. Interested parties may attend any workshop. The same material will be covered at each.

ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTATIONS: Arts Council staff is available to help in the development of proposals and to review drafts of proposals. Staff is available to provide technical assistance to prospective applicants through one-on-one consultations by appointment on dates included herein
and on other dates as needed. To maximize this opportunity, a prospective applicant should attend a grants workshop and become familiar with the guidelines prior to scheduling an appointment. If a draft of a proposal is to be discussed at the consultation, it should be sent to a member of the grants staff by email or
or fax (529-2430) a few days prior to the consultation.

2006 Grants Workshops (Free and Open to the Public)

Tuesday, June 27
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Old Metairie Library
2350 Metairie Road
Metairie, LA 70001
(504) 838-4353

Friday, July 7
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Ashé Cultural Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 569-9070

One-On-One Consultations (By Appointment Only)

Thursday, July 13 & Thursday, July 20
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Ashé Cultural Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 569-9070

TO RSVP for workshop attendance or to set up an appointment, phone call (504) 523-1465.

For more information contact:
Karen Kern, Grants Associate
Arts Council of New Orleans
818 Howard Avenue, Suite 300
New Orleans, LA 70113
504-523-1465 / Fax: 504-529-2430

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