The Joe W. Brown Park youth mural series is part of a multi-year creative placemaking project that will expand public art in New Orleans East, called “Public Art in New Orleans East: Altering the Perception of a Vital Corridor through Art and Engagement.” The project coincides with broader revitalization efforts in the East. Our goal is to celebrate the diverse cultures of the East, shift its perception by beautifying community assets and create a sense of place along once-thriving commercial corridors.
The four murals, which were unveiled on March 19, can be found throughout Joe W. Brown Park. This past November, NOLABA selected 24 talented youth artists from New Orleans East to help make the project’s vision a reality alongside five professional artist mentors (all New Orleans East residents/stakeholders), including Journey Allen, Jamar Pierre, Courtney "Ceaux" Buckley, Ceci Givens, and Wendo Brunoir. Community members were invited to a Design Workshop on December 4 to share their input on what makes the East so special to help guide the artistic direction of each mural piece.
Young Artist Movement (YAM) is Arts New Orleans’s arts education and workforce development program. YAM was founded in 2016 by a team of experienced artists, educators, and advocates dedicated to engaging young people through profound experiences that result in inspiring public art projects. YAM serves predominantly youth of color, ages 14-24.
YAM delivers a community-engaged, high-quality public art research, design, and installation service. In all of our YAM projects, talented youth learn transferable entrepreneurial skills through a paid job in collaboration with professional artists, community groups, and clients.
In addition to the new youth murals in Joe W. Brown Park, NOLABA, Arts New Orleans and their partners are working toward several other exciting art interventions in New Orleans East, including:
As part of NOLABA’s ongoing efforts to focus more resources and economic development activities in the East, it is also in the process of engaging with community stakeholders to certify and install the New Orleans East community as one of those under the Louisiana Economic Development’s (LED) Louisiana Development Ready Communities (LDRC) Program. The LDRC program, which was officially launched in 2011, encourages and supports selected Louisiana communities to become development-ready, competitive, and “open for business” by creating and implementing a strategic community and economic development plan.
The New Orleans East Public Art Project will reinforce a sense of pride within this once-thriving commercial corridor, spur economic development activities throughout the area, and address long-standing community concerns through site-specific public art installations. NOLABA thanks all the partners who helped make the project a reality, including Arts New Orleans, Jones Family, Mayor's Office of Cultural Economy, Councilmember Oliver Thomas, Eastern New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Council, New Orleans East Matters Coalition, Friends of Joe Brown Park, New Orleans Recreation Department Commission (NORDC), Algiers Economic Development Foundation, New Orleans East Hospital, Audubon Nature Institute, East New Orleans Business Development District, and New Orleans Public Library. These organizations will continue to work together to engage local residents and artists in an effort to expand public art in New Orleans East.