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Civic Theatre, 5PM
Fashion shows for the gulf region's top designers
Spanish Plaza, 5:30PM
40 chefs compete for top taco prize
Ogden Museum, 6PM
Feat. Bob Malone
Local artists celebrate each other in their work
The Courtyard Brewery, 6PM
To benefit the Friends of New Orleans Public Library
Blue Nile, 7PM
Folksy local singer-songwriter
Big Easy 'Bucha, 7PM
Worship and yoga in one
The Orpheum Theater, 7:30PM
Music of the Beatles
Hi-Ho Lounge, 8PM
A night of angelic sounds
Bar Redux, 8PM
NOLA funk, trad and electric blues
Howlin' Wolf, 8PM
Red Bean hosted stand-up show
Chickie Wah Wah, 8PM
Papa grows funk and so much more
Saturn Bar, 9PM
Café Negril, 9:30PM
All genres of NOLA music fused
Le Bon Temps, 11PM
6th Ward brass mixes funk, soul, jazz and hip-hop
LIFE Yoga, 7AM
An intro course from Zen teacher Thich Thien Tri
Adler's New Orleans, 11AM
Hollywood legend signs copies of 'I Loved Her in the Movies'
Marriot Convention Center, 6:30PM
Day one of the inaugural Bourbon Fest
The Broad Theater, 7PM
Short film showcase
Blue Nile 7:30PM
Friday nights with Kermit on Frenchmen
House of Blues, 8PM
Hebrew hip hop
Cafe Istanbul, 8PM
Preview of Merman's new show "Bad Heroine!"
Joy Theater, 8:30PM
Celtic punk, feat. Skinny Lister
One Eyed Jacks, 9PM
Artist mixer before Saturday's Edwardian Ball
Maple Leaf Bar, 10PM
Chapter Soul hosts a Kanye West dance party
Bar Redux, 10PM
All-British dance party
Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM
Party like it's 1999
Crescent Park, 10AM
Eat to benefit LA/SPCA
Fair Grounds, 12PM
Family day at the grounds
The Yum Yum, 6PM
NPR faves come home from tour
St. Mark's Church, 6PM
Caravan Cinema screens this Natasha Lyonne comedy
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
Feat. Fantasia and Johnny Gill
The Saenger Theatre, 7PM
Comedy superstar brings his "Total Blackout" tour to NOLA
House of Blues, 7PM
80s vs. 90s - decades collide
One Eyed Jack's, 8PM
FdT stages "Alice in Wonderland"
The Howlin' Wolf, 8PM
NOLA's underground art show, plus free pancakes
The Willow, 9PM
Masquerade ball with live music
The Circle Bar, 10PM
Sweat to the oldies with DJ Matty
Le Bon Temps Roule, 11PM
Free show to move and groove
Howlin' Wolf, 12PM
Over a dozen NOLA spots offer their best bloodies, plus food
Magnolia Yoga Studio, 1PM
Free female-led discussion and open house
Playmakers Theater, 2PM
Final staging of drama about painter Mark Rothko
Maple Leaf Bar, 3PM
5th annual boil commemorating the life of the beloved chef and musician
Woonderland Production Studios, 3PM
Live music, drinks, water slides, more
Audubon Park, 5PM
LPO Woodwind Quintet performs
Local trad jazz masters
Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 6PM
Bring games, or join one at the store
Howlin’ Wolf Den, 10PM
Mix of brass standards and funky covers
Spotted Cat, 10PM
Boundary pushing fusion jazz
Maple Leaf, 10PM
Krown on the B3 with Russell Batiste and Walter “Wolfman” Washington
Mayor Mitch Touts Rec Renewal
by Megan Pearl
Along with a new ad, Mayor Mitch and other city officials gathered for another end-of-year press conference on Thursday. Never one to shy away from a slide, da Mayor gathered city officials corporate sponsor representatives and a few strategically placed children to speak about the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission's programs and funding.
“It’s about investing in meaningful opportunities for our youth,” Landrieu said. “Bring people together and get things done.”
City Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson, a perennial rec department champion who is also running for a seat in the February elections, said that youth recreation programs such as NORDC are where the city should begin for the prevention of crime. Landrieu said recreation programs are where youth learn to resolve differences peacefully.
NORDC is a citywide program, and Mayor Landrieu said that they intend to reach every part of New Orleans.
According to the City, the 2014 budget adds about $1 million to NORDC's coffers. That comes two years after Mayor Mitch doubled the commission's budget. The City is also using a $65 million bond issuance for new streets and NORDC facilities, according to figures released by the mayor's office.
For example, Tremé received $5.6 million renovation for a gym, pool, and locker room. St. Roch built a new playground. Pontchartrain Park received a new scoreboard for the football field and repairs to the high mast lighting on playing fields.
“There is no neighborhood that has been or will be left behind,” Landrieu said.
Algiers is the last neighborhood to benefit from the program. Clarkson said that's not because of its location across the river, but because damage from Hurricane Katrina was not as severe as the rest of the city that was flooded. Projects such as a soccer stadium this year will begin in the West Bank neighborhood this year.
Chevron representative Sakari Morrison said the energy company is committed to the endeavor and happy to be part of the team. Chevron underwrote a strategic five-year plan to make NORDC a nationally accredited program by 2016. The Pelicans and Red Cross are also sponsors of the program.
Landrieu said they hope to make NORDC a model recreation program for America.
NORDC has summer camps for youth, and Landrieu said 900 teens participated in this past teen summer program where they receive career mentoring and have opportunities to make money. Furthermore, 57,000 nutritious meals were served during the summer programs.
NORDC programs are not just for young people. According to Landrieu, 5,400 people of all ages utilized the program for swimming lessons this past summer. Landrieu said he believes it’s important that every child learns to swim.
NORDC funds programs and also rebuilds infrastructure such as gyms, playgrounds, fields, concession stands, locker rooms, etc. A goal of the program is to build proper infrastructure for every neighborhood to have a good recreation program. This year, they are also moving the committee into a headquarters, whereas the committee was spread throughout the city in previous years.
NORDC CEO Vic Richard said the infrastructure management alone costs $144 million.
Richard said the city improvements come from a conscious decision made by the citizens and commitment from the administration.
“Let’s continue what we’ve begun,” Richard said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz