May, 2018- A Month in Review
by: Brandon Curran: NOHC Marketing and Events Manager
It’s been a busy spring at The New Orleans Healing Center. With an increased focus on community outreach projects and teaming up with some fantastic community organizations, The Healing Center opened its doors to many new faces and continued to breakdown socioeconomic barriers for those we serve.
The Little Free Pantry and Little Free Library were two of those buzz-worthy community outreach projects. The Free Little Pantry is currently located on the first floor of The New Orleans Healing Center underneath The Grand Hall Staircase. This area currently houses two bookshelves, signage, and a lockable gate to keep the pantry open during normal-business hours. The Little Free Pantry allows individuals to drop off extra food or pick up needed-food in a welcoming and non-judgmental space.
The Free Little Library consists of two large bookshelves in the middle of our Grand Hall Stair Case. This newly-decorated area allows individuals of the community to drop off our pick up different books. The New Orleans Healing Center staff has made it a particular commitment to ensure that there are different religious texts across many faiths to ensure The New Orleans Healing Center remains an open and welcoming space for all. The Little Free Pantry and Little Free Library continues to position The New Orleans Healing as a premier gathering spot for accessible and affordable goods and services in the St. Claude/St. Roch neighborhood.
Additionally, the New Orleans Healing Center successfully hosted its first two ‘St. Claude Connection’ radio programming on WAMF with a Community Voice to showcase socially-minded businesses, nonprofits and government entities all working for the betterment of St. Claude, Bywater, Marigny and St. Roch communities. Guests included;
- John Calhoun from The New Orleans Food Co-operative and Mark Quinn from Agrowtopia who discussed urban farming, food deserts and the future for New Orleans’ local food systems
- ‘Shoeless’ Eric Pollard from The Affordable Healing Arts talked about his Jin Shin Jyutsu practice and happenings at The Affordable Healing Arts
Public and Community Health
The Healing Center was thrilled to support Café Istanbul in hosting The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority for a Community Outreach Event for the possible expansion of the N. Rampart Street Car. This event allowed the public to learn about different public transport plans and give opinions for upcoming projects. The Healing Center serves as community hub to connect various communities on both side of St. Claude that can many times serve as a barrier between groups. We are proud to support Café Istanbul in continuing to bring those different communities together so everyone can have a voice in our city and its plans moving forward.
Additionally, The Healing Center was glad to assist Girl Twirl, LLC in ramping up its summer programming to offer reduced-pricing summer camp curriculum that includes classes in baton twirling, jazz and hip-hop for many New Orleans’ youth.
Local Arts and Culture
The Healing Center was extremely grateful to team up with some fantastic partner organizations throughout May to showcase a wide range of local and international arts and culture.
Specifically, we appreciated our work with The Creativity Collective to host the first annual ‘Corsetcon’ that supported the arts of multiple costuming-based performance types that included: drag, burlesque, cosplay, steampunk and more. All proceeds from event supported The Creativity Collective which is a 501(c)3 awarded non-profit consisting of artists, educators, parents, entrepreneurs, and students creating imaginative solutions for local challenges. St. Claude continues to grow as an arts and culture destination that’s inclusive on many peoples genders and sexuality. The Healing Center was excited to serve as a destination for these inclusive performance art forms.
Furthermore, The Healing Center teamed up with The Tibetan House to host The Drepung Gomang Monks on their Sacred Arts Tour of the United States. The Tour helps to raise funds to support the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Southern India. Their day-long activities included; Puja (prayer) for peace, Snow Lion Dance, traditional dancing, costumes, a Tibetan Goods market and more. It was particularly beautiful to see many families, of varying abilities, be able to get out of the rain for a free family-friendly day full of activities that allowed children to experience international and sacred cultures.
Finally, The Healing Center was excited to support The Second Story Gallery in their newest show; Woven: Recent Works Of Amy Bryan And Natori Green. These two artists utilize various mediums to explore what it means to be a woman of color in today’s media. Given today’s political climate, the show received high acclaim and garnered the attention of other well-known artists.
Diversity and Inclusion
The New Orleans Healing Center hosted their last Daring Discussion in our current four-month cycle. This month, we moderated a frank and honest conversation on race and strategies on how to feel comfortable having one’s own discussions on race in their own professional or personal lives.
Finally, The New Orleans Healing Center supported Café Istanbul is hosting their monthly Moth Open Mike. The Moth allows a wide-array of community members to come out, share and listen to stories around a central theme. This program supports local artists while bringing the community together. This month’s theme was particularly topical in today’s climate; karma.