Founded in 1976 by a group of ambitious visual and performing artists, the Contemporary Arts Center still keeps in touch with its roots as an artist-driven community organization. The award-winning design of its ever-changing gallery, atrium, and theater spaces juxtaposes the original architecture of a turn-of-the-century warehouse building with newer materials and aesthetics. Within its 30,000 feet of open event space, the CAC hosts a range of events, such as curated contemporary exhibitions, world and local music performances, and special galas such as the SweetArts Bash.
When not coordinating exhibitions and performances, the CAC staff also leads educational programs such as one-day art camps, which expose children and adults to the arts. In these programs, professional local artists train groups in drama, dance, music, visual arts, and creative writing.
Fully devoted to dance since 1969, NOBA is bringing the ultra-creative flairs and fantastic whirlings of MOMIX to the center stage. Sate a desire for fluffy flower props, human centaurs, and large sheet swooshes with today's Groupon.
During the two-day Winter Art & Antiques Show, avid antiquarians can stare down their fill of stone-faced 19th-century cameos inside the stately Greek Revival edifice of the Old U.S. Mint, where 18 dealers will hawk art and antiquities from the 17th through mid-20th century. An auction gives bargain hunters ample opportunity to pick up an ornate silver tea service for a beloved Earl-Grey-sipping aunt or Starfleet captain, while connoisseurs of antique knowledge can absorb free lectures on restoration or native Louisiana art. Since most objets d'art are inedible, the classic Southern fare at Café Reconcile will quiet rumbling stomachs before their reverberations crack any delicate china.
Landmarks is the oldest non-profit preservation advocacy organization in New Orleans, and was founded by some of the city's leading preservationists, including Samuel Wilson Jr, Pie Dufour, Angela Gregory and Martha G. Robinson. The organization saved the Pitot House from destruction in 1964.
At the Vieux Carré, New Orleans' famous 85-block French Quarter, modern-day visitors moving in and out of National Historic Landmark properties are transported to city's past while taking in the mishmash of architectural styles distinguished by colorful facades and filigreed iron galleries and balconies. The restored landmark property known as the Gallier House makes its home in the Quarter, waiting to dazzle with the 19th-century splendor that backdropped the lives of their inhabitants—a diverse crew of enslaved workers, tycoons, free people of color, architects, and robots—more than a century ago.
The Gallier House was built in 1860 by renowned architect James Gallier Jr., who also designed the old French Opera House and Municipality Hall (now Gallier Hall). Gallier ensured the house was ahead of its time by installing a bathroom with indoor plumbing, a ventilation system to circulate air, an attached kitchen, and a hologram butler. The fully furnished two-story house also contains a courtyard, carriageway, and slave quarters, and it inspired Louis and Lestat's New Orleans residence in Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. In 1996, The Woman's Exchange bought the property, ensuring that it would be preserved as a museum and historic landmark. Today, curators illuminate the mansion’s history through frequent exhibits and educational programs for people of all ages.
Beauregard-Keyes House, with a white-columned tuscan portico, was originally built in 1826 on land sold by the Old Ursuline Convent and rises dramatically above two grand stone staircases. Within the restored Victorian interior, period furniture, personal effects, and other ephemera pay tribute to the lives of the house’s two most famous residents: Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1866–1868) and Frances Parkinson Keyes (1944–70), author of tomes such as Dinner at Antoine’s, The Chess Players, and War and Peace. Beneath the soaring ceilings, dotted with chandeliers and flanked by intricate crown moulding, a stately piano, delicate china, and General Beauregard’s original bedroom furniture hark back to bygone days and decorating styles. Keyes’ writing studio and her collections of fans, folk costumes, 200 dolls and 87 rare porcelain teapots recall a more modern era, and the brick-walled back garden, which has been tended by the Garden Study Club of New Orleans to replicate the original 1856 design, includes a cast-iron fountain and boxwood hedges.