Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: The Idea Village

With the onset of The Idea Village’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, our Film Industry Seminar, the opening celebration of our 9th Ward Renaissance Project Exhibit,  and site visits from graduate students and art community representatives—the EIC experienced its own version of March Madness.

Our Film Industry Seminar, “How to Do Business in the Film Industry” was led by Jennifer Day of the New Orleans Office of Film and Video who actually two referred two participants to employment opportunities.  One was hired as a set designer for the film “Jeff Who Lives At Home”. 

The EIC hosted 23 NYU Graduate students from the Stern School of Business and the Wagner School of Public Service. They were engaging and very excited to learn about the role of the creative and cultural industries in economic development. It was very encouraging to be able to tell the story of the EIC, which after 7 months has carved out a niche in community development, through arts entrepreneurship.

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week was a big production—bringing together local and national MBA students, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations to “celebrate, promote, and promote entrepreneurial talent.” For New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the EIC hosted an event on March 24 focused on art entrepreneurship and technology entitled “Google Takes on Music @ the EIC.” We brought together local musicians, music advocates, and a team of 4 Google staffers to generate strategies for using technology to increase revenues for musicians. The energy in the room was palpable as musicians and advocates discussed the nuanced challenges of the New Orleans music industry. Based on the discussion and ideas generated from the session, the EIC will be creating an online resource for local musicians that outlines steps for incorporating technology in their revenue generation strategy.

Finally, the EIC hosted the opening of the 9th Ward Renaissance Collaborative Art Project, led and curated by Myesha Francis of MFrancis Gallery an EIC tenant and client. The art exhibit featured organizations such as the New Orleans Video Access Center, Sankofa Marketplace, Guardians of the Flame, and the Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association. Also featured were artists such as Ryan Ballard, Najee Dorsey, Sharika Mahdi, Ayo Scott and Guss Bennett. -Jodine Gordon, AmeriCorps VISTA

To learn more about The Idea Village, visit their website at: http://ideavillage.org

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About Tulane VISTA

Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

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