L9 Center for the Arts

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Photo Credit: Cameron Conklin

Contributors

Mission

L9 Center for the Arts’s mission is to “promote art, culture, and community through an ongoing program of art exhibitions and educational initiatives.” [1]

History and Background

The center was founded in 2007 after Hurricane Katrina by documentary photographers/filmmakers and visual anthropologists, Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick. The center provides support needed to develop meaningful, measurable, and sustainable opportunities for under-recognized and emerging artists. L9 Center for the Arts serves the Lower Ninth Ward community of New Orleans and the larger Gulf Coast area with a gallery space for art exhibitions, performances, and other events, as well as a studio for artists-in-residence. [2]

Programs and Exhibitions

L9 Center for the Arts hosts programs for Lower Nine students to encourage artistic endeavors. They host a photography summer camp, and this summer the work of their students was on display at the Rosa Keller Community Center in Broadmoor. The show opened on May 18 and was available for viewing through July 18. Photographs on display anchored by a giant prose-poem capture the creative spirit of the students from the Lower 9th Ward in a special exhibit titled “My Neighborhood is Changing”. [3] Their goal is to inspire and encourage youngsters through creative writing and photography. “Neighborhood” was a summary of the youths’ work at the center in the summer of 2012. Keith and Chandra provide the students with cameras and equipment and let them loose on the neighborhood to photograph whatever interests them. The kids learn about asking permission to take people’s photographs and in the process get to see their neighborhood from a whole new perspective. All of the students in the program are age 13 and younger. L9 is hoping to continue the summer camp into the school year. They are also working to teach the children other more advanced photo forms such as Photoshop and film.

In the summer and fall of 2012, L9 Center for the Arts organized an exhibition at the Lambert Foundation in New York entitled “Right to Return, River Road, NOLA Now!” “The exhibition at Lambent Foundation allows the viewer to travel from the Louisiana River Road moving into the flood waters to images representing the Right to Return to arriving at the continued strength and on-going work of Calhoun and McCormick in images of NOLA Now! River Road, Right to Return, NOLA Now! is an expression of the history these two artists have captured, bearing silent witness.” [4]

Mapping Non-Profit Influence: The Case of the Lower Ninth Ward

L9 Center for the Arts is one of many organizations that have worked to restore the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. As part of a larger study of the impact and networks of non-profits in 2013 (please see Mapping Non-Profit Influence: The Case of the Lower Ninth Ward for more details), we can see that this organization excels in the following areas:

Performance

1. Access to consumers (regardless of ability to pay)
L9 Center for the Arts offers free exhibitions and summer programs for students. They gallery is also free of charge and can be seen by appointment.

2. Provisions of collective goods that compliment those of the government (or replace)
L9 Center for the Arts provides a collective good by educating young residents of the Lower Ninth and preserving its history through photography in the L9 gallery.

Participation in Information Sharing

1. Education
L9 Center for the Arts provides a yearly program in the summer for young children to learn photography. They are working to expand this program to include other mediums such as film and to lengthen the program to all year round.

2. Capacity Building
The center provides support needed to develop meaningful, measurable, and sustainable opportunities for under-recognized and emerging artists. L9 serves as a place to encourage young artists in their neighborhood and support them in these endeavors.

3. Networking
L9 Center for the Arts has connections with 2 other organizations in this study (Tekrema Center for Arts and Education and CSED). They also have partnerships with various organizations inside and beyond the city.

Works Cited

  • L9 Center for the Arts. August 17th 2013. http://l9artcenter.org/.
  • L9 Center for the Arts. August 17th 2013. http://l9artcenter.org/.
  • Clelestan, Karen. The Advocate. L9 Center for the Arts. “Their Image”. August 17th 2013. “http://theadvocate.com/utility/homepagestories/6051185-129/exhibit-showcases-a-kids-eye-view”.
  • L9 Center for the Arts. August 17th 2013. http://l9artcenter.org/.

This page was last modified on 17 August 2013, at 03:34

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L9 Center for the Arts Headquarters

539 Caffin Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117