In 2018, the museum made great strides in growing its Community Engagement initiative with the launch of NOMA+, a pop-up mobile museum housed in a customized fold-out trailer. This bold new project, years in the making, brought many creative forces together to build and activate a “museum without walls,” one that literally pops up in sites across metro New Orleans. NOMA+ serves a wide array of constituents from the general public to festival and event attendees, intergenerational families, K – 12 students, and senior citizens. In 2018 NOMA+ traveled around the metro New Orleans area to facilities such as libraries, community centers, schools, market places, festivals, and special events serving over 315 community members.
For the March 2018 launch of NOMA+, NOMA partnered with Everyday Africa, a collective of photojournalists who use social media to combat clichéd representations of Africa, to bring their Pulitzer Center-sponsored curriculum to New Orleans, encouraging community members to use photography to share their unique perspectives on life in their neighborhoods throughout Greater New Orleans. Working with the New Orleans Photo Alliance, a professional photographer was paired with each location site to help NOMA+ implement this curriculum. NOMA+ traveled to six locations across the New Orleans’ area including Warren Easton High School, Esperanza Charter School, Grace King High School, Ellis Marsalis Center, Rebuild Center and the Algiers Library. Selections from the Everyday New Orleans Project were on view as part of the Changing Course: Reflections on New Orleans Histories exhibition that was on view at NOMA in summer 2018.
NOMA continued its dynamic and successful Friday Nights at NOMA series in 2018, with inspiring arts-engagement for all audiences. Friday Nights at NOMA features a broad spectrum of activities including a changing roster of live music, performance, literary readings, gallery talks, artist perspectives, dance, hands -on artmaking and much, much more. 2018 saw 60,000 visitors participating in programming ranging from a Hamiltunes sing-along, a Community Panel with New Orleans artists and thought leaders, a French film series, a large-scale Bastille Day Fete, and and an artist talk with artist Lina Iris Viktor.
In order to support the museum’s crucial education and outreach efforts, NOMA was fortunate to bring on board two new staff members in the Learning and Engagement Department; Gabrielle Wyrick as the Museum’s Deputy Director of Learning and Engagement and Nicholas Aziz as Community Engagement Coordinator.
A central NOMA commitment is building the diversity of museum audiences and professional staff. Towards that effort, 2018 marked NOMA’s third year working in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation to provide its Creative Careers Internship. This program, developed in collaboration with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, offers high school students the opportunity to gain key professional development for future careers in the museum field. Over the period of six weeks, students received professional mentoring by NOMA staff, visited a range of local museums and cultural institutions, and visited local university campuses.
In addition, NOMA continued its partnership with the Ford and Walton Family Foundations’ Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative. With this support, NOMA facilitates the Professional Pathways Internship for university students enrolled in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The internship provides mentoring and stipends for semester-long internships with NOMA staff.
2018 marked the seventh consecutive year of the museum’s nationally renowned Mini Masters program, a collaborative arts integration program for pre-kindergarten students. Mini Masters encourages students to develop higher order thinking skills, make observations, and engage in conversations through museum visits and classroom activities. The program is designed to build capacity of early childhood educators through professional development and lesson modeling that develops discussion routines, techniques for teaching the elements of art, and skills for creating art in the classroom. Students visit NOMA at multiple points over the course of the year, and proudly exhibit their projects at the museum at the much anticipated culminating MiniMasters Chowcase held in the the museum’s Great Hall. In 2018, 209 students from four schools participated in Mini Masters. Partner Schools for 2017-18 included Renew Cultural Arts Academy and Renew McDonough City Park No. 28. Partner schools for 2018-19 included Educare New Orleans, Kingsley House, Renew Schools (Schaumburg Elementary and Delores T. Aaron Academy).
At the New Orleans Museum of Art, we believe that robust arts engagement is critical to building future artists, engaged citizens, and active museum audiences. We are committed to providing broad teen access to arts experiences as a means of creating a more equitable education landscape for New Orleans youth. Through NOMA’s Teen Pass, generally supported by the Helis Foundation, teens receive free admission to NOMA year round. Via the Sculpture Garden and the ongoing NOMA Teen Squad, teens can earn community service hours and build their leadership skills through the arts.
In 2018, more than 15,000 K-12 students visited the museum on school tours. The museum offers a notable selection of programs for schools and educators designed to inspire a love of art, while increasing academic skills in communication, language arts, and critical thinking. Outside the school day, kids get creative in NOMA’s Studio KIDS! Workshops. Young artists explore works of art in the museum, then retreat to the studio to create art projects based on NOMA’s collection and special exhibitions. Summer Art Camps provide sixteen half day sessions for students ages 5-10 from June to early August.
May: The Three Musketeers, presented by The NOLA Project
September: The Revolutionists, presented by The NOLA Project
April 6: Taco Truck Theater with José Torres-Tama and the ArteFuturo Ensemble
January 19: Hamiltunes NOLA
February 2: A Conversation with Collectors Dr. Kurt Gitter and Alice Yelen-Gitter
March 1: Opera Nouvelle presents selections from Champion: An Opera in Jazz
March 14–18: Art in Bloom 2018: Queen of Arts, Celebrating 30 Years of Art in
Bloom in partnership with IBERIABANK
March 18: NOMA and New Orleans Fashion Week Present Let’s Talk Fashion: A Conversation with New Orleans Fashion Week Founder Tracee Dundas and Local Designers Tabitha Bethune and Brik Allen
March 23: Bring Your Own and NOMA present A Queen Within: Stories That Reimagine Gender, Conformity, Royalty, and Power
May 18: Hot Couture Late Night
June 10: Lee Friedlander and the Musicians of Preservation Hall: A Conversation with Curator Russell Lord and Preservation Hall’s Ben Jaffe
July 13: Bastille Day Fête
August 18: Architecture and Design Film Fest Sneak Peek: Visions Not Previously Seen: The Groundbreaking Design Work of Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, followed by the feature-length documentary Design Is One: Lella and Massimo Vignelli
October 14: Art Comes to Life – Sculpture in Song in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden by the New Orleans Opera Association
October 19: NOLA 4 WOMEN present Extraordinary Women and the Founding of a Modern Museum
November 16: Book launch of City of a Million Dreams: A History of New Orleans at Year 300 by Jason Berry
December 8: Lina Iris Viktor in conversation with Renée Mussai
January 5: Sgraffito Technique
March 6, 13, 20: Classes With Curators | Looking Again: Histories of Photography
April 10, 17, 24: Salsa Tuesdays, dance lessons with Liquid Rhythm, Inc.
July 3, 10, 17, 24: Bounce ‘n Line Dance Classes with Dancing Grounds
August 25–October 20: Mindfulness Classes
November 27, December 4, 11: Classes with Curators: Looking at Art in 18th-Century Paris
May 18: Vogue Creative Digital Director Sally Singer in conversation with Thomas Beller
May 25: Yurri Herrara in conversation with Rosana Cruz
August 18: Peter Marina with Laine Kaplan-Levenson
September 14: Anne Boyd Rioux with Susan Larson
View our 2018 engagement by the numbers!