A B O U T U S
Our work in New Orleans is mostly behind-the-scenes—learning, listening & making connections across cities.
We enjoy making personal introductions & sharing urban insights whenever we can.
"There is no place like New Orleans. It's a must-see city because there's no explaining it, no describing it. You can't compare it to anything." -Anthony Bourdain
We came to New Orleans by way of Detroit to learn about what happened here post-Katrina, and to better understand the do's & don'ts of urban revitalization. We were also curious how this city fiercely preserves its local music, food, architecture, history & culture while other places struggle to protect & value theirs.
We're also learning how to be new in an old city with deep roots & strong traditions. New Orleans is experiencing the same tensions around development & gentrification that all cities are—but here, it feels even more imperative to enter gently and tread lightly with respect & humility, so as not to do inadvertent harm to what makes this place so unique.
With this in mind, we try to be good ambassadors & stewards. We've hosted nearly 100 guests from Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Portland, Memphis, San Francisco & beyond, and we enjoy pointing visitors to places & projects beyond the usual tourist fare.
In May 2016, we convened an Urban Exchange between comrades from Detroit & New Orleans. And we brought the NOLA-born Blackness in America dinner series to Detroit. We filmed interviews for Change & The City and hosted a documentary crew from The New York Times. We worked with Urban Innovation Exchange to publish profiles of innovators.
We keep a list of recommendations & referrals—scroll down below. If you are planning a visit, take a glance before you come and share with any friends.
E X P L O R E
Visiting New Orleans? May we suggest—
V I S I T
5099 Louisiana Highway 18, Wallace, LA 70049
The Whitney Plantation is unlike other plantations. It's the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery.
If you're visiting New Orleans, we highly recommend a half-day trip to Wallace, Louisiana—a one-hour drive from the city.
Through museum exhibits, memorial artwork, restored buildings and hundreds of first-person slave narratives, visitors to Whitney will gain a unique perspective on the lives of Louisiana's enslaved people.
To visit, we recommend holding 4-5 hours for the full experience (two hours roundtrip travel and two hours on site). Admission is $22 and guided tours are 1.5 hours.
Transportation & tour options here. We have found good deals for a 1-day car rental from Enterprise on Canal Street, which offers complimentary pick-up from your hotel. (Note: Uber/Lyft can get you there, but not always back!) Stop at nearby B&C Seafood Market before or after for a traditional Cajun lunch.
E A T
A few of our (women-led) favorites —
U R B A N E X C H A N G E
On May 12, 2016, we hosted a cross-city exchange between community leaders from Detroit & New Orleans at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Center on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.
The evening began with a screening of Change & The City, featuring perspectives on urban revitalization & gentrification from Detroit, Philadelphia & New Orleans.
The screening was followed by dialogue between guest speakers:
- Lauren Hood, Live6 Alliance (Detroit)
- Chad Rochkind, Human Scale Studio (Detroit)
- Suzanne Mobley, Tulane City Center (NOLA)
- Jocelyne Ninneman, DETxNOLA
- Andre Perry, education advocate (NOLA)
- Rashida Govan, Project Butterfly (NOLA)
- Westley Bayas III, Magnolia Strategies (NOLA)
- Claire Nelson, Urban Consulate (Detroit/NOLA)
- Ashe Cultural Arts Center
- Roux Carre
- New Orleans Jazz Market
- Southern Food & Beverage Museum
- Dryades Public Market