Helping New Orleans Recover; NOLAFunGuide.com Launched

Contact: Cindy Jobbins, 215-575-4812, cjobbins@pewtrusts.org, Laura L. Fincannon, 504-523-1465


New Orleans, Orleans, LA - 04/19/2007 - On Thursday, April 19th, the Arts Council of New Orleans will officially launch www.NOLAFunGuide.com, a comprehensive centralized events calendar for the Greater New Orleans area during a public presentation to be held at Le Petit Theatre at 2:00 p.m.

Modeled after Philadelphia’s highly successful PhillyFunGuide.com website, the NolaFunGuide.com is a joint initiative of the Arts Council of New Orleans and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation to help rebuild the area’s cultural infrastructure. The project was made possible by a $392,000 grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts and $48,000 from the William Penn Foundation through The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.  The Cultural Alliance also provided guidance and technical assistance enabling project organizers to bring the site live in a fraction of the time that would normally be required for a project of this magnitude.

“New Orleans is a national treasure. As Jazz Fest anticipation builds, we’re honored to play a part in the city’s ongoing recovery. This project is fundamentally about transferring an existing, proven marketing platform, in order to accelerate the rebirth of a truly great city,” said Peggy Amsterdam, President, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

 “Philadelphia understands the social and economic value of the arts, particularly to a city like New Orleans,” said Marian Godfrey, managing director of Culture and Civic Initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts. “The Pew Charitable Trusts is proud to join with our partners in the cultural community to offer this special gift to New Orleans as an important step toward its recovery. The Fun Guide has been enormously successful in Philadelphia in building arts awareness and attendance, and we hope that it has equally positive results for New Orleans.”

Organizers are very optimistic about the project’s success based upon initial response from members of the cultural arts community who have been providing site content and commentary throughout this first phase of the development process. The second phase of the project known as FunSavers will include the addition of half price event tickets and is scheduled for launch during the summer of 2007.

 “NolaFunGuide.com is The Go-to Guide for Greater New Orleans Arts, Entertainment & Fun,” said Shirley Trusty Corey, President of the Arts Council of New Orleans. “To date, we already have approximately 1,500 Greater New Orleans Organizations listing over 500 events for everything from sporting events, festivals and exhibits to live jazz performances, stage plays, food tastings and concerts. If it’s happening in New Orleans, you’ll find it on NolaFunGuide.com.”

“The recovery strategy mapped out by the “Bring New Orleans Back” Commission and the Cultural Summit relies centrally on culture and cultural marketing,” said Sandy Shilstone, President of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. “Our culture is fundamental to New Orleans’ civic identity and economy and NOLAFunGuide.com will harness the power and reach of web based technologies as a means to that end.”

The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency.  Now in its 32nd year, the Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent for Art program for the City of New Orleans.  The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) promotes the city as a leisure tourism destination throughout the year.  Annually, NOTMC's marketing campaigns include strategic print, broadcast, and Internet advertising as well as public relations.  For more information, please call 504-524-4784, or visit our websites – www.NewOrleansOnline.com, www.NewOrleansMuseums.com and soon, www.HearNewOrleansMusic.com.


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