New Orleans Writers Housing Outreach Project

All about progress on the New Orleans Writers Housing Outreach and New Orleans Writers Museum projects and LA Writers Foundation.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Progress, One Step at a Time

Although we haven't gotten the group together since March, we're still making progress. I thought I'd start this blog so that anyone could visit and see how we're doing.

The New Orleans Writers Museum is a planned museum honoring writers who lived in New Orleans. Presently, we plan to locate it in the heart of the French Quarter in a 200 year-old building that has largely been vacant for more than a decade, across from LaFitte's Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon and St. Phillip. I met with the building's owner for 3 hours
over coffee last week. His family doesn't want to sell the property, but he's willing to negotiate a long-term lease that would house the museum and ancillary operations, such as a bookstore, gift shop & coffee house, for 15 years or more, with renewable terms.

Andrei Codrescu has written a letter in support of the New Orleans Writers Museum . He also wants to be sure that we help aspiring living writers, which we plan to do. We want to do that by holding weekly readings, providing administrative support services and maybe even a health insurance plan for writers. First, though, we need to launch a newsletter. This blog helps to fill some of the newsletter's communication functions, for now.

Gary Smith has gotten Governor Blanco to sign a proclamation declaring September, 'Writers Appreciation Month,' and we plan to have our kick-off fundraising activities in late September, most likely September 23-25 (the 25th is Faulkner's birthday). Thank you, Gary.

We'd like to hold a, "Festival of Books," hopefully sponsored by the Times-Picayune and other corporations. Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu and Mayor Nagin are aware of the museum project and have offered their support.

We have drawn up the papers for the incorporation of the Louisiana Writers Foundation (LWF), which will help to assist and promote Louisiana Writers, as well as to launch the New Orleans Writers Museum (NOWM) project. We plan to apply for many grants, especially those that are education-related, as we intend to make the museum, 'kid friendly' and to help instill a pride in reading, writing and books in New Orleans children, as well as to show off and preserve New Orleans' rich literary heritage.

Elena Reeves of Tchopshop Media has graciously donated her services in designing logos for the LWF and NOWM. Thank you, Elena.

We've also found a marketing consultant who specializes in non-profits, and has extensive grant writing experience and success.

And, of course, we've got this blog up here.
So we're making good progress!

- Robert Smallwood


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