The next MaCCNO meeting is Wednesday the 4th at noon, Kermit’s Treme Speakeasy. Come talk about Frenchmen St, Zoning, Arts and Culture Overlays and other pressing issues.
As you may know, the City of New Orleans is currently rewriting its Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance for the first time in over 30 years. It is vital that the cultural community has a voice in these changes. Comments are due TODAY, Saturday the 30th.
To make things easier, MaCCNO has been carrying out a comprehensive review of the draft CZO, and have developed a list of comments, many of which were articulated at last week’s meeting. Some of the highlights:
– Live entertainment is virtually the only use that is prohibited anywhere in the city unless specifically allowed. This should be reversed–live entertainment should be allowed unless specifically prohibited.
– Arts and Culture overlays should be created to craft the needs of the neighborhood, rather than a using a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
– While we applaud adding live entertainment as a permitted use in restaurants, the stipulation that they only have a ‘three-piece, unamplified’ band needs to be eliminated in Arts and Culture Overlays, and possibly city-wide.
– Home businesses need to be added as a permitted use in residential areas.
– Live performance venues (note that this is different than live performance-conditional use) should not be limited to plays/musicals only.
We encourage you to please, take a few minutes today or tomorrow to send these comments, as well as your own, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and put CZO Comments in the subject line. Stuart Smith, VCPORA and French Quarter Citizens are publicly campaigning to remove live entertainment from restaurants, so it is vital we show our support. This is a great opportunity to correct some long standing problems our cultural community faces, but remember, it is not the only opportunity–the CZO must still be adopted by the Planning Commission and the City Council, and there will be yearly updates. Some of these changes might take a stronger push than others, but with persistence, we will prevail.
As you may know, the City of New Orleans is currently undergoing a rewrite of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, which dictates the allowable uses for properties and parcels of land throughout the CIty. This has tremendous implications for where and what types of live entertainment are allowed, and could impact both current and future music venues, as well as other cultural and performance spaces.
Because of the importance of this to the future of New Orleans culture, MaCCNO has arranged a meeting with members of the City Planning Commission that will allow you to ask questions and provide comments for incorporation into the new Zoning Ordinance. The meeting will take place at noon, November 20th at Kermit’s Treme Speakeasy and all are invited. If you have questions you would like answered or comments would would like to see incorporated, but cannot make the meeting, you can forward them to us at email@example.com and we will ensure that they will be addressed. To look over the draft CZO in advance of the meeting, you can go to the Planning Commission website, and there is a special appendix that addresses live entertainment and Alcoholic Beverage Outlets specifically. We hope to see you next week, as this is a rare opportunity to directly impact the future of music in this city.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Orleans, LA
Over a year of work on the politics and policies that affect New Orleans cultural community, the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans has heard (and asked!) a lot of questions about music, noise and ways to make our city livable for all. Mixing hard sound science with a lot of fun, MaCCNO is taking advantage of Café Istanbul, the beautiful, nearly sound proof performance venue in the New Orleans Healing Center to provide some answers.
Does bass rattling from a passing car actually affect your health or building stability? Can you actually prevent sound issues in your home by just closing your window? Will vacuum cleaners and leaf blowers find themselves forever banned from the French Quarter under new regulations? The time has come to answer these questions with real world examples!
Lost in the rhetorical din over the sound ordinance is the actual science behind measuring sound and what decibel levels mean to performers, audiences, and others. By making these abstract concepts more real and applicable to the actual environment of New Orleans, MaCCNO hopes to further the discussion around the sound ordinance and find practical, viable solutions that preserves the culture of this city and allows all citizens to reside and thrive in our historical neighborhoods. Presenters at this event include acoustician Dave Woolworth, YoungFellaz Brass Band, Jules and Juliette of the New Orleans band FireBug, and more. Admission is free and everybody is welcome to attend.
WHO: Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans (MaCCNO)
WHAT: Expert panel and engaging demonstrations of real world sound examples and measurements
WHEN: Wednesday, November 13 – 5:30pm to 8pm
WHERE: Café Istanbul in the New Orleans Healing Center
Our next meeting is Wednesday the 6th, noon, at Kermit’s Treme Speakeasy.
People United for Armstrong Park put out a press release last week explaining how a large increase in fees may force them to cut back on subsequent concert series and lay off their paid staff. NOLA Defender also summarized the situation with an article that includes the city’s rebuttal. MaCCNO is keeping track of the situation.
Want to start making a difference right away? One of the easiest ways to ensure New Orleans’ culture and cultural community remains vibrant is by getting involved in your neighborhood organization. With the recent adoption of the Neighborhood Participation Program, neighborhoods are getting more and more power in decisions about zoning, live entertainment, the noise ordinance, and other issues that can greatly impact where an when our cultural activities can be practiced. Often, decisions are made in these organizations by a margin of only a few votes. Two or three MaCCNO members could literally swing the outcome of a vote. A partial list of organizations is here, and we have been promised that a full, updated list is on the way soon. MaCCNO will also be publicizing meetings on our Facebook group. If you have any questions, you can always contact us via Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next MaCCNO meeting is tomorrow (the 16th), noon at Kermit’s Treme Speakeasy. Lots going on right now–the new Zoning Ordinance, possible changes at the French Market, the noise ordinance and more. Hope to see you there.
Please share: The next MaCCNO evening meeting is on Tuesday, October 8th, 6PM at Banks St Bar. We will be discussing what effect changes in the Zoning Ordinance could have on the cultural community, how to get involved in your local neighborhood organization, and also what impact the current street performance curfew time has on musicians. As always, you are also welcome to bring up additional issues and concerns. See you Tuesday, and please stay safe (and dry) over the weekend.
Exactly one year ago today, Kermit Ruffins held a meeting at his Treme Speakeasy to address what seemed to be a crackdown on live music venues throughout the City. Over 100 people attended the meeting, with the vow to continue meeting until the issues have been resolved. Now, one year later, we are proud to say that that vow has been kept. The loose, early meetings gradually coalesced into what has now become the Music and Cultural Coalition of New Orleans (MaCCNO), a group that continues to work on issues surrounding the intersection of music, culture, and policy.
Over the past year, thanks to the hard work of all of you, MaCCNO has shown great success. To date we have:
– Held teach-ins on “Working With the Government”, “Land Use and Zoning” and “Street Performance and the Law”
– Help stop ordinances that would have negatively impacted the livelihoods of the artists and cultural workers at Jackson Square
– Assisted the Bywater Neighborhood Association in crafting the St. Claude Arts and Culture Overlay
– Established good working relationships with City Hall and numerous community organizations, neighborhood groups and non-profits
– Supported a number of venues, including Jimmy’s Music Club, the St. Roch Tavern, Siberia and the Seahorse Saloon
– Served as a conduit for information for all members, as well as the general public, including journalists and researchers
– Released a ‘Noise Ordinance for All New Orleanians’ and continued to push for a Sound Ordinance that respects and enhances the culture of New Orleans and ensures that musicians, culture bearers and cultural workers can continue to do what they love AND earn a decent living.
We’ve done a lot, but we’ve got a lot more to do! Over the coming year, we will be hosting even more teach-ins; continuing to provide information and support; we’ll be launching a major push to make sure the new comprehensive Zoning Ordinance supports arts, music and culture; and, of course, we’re going to continue pushing for a fair Sound Ordinance until we can declare victory!
We’d like to offer a big thank you to all MaCCNO members, supporters, collaborators and partners. Each of you has played a role in our success, and each of you deserve a share of the credit.
Thanks for a great year, and we look forward to many more!
For complete, up to the minute updates, please check our Facebook page