Please come to our 2012 Best of The Beat Awards, Friday, January 18 at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive. Doors open at 6 p.m. with food from 25 great New Orleans restaurants, including Acme Oyster House, Custom Catering, Chiba, Crepes a la Carte, Dreamy Weenies, Jager Haus German Restaurant & Grill, Mona’s Cafe, La Madeleine, Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza, Oceana Grill, the Praline Connection, Southern Candymakers, Tee- Eva’s, the Gumbo Shop, Rue Chow, the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, Three Muses, Nacho Mama’s, Nile Ethiopian Cuisine, Mr. Mud Bug, Phil’s Grill.
But wait! That’s just the beginning. Music starts as you walk in the door with the Pinettes Brass Band, on the front stage Ingrid Lucia and Special Guests, Helen Gillet’s “Accordion-Off” with Sunpie Barnes, Greg Schatz and “C” Symons; the a special tribute to Uncle Lionel Batiste beginning at 7:45 p.m. headed by the Treme Brass Band and featuring the Baby Dolls.
Big History plays the back stage beginning at 7:15 pm, and the music stops at 8:oo p.m. so you can enjoy the Best of The Beat Music Awards, hosted by moi, and Liz Reyes and Gerry “Gerry V” Vaillancourt from Fox 8.
After the awards, Debauche kicks up the front stage, with Mannie Fresh and Dee-1 closing; on the back stage Ernie Vincent and the Top Notes present a tribute to our Lifetime Achievement in Music winners, the heroes of New Orleans R&B: the Dixie Cups, Frankie Ford, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Jean Knight and Robert “Barefootin’” Parker. And to close out the night on the big stage, indie-rocker phenoms, the Revivalists.
Tickets are $30 until tomorrow when they increase to $35. The best bargain and show in town!
As I write this—on Wednesday afternoon—I’m looking forward to our Best of The Beat Music Business Awards tonight at the Old Mint. It’s the one night a year where people in the business get together to network, talk, relax and to enjoy themselves, and we’re proud to be able to do this event every year for the music business community.
We searched high and low for a place to have the event this year, and for some stupid reason, it didn’t occur to me to look at the third-floor performance area at the Old Mint, literally almost across the street from our office. It’s a small performance area, but it has state-of-the-art sound and video works; it’s probably got the best sound of any room in town. There’s no regular programming there, but the facility is shared by the Louisiana State Museum and the National Park Service for various and sundry programs. It’s a pity that the room isn’t used for regular music performances because the sound is so great, but when the room was built part of its mission was not to compete against local music venues.
The budget for state museums was cut drastically this year…and face it, the legislators for the state of Louisiana are not particularly oriented towards the preservation of arts and culture, or even education. Cuts to the museum budgets and to education have been egregious.
Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne controls a second museum system in Louisiana, the “state museum system” which is comprised of 11 facilities, mostly in New Orleans: the Cabildo, the Presbytere, Old U.S. Mint and other buildings in the French Quarter; a museum near the Capitol building in Baton Rouge; and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, which will open next summer in Natchitoches.
Considering the amount of historical treasures in this state, and our contribution to the arts and musical culture, it’s truly pathetic and damaging to our state’s legacy that museums’ budgets—a major contributor to our educational and historical resources—are being cut by the current administration. But this budget slashing is also happening all over the country, despite the fact that in many cases educational programs and visitation is up at American museums.
Why can’t Louisiana lawmakers help to stabilize funding for state museums through better budgeting and a dedicated revenue source, and allow such facilities to continue their roles as important historical and tourism entities that add value to our communities? Surely these museums are an important part of tourism for the state. This is particularly true of the Old Mint in New Orleans (the site for our Best of The Beat Music Business Awards). A plan for developing the second floor into a Louisiana music museum has been in place for years; and of course, not the development is at a stalemate because the funding has been cut so drastically.
Perhaps the administration needs to change the way that it thinks about museums in Louisiana, and should try to integrate them more into their tourism marketing plans.