This is the time of year when we assess our performance over the past year, and make resolutions and set goals for what we’d like to accomplish next year. So here are my resolutions: tasks that I’d like to accomplish—or help accomplish—in the next year. Some of them may take more than a year, but, if nothing else, I tend to put more on my plate than what I can reasonably do!
1. Create a high-profile free music festival in Armstrong Park, and create walking tours of the park itself on an ongoing basis. (Interestingly, last week, I actually saw groups of people walking in the park during the day, checking out the park itself and the newly-installed sculptures.) Armstrong Park is a gem, a treasure, waiting to be discovered by the traveling public. Now all we need to do is to stop hotel concierges and Quarterites from telling travelers that it’s unsafe.
2. Brand New Orleans as a “music city” so that travelers from all over the world will know that we consider our musical heritage and live music scene to be a top priority in attracting visitors to the city.
3. Help create a museum dedicated to New Orleans music in a prominent location on Canal Street in the theater district that will give visitors and locals alike information on the local music scene, expose them to some live music, lead them to other musical resources in the city, and provide them with an educational experience.
4. Develop music, cultural and entertainment districts throughout the city that will welcome and promote local music and musicians, as well as artists.
5. Designate both North and South Rampart Streets, Frenchmen Street, Canal Street and portions of other major thoroughfares in the city as special districts to encourage creative endeavors.
6. Work with City Park, and the new Reinventing the Crescent areas to develop more music festivals and cultural events.
7. Market New Orleans as a music city to international markets, particularly in Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim.
8. Re-develop the Municipal Auditorium site as a public venue or even a sound stage for the hundreds of movies that are being shot here.
9. Make sure that any noise ordinance proposed by the city is equitable for musicians and clubs, not only for residents who don’t like “the noise.”
10. Support the French Quarter Festival’s effort to pay local musicians directly, instead of asking them to play for a sponsorship. They’ve made strides in this area, but continue to need help.
11. I’d like to interview and create biographies for all of our musicians, whose lives and accomplishments need to be documented.
There are a lot more I have in mind, but I think these will reasonably fill up next year.
As to business resolutions, I resolve to be more tolerant, less opinionated, more investigative and more patient; to listen more and talk less; to be more compassionate and less judgmental.
I don’t suffer fools gladly, but I should at least be more patient, don’t you think?