On Monday, September 11, major candidates for mayor and members of the community took part in a forum on music policy at the Carver. The event served to foster discussions about what New Orleans’ massive industry needs in order to sustain itself and those it employs. Announced by OffBeat Media in conjunction with the ELLA Project and The Recording Academy, the public forum was open to the public and ran for 90 minutes.
The event was moderated by author and former Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie. Additional panelists included Fred Johnson, Co-Founder of the Black Men of Labor; Melissa Weber (DJ Soul Sister); and Larry Blumenfeld, journalist and music critic. WWOZ was on hand to livestream the event in its entirety, which you can watch here:
Jan Ramsey, OffBeat publisher and one of the forum’s panelists, said of the event “Glad this was done. It was not nearly long enough. Assessing strengths and weaknesses and inventorying problems is the first step. Then establish an eight-year goal and a strategic plan to achieve the goal. An established, well-funded and -staffed Music Office should be responsible for achieving these goals via reporting to the community–not just musicians, but everyone–on progress.”
New Orleanians will head to the polls on Saturday, October 14.