Jazz In The Park Thursday September 24

unnamed-14:00 to 5:00 Happy Hour featuring DJ and $3 beers & $5 mix drinks
5:00 to 6:15 The Free Agent Brass Band with Sudan Social Aide and Pleasure Club
6:15 to 6:30 Intermission Mixer featuring DJ RQAWAY
6:30 to 7:50 Russell Batiste and Friends featuring the Wild 
Tchoupitoulas Posse
7:50 to 8:05 Mixer DJ RQAWAT 

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People United for Armstrong Park

2014 Lineup

Food
We at People United for Armstrong Park are excited about the amazing local food options we have put together for Season 6 of Jazz in the Park, which starts September 4, 2014.
Join us at Jazz in the Park and enjoy some delicious food from the following vendors:

Harold’s Barbecue
barbeque chicken, pulled pork, ribs

Chocolate Devil
bacon-wrapped sausages, hamburgers

Direct Select Seafood
fried seafood plates, fried seafood salads

Ninja
yakiniku (garlic ribeye) poboy, shrimp yakisoba (fried noodles), crabstick & cucumber salad, seaweed salad, vegetarian poboy
drinks: iced green tea, cold sake

Mello D’s Catering, LLC
chicken Pasta, Apple Cobbler, Merliton Dressing
sides: white beans, loaded mash potatoes

Lil Dustin’s Italian Ice
Italian Ice in several different flavors and deep fried oreos

A & L Catering Services
crab cake with crawfish sauce, chicken and sausage Jambalaya, shrimp and crawfish fettuccine, seafood sausage (alligator, crawfish and shrimp) on a bun

Ms. Dee’s Catering
red beans and rice, fried chicken, hot dogs and homemade chili, file’ gumbo
sides: french fries, salad

NOLA Foods
ghetto burger, jerk chicken, ribeye steaks, BBQ shrimp

Ms. Ackie’s Meal on Wheels
snowballs, nachos and cheese, yaka-mein and hot tamales.

(2013 post is below and shows how delicate the funding and support for this wonderful series is in constant peril; take a second to write to your council and mayor to let them know how much you enjoy the activities there.)

People United for Armstrong Park needs your help now more than ever to keep the spirit of Congo Square alive!
Jazz in the Park’s future in danger as City fees double: Armstrong Park’s Nola for Life program suspended, musicians cut

Today (10/10), major programming cuts will take effect as the fees imposed on Jazz in the Park by the City of New Orleans double. Most notably, the at-risk trainees of Armstrong Park’s Nola for Life-funded Event Production Program (EPP) will lose hours. Additionally, the 2-4pm musical act has been cancelled and Thursday will be the final second line at Jazz in the Park from 4-5pm. If city fees remain at their new level, organizers say the spring series will only feature one performer per event instead of the four acts that currently perform weekly. Additionally, the event founders (themselves unpaid volunteers) have been forced to cover city fees through a personally-guaranteed emergency line of credit.

Jazz in the Park is produced by People United for Armstrong Park, a volunteer-led Treme-based non-profit now in its second year. Since the spring of 2012, PUfAP has produced 30 free public concerts, featuring more than 100 local performers and bringing over 70,000 residents and tourists into the newly renovated Armstrong Park. In four seasons, PUfAP has trained and hired 20 community members in need, many of them public housing residents, unemployed and with criminal records. All told, Jazz in the Park events provide weekly employment opportunities to over 100 community vendors, musicians and staff.

Fees levied on the free event have increased 100% this year and 1000% from 2012. Sadly, it will be those who depend on their Armstrong Park jobs the most that will pay the greatest toll. “There is no fat to cut,” says Founder Emanuel Lain Jr., “we are cutting into bone at this point.” Jazz in the Park provides its high-quality cultural programming on a bare-bones budget – approximately 80% lower than those of the concerts at Lafayette Square.

Through its community programming, PUfAP has significantly improved the perception and reality of Armstrong Park, Rampart Street and the Treme neighborhood. Their goal is to transform Armstrong Park into a premier hub of the city’s cultural economy by honoring the cultural traditions of Congo Square.

“People United for Armstrong Park has made Armstrong Park a real park instead of an under-used landscaped backdrop for the City’s performing venues. Jazz in the Park brings together such a diverse group of people – it is unlike any other event in the city,” says Treme resident Dabne Whitmore.

 

Group Wants Main Gates To Armstrong Park To Open

The closed park gates (and city hall’s response in this story) is a perfect example of the bureaucracy misusing the city’s assets rather than encouraging the use and care of them by allowing citizens to feel ownership.

Group Wants Main Gates To Armstrong Park To Open.

Beauregard Square? who knew?

Turns out the space that has been known since the 1800s as Congo Square is actually called Beauregard Square for a Confed general who also has a statue at the entrance of City Park and a house tour in the Quarter. Seems the name change in favor of the general came in 1893 which seems about right, knowing the revisionist history that went on in the South around that time and that it was the year of his death. From the T-P article: “According to widely accepted historical tradition, African-American slaves were allowed to gather on Sunday afternoons in an open field just outside the city, at a spot known by various names including Place Congo. The slaves and free people of color used this space to market goods, to socialize and to sing, make music and dance, maintaining their cultural heritage as well as social cohesion. White New Orleanians and visitors to the city would go there to witness African-American music and dance.”
Congo Square is within Louis Armstrong Park at the “end” of Saint Ann if you are leaving the Quarter. The park’s current condition is deplorable and maybe the name change for this most important history will spark some action for this public space to be a jewel rather than an locked up eyesore. (Can I suggest a tearing down of the fence to begin?)
Author of “Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans” Freddi Evans is appearing at Octavia Books and I am sure more signings to come to showcase her definitive history. I saw her speak at the TWLF this year and she is a delightful, gentle speaker with a firm grasp of her subject. Do yourself a favor and go hear her speak.

To order book
She will be at Octavia Tuesday at 6 pm.
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