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Arts & Culture

New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center: More Than Just a Museum

The Contemporary Arts Center (Photo: Paul Broussard)

CAC opens up the world of art to children

One of my favorite places to visit in the city does a great job celebrating the performing and visual arts. More than just a museum, the Contemporary Arts Center(CAC) is a multi-disciplinary arts center, which presents local, regional, national, and international artists throughout the year. Perfectly placed in the Art District, it’s close to the National WWII Museum and Ogden Museum of Southern Art, as well as other smaller galleries along the corridor. The CAC is made up of 10,000 square feet of gallery space on two floors, perfect for nice days of exploring.  The CAC has definitely been a leader of culturally-inclusive representation for New Orleans, as well as the world, with its diverse selections and family-friendly facility.

The Contemporary Arts Center (Photo: Paul Broussard)

One performance series for your viewing pleasure is a new take on the family classic Peter and the Wolf, created by the talented members of Ya/Ya. Ya/Ya is an after-school arts and professional enrichment program that takes the creative kids of New Orleans and teaches them art and the business of art. Ya/Ya has even brought youth artists to over 15 international cities for art projects and exhibitions. The Solomon R. Gugenheim Museum in New York invited Ya/Ya to create set pieces for performances of Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev. I can’t wait to see the depiction of the wolf.

Also playing right now at the CAC is a show for the kid in us all, and it’s quickly become a real crowd favorite: Fantastic Mister Fox. Fantastic Mister Fox is a multi-media production (including lots of great puppets!) of the Roald Dahl story. This show takes the visitors into this world of play with 1,217 feet of underground tunnels. You can catch this fun show November 12, 2010, through January 2, 2011.

You can also catch the exhibit Aye-Ti Mounn Yo, which focuses on cross-cultural conversations between the children of New Orleans and Haiti. Artists worked with students from William J Fischer Elementary School and kids from Port Au Prince. I’m also looking forward to checking out Elements of Nature. This showing explores different artists’ interpretations of the natural world. I’m particularly interested in Cindy Wright’s forbidden butterfly.

So while you’re in town, schedule some time to come enjoy the Contemporary Arts Center. Grab a coffee in the café and then get lost in the beautiful art and performances you can find filling the space. You will find me trying to resist the urge to slide down the spiral ramp!

Contemporary Arts Center
900 Camp Street
Thursday – Sunday 11:00 am-4:00 pm
$5/general, $3/students & seniors, FREE To CAC members.

Peter and the Wolf
November 20-21, 2010 2:30pm
Children 15 & Under – $10.00, CAC members – $15.00, general admission – $25

Fantastic Mister Fox
November 12, 2010 – January 2, 2011
Thursdays = $12 CAC Member*/$15 Non-Member
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays = $17 CAC Member*/ $20 Non-Member
*CAC members are limited to 4 tickets at member price

Aye-Ti Mounn Yo
November 6, 2010 – January 9, 2011

Elements of Nature
November 6, 2010 – February 27, 2011

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