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February/March 2016 Music & Arts Day, new partners in music and growing food

March 5 was our first Music & Arts Day of 2016 in New Orleans. We had a wonderful turn-out of musicians and students in the Big Room of the Ashé Cultural Arts Center.

Alfred Roberts, whose conga-playing contributed much to the 1970s music of Professor Longhair, and Cole Williams-x, leader of a 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival band, again were our musicians and instructors.

Alfred, Riley, Jodi, Cole

The Kuumba Institute again brought us more than a score of painters and music

students. Photos from the Day are by the great Kim Welsh!

Arthur taught patterns he'd first learned in the 1950s and 1960s.

Riley received Pro-Mark brushes and a cap for her efforts, thanks to our sponsor the D'Addario Foundation.

Kuumba artists flashed their colors.

We met Jeff Campbell of Hungry for Music and received from Jeff two pink-pink-pink

guitars that will soon make their way to surprised and delighted students. Hungry

for Music has donated an astonishing number of instruments--more than 7000!-- to young players in the United States since Jeff began the organization in 1994. You can learn more at

Jeff Campbell with the pink-pink-pink guitars, donated by his nieces, behind the R.V. in which

he lives and travels the United States.

We've also begun steps to bring more and better food to students in greater New

Orleans and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Our long-time allies Nat Turner of Our School

at Blair Grocery and David Young of Capstone Farms, both of whose areas of cultivated land in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward have grown by many times over the

past five years, have offered to partner with Sticking Up For Children, Harvery Reed, another long-time friend, Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Cooperatives, has also agreed to work with us. SUFC Board Member Leslie Bertucci has bridged us to her friend Folwell Dunbar, former Principal of the Young Audiences School. We're moving together to advance these fundamental steps:

•More of local and organically grown food delivered direct to Schools;

•More of students' regular participation in the Capstone Farms and Our School at Blair Grocery gardens of the Lower 9th Ward;

•More hands-on training of student gardeners through farmers of the Louisiana

Association of Cooperatives.

Our new partner of January 2016, the AdinkraNOLA school, is bringing students to

work in the Guerrilla Garden of Jenga Mwendo and the Backyard Gardeners Network

of the Lower 9th Ward. Please check out their positive work--

And here-- may remember Jenga and her daughter from our Music & Arts Day of July 2014 with Make Music NOLA at the Phillips family's house. Aristide Phillips, our great vidographer, also contributes his talents to the Guerilla Garden. And that's how it goes in the new New Orleans--the same kind of people, the same kind of visions, continue to intersect.

Alfred, Jenga, and Jenga's daughter Jasmine.

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