Media contact:
Viola T. Johnson Blunt

New Orleans, LA - February 25, 2017 - Ashé Cultural Arts Center releases its March schedule of events, chocked full of interesting happenings, with something for the entire family. During this Women's History Month, First Fridays on the Boulevard at Ashé takes on a different look as we highlight the accomplishments of women, past and present. Team SNO also takes its poetry in that same direction, featuring one of its award winning poets, Sha'condria Icon Sibley.

In addition, as part of the continuing kinship between Cuba and New Orleans, Cuban filmmaker William Sabourin O'Reilly returns with yet another film screening and discussion. This time, he features New Orleans' own legend, Leah Chase. O'Reilly's film screenings at Ashé are part of a NALAC Diverse Art Spaces grant through which several activities will occur this year, as we continue to embrace the similarities between Cuba and New Orleans, especially as it relates to African heritage.

Meanwhile, Ashé brings to the stage two productions: The Vagina Monologues-a call to action against violence directed at women and girls; and The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth, a beautifully staged adaptation of Dr. David Anderson's book of the same name.

Further, the City offers a seminar which provides pointers for businesses, N'Kafu brings to the stage entertainers from the Motherland, nonprofits can learn more about grant writing, and more.

There's always lots to do at Ashé. Below is the schedule of event.

To arrange for an interview on any of the listings, please contact Viola T. Johnson Blunt at (504) 813-9008 or via email at

MARCH 2017
First Fridays on the Boulevard at Ashé - Celebrating Women's History Month
March 3, 2017 | 5:30 PM
Ashé Cultural Arts Center | 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Free and open to the public.

In honor of Women's History Month, First Fridays on the Boulevard at Ashé presents an evening highlighting outstanding women-past and present. Come mix, mingle, and witness the courageous contributions that women have made in history. Call (504) 569-9070.

Team SNO
March 5, 2017 | 7:00 PM; Doors open at 6:30 PM
Ashe Cultural Arts Center | 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA

In celebration of Women's History Month, Slam New Orleans is bringing you an all-women's showcase featuring some of the city's best writers! This will also serve as the send-off show for the 2017 #TeamSNO Women of the World Poetry Slam representative Sha'Condria iCon Sibley. So come on out and support her in her journey! Team SNO hosts open mics & slams on the 1st Sunday of each month at Ashe Cultural Arts Center.
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City of New Orleans Economic Development - Business Information Session
March 8, 2017 | 1:00 - 3:30 PM
Free and open to the public.

The Business Information Sessions provide free and open education and information on topics that are gathered from business owners and entrepreneurs.
This session will touch on: "Free Resources for New Orleans Independent Businesses from StayLocal," presented by StayLocal; and "Business Banking and Funding Resources," presented by Hope Credit Union.

For more information contact Margrett Magee at 504-658-4237.

Grantwriting for Beginners
March 9, 2017 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ashe Cultural Arts Center | 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Registration $40.

Discounts are available for students, AmeriCorps and organizations registering two or more people.

Are you involved with a nonprofit? Does your job require you to raise funds for your department or position? Do you want to add a valuable skill to your resume?
Consider grantwriting! Grantwriting for Beginners is an engaging workshop that gives you the basic tools you need to start writing grants. Participants will learn how to find funding opportunities, tools and tips for writing proposals and ways to make a program competitive for repeat funding.

Attendees will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.
For questions, to inquire about discount codes or to reserve your seat and pay at the door, email

The Vagina Monologues

March 10 and 11, 2017 | 7:00 PM
Ashé Cultural Arts Center | 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
$20; $10 for students and senior citizens 65 and over

Directed by Kesha McKey, The Vagina Monologues is a play based on interviews conducted with 200 women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll never forget the lessons learned.

The 2017 cast: Laureé Akinda, Sydney Camel, Yashica Collins, Laurence Copel, Tina Dixon, Kemba Dupree, Coti Gayles, Lacey Howcroft, Hannah Haakenson, Ronisha Johnson, Marlo Lacen, Laurita Marie, Jenna Vagts, Joi Warner, and Glenda Watters.
The creative team: assistant director/choreographer Catherine Caldwell, light design by John Grimsley, stage manager Karel Sloane-Boekbinder, and production assistants Thea Bashful, Tiphanie Champ and Britta Tollefsrud.

Proceeds from the event benefit Planned Parenthood Gulf South and the YWCA of Greater New Orleans. Call (504) 569-9070 for more information. Tickets are available at Ashé or online at

The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth
March 14, 2017 | 10:00 AM
Ashé Power House | 1731 Baronne, NOLA
Admission: $8.00

The production is based on the book of the same name, written by David Anderson. Directed by Kesha McKey,
this dance/theater adaptation tells the legendary myth of how Earth and the first people were created, according to Yoruba Culture of West Africa. The stories were handed down to the author as they were retold by his ancestors. This creation myth connects the African Diaspora and the arrival of West Africans to New Orleans and their legacy in New Orleans culture and tradition. The multimedia production uses the concept of the griot (storyteller) combined with spoken word (Vorchestra), dancers, live drumming, and film. Please schedule your tour by contacting Drena Clay or Brenda Roussell at (504) 569-9070.

New Orleans Youth Open Mic
March 15, 2017 | 10:00 AM
Ashé Cultural Arts Center | 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Suggested donation $2.00 (No one turned away)

The New Orleans Youth Open Mic was started in the spring of 2014. This monthly open mic is a partnership between local poets invested in youth arts + education and Tulane University's Black Student Union (TBSU). NOYOM provides a stage and space for local youth (7th-12th grade) to share and support each other in their writing. The open mic also exposes youth to a variety of different poetry styles through the use of monthly features (either youth or adult poets) in our programming. For more information, call (504) 228-2179.

Film Screening:
Chasing Dreams: A Leah Chase Story

March 16, 2017 | 6:30 PM - Doors open at 6:00 PM.
Ashé Power House | 1731 Baronne, NOLA
Free and open to the public.

Cuban filmmaker William Sabourin O'Reilly presents and discusses his film documentary, Chasing Dreams: A Leah Chase Story. The film provides a heart-warming glimpse into the life of Chef Leah Chase, who, at 88, continues to fight every day for human dignity with inspiring energy and joy. The evening also features samplings of Cuban delicacies.

One People, Many Voices: Afro Cuban Connections, of which this film is a part, is supported by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), Southwest Airlines and the Ford Foundation, through a grant from the NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces Grant Program. For more information, call Drena Clay at (504) 569-9070.

Amistad Research Center present
Conversations in Color: Bernice McFadden and Alexis De Veaux
March 16, 2017 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Ashé Cultural Arts Center | 1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Free and open to the public.

Please register at Eventbrite at:
Conversations in Color is a free public cultural series, created by the Amistad Research Center, that features artists, educators, and community activists in talks about their work and its impact on social change.

TOPIC: Black Women Writers and the Re-imagination of American Culture
The Amistad Research Center will host Bernice L. McFadden, 2017 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work in Fiction, in a dialogue with Alexis De Veaux, Ph.D., winner of the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Fiction, about black women's literature and its shaping of American culture. McFadden is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels. De Veaux is an activist and writer whose work in multiple genres is nationally and internationally known. For more information call (504) 862-3225.

N'Kafu Traditional African Dance Company's Annual Concert:
GOLD, The Mansa Musa (The Rich King) Story
March 25, 2017 | 8:00 PM
Ashé Cultural Arts Center | 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
$25 includes African cuisine and drinks

N'kafu Traditional African Dance Company celebrates 26 years of M'Batle Su ' (Going Home), The Untold Stories of My People. Guest artists teaching classes are The dynamic duo SuQuan & Soulé Diop, Mouminatou Camara, Uché Omoniyi, Aminata Mané , Shaunta Peebles, and others. The concert/ dinner theater was written by Roscoe Reddix (director), MoriKaba Kouyate, and SuQuan Diop. The production explores the legendary journey of the richest person to live on the earth, king of the Mali Empire, Mansa Musa.

N'Kafu's Annual African Dance and Drum Conference runs from Thursday, March 23 through Sunday, March 26. For more information or tickets, call Mariama Curry at (504) 430-0894.

Workplace Wellness Luncheon
March 31, 2017 | Noon-1:30 PM
Free and open to the public

Each month we bring in speakers to address topics of interest to you, based on surveys collected from participants. Come and hear information focused on your general health and well-being. Thanks to our sponsor: City of New Orleans.

We welcome organizations who are interested in sponsoring one of the workplace wellness luncheons. If you would like to be a sponsor, call (504) 569-9070 or email

Please RSVP to (504) 569-9070 and let us know you're coming.

3rd Annual Side-by-Side Exhibition: Metamorphosis: Unapologetic Existence

Through March 30, 2017 | 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM Monday-Saturday (except during scheduled events)
Ashé Cultural Arts Center | 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Free and open to the public.

Curated by Asia-Vinae Jazzreal Palmer. Featured artists: Roxana Sagastume, Daryl Triplett, Pat Jolly, Gason Ayisyin, Charles Muir Lovell, Karel Sloane-Boekbinder, Callie Joseph and Brittany Nola Darling Polk
Ashé Cultural Arts Center presents the 3rd Annual Side-By-Side Exhibition, Metamorphosis: Unapologetic Existence. For this exhibition, artists were challenged to complete their projects with the following questions in mind. If becoming your true self, unapologetically, has been a metamorphosis for you, what did your stages look like? What did they feel like? What does your true self look like, and is it any different from the way you were taught to be?
"If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it." - Zora Neale Hurston.
Guided tours are available on Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:00 AM-Noon. To schedule your tour, contact Drena S. Clay at (504) 569-9070. Reserved guided tours for groups arriving 15 or more minutes late are subject to being abbreviated or changed to a self-guided tour.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Art Exhibitions
Through March 31, 2017 | 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM Monday-Saturday (except during scheduled events)
Ashé Cultural Arts Center | 1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Free and open to the public

Themed The Fierce Urgency of Now, the National Conference of Artists presents the 19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art Exhibitions. Each year, the organization reaches out to professional artists, students and teachers and challenges them to use their creative juices to connect with one of Dr. King's speeches. You'll be amazed at the interpretations.

Guided tours are available on Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:00 AM-Noon. To schedule your tour, contact Drena S. Clay at (504) 569-9070. Reserved guided tours for groups arriving 15 or more minutes late are subject to being abbreviated or changed to a self-guided tour.

FIELD TRIP EXPERIENCE featuring Seguenon Kone
Seguenon Kone, a native of the Ivory Coast, West Africa, is a master musician, choreographer and dancer. Since arriving in the U.S. in 1998, he has conducted workshops in the traditional West African arts of drumming, dance, masking and fire-eating. Now a New Orleans resident, he is the founding member of two local music groups, Ensemble Fatien (a blend of New Orleans jazz and African rhythms) and I'voire Spectacle (a traditional drum and dance troupe). Kone also serves as an instructor in the Young Audiences Program.

This field trip is suitable for all grade levels. Please schedule your school by contacting Drena Clay at (504) 569-9070.


Strength Fitness for Mind and Body
Sistahs Making a Change
March 2017
6:00 - 8:00 PM | Every Monday and Thursday
Ashé Cultural Arts Center | 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans
Free and open to the public. Donations accepted.


Mondays: 6:00-800 PM
6-week cooking series at the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Whole Foods Market, 300 N. Broad St., NOLA

Classes will be held at Ashé
6:00-7:00 PM - Treux North Wellness presents Insanity by Aundra of Too Cute Fitness
7:00-8:00 PM - Swing with Kevin Gaudin

Dance offerings change every 6-8 weeks, and include African, Salsa, Haitian, Tap, Line Dance, Contemporary, Cuban, Chicago-Style Stepping, Secondline, Zumba and more. So join the "sistahs" and exercise and dance your way to wellness. The program is directed by Jamilah Peters-Muhammad, a registered nurse and professional dancer. Offerings include dance, educational films and information, nutrition, and info on all aspects of health and wellness. A nutritious meal is served after each class. For more information, call (504) 569-9070, or just show up in exercise gear or comfortable clothing ready to move. No dance experience needed. Donations are appreciated.

BirthRite Sistah Circle

March 2017 (Mondays) | 6:00-8:00 PM
Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Free and open to the public.

2017 is a year of firsts, new beginnings, and radical self-care. Everything we desire to be, do or become is available to us through the visioning process. What is your vision for you? What are you building for yourself, family and community? What skills will support you in creating the life you desire? What kind of environment do you need to create in order for the seeds you're planting to germinate in your life?

BirthRite's Sistah Circle will be addressing the same questions and teaching strategies that will support the manifestation of your personal vision on Mondays at Ashe CAC. Join us and connect with women of color, build bridges of our experiences, and share our collective wisdom. Call Thea Bashful at (504) 569-9070.

Barbershop Meetings/Fathers' Time
March, 2017 | Wednesdays: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Free and open to the public.

The Barbershop Meeting / Fathers Time focuses on issues of importance to the growth and well-being, especially of young men.

FOCUS FOR 2017: The inclusion of expectant fathers and men with infants aged zero to 3 months old

Men of all ages are invited to join the lively discussions and to give input and support based on their life experiences. This meeting affords the opportunity for goal-setting and reflections. Come and bring a few friends. Peter Nakhid leads the discussions. For more information, call (504) 569-9070.
Bookoo Rueda - Afro-Cuban & NOLA Rhythms
March, 2017 | Wednesdays | 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Free and open to the public.

Bookoo Rueda presents Cuban dance classes. For more information, visit or call (504) 569-9070.


Ashé Cultural Arts Center, located at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in New Orleans, is an effort to combine the intentions of neighborhood and economic development with the awesome creative forces of culture, community and art. We use culture and art to promote individual, community and economic development. Central to this mission is the recognition that American society has a marginalized view of African-Americans and their participation in the social and culture of the nation. Our primary goal is to interrupt that view, and to promote social and cultural equity.

Operating since 1998, Ashé is a gathering place for emerging and established artists to present, create and collaborate in giving life to their art. The campus of this multi-faceted institution, contains a dedicated art gallery, three event halls and often houses concerts, banquets, seminars, theater, a year-round youth program and more. Visit or call (504) 569-9070 for more information.