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NOSACONN Champions "Developing a Cultural Economy" in Partnership with the 2015 Cutting Edge Connference

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NEW ORLEANS - Cutting Edge CE Conference and Events is an annual 3-day event that draws together established & aspiring music industry professionals from around the nation & the world. It is a success-oriented event. Sessions in this national conference cover vital phases of the business end of the music industry. The conference takes place August 27, 28 and 29 at the Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center. All Sessions take place in River Bend Ballroom, section 1 & 2.

In addition to, and running concurrently with the conference, Cutting Edge also presents a trade show, the NewWorks Showcase & the Roots Music Gathering. New Orleans is the home of the Cutting Edge C.E. In New Orleans, music is more than business; it's also cultural expression. Every artist who performs during the Cutting Edge C.E. becomes a part of New Orleans cultural history.

Cutting Edge CE Events It is fitting that NOSACONN and Damon J. Batiste, an integral thread in the cultural fabric of New Orleans, is partnering with the Cutting Edge CE Conference to further enhance its mission to link worlds together that are worlds apart by building enduring intercultural connections through the arts, entertainment, education and economic development.

NOSACONN will participate in two key events during the conference:

* Saturday, August 29th from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

A special indoors Mid-day Katrina @ 10 Musical Showcase. The New Orleans South Africa Connection's (NOSACONN) Arts Music PM Afterschool program under the leadership of its founder Damon Batiste will provide musical showcases by the Afterschool program participants from L.B. Landry-O.P. Walker High School in live performance. NOSACONN's Arts Music Pm After-school Program is powered by NOSACONN INC & 21CCLCwith a goal of enhancing literacy, numeracy and cultural enrichment of students.

* Friday, August 28th from 9:00 - 9:45 am

The Educators' Forum discusses funding options in developing successful art programming in 21st century education. Educators, art administrators and funders gathering to share collaborative programming, fundraising and the importance of parental involvement.

  • Steven Edwards , Professor of Music, Delgado Community College, Moderator
  • David Batiste, Music Director, ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy
  • Damon Batiste, Director, NOACONN, Inc
  • Wendy Hajjar, Educator
  • Michelle Everett, Carver Theater Foundation

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne as well as former Louisiana Department of Education head Paul Vallas is expected to attend the NOSACONN performance.

NOSACONN's Arts in Education initiative, Arts & Music in the Afternoon (AM/PM) Program is a unique afterschool enrichment program where students have the opportunity to grow academically and gain exposure to the cultural arts through literacy instruction and fine arts activities delivered by a highly skilled cohort of professional Teaching Artists. Students in AM/PM currently have access to the following sponsored activities: Marching Band, Dance, Creative Writing, Visual Arts, Film, Photography, Foreign Language, and Media Technology.

AM/PM has been designated as a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grantee
and currently serves over 700 students at five New Orleans school sites. Its vision is based on the premise that children will achieve in a safe, caring, and supportive environment, when goals are set with high expectations, and the adults who care for them are committed to their academic and social development.

According to Damon J. Batiste, NOSACONN's Founder and President, "I have been doing this work since 1998. Numerous studies done over the past decade have demonstrated the amazing benefits of such an integral education facet. Students who don't have access to art classes may not only miss out on a key creative outlet, but might also face greater difficulty mastering core subjects, higher dropout rates and more disciplinary problems."


Founded by Damon J. Batiste in 1998, the New Orleans South Africa Connection, Inc. (NOSACONN), a nonprofit501 (c) 3 organization, is comprised of business, civic, community and entertainment industry leaders both in New Orleans and in the Republic of South Africa. Their Mission is to link worlds together that are worlds apart by building enduring intercultural connections through the arts, entertainment, education and economic development. NOSACONN has produced special events in the City of New Orleans and the Republic of South Africa. These activities have allowed the organization to serve as pioneers in presenting art, culture and tourism as the forefront of economic development.