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Panel: Jazz Vital to New Orleans Rebirth


By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jan 16, 10:19 AM ET
Trumpeter Ken Ferdinand, left, a participant of one of the 27 social aid clubs who marched together through the streets of New Orleans Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006, to call attention to their needs and role in renewing the city.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo: Trumpeter Ken Ferdinand.

NEW ORLEANS - While the city builds better levees and new homes, a mayoral arts commission is recommending that the city not forget to reclaim its legacy as the birthplace of jazz.

The commission recommends building a National Jazz Center, which would be a museum, performance hall, recording studio and archive rolled into one.

The recommendations — which were to be presented to Mayor Ray Nagin on Tuesday — also call for creating new artistic districts, increasing the teaching of arts in schools and setting aside 2 percent of eligible capital bonds for public sculptures, murals and other artwork.

The ideas are part of a broad rebuilding plan being rolled out by the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, a panel appointed by Nagin after Hurricane Katrina hit on Aug. 29.

The panel is coming up with a variety of ideas on how to rebuild the city — from abandoning some residential sections of the city to overhauling schools and city government.

On the cultural side, the commission's recommendations tackle a long-standing complaint: that New Orleans has done a miserable job in promoting itself as the birthplace of jazz, the quintessential American form of art. ... [MORE]



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