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FONO Visits with Leaders Behind the Central City Renaissance - October 24-30, 2009

From October 24-30, FONO Acting Executive Director, Denise Byrne met with the key neighborhood leaders and organizations that are doing work in Central City plus the funders that are supporting this work.  Right now the Central City area of New Orleans is undergoing a renaissance of sorts thanks in part to the major investments being made by large national foundations such as Ford and Kellogg, in addition to local and regional funders such as the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) and the Foundation for the Mid South.  During this visit FONO met with the following nonprofit and neighborhood leaders to learn more about what is happening with Central City so that FONO can begin to put a spotlight on their work and get others to get involved.  These included:  Phyllis Cassidy/Good Work Networks - They do micro enterprise development with an equity focus.  Kysha Brown and Saundra Reed/Central City Renaissance Alliance - Think of themselves as the leaders and conveners in the neighborhood.  Carol Bebelle/Ashe Cultural Arts Center - Vibrant African American cultural arts center and a key player in the neighborhoods development.  Lynette Colin/OC Haley Blvd Merchants Assoc -  Working to make the OC Haley Corridor a cultural, historical, business corridor and the "spine" of the neighborhood.  Craig Cuccia and Sister Mary Lou/CafĂ© Reconcile - Best place to have lunch and a key player rehabilitating the neighborhood and putting people back to work.  Douglas Evans and Jay Banks/Dryades YMCA - Run one of the neighborhood's charter schools and provide training and support to families so that they can become self-sufficient.  Patrick Cooper/Mahalia Jackson Early Learning Center - Renovating an existing building into an early learning center with a neighborhood resource center which will do outreach work to every family in Central City.  Una Anderson, Linda Pompa, Shawn Escoffery and Jocquelyn Marshall/CJ Peete -This is a huge mixed income housing development project in the heart of Central City where the CJ Peete projects stood before.  Audrey Browder/Central City Partnership - This is the neighborhood association for Central City. 

Funders involved in Central City that FONO met with and spoke to about Central City include:  Dr. Albert Ruesga and Ellen Lee - Greater New Oreans Foundation (GNOF), Joan Coulter - Reily Foundation, Patty Riddlebarger - Entergy, Flozell Daniels - Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF), Byron Harrell - Baptist Community Ministries, Ashleigh Gardere - JP Morgan Chase, Dr. Ivye Allen - Foundation for the Mid South, William Buster - Kellogg Foundation and Jerry Maldonado - Ford Foundation.


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