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Mardi Gras 360 Degrees

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I would like to invite you to participate in an exciting project that I am putting together this year called Mardi Gras 360 Degrees. Photographers from all over the country are
coming to New Orleans to photograph during Mardi Gras week and to take part in workshops, classes and parties.

Our headquarters at the McKenna Museum for African American Art, at 2003 Carondelet Street, will open on January 25th. Besides two expansive meeting rooms there is a comfortable lounge area with couches and wi-fi which will be perfect for people to gather and to go over each other’s work. We will have a projector available when there is not a formal presentation or workshop going on. Lori Waselchuk, Kael Alford, Chris Usher, and I will be heading teams of photographers given specific assignments to complete over the course of the workshop.

Karen Mullarkey, formerly the picture editor at Rolling Stone, New York Magazine and Newsweek will be coming from New York to head up the picture editing.

The printing and the exhibition will be downtown in the Gallery at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation offices. Shelly Katz who is an Epson expert will be printing the show which will run from February 6th through March at the Gallery . We will have a projection of the photographers work on the evening of the February 6th, Ash Wednsday. We expect to be adding many more events over the next few weeks, and are very interested in suggestions and participation by Alliance members.

Blueeyes Magazine has expressed interest in publishing this work, and I am also having discussions with the Duke University Center of Doucmentary Studies. We will be launching the 100eyes website on Digital Railroad that, should you wish, will market your work online, with 25% of the sales going to the Alliance.

Any Alliance member can come by and drop off work on a CD to be considered for inclusion in the project (you will need to adhere to specific requirements for file naming, captions, and IPTC data, that will be be posted on the website.) Please register (its free) on the website.

In addition, we for are offering a discounted fee of $325 for participation in all the events, workshops, classes, and parties planned, have a guaranteed slot in the projection and at least one image printed for the gallery show and included in the show catalog.

For those of you who don’t know me, I moved to New Orleans in 2004. I have remained here after Katrina, and I am committed to the New Orleans community. Part of the idea for this workshop came from my perception that too often those coming to New Orleans to document our city seemed to know very little about it. They preferred to impose their own set of values and preconceptions on what they saw here, rather than try to learn from those who actually live here. With that in mind I have planned a full day of presentations by local experts and members of the culture to help the photographers better understand what they will be photographing.

I think this is a great opportunity for local photographers to really show off their stuff. No one knows Mardi Gras better than you do, and we are interested in many of the aspects of the holiday that are not typically seen. In addition, we are especially looking for any
images of New Orleans taken on Mardi Gras Day. These do not have to relate to the holiday itself, but can be about any aspect of life in our city. No one knows the streets of New Orleans better than we do– no one.

This project grew out of an idea on the Lightstalkers website a few months ago, and although I have done the lion’s share of work, its very much a collaborative effort. If any of you have some ideas of how to enhance the program, or would like to volunteer some time, or donate materials, please email me.

Andy Levin