ANNUAL WORLD CULTURAL ECONOMIC FORUM ANNOUNCED BY LT. GOVERNOR LANDRIEU -- 06/19/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2007
ANNUAL WORLD CULTURAL ECONOMIC FORUM ANNOUNCED BY LT. GOVERNOR LANDRIEU
Statewide Event Will Highlight Louisiana's Cultural Industry
BATON ROUGE, LA - Surrounded by arts, culture and tourism leaders, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu today announced the demonstration year of the World Cultural Economic Forum, which will highlight Louisiana's unique cultural assets. Lt. Governor Landrieu launched the Cultural Economy Initiative to grow jobs through Louisiana's culture - including the state's music, food, film, and arts.
The World Cultural Economic Forum and partnering events will occur statewide from August 16-26, 2007.
"In Louisiana, culture means business, and there are many cultures around the world that witness similar economic benefit from cultural industries," said Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu. "There are 144,000 jobs in Louisiana alone that are driven by our cultural economy."
As a unique part of the World Cultural Economic Forum, a series of events, programs, exhibitions, workshops and performances will be held across the state to demonstrate the value of culture and shine the light on Louisiana's multi-faceted cultural industries. There are statewide events occurring during the week of the forum that are being presented in partnership with the World Cultural Economic Forum. Some include, The Floodwall Exhibit in Baton Rouge, Eat Lafayette in Lafayette, The hosting of Pirates of Penzance in Monroe, Thursday Night Trolley in Shreveport, and Carnaval Latino in New Orleans. In future years the Forum is expected to expand and attract cultural ambassadors, educators, and arts and cultural leaders from around the world.
Representatives from throughout the state gathered with the Lt. Governor and leadership of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism as they announced partnering events planned in conjunction with the forum.
Standing in front of "FLOODWALL," one of the featured artist exhibits designed from drawers that were discarded from flooded homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Lt. Governor Landrieu was joined by representatives of arts councils, convention and visitors bureaus and cultural events in describing how all parts of the state will benefit from the project.
New Orleans artist Jana Napoli, creator of "FLOODWALL" said her work, "Stands as a monument to loss of our culture and the generous outpouring of help from every parish as we fled New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina." The Forum events have been planned annually to commemorate with the anniversaries of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"If there is one place in the world where cultural opportunities can come together for grand showcase, it is Louisiana," said Derek Gordon, CEO, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. "While a number of the cultural offerings included in the celebration are being presented especially for the World Cultural Economic Forum, others shine a spotlight on the richness and diversity of the arts and cultural programs available across our Greater Baton Rouge Region throughout the year."
The Forum builds on the success of three previous Louisiana Cultural Economy Summits convened by the Lt. Governor's office and the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
Participating in the announcement were Jana Napoli, Floodwall Exhibit artist; State Senator Lydia Jackson of Shreveport; Tommy Usrey, President and CEO, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council; Gerald Breaux, Executive Director, Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission; Derek Gordon, CEO, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge; Corrado Giacona, Chairman, World Trade Center International Business Committee; Romi Gonzales, Attorney and Hispanic community leader, along with state tourism officials.
The World Cultural Economic Forum is modeled after the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland, which is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.