Past Shows


November 9, 2019
New Orleans Airlift Celebrates 10 Years A CAC Community Collaboration In keeping with the CAC’s commitment to collaborate and support artists in the New Orleans community, join us for a celebration of New Orleans Airlift's 10th anniversary at the CAC! New Orleans Airlift is an artist-run organization that creates and collaborates alongside the artists they support. Established in 2009, Airlift seeks to inspire wonder, connect communities, and foster opportunities through the creation of experimental public artworks. Most known for its flagship project, the Music Box Village, a permanent installation of “musical architecture” that serves as a one-of-a-kind site for collaboration between New Orleans artists and artists across the world, Airlift has created numerous other projects over the past decade, guided by this same mission. Alumni artists who have generously shared their time and creativity with New Orleans Airlift and our city are returning to revisit old friends and create new work on a grand scale, inside and outside at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans on the evening of November 9th. Avey Tare and Deakin, of experimental pop band Animal Collective, return to screen an exclusive excerpt from their 2018 performance in the Music Box Village, and to perform on Airlift’s traveling musical architecture installation Porch Life, back to back with Grammy winners Lost Bayou Ramblers. 2014’s Bounce Meets Vogue Ball enters its second round with new music by Drake collaborator Ha Sizzle and “Pose” creator Jack Mizrahi, along with special performances by Vogue and Bounce powerhouses Jack Mizrahi, DJ MikeQ, Kevin JZ Prodigy and Sinia Alaia plus Katey Red and more local Bounce and Vogue artists. Car fanatics the Louisiana Whipz, the 504 Boyz Horse Riding Club , Caramel Curves motorcycle club, plus Chief Ifáṣèyí Bamgbàlà and other members of New Orleans public ceremonial culture will show out on...


October 17, 2019 to October 23, 2019
The CAC is Thrilled to Serve as the Official Hub of the 30th Annual New Orleans Film Festival! October 16-23, 2019 New Orleans shines ever brighter as an epicenter of culture and creativity during the annual New Orleans Film Festival, with 500+ filmmakers from every corner of the world in attendance at 230+ films. The festival champions new film in New Orleans and engages 30,000+ attendees with visionary films, directors, and other film lovers. The festival is also known for its eclectic parties, virtual reality exhibitions, and filmmaker networking events. Check out the full festival lineup which will take place from October 16th through October 23rd in venues across the city; screenings at the CAC will begin October 17th. Stay tuned for announcements from New Orleans Film Society about Opening Night, Spotlight Films, panels, parties, and special guests in the weeks to come. Explore the Festival Lineup > CAC Members Get the Red Carpet Treatment at Film Fest! Exclusive Screening: Doc Shorts: Conversations with History Saturday, October 19, 8:45 pm Tubi Theater (CAC Black Box Theater) CAC Members receive complimentary admission to the screening of Doc Shorts: Conversations with History on Saturday, October 19. The screening will include eight documentary shorts and will take place at 8:45 pm at the Tubi Theater (the CAC Blackbox Theater). CAC Members have received a special promo code via email to use at checkout to receive their complimentary tickets. If you are a member and did not receive a code, contact us at . The deadline to RSVP is 5 pm on Wednesday, October 16 -- register here! Exclusive Free Admission: IT'S LIT Hip Hop and Bounce Party Saturday, October 19, 10 pm Kingsley House Gymnasium New Orleans Film Festival will celebrate the premiere of Burning Cane in epic NOLA fashion at their...

CAC's Art For Arts' Sake: Southern Crossings

October 5, 2019
The CAC's Fall Art Experience Returns October 5th! CAC's Art for Arts' Sake returns to downtown, the CAC and the Arts District New Orleans on Saturday, October 5th! Created by the Contemporary Arts Center in 1980, Arts for the Arts' Sake has become a favorite fall tradition for art lovers in and around New Orleans and a showcase of the incredible multidisciplinary artists from our region. Admission is FREE and open to the public. Capacity for our performances is limited -- RSVP on this page! **9/27/19 UPDATE** We have reached capacity for advance RSVPs for Southern Crossings, but we still encourage you to join our waitlist at 5:30 pm this Saturday. We expect there will be seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. VISUAL ARTS At the CAC, don't miss the final night of our IDENTITY MEASURES open call exhibition , featuring 23 regional artists! From 5:30 to 9:30 pm, explore art gallery openings on Julia Street and throughout the Arts District New Orleans. PERFORMING ARTS From 6:30 to 8:30, experience Southern Crossings, the CAC's annual showcase for three ground-breaking works by our performing artists in residence. Admission to these performances is free but capacity is limited: RSVP on this page! Southern Crossings: A Showcase of the CAC's Artist Residencies 6:30pm - 8:30pm at the CAC Warehouse This year, featured works will include Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever by Leyla McCalla and Kiyoko McCrae at 6:30pm (Leyla will not perform at this year's showcase), Raw Fruit by Kesha McKey & KM Dance Project at 7:15pm, and Requiem for a Stranger by Vagabond Inventions featuring Renee Benson at 8:00pm. About The Works Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever by Leyla McCalla & Kiyoko McCrae (6:30 pm) Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever is a multidisciplinary performance set...

Future Oceans Micro Dance Festival Presents: BE / WITH - Eight Improvisations in Dance & Music

August 27, 2019
Future Oceans Micro Dance Festival Presents: BE / WITH - Eight Improvisations in Dance & Music Tuesday, August 27, 7:30 pm CAC Warehouse As part of the Future Oceans Micro Dance Festival focusing on queer and somatic practices, we offer this special edition of BE / WITH. Performances by: Sierrah Dietz, Gregory Dorado, Cameron Mitchell - Ware, Olivia Sabo-Rush, Dorothy Nunez, Blake Beckham (visiting artist from ATL), Hez Stalcup (visiting artist from ATL), Ken Johnson, Peter J Bowling, BRIDE, Cypress Atlas, Zoe Boekbinder, Sophie, Mack Guillory, and Rosemary Minasian. BE / WITH is a performance series that invites artists with a practice of improvisation to come together for an impromptu dialogue. The audience will choose pairings of musicians with dancers and something will unfold, just once, never again to be experienced. BE / WITH is a response, a small gesture, an act of opening up instead of closing off in uncertain times, to the pressure to exist in isolation, and to experience art without the intimacy of sharing space, community, and collaboration across disciplines and backgrounds. Learn More about Future Oceans Micro Dance Festival >

KM Dance Project Presents Journeys: Celebrating Five Years

August 23, 2019 to August 25, 2019
A Choreographic Showcase Presented by KM Dance Project in Association with the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans KM Dance Project (KMDP) celebrates five years presenting an evening of dance featuring the works of five emerging New Orleans choreographers – Catherine Caldwell, Jeremy Guyton, Milli Brown, Kristal Jones and Kesha McKey. The bodies of work presented in this production will examine legacy, identity, socialization, unity and friction inside the Black family dynamic; the joyous self discovery of family oral history through movement; the impact of residual emotional trauma as a result of institutionalized and internalized racism on Black love; a reflection through the lens of a gay Black man on the state of global affairs; a journey of self discovery to find your own authentic voice; and the removal of layers representing the traits and habits from our elders we have learned and carry. Artists performing in this production include: Aminisha Ferdinand, Catherine Caldwell, Derwin May Jr., Iman Marshall, Jeremy Guyton, Kesha McKey, Kristal Jones, Madyson Barbain, Michaela Morris, Milli Brown, Randall Rosenburg, Teddric Matthews, Terrian Seiber, Tess Losada and the KMDP Youth Performance Ensemble. Adult tickets are $20.00 in advance / $25.00 at the door (students, seniors and CACNO members $15.00). Tickets may be purchased here on our website, by calling our ticket office at 504.528.3800, or at the door. This program is supported in part by a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans, by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, as well as generous support and assistance from the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans and Dancing Grounds.

Aurora Nealand and Goat in the Road Present: KindHumanKind

March 29, 2019 to March 31, 2019
Over a 3-year period of travelling, deaths, and births, Nealand wrote and recorded the music for KindHumanKind as a solo project. This work now expands into an intimate and theatrical extension under the unique design and direction of Goat in the Road. KindHumanKind, the live performance, will present a visual world that showcases Ms. Nealand’s unique talents as a storyteller and musician, and brings to life her virtuosic, heartbreaking musical world. The performance will feature Ms. Nealand, as well as New Orleans musicians free feral (Leyla McCalla Band, Sing River Shout: a ritual in reparations), Tiffany Lamson (The Givers), and Alexis Marceaux (Sweet Crude). KindHumanKind is the first collaboration between Ms. Nealand and Goat in the Road, after years of friendship and support within the Bywater arts community. The concert will be produced and directed by GRP’s co-Artistic directors Chris Kaminstein and Shannon Flaherty, and will feature design work from an amazing group of artists, including Kourtney Keller (projection design), Jebney Lewis (set design), Kiyoko McCrae (costumes), Dylan Hunter (sound), and Joshua Courtney (lights). Aurora Nealand is a sound artist and multi-instrumentalist (saxophones, accordion, voice) based in New Orleans, LA. Nealand has become a prominent force in the New Orleans music scene since she first arrived in 2004 and is the founder and leader of the non-traditional Traditional Jazz band, The Royal Roses, which draws its approach to collective improvisation from both the New Orleans Jazz traditions, as well as the AACM, and collage-sound art. Nealand's other musical projects include The Monocle, Redrawblak Trio, and the Instigation Orchestra. She is an avid devotee of the musical mystery alter-ego band, Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers. Nealand is deeply interested in the embodiment and sonification of everyday objects and knowledge-generation. Her "formal" education includes studies in musique concrète at Oberlin Conservatory,...

Andrew Ondrejcak's Landscape with Figures

January 31, 2019 to February 2, 2019
"Andrew Ondrejcak does things with text, image, performers and music. Does that make him a theater-maker? A performance artist? A sculptor with dancing clay? It shouldn’t matter how we categorize; it should be enough that it’s gorgeous.” - Time Out New York Landscape with Figures by Andrew Ondrejcak focuses on the interconnectivity and relationship between the lives of the unrelated. Inspired by the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1559), Landscape with Figures blurs the lines between theater, dance, installation art, painting and literature. The audience glimpses into the lives of 20 strangers. Each figure is silently enacting their own mini-drama – some of the stories are loud and bombastic, some are quiet and private. Despite unremarkable existences, the characters layer into a portrait of the interconnectivity of all humans with each individual both the center of the world and part of something they cannot comprehend. Each of the characters is inspired by an original short story written specifically for Landscape with Figures . After each performance, these stories will be distributed to the audience as they exit the theater, so that the audience will be able to watch a story live on-stage and read in detail about each character after the performance has ended. All costumes are made by artists from New Orleans in combination with hand-crafted textiles and artisanal work from Haiti, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, Kenya, and Mali though the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative. "Each garment and fabric was made by hand, exemplifying the core idea that, despite our geographical and cultural differences, our lives are inexplicably linked." - Andrew Ondrejcak Conceived and directed by Andrew Ondrejcak, the work is created in close collaboration with: Katherine Helen Fisher, Blythe Craft, Katie Alligood, Sophie Arnold, Scott Bolman, Ryan David O’Byrne, Kiyoko McCrae, Meg Harper, Natasha R. Brown,...

Vijay Iyer Sextet

November 30, 2018 to December 1, 2018
The Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) Sextet is a group of generation-defining, virtuoso improvisers – horn players Graham Haynes, Steve Lehman and Mark Shim alongside rhythm partners bassist Stephan Crump, and drummer Jeremy Dutton -- who leverage a wealth of jazz history even as they push it boldly forward. The music ranges from the explosive to the elegiac, incorporating melodic hooks, entrancing atmosphere, rhythmic muscle and an elemental spirit. Iyer has been working with the members of this sextet for close to 20 years in a number of different configurations and Far From Over , Iyer's newest ECM Records release, represents something of a culmination of that work while also furthering his prolific and diverse artistry. Throughout Far From Over , the pianist plays off the melodic-rhythmic possibilities of the material, orchestrating the horns as textural commentary. In creating his sextet music, Iyer tends to “build from the rhythm first, from the identity of the groove,” he explains. “Many of the rhythms come from folk music – from West African drumming, Indian classical music, or South Indian folk rhythms.” Iyer has released twenty albums covering remarkably diverse terrain. He has been voted DownBeat Magazine's Artist of the Year four times - in 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2012. He was named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University. This performance is supported in part by the CAC’s JazzNet Endowment Fund, made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The 29th Annual New Orleans Film Festival

October 18, 2018 to October 25, 2018
Join the 29th New Orleans Film Festival from October 17th to October 25th to discover 240 films from around the globe, meet filmmakers after screenings at discussion sessions, panels, and special events and enjoy parties every night of the festival! See the full lineup and get your tickets at The Contemporary Arts Center is the festival HUB and the main box office of #NOFF2018! Visit the CAC's Warehouse to watch films in the Ranch Theater and NOFF Main Theater, experience the free virtual reality exhibit (Cinema Reset), relax in the music video lounge or get drinks at the bar. Get ready for nine days of pure inspiration! AT THE CAC: Festival Headquarters – Screening Venue, Main Box Office, Pass Registration, Merchandise Store, Cinema Reset VR Exhibit, Music Video Lounge, and Bar #NOFF2018

Southern Crossings: CAC Artist Residencies

October 6, 2018
In an effort to foster the development of new performance work, the CAC invited three artist collaborators to utilize the CAC resources and space to further develop their artistic work during the month of August and September. An informal showing of new work will occur on Arts for Arts' Sake, on October 6th. Raw Fruit Raw Fruit is a multidisciplinary work in development led by KM Dance Project Artistic Director, Kesha McKey and Associate Director Catherine Caldwell. It is a collection of stories that reveal the essence of ancestral values which have been woven into the cultural fabric of our lives. This work examines legacy, identity, socialization, unity and friction inside the Black family dynamic. We delve deep to expose the impact of race, class, gender and sexuality on maternal relationships as well as reveal how the retention of cultural values, morals and taboos have shaped our current existence. These influences, which have defined our beliefs and actions, are explored through experimental dance theater and textile art to illustrate lineage, retention and history. As we celebrate the tricentennial of New Orleans, it is important to reflect on the elements that have contributed to our unique traditions and multifaceted way of life. From crawfish boils to second lines, living room altars to junior daughters, and bread pudding to pecan pralines, these experiences, rituals and ancestral contributions have created a web of lineage connecting our present experiences with customs rooted in the past. We recognize and value what we have acquired, what we release, what we hold and what we will share with those who come after us. The team of accomplished artists collaborating on this project have a diverse background in various styles of dance, theater, vocal music and visual art with a range of awards and recognitions including: featured Women...