Past Shows

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...

Nacera Belaza : La Nuit | La Traversée | Sur le fil

September 28, 2018 to September 29, 2018
La Nuit and La Traversée followed by Sur le fil compose a journey through the minimalist and spiritual dance of Nacera Belaza. Moving from the solo to the duo and then the trio, these dances explore three times the same release that conquers existential loneliness. The solitude in La Nuit is essential to "remain porous to its environment and to be able to welcome the world into itself." La Traversée opens up this quest for the imperceptible to two performers who are like magnets to each other, a sketch of a new celebration carried by a memory of rhythms and steps from ancient traditions. Sur le fil , finally the culmination, is suspended between the visible and invisible, between transcendence and internality. This lively trio is free, even rebellious, and brings the performers and the audience to a place that "we agree not to know" carried along by a fascinating sound track that evokes both adolescence and a Sufi prayer. Born in Algeria, Nacera Belaza has been living in France since the age of five. After her studies in modern literature at the Université de Reims, she founded her dance company in 1989. In January 2015, she was appointed Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. She started to dance as a self-taught performer and has developed a voice that originates in an inner quest, a deep awareness of the body, of space and of the emptiness inside herself. She creates a direct bond between the dancer and the spectator, opening the infinitity of the stage. Each element of her works -- light, space, time, the body -- respond to each other on stage and develop their own designs. The repetition of the gesture, its infinite slowness, the stretching out of time; Nacera...

Rodney King at CAC

September 14, 2018 to September 16, 2018
Roger Guenveur Smith returns to CAC with a performance that the Washington Post called “a striking, idiosyncratic solo work,” Rodney King . Having enjoyed international acclaim from New York City’s Public Theater to London’s Tate Modern Museum, the film version, directed by Spike Lee, continues to stream on Netflix with subtitles in 42 languages. Smith’s New Orleans engagement is a rare opportunity to experience live an artist who, according to The New York Times, “gets it all and gets it brilliantly.” In writing this rhythmically wrenching tour de force monologue, Smith was inspired by the late Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1991 sparked rioting upon the officers’ acquittal of assault charges the next year. King tragically expired in his backyard swimming pool in 2012. Smith received a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for Rodney King in 2015. Smith’s Obie Award-winning A Huey P. Newton Story was previously presented at the CAC, as was Inside the Creole Mafia, the “not-too-dark comedy” which earned Smith and co-creator Mark Broyard an official key to the city. Smith is on faculty at Cal Arts where he teaches a workshop entitled Performing History. Smith’s prolific screen credits include Kasi Lemmons’ classic Eve’s Bayou and the acclaimed Queen Sugar. He and longtime colleague Spike Lee were honored at last year’s Cannes Film Festival for their extraordinary body of collaborative work. This presentation of Rodney King is made possible by the Wallace Foundation. The CAC is supported in part by a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans and administered by the Arts Council New Orleans, as well as 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...

Culture Collision 10 at CAC

August 29, 2018
Citywide Celebration Still Going Strong and Providing a Collective Voice for Local Nonprofits Culture Collision, a one-of-a-kind Big Easy bash, is partnering with WWNO and the CAC to host the 10th-annual event. Culture Collision 10 has already confirmed more than 70 participating nonprofits and will take place in the first-floor warehouse space of the CAC. In its annual kickoff of the cultural season, Culture Collision will introduce potential audience members, volunteers, patrons and artists to the diverse mix of arts groups that call New Orleans home. The event arose in 2008 due to the city’s need for a collective voice among local arts organizations, and today, remains steadfast in its mission to foster collaboration among those nonprofits. Boasting a collective of New Orleans’ top arts groups all under one roof and in the largest venue the event has ever called home, CC10 will have something for everyone. Attendees will find the ultimate experience of artistic celebration and schmoozing, with highlights including drink specials, free giveaways and exclusive promotions. Additionally, select participating organizations will present live performances throughout the evening. This year’s entertainment lineup will include: Melange Dance Company, Caribbean Carnival/Friends of Culture, New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Dancing Grounds. Founded by like-minded arts lovers Jess Civello and Janet Wilson, Culture Collision was created to raise awareness of the significant impact that the culture industry has on the local community while also providing New Orleans’ arts and culture organizations with a platform for collaboration and promotion. Civello, currently a senior account executive at DEVENEY, continues advocating on behalf of the arts while also working with a variety of lifestyle clients, including Bayou Rum and Windsor Court Hotel. With more than 15 years of experience in arts administration, Wilson is currently the Marketing Manager at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Street...

ArtPrize: Pitch Night New Orleans

May 15, 2018
ArtPrize is teaming up with the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans in New Orleans to host Pitch Night — a one-night event where an artist will leave with a $5,000 grant to create an ambitious installation at the Van Andel in Grand Rapids during the tenth annual event this fall, September 19 - October 7, 2018. How it Works Artists are invited to submit proposals for an installation outside the Van Andel Arena. Five artists will be selected to give a five-minute presentation at the Pitch Night New Orleans event, using five slides each. A panel of five expert judges and a live audience audience will ask questions of the artists following the presentations. The panel will select the winner, awarding the winning artist a $5,000 grant to realize their proposal outside the Van Andel Arena during ArtPrize 10. Artist Finalists: Abdi Farah Henry Lipkis + Langston Allston Joseph Makkos MaryLou Uttermohlen Sadie Sheldon Event Info Pitch Night New Orleans will take place on May 15 at 7 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Center New Orleans. The event is free to the public. About ArtPrize ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days each fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More than five hundred thousand dollars in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts. Any artist working in any medium from anywhere in the world can participate. Art is exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids—museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, bridges, laundromats, auto body shops, vacant storefronts and office spaces. Artists and venues register for the competition then find each other through an online connections process in late spring. No one at ArtPrize selects a...

Urban Bush Women: Hair & Other Stories

January 24, 2018 to January 28, 2018
Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance from a woman-centered perspective and as members of the African Diaspora community. Their goal is to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond. For more than 30 years, UBW has continued to use dance as both the message and the medium to bring together diverse audiences through innovative choreography, community collaboration and artistic leadership development. UBW galvanizes artists, activists, audiences and communities through performances, artist development, education, and community engagement. With the ground-breaking performance ensemble at its core, ongoing initiatives like the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), BOLD (Builders, Organizers & Leaders through Dance) and the developing Choreographic Center, UBW continues to affect the overall ecology of the arts by promoting artistic legacies; projecting the voices of the under-heard and people of color; bringing attention to and addressing issues of equity in the dance field and throughout the United States; and by providing platforms and serving as a conduit for culturally and socially relevant experimental art makers. In fact, the SLI evolved from UBW’s Community Engagement Projects, the first of which took place over three months in 1992 in association with the CAC and Junebug Productions. SLI’s took place in New Orleans for seven years. To celebrate this 25-year history of collaboration between Junebug Productions, the CAC and UBW, Jawole Zollar and Urban Bush Women, along with director Raelle Myrick-Hodges will be developing an alternative version of Hair & Other Stories for the entire CAC building that will premiere at the CAC in January 2018. A multidisciplinary, evening-length work, this piece will incorporate stories sourced in New Orleans to address matters of race, gender identity,...