Where River and Ocean Meet
NOTMC brings a little bit of NOLA to Martha’s Vineyard
While it’s back-to-school season in the South, in the northern beach towns summer is still in full swing. To capture the attention of those vacationers, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) is hosting New Orleans on the Vineyard, a two-day activation with hands-on events and panel discussions that began yesterday and continues today, Wednesday, Aug. 14.
New Orleans on the Vineyard is aimed at African-American tourists visiting Martha’s Vineyard, a traditionally middle- and upper-middle class demographic of travelers who frequent the island each summer. Think lawyers, professors, bankers, doctors, engineers and other people who were smart enough not to major in the liberal arts.
The event is being hosted in Edgartown, Mass., at the recently restored Harbor View Hotel. The schedule of events is meant to highlight New Orleans’ iconic culture that draws visitors, as well as inform participants about economic investment opportunities and higher educational options in New Orleans.
“The City of New Orleans and our partners at NOTMC are actively working to foster economic development across the entire spectrum of opportunity,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a press release. “New Orleans is ripe for investment and development, and we are being intentional about ensuring that everyone has a seat at the economic table. Through New Orleans on the Vineyard, we are showcasing all that our city has to offer and growing that table for our business, hospitality, higher education and cultural communities.”
The activation features several prominent New Orleans-based speakers, including Mayor Cantrell, as well as U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond, President and CEO of the National Urban League Marc Morial and CBS News Anchor Michelle Miller.
“The events in Martha’s Vineyard will provide our city a very unique opportunity to reach a very important audience for our tourism industry,” said Mark Romig, president and CEO of NOTMC, in a press release. “We are also assembling some of our key community leaders and ambassadors to help illuminate why New Orleans has so much to offer, both culturally and economically.”
One such ambassador is Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Shaka Zulu of the Golden Feather Hunters. Yesterday, he led a “Sip and Sew” event where he engaged participants with the cultural traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians and taught them how to sew, sew, sew their own patches.
“Having the opportunity to bring the rich history and culture of the Mardi Gras Indians to the Northeast is both exciting and humbling,” said Zulu in a press release. “There isn’t any city in the world that has what New Orleans has to offer. Whether it’s our people, cuisine, traditions or experiences, New Orleans is such a vibrant city, and I am just happy to share that with guests on the Vineyard.”
In addition to the Sip and Sew, Tuesday’s events also included an open house with Sno-Law snoballs, throws and original artwork, and an opening night reception on the hotel’s Great Lawn with New Orleans-themed cocktails and performances by musicians from the New Orleans’ Center for Creative Arts. NOTMC has also partnered with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and crew members from OWN’s hit television show that is filmed in New Orleans, Queen Sugar, attended the opening reception.
Wednesday morning kicks off with a college fair open house where parents and high school students can meet with representatives from New Orleans’ many colleges, including Dillard University, Loyola University, Tulane University, the University of New Orleans and Xavier University.
In the afternoon, Mayor Cantrell will welcome guests to the panel discussions. The Business and Economic Development Panel will be moderated by Michelle Miller and will include Ellen Lee, director of community and economic development for the City of New Orleans, Quentin L. Messer Jr, president & CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, Shelia Burns, vice president & co-founder of QCS Logistics, and New Orleans Councilmember Jay Banks. Following that, the National Political Landscape Conversation will take place between Congressman Richmond and Marc Morial.
The two-day event concludes with a closing reception, giving guests one last chance to experience New Orleans on the Vineyard. For more information and schedule of events visit NOTMC online.