About The Ella Project


We believe in the importance of the culture of New Orleans and Louisiana, and we empower the creators to share their culture in a way that is just, equitable, and serves the artist, patron, and our diverse community.

Our History

The Ella Project was launched in January 2004 by co-founders Ashlye Keaton and Gene Meneray in partnership of the Arts Council of New Orleans, Tipitina’s Foundation, and Tulane Law School to offer dedicated pro bono legal assistance to low to moderate income artists, musicians, and grass roots non profits of Louisiana. As Ella grew, services in arts business assistance and development and cultural advocacy were added to its portfolio.

Since 2004, The Ella Project has served more than 3000 clients, offered in depth workshops across the gulf south, and has been profiled nationwide including by The New York Times and National Public Radio. Ella  has won numerous honors and distinctions, including the Cultural Economy award from the State of Louisiana. In 2016, ELLA became a stand alone non profit organization, dedicated to the tenets of arts business development, legal services, cultural advocacy, and policy engagement. Since then, we have continued to operate weekly legal clinics, brought our Visual Artist Business Boot Camp to all nine regions  of Louisiana, produced the New Orleans Mayor’s Forum on Music and Culture, and spread the word on the successes and challenges of New Orleans culture throughout North America.

What we do

Ella provides the tools for creators to compete in the modern economy by offering one on one arts business consultations, workshops, and intensive entrepreneurial training on arts marketing, organizational planning, and basic finance.

Ella provides legal services for low to moderate income artists and musicians. Supervised by project co-founder Ashlye Keaton and her team of Tulane Law students, ELLA provides pro bono legal assistance from concept to completion in issues of copyright, patent, trademark, business formation, contract preparation, negotiation and review, licensing, and other entertainment law matters. To schedule an appointment, please call 504-250-0429, email gene@ellanola.org or use our online application by clicking here. 

Ella advocates for the cultural community by seeking creative proactive solutions to issues that affect Louisiana artists and our cultural landscape.