Ashlye Keaton practices intellectual property and entertainment law, and she also works in cultural advocacy and policy. Ashlye is the Co-Founder of The Ella Project, a nonprofit based in New Orleans that serves Louisiana artists, musicians and culture bearers with direct legal, business and advocacy services. Ashlye is also faculty at Tulane Law School and the University of New Orleans Graduate School in Arts Administration. She received the distinguished teaching award by Tulane Law class of 2015. Along with other legal successes, Ashlye helped the Mardi Gras Indians by arguing that their elaborate suits qualified for copyright protection as works of sculpture. She is also noted for her work on the City of New Orleans municipal noise ordinance, and she helped to secure a declaration by the New Orleans city attorney’s office that the 8pm city-wide ban on publicly performing musical instruments is considered unconstitutional. Ashlye is the Chair of the community advisory board for WWOZ 90.7 FM radio station. Ashlye has also served on other boards, including as an officer for the Recording Academy’s Memphis Chapter. Ashlye also served the creative industries sub-committee for Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s transition team.
Gene Meneray is ELLA’s Co-Founder. He works on cultural policy, arts business development, and cultural entrepreneurial training. A native New Orleanian, and graduate of Tulane University, Gene worked for more than a decade as Director of Artist Services at the Arts Council of New Orleans. He has also worked for Thomas Mann Design and for Young Aspirations/Young Artists (YAYA). From 2011-2017, he served as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of the University of New Orleans, where he taught Arts Administration. He has served multiple times as a grant reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. In addition to his duties with Ella, Gene is the Director of the Louisiana Crafts Guild, and serves on the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the Board of Directors for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Gene is past Chair of Louisiana Citizens for Culture.
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