Keep Your Organization in Tune workshop on August 14th in Lafayette

The Ella Project is excited to partner with the Acadiana Center for the Arts to present this new, full day workshop developing specifically for small to midsize arts and cultural nonprofits. Running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, this workshop covers topics including:

  • Board Development and Best Practices
  • Bylaws and Compliance
  • Donor Cultivation and Stewardship
  • Social Media for Nonprofits.

Presenting will be Ashlye Keaton and Gene Meneray of The Ella Project, Melanie Merz with WWOZ, and Katie Odell from La GUILD Gallery.

Along with the workshop, Ella Project will make their one on one legal services available to attendees, and will waive the organizational application fee.

There is no fee for this workshop. For more details and to RSVP, please click here.

Let your voice be heard. Take the NOME survey.

The New Orleans Music Economy Initiative (NOME) is a project of Greater New Orleans Inc. and the local music and  business community. A major initial goal of this project is putting together an Action Plan, but first they need to hear from you, especially working musicians. The survey just takes a few minutes, but closes July 31st, so please follow the link, take a few minutes, and let them hear about your experiences, and what you’d like to see improved.


Support The Ella Project this GiveNOLA Day

The Ella Project is committed to our mission of empowering the creators of New Orleans culture to share their work in a way that is just, equitable, and serves the artist, patron, and our diverse community. As we ask for your support, here are some numbers that show what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last 12 months.
  •  Provided pro bono legal services to 185 low income visual artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, and grass roots nonprofits across our state.
  • Presented 16 workshops on visual arts business, copyright and trademark, contracts for filmmakers, and our seven week Music Business Intensive. Over 750 artists joined us at these workshops.
  •  Worked with South Arts, our regional arts organization, to run focus groups with 144 national jazz musicians to determine what kind of foundation support would be most helpful to develop the careers of contemporary jazz musicians.
  •  Brought the story of New Orleans culture to cities such as Toronto and Washington DC by presenting on what works, and what we still struggle with, as we strive to make New Orleans a more equitable home for our artists.
While these numbers are impressive, we want to share a quote from New Orleans musician and longtime client Jack Cruz, who sums it up nicely:


The Ella Project has been an amazing asset to New Orleans musicians and their music business throughout the years. They have helped us immensely. They are highly knowledgeable in all matters concerning copyrights and publishing, and have given us great advice. This Program is a gem for New Orleans!- Jack Cruz


We know they’re hundreds of good causes in New Orleans working hard with limited resources to move our city forward. That you share our belief in the importance of New Orleans culture and empowering our creators means the world to us, and we humbly ask for your support this year. You can schedule a donation now at

Ella Project at Music Cities Toronto May 11th

The Ella Project is returning to the Music Cities Summit as part of Canadian Music Week on May 11 2019 in Toronto. Ella’s Co-Founder Ashlye Keaton will be discussing Music Tourism and the successes and challenges of New Orleans, along with Billy Domingo, Festival Director, espAfrika / Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa and Leah Ross, Executive Director, Birthplace of Country Music, USA. This is Ella’s third year sharing the story of New Orleans in Canada’s largest city. 

Jazz Road survey for presenters and venues

The Ella Project was proud to work with South Arts in developing their new Jazz Road funding initiative supporting artists throughout the United States through expanded opportunities to tour. (You can read about our work with Jazz Road here.) As this program is rolling out, South Arts is asking organizations that present or program jazz—or are interested in expanding their work to include jazz presenting to complete the form below. they are looking for presenters/programmers of all types, from jazz clubs to places of worship to performing arts centers to house concerts to non-traditional presenters, and communities from rural or isolated to urban.

Complete their survey here. 

Sync Up Workshop: Licensing Music to Film, Commercials and TV April 11th

Sync Up Workshop:
Step One: Make Sure Your Copyrights are Registered
Thursday, April 11th
5:30 p.m. at the  The Jazz Market

1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70113

Free, but please RSVP here. 

The Ella Project is excited to  participate in this upcoming workshop, a collaboration between the New Orleans Business Alliance and the Jazz & Heritage Foundation – which we see as the first step in a multi-phase effort to help more local artists get their music into film and TV productions.

The workshop features our own Ashlye Keaton, Co-Founder of The Ella Project, joined by New Orleans hip hop icons  DJ Raj Smoove, 5th Ward Weebie, Mia X and Chase N. Cashe. They’ll be discussing:

  • Their own experiences licensing music for film and TV.
  • Preparing your music for entry into the marketplace.
  • The importance of understanding, protecting, and enforcing your copyrights.

Those who attend can sign up for free assistance sessions with The Ella Project. In these sessions, attorneys will help musicians and songwriters not only organize their catalogs, but also take the necessary steps to register their copyrights.

In addition, the first 50 artists who register for the April 11th workshop and attend complete an ELLA Project assistance session will earn a grant from the New Orleans Business Alliance to substantially offset the fees for registering copyrights.

JH_Foundation_colornolaba logo


Ella Project receives NEA funding for 2019.

The Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts has approved The Ella Project for a grant in the amount of $30,000 in their latest round of ArtWorks funding. Ella Project is proud to be one of 17 arts organizations in Louisiana to receive this funding. We look forward to working with the Arts Endowment to further the reach of our pro bono legal services and workshops for artists to ensure they are maximizing their efforts to get their work protected and out into the public sphere. Thank you to the Arts Endowment and all of the supporters of The Ella Project who ensure that all artists of Louisiana, regardless of their ability to pay, have access to high quality legal and business services to advance and control their artistic content.

Join in and support The Ella Project today!

EIFFEL Gras Saturday March 2nd to benefit The Ella Project

Visit The Eiffel Society at 2040 St Charles Ave on Saturday, March 2nd for Iris and Tucks and help support The Ella Project.  They are presenting a family friendly lounge environment for the parades!

$10 gets you unlimited access to Eiffel that day for restrooms, drink specials, and food and drink available for purchase. Family Friendly! Under 21 okay if accompanied by an adult. A portion of all proceeds will benefit The Ella Project!

Buy your tickets ahead of time here. All these nonprofits are great, but to ensure you’re supporting The Ella Project, toggle to Saturday, March 2nd.


Music Business Intensive Spring workshop series.

The Music Business Intensive series is a 7-week program designed to educate musicians on the essential topics that form the foundation of the modern music industry, in order to empower artists to control their own work and make smart decisions to grow their careers. Building from an introductory “basics” class that covers the essentials of what a copyright is, what rights are included, and how revenue can be generated from copyrights, the advanced series will dive deeper into the complex world of record labels, publishing companies, and online streaming. The series will also include information on the legal and business issues that artists will face while navigating the changing music industry as an independent entity. Organized by Ella Project volunteers and local entertainment attorneys Max Hass and Bri Whetstone and supported with funding from the Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans, The Intensive features presentations from industry professionals, small discussion, and networking opportunities with others involved in the music industry.

Participants can subscribe to the entire series. 

Just interested in one workshop? Scroll down the  schedule and  find your ticket link for individual events.

All workshops are on Tuesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon, and are held on the Second floor of Gulf Coast Bank, 3200 Magazine St in New Orleans.


Tuesday, March 12th Copyright & Contract Basics What is a copyright, what rights are included, how artists can use contracts to protect important copyright rights. FREE, but please RSVP to

Tuesday, March 19 Publishing Musical compositions and “publishing” rights & revenue streams; working with publishing companies. $20 or part of season pass. To register, please click here. 

Tuesday, March 26th Masters Sound recordings and “master” rights & revenue streams; working with record labels. $20 or part of season pass. To register, please click here. 

Tuesday, April 2nd Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) and Online Streaming
What do ASCAP and BMI do for artists? We also break down all of the different types of royalties related to online streaming. $20 or part of season pass. To register, please click here. 

Tuesday, April 9th Putting it all together with Contracts: The Paperwork Side of records.  We walk through all of the contracts and other paperwork essential for an independent recording project. $20 or part of season pass. To register, please click here. 

Tuesday, April 16th. Running Your Band / Music Project Like a Business LLCs and band agreements, trademarks, marketing, and discussing managers and booking agents. $20 or part of season pass. To register, please click here. 

Tuesday, April 23rd. Releasing, Pitching, and Monetizing Your Music Planning and timing the release, pitching to labels and publishers, finding ways to monetize independently (licensing, fundraising, etc.) $20 or part of season pass. To register, please click here. 

This workshop is supported with funding from the Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans. Special thanks to Gulf  Coast Bank to hosting!