Reviews are in for our Visual Artist Business Boot Camp

The Ella Project presented our Visual Artist Business Boot Camp to 125 artists across Louisiana in 2018. Here are some of their reviews of the boot camp:

“Y’all left no question unanswered”-Houma artist.

“I found the speakers conveyed their information very well, allowing the artists to ask questions and getting answers. Knowing that legal representation is available at no cost to artists is invaluable as was all the information presented.I had no idea you would cover so much and the information would be so encompassing.“-Covington artist

“I only wish I had had this class presented to me in art school or 20 years ago. It was outstanding.”-Covington artist

“Super informative for all levels of accomplishment!”-Monroe artist

“The depth of information given was great. Each presenter was easy to talk to and answered all questions thrown at them with ease.”-New Orleans artist

Visual Artist Business Boot Camps wrap up for the season

We’ve traversed the state in 2018 presenting our Visual Artist Business Boot Camp in eight regions to 125 Louisiana visual artists. This weekend intensive workshop got rave reviews and our Covington boot camp was recently profiled by We’re currently reviewing opportunities for presenting this program in 2019. If you’re interested in bringing the Boot Camp to your community, please email us and let’s talk!

Thank you to the State of Louisiana’s Office of Cultural Development, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ella West Freeman Foundation, and all our local partners for helping make this program a success!

Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel Bailey

Rachel Bailey of Lex Machina & the Spera Law Group

Thank you to Ella Project volunteer Rachel Bailey! Volunteer attorneys are a key component  to our continued commitment to provide access to the legal system for our clients regardless of their ability to pay. Rachel began volunteering with The Ella Project in 2017. Why does she believe in pro bono work? She told us:

“There is a huge swath of people in this country that don’t have access to attorneys or legal information because of the cost barrier. They deserve good information as much as anyone else. Additionally, there are so many misconceptions about how the law works and people often get confused reading things on the Internet that I find when people finally get counsel, it really puts their mind at ease. “

Rachel is an intellectual property attorney who works at Lex Machina, a legal analytics software company. She also advises on intellectual property matters at Spera Law Group, a New Orleans law firm that focuses on small business matters. Rachel is originally from Racine, Wisconsin best known for its Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and danish pastries. She came to New Orleans to attend Tulane University and fell in love with city.  After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Management, magna cum laude, from Tulane she went to law school at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she received a Juris Doctor and was awarded the Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate, with honors.

Before moving back to New Orleans, Rachel practiced trademark law in Mountain View, California. Her areas of expertise include trademark law, copyright, and entertainment law. In her free time, Rachel hosts a monthly comedy show at the Hi Ho Lounge called Morphed, and enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and taking photographs in the French Quarter.

Thanks again Rachel for your commitment to the culture of New Orleans and Louisiana! If you are a lawyer and want to join Rachel in assisting our Louisiana artists, please fill out our pro bono questionnaire here.


Ella Project adds Scott Goldin, Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell to Board of Directors

On May 30, 2018, The Ella Project’s Board of Directors voted to add Scott Goldin and Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell to our board of directors.

ScScott Goldin Headshotott Goldin is an Ella Project alum and the Chief Financial Officer at Goldin Metals, Inc. in Gulfport, Mississippi. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 2008. Following that, he attended law school at Tulane University where he served as the law school’s student body president. He went on to earn an MBA at Emory University and an LLM with highest honors at George Washington University before moving back to Mississippi and taking a position with Goldin. Scott was appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce to serve on the Mississippi District Export Council. He also serves on the board of JNola, the young adults division of the Jewish Federation.

boo mitchellLawrence “Boo” Mitchell is an American musician, songwriter, audio engineer, record producer and owner of Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. He is best known for his work with Al Green, Solomon Burke, Anthony Hamilton, Bruno Mars, Rod Stewart, John Mayer, 8 Ball, Lamont Dozier, William Bell and Cody Chesnutt. He has been a producer/engineer at Royal Studios from the early 90s through the present.[4]

Mitchell has produced or engineered a wide range of acts including Bruno Mars, Barbra Blue, Jay Gaunt, Axelle Red, Brandon O. Bailey, Solomon Burke, Cody Chesnutt, Snoop Dog, Bobby Rush, William Bell, Keb Mo, Terrance Howard and Boz Scaggs. In 2016, Mitchell’s Royal Studios recorded “Uptown Funk” won Record of the Year Award in the 58th Grammy Awards. Along with The Ella Project, he is a board member of The Recording Academy’s (GRAMMY) Memphis chapter.


Copyright & Contracts workshop for Visual Artists May 24th

Presented by Max Hass and Bri Whetstone, this workshop will be ava copyright workshop imagen introduction to copyright issues, including an explanation of what copyrights are, how to register a copyright, an overview of work for hire agreements and other collaboration-related issues, and basic contracts. This workshop is free and open to the public.


WHEN: Thursday, May 24 – 6:30 PM
WHERE: The Corner Studio, 1638 N. Dorgenois St (corner of Onzaga)

For more information, and to RSVP, click here. 

Ella Project at Music Cities Summit

The Ella Project was proud to produce a panel at the 2018 Music Cities Toronto: New Orleans: a Case Study on Cultural Heritage, Economic Development and Audience Development was moderated by Ella Project’s Ashlye Keaton, and featured Big Chief Howard Miller of the Creole Wild West discussing community engagement, Jordan Hirsch discussing A Closer Walk NOLA, and Melanie Merz discussing the latest developments with WWOZ.

This Summit was spearheaded in 2016 around the release of MusicCanada’s landmark Mastering a Music City report in 2015. This year, a follow up, Keys to a Music City, was released on May 12th. This new report focuses on many issues discussed recently in New Orleans, including the merits of a Night Mayor, revamping boards, and music offices, such as an export office. 

Other highlights include La Chasse Balcon, a public performance organization in Montreal inspired by the porch concerts of Lafayette, public libraries launching music instrument lending programs, programming high quality concerts in small towns, and empowering under served youth in media production via public/non profit partnerships. 

A major takeaway is that while New Orleans music continues to be celebrated worldwide, many cities and small towns across North America are devising their own deliberate music and culture strategies, and that our city has an opportunity to exchange with others and lead the dialogue around overarching music and culture policy. We also leave Canada so honored and humbled to speak on behalf of the amazing musicians, non profits, and audiences that make up our unique, strong culture. We look forward to working with our partners to enact positive changes to support an ecosystem where culture continues to thrive.


Ashlye Keaton teaches Copyright & Trademark workshop as part of NOCCA Institute Summer Studio

The Ella Project will be part of The NOCCA Institute’s Summer Studio, teaching a Copyright & Trademark workshop on June 9th. Join Ella Project Co-Founder Ashlye Keaton as she discusses:

  • What copyright does for you
  • How to register your copyrights
  • What is (and isn’t) copyrightable
  • Do you need a trademark?
  • What’s the difference between copyright and trademark?

This is a multi-disciplinary workshop, covering musicians, visual artists, performing artists, filmmakers, writers, and all other creatives.


Sat, June 9, 2018

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT

Add to Calendar


New Orleans Center for Creative Arts

2800 Chartres Street

New Orleans, LA 70117

To register, please click here.

Upcoming Visual Arts Business Boot Camps

Attendees of Alexandria, LA Boot Camp March 13-15

Designed for independent visual artists, this weekend intensive workshop  focuses on business management, grass roots marketing, and developing a  plan for artists to advance their art careers. Artists should leave with a greater understanding of how to think of their art as a business, how to confidently promote themselves and their artwork, and how to further develop a strategy for getting their work into the public.

The weekend program is facilitated by:
Gene Meneray, Co-Founder of The Ella Project
Ashlye Keaton, entertainment attorney and Co-Founder of The Ella Project
Katie Odell, gallerist and social media manager



New Iberia, LA May 18-19th. To Register, please click here. 

Covington, LA June 1-3 SOLD OUT

Lake Charles, LA June 9-10th. 

New Orleans, LA. June 16-17th. SOLD OUT

The Ella Project would like to thank the State of Louisiana’s Office of Cultural Development, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Ella West Freeman Foundation for supporting this project, as well as our other supporters for making this work possible. Please add your support today to further our mission to support the creative community of Louisiana.

Ella Project produces case study on New Orleans culture for Canadian Music Week

The Ella Project is proud to partner with Music Policy Forum, Music Canada and Canadian Music Week to produce programming around the state of New Orleans music and culture to be presented at the annual Music Cities Summit as part of Canadian Music Week, which takes place in Toronto May 7 – 13, 2018.  The Ella Project conceived, co-produced and  is moderating the May 12th panel: New Orleans: A Case Study On Cultural Heritage, Economic Development and Audience Development in NOLA. Along with Ella Project co-founder Ashlye Keaton, who will serve as moderator, representatives from WWOZ, the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council, the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation and A Closer Walk will discuss how their organizations support the broader cultural ecosystem as it pertains to cultural heritage, economic development and audience development in New Orleans.

Partnering with organizations such as Music Canada and Music Policy Forum builds on The Ella Project’s strategy to create a network of public policy makers with a deeper interest in the current successes and challenges of New Orleans cultural development. “This summit brings people engaged in music policy from across the world,” says Keaton. “We have a great opportunity to learn from them, but I also believe they have a great opportunity to learn from us. New Orleans culture continues to thrive, despite lack of significant public investment and a changing city. Channeling knowledge gained and shared at summits like this is key for New Orleans to engage policy discussions going forward into the new administration.”

For more information on the Music Cities Summit at Canadian Music Week, please visit and

For a copy of The Mastering of a Music City report, please visit