Ella In the News

City needs to re-evaluate Music Policy. January 2021

The current system is broken. The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy has shown no interest in addressing these larger concerns. The Arts Council is MIA, and into this vacuum independent musicians, venues, and service organizations are organizing themselves and coming up with their own solutions—but we need someone in the public sector to carry them out. It’s time for a new model….READ MORE.


New Orleans music halls and bars are hanging by a thread. Don’t let the music end. October 2020.

New Orleans has been behind the curve “when it comes to the level of investment, the level of understanding of the importance of not just the cultural economy, but the whole ecosystem,” says Ashlye Keaton. “The health of our cultural community impacts tourism and dollars in the economy, but also, here in New Orleans, this is part of the fabric of who we are.”

Keaton is the co-founder of Reopen Every Venue Safely, a national campaign that started in April to develop guidelines to help venues safely reopen whenever restrictions lift. The initiative launched in 11 American cities, including New Orleans, as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom. READ MORE…

Ashlye Keaton talks to Eric Paulsen of WWL TV about Ella during COVID-19 May 2020

How a Cultural Fund Could Change New Orleans Future February 2020

How a Cultural Fund Could Change New Orleans Future

Earlier this month, the City of New Orleans reorganized the budget and funding for its convention and visitors’ bureau, New Orleans & Company (NOCO), combining the New Orleans Tourism & Marketing Corporation’s (NOTMC) efforts with NOCO’s to create economies of scale and to divert money into a separate fund. The $5.7 million budget combination savings was earmarked for an organization that will change from a pure marketing agency for the city’s tourism industry to a fund that supports New Orleans’ “cultural economy and culture-bearers…. READ MORE.

GUEST BLOG: New Orleans’ Nighttime economy needs an intervention.  October 2019.

Ella Project Co-Founders Ashlye Keaton and Gene Meneray recently accompanied New Orleans city leaders to meetings in San Francisco and Seattle. The purpose was to meet with representatives from those cities to find out how they manage their respective “night time economies” and to get some pointers on how to potentially use some of their techniques in New Orleans. Here’s their report.

New Orleans is celebrated worldwide as a place of heritage and a destination to experience the music…READ MORE.

Young Bloods: Gene Meneray

st charles ave

One local organization is dedicated to helping New Orleans artists and nonprofits succeed in a big way. Launched as a joint program of the Arts Council of New Orleans, Tipitina’s Foundation and Tulane Law School, The Ella Project offers high-level, pro bono legal assistance to low and moderate income artists, musicians and grassroots nonprofits. As Co-Founder of The Ella Project, Gene Meneray understands just how special the city’s rich cultural scene can be….. read more. 

Business Boot Camps give Visual Artists tools to further their careers

“The weekend was full of insight, resources, and best practices. I look forward to putting those practices in motion. The overall experience was very rewarding on so many levels. Drinking from a fire extinguisher is a great depiction of the amount of valuable information I received throughout the weekend,” she said. READ MORE…

Ella Project wins the Musician Resource Award at the 2016 Best of the Beat Awards.”


The More you NOLA: Ella Project, by Mary Cross. October 5, 2016


Musicians and artists are the backbone of New Orleans’ culture and the ELLA Project is helping to bolster these creative spirits as they play a key role in preserving the character of the Crescent City…. read more

Want To Use My Suit? Then Throw Me Something, by Campbell Robertson, 03/23/2010


“It’s not the old way of doing things, but the old way of doing things was conducive to exploitation,” said Ashlye M. Keaton, a lawyer who represents Indians in her private practice and also works with them through two pro bono legal programs… read more