Cultural Innovation District


The Cultural Innovation District (CID) is an exciting community development project to transform the space in a 19-block area — from Canal Street to St. Bernard Avenue — underneath the I-10 bridge. Built with green infrastructure, the CID will include a world-class market with arts, crafts, produce and seafood vendors, classrooms and exhibit space, interactive technology and education demonstrations and will be a site for youth programming, health, environmental and social services, community projects, workshops, and special events for the residents of the Claiborne Corridor. As a culture-based economic driver, the CID will support indigenous entrepreneurs and culture bearers in achieving their goals for equitable and sustainable community development.

The Cultural Innovation District (CID) is seeking and identifying qualified retail and non-retail service providers to participate in the Marketplace. We’re looking for indigenous cultural producers, artists, entrepreneurs, professional and social service providers, and other vendors with business aptitude, a plan, and interest in using your vision and creative energy to transform an obstacle into an opportunity.

Read the Request for Information here. You also can download the application form here.

The New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), in partnership with Foundation for Louisiana (FFL), Ashe Cultural Arts Center and Tambourine & Fan, is working to create a Cultural Innovation District (or CID for short) to bring business opportunities, fresh food, recreation and cultural space to this 19-block space. The construction of the I-10 interstate destroyed black-owned business in one of the city’s most important African-American neighborhoods. After years of visioning and ideas from the community, the CID is helping to revitalize the neighborhood and bring it back to its heyday. This partnership plans to enact multiple strategies to provide opportunities for Corridor residents and small businesses-preparing them with the skills, training, education, and support needed to fully participate in our economy and society. Through productive partnerships among local industries, small businesses, residents, nonprofits (such as FFL) philanthropy, and city agencies, the initiative coordinates activities in six priority areas: economic opportunity, affordable housing, cultural preservation, transportation access, environmental sustainability, and safe and healthy neighborhoods.

The CID is located within the Claiborne Corridor, which stretches through the core of New Orleans and is the heart of our most celebrated cultural traditions, home of the nation’s oldest African American commercial districts, and host to the region’s most job-rich business district. It is also the site of $5 billion in completed or committed public and private investments yet remains the site of our city’s most glaring socio-economic disparities.

It includes 13 neighborhoods where a disproportionate number of residents live in poverty amidst blight and violence, and are faced with limited access to quality jobs, transportation, and safe housing.

To learn more about this project, please contact CID Director Nyree Ramsey at [email protected].

Over an eight-month period in 2017, several community design meetings — known as charrettes — were held to help get input from the community into the design, function, and form of the CID.

Read the full CID Community Design Charrette Report
Click here

Read the CID Executive Summary report
Click here

To ensure that the community’s health needs are considered as the project is developed, a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was conducted. The HIA identifies important health concerns and issues within the Claiborne Corridor neighborhoods and examines how the CID can address them.

Read the full Claiborne Corridor CID Health Impact Assessment
Click here

Should the bridge come down or stay up was one of the key questions for a report commissioned by DOTD and HUD. Residents identified six priority areas: economic opportunity, affordable housing, cultural preservation, transportation access, environmental sustainability, and safe and healthy neighborhoods, that needed to be addressed no matter what happened with the bridge.

Read the Livable Claiborne Communities Study
Click here

Cross-Sector Partnerships
In addition to the partners listed above there are a broad range of organizations involved in bringing this dream to fruition. Some of these partners include a variety of departments within the City of New Orleans, RE.invest Initiative, New Corp, Inc. CDFI, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, N. O. Multicultural Tourism Network, Clark High School, Treme/7th Ward Cultural District, Housing Authority of New Orleans, Basin Street Station, and National Park Service. Together they share the the ultimate goal of creating a professional, profitable, educational, sustainable and celebratory community-based project.

What are the cultural assets in New Orleans and where are they located? This map identifies community assets, cultural opportunities, festivals etc.

Check out City of New Orleans — Cultural Economy Map
Click here

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