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Is It Music Or Is It Noise?

New Orleans isn’t the only city in the country where the answer to that question may simply depend on which part of town you live. Other urban areas also have had to walk the often fine line between cultural expression and residential requirements. And a number have come up with creative solutions.

Since New Orleans is dealing with its own share of similar hot topics, the next Jazz and Heritage Foundation’s Tom Dent Congo Square Symposium will be all about learning how other cities crafted successful outcomes to community regulations. It will take place tomorrow evening 6-9 p.m. at the Old U.S Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave.Third Floor. Admission is free.

“For the most part, the Tom Dent Symposium has tried to do things linked to the African Diaspora and Congo Square,” explains Scott Aiges, Director of Programs, Jazz and Heritage Foundation. “We have looked at New Orleans’ cultural history, tracing life from ancient Africa to the street culture we have now in our city. But six months ago, we decided to move into a more relevant discussion; more about what’s going on today.”

Aiges says the program committee was inspired to focus on “Culture and Regulation” because of recent controversies over some public cultural events. “We’re trying to shed more light and less heat,” he says. “It’s not to argue about what’s happening on Bourbon Street; more to find out what other cities have done.”

Joining in the discussion about how a diverse range of American cities have addressed these issues will be, among others, Maurice Cox, former mayor of Charlottesville, VA, now director of Tulane City Center; Joseph Lewis, Dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California Irvine; Jim Butler, Manager Creative Industries Development, Austin, TX;  Richard Campanella, geographer with the Tulane School of Architecture; and Kristen Palmer, New Orleans City Council Member District C.

For more information about “Culture and Regulation” and the Tom Dent Congo Square Symposium, go to www.congosquaretalks.info 

Sharon Litwin is president of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]