A Note from Bev

Bev and Kellie Grengs (executive committee member, along with with Neal Bodenheimer and David Lessinger, of The New Freret). Freret Street is strategizing to become an Uptown destination and has just launched a new website (www.TheNewFreret.com) and colorful street banners. There are more than 40 venues for shopping, entertainment, services and the arts. The New Freret received the Markham Mark of Distinction and $25,000 to promote Freret Street.

The Contemporary Art Center has been such a success in our community and we’re proud to present on our cover the SweetArts Ball, themed “Art In The Dark,” that will be held on February 12th! This year, its 35th birthday, the CAC will honor organizations and individuals that embody the heart and soul of the New Orleans cultural arts community.

We are also thrilled at its honorees: John Barnes, Fringe Theatre Festival, Ben Jaffe, New Orleans Arts District, Aimee Siegel and Derrick Tabb. The honorees’ reception will be held 7:30-9 p.m. at the home of Senator and Mrs. Joel T. Chiasson II. (Their home is amazing so you don’t want to miss this party.) Then walk on down to the CAC for the big SweetArts Gala from 9 p.m. to midnight at 900 Camp St.

Thanks to our cover models: CAC Board President Robyn Dunn Schwarz and co-chairs Martine Chaisson, Sandra Stage Chaisson and Stephanie Huger. Join them for the kickoff of the CAC’s 35th season and for all of the “Art In The Dark.”

February means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner; get ready with “What’s Hot.” We have everything from pampering to presents – and more!

We also have a great feature on the hottest spring travel; it’s never too early to plan that vacation. You will see in my entertaining column how Peru and Provence are two of my favorite vacation spots and how they can inspire a party upon your return.

Speaking of inspiration, you’ve got to read a new book, Epiphany by New Orleans’ Elise Ballard. You won’t be able to put it down! These are true stories of sudden insights to inspire, encourage and transform. Maya Angelou, Ali MacGraw, Barry Manilow and Elise herself, plus many more, shared their stories about discovering purpose in life and finding a new direction after a catastrophic setback! Each person’s epiphany is a gift. She has book signings at Garden District Book Shop located at The Rink, 2727 Prytania St., February 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

You won’t want to miss our ever-popular Couture Wedding Guide. Even if you’re not getting married, it’s always fun to check out the latest trends!

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