We are nationally known for many good things in New Orleans but the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts is one that’s known internationally. We are so excited to present Art and Soul 2008, “Get Into the Act!” on this month’s cover and urge you to support this fabulous fundraiser being held May 18! Thanks to Marion and Pepper Bright, Allison and Ben Tiller and Nan and Britt Galloway who promise us a night we won’t forget. The patron party, 6-7 p.m., will feature savory hors d’oeuvres, an open bar and music by Delfeayo Marsalis Quartet; gala guests, 7-10:30 p.m., will enjoy dinner, an open bar and performances by Charmaine Neville, Leah Chase … and, of course, a special appearance by NOCCA’s Jazz and Musical Theatre students. Great auction, fun people and a great cause – don’t miss it!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching; so don’t miss What’s Hot for Mom. You will get fabulous ideas from Hope Goldman Meyer Fine Jewelers, Friend and Company, Thomas Mann Gallery I/O, Natural Developments, Everybody and London Hill. You’ll find everything from shoes and bags to pampering treatments and jewelry.

  We have a well traveled group of St. Charles Avenue readers and thanks to them we can travel vicariously! Thanks to Virginia Saussy, Stephen Sonnier, Robbie Vitrano, Dr. Mel Parnell and Rita Benson LeBlanc for sharing their travel memories with us.

I was honored to have my picture taken with Ella Brennan and Roger Ogden. World-renowned restaurateur and matriarch of the Brennan family, Ella Brennan will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Business Hall of Fame Gala at the Ritz-Carlton May 16. Ogden, chairman, is especially proud of the 25th anniversary because it will honor other deserving individuals and because all proceeds will go to Junior Achievement, which educates and support the teaching of entrepreneurship in our schools across our region. Call 569-8650 to purchase your ticket today!

One of my favorite New Orleans galleries is the Martin Lawrence Gallery on Royal Street, almost next door to Brennan’s Restaurant. They have been in New Orleans for over 30 years featuring Picasso, Chagall and other luminary artists. They are particularly proud to present Felix Mas May 8. His fabulous work will be featured in 10 shows across the U.S. – Martin Lawrence Gallery has the first show on the Thursday, May 8, from 7- 9 p.m. Mas, who lives in both Caracas and Barcelona,
features a series of realistic, romantic paintings featuring women! Call the gallery at
299-9055 for an invitation.

It is difficult in post-Katrina New Orleans to find a place where aging family members can enjoy an independent lifestyle and still know they will be taken care of if anything happens. Lambeth House is a fabulous retirement community right at the Mississippi River that offers the full spectrum of retirement living, from independent living apartments to assisted living and nursing care. With dining rooms, a wellness center, a cozy courtyard and more, Lambeth House might just be what you’re looking for. Call 865-1960 or visit www.lambathhouse.com for more information.

Don’t forget all of the fabulous fundraisers, including Zoo-To-Do, that are coming up this month and, of course, the last four days of Jazz Fest. Great acts, crafts, food and fun – don’t get too sunburned and have a great time keeping our economy going!