This is our last issue of the year, and as we look forward to the New Year I would like to thank all of you who have helped make Avenue possible. The staff at Renaissance Publishing, especially our Art Director Ali; our Sales team Lisa and Samantha; Jeanel and Abbie who work so hard on our events and sponsorships and rarely get the credit they deserve; the Production team; my mentor Errol and our CEO Todd; and everyone who helps with our subscriptions and all of the day-to-day running of a magazine. I also want to thank our copyeditor Megan Holt, our writers and our photographers who share their craft and passion with us. And I want to thank you, our readers, not only for your time and support, but also for your support of our city.
While this issue is chock-full of holiday glitz and philanthropy, and I encourage you to enjoy every page, I have so much to tell you that I have to get right to it!
After three years and millions of dollars, one of my favorite places in the French Quarter, M.S. Rau (630 Royal St.), has unveiled its new, expanded space. I have fond memories of absorbing the history and beauty in this place that’s as much a museum as it is a store. At 112 years old, Rau occupies 40,000 square feet of indoor space over three floors and four open courtyards that encompass the entire block, and their new floors, expanded gallery and two gardens have to be seen to be believed!
I am so excited to read local art collector and philanthropist Richard Colton Jr.’s memoir, No More. No Less. An Artful Cancer Journey. A Remarkable Community. A Rediscovered Purpose. The book is the story of his almost 20-year struggle against cancer and his unique approach to his treatment, which included allowing an artist to sit in during his surgeries to create paintings. These surgeries included having a large part of his face removed and being saved by an experimental new drug. I always love to read inspirational stories during the holidays, and having one that’s so exceptional and close to home is even better!
Many of you read Jarvis Deberry’s columns in The Times-Picayune and learned much about him through them. What you may not know is that for over a decade he has been undergoing treatment for kidney disease. Mid-December, he will be given a kidney transplant by a living donor. The doctors’ visits, treatment, surgery, recovery, donor’s expenses and more have taken a toll on him, his family and their finances. Though they now live in Cleveland, their friends and loved ones here are hosting a fundraiser to help mitigate these expenses on December 14, 6-10 p.m. at the Ashé Cultural Center. For more information, contact Megan Holt: (205) 310-8537.
Many of you had the pleasure of working with Brittany Brady during her tenure with Avenue. Brittany has recently launched Maven-Street.com. As President and CEO, she says, “It’s our mission to empower the female population to be confident in themselves and share their ideas. Seeing fashion as a platform for creative expression, Maven Street offers a complete, hand-picked collection of apparel and accessories to equip millennial women with a distinct voice.” Each piece is $200 or less, and I already have a wish list! Even though I love her carefully curated choices, it’s the idea behind the name that really gets me excited. “Mavens make change happen through information and ideas,” she says. “They are the ones you turn to whenever you want to know something about anything – especially fashion. Taking this combined love for fashion and helping others, Maven Street launched as the go-to online retail destination for contemporary style.”
Enjoy your holidays!
Morgan Packard Griffith