New Orleans Tourism and Cultural Fund Hosts Inaugural ‘Honors Gala’ Benefiting the City’s Cultural Bearers

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – 

The New Orleans Tourism and Cultural Fund (NOTCF), a non-profit economic development corporation dedicated to supporting the local cultural economy and tourism offerings, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Inaugural NOTCF Honors Gala awards:
2023 Lifetime Achievement – Beverly McKenna, McKenna Publishing Co./The McKenna Museums
2023 Emerging Artist – Aaron “Flagboy Giz” Hartley
2023 Established Artists: 
Culinary Arts – Edgar “Dooky” Chase IV, Chase Concessions
Design – Barry Kern, Kern Studios
Entertainment – Adonis Rose, New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Literary Arts and Humanities – Vera Warren, Community Book Center
Preservation – Raymond Manning, Manning Architects
Visual Arts and Crafts – Ayo Scott
The honorees will be presented with awards designed by visual artist, Sheleen Jones during a special presentation at the Gala on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at The Sugar Mill. The NOTCF Honors Gala Awards follow a five-tiered selection process, with multiple rounds of credible candidates. The nominations were submitted via a public call where community residents nominated individuals in the six sectors that NOTCF supports. Qualifying nominations are then presented to the selection committee and winners are chosen anonymously.
Curated as a celebration of empowerment and preservation, the gala will celebrate funds for sustainable partnerships, grants, and programs to advance tourism, ultimately benefiting the cultural industries and culture bearers of the City of New Orleans. This unique gala will feature live entertainment, a celebrity chef-curated four-course meal, local artist-curated lounges, a Patron Party, and much more.
“In efforts to honor the artists who’ve established the City of New Orleans as a global cultural icon, the Inaugural NOTCF Honors Gala will uplift their contributions through a dignified and inclusive lens, creating an immersive cultural experience for generations to come,” says NOTCF President and CEO, Lisa D. Alexis.
Hosted by WWL-TV’s Charisse Gibson, NOTCF is proud to partner with the local news station as its gala media sponsor. Celebrating 65 years, WWL has relentlessly documented the City’s culture. “We are proud to partner with NOTCF to honor and support those members of our community who make New Orleans one of the world’s most culturally unique and diverse communities. At WWL, we celebrate the New Orleans spirit and are excited to support NOTCF in its mission,” says WWL President and General Manager, Tod A. Smith.
Since its inception, NOTCF has provided substantial funding and resources to the local cultural industry through the use of tourism dollars. The NOTCF slogan “Culture Is Our Open Door” will be reflected at the 2023 gala by awarding eight honorees including an Emerging Artist and a Lifetime Achievement Artist Award.
To view sponsorship packages or to purchase tickets, visit
The New Orleans Tourism and Cultural Fund is the resource to elevate cultural artists and programs for sustainable economic growth and impact. For more information, visit or call 504-381-5740.

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