Business: Gigsy wins 5th Annual Downtown NOLA Arts-Based Business Pitch
The Downtown Development District, Creative Alliance of New Orleans and the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation has selected Gigsy, an online resource for local photographers and photography services, as this year’s arts-based business pitch winner during the 2017 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. Gigsy has been awarded a prize package of seed capital as well as pro bono legal, accounting, PR, and real estate services, and a temporary downtown workspace valued at over $40,000. The Downtown Development District commends all of the finalists who participated at the 5th Annual Downtown NOLA Arts-Based Business Pitch for their compelling presentations and wish them great success in their future endeavors.
Gigsy, founded by Robert Warren, sells enterprise-level photo and video service products and facilitates a paid apprenticeship for talented New Orleans youth. Gigsy not only makes booking a photographer reliable and easy, it also has partnered with Rooted School on the Westbank to teach students the art of photography. http://www.gigsy.co/
Dining: Tsunami Sushi
The sushi-loving denizens of downtown New Orleans should be pleased to hear about the recent opening of Tsunami Sushi on the ground floor of the Pan American Live Center on Poydras Street. This will be the third Tsunami Sushi restaurant to open — the flagship is located in Lafayette and the second location is in Baton Rouge. Tsunami Sushi’s menu offers all the usual suspects, from miso soup to tuna tataki, but there are a few rather interesting rolls that are certainly worth checking out. Try the Tiger Tail with snow crab, cucumber, jalapeño, escolar, avocado and Sriracha; the Ragin Cajun with panko alligator; the Green Monster with coconut shrimp, kiwi and plum sauce; or the Munchie Roll with salmon, cream cheese, avocado and crumbled Dorito’s Nacho Cheese Chips. Tsunami Sushi is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. 601 Poydras St., (504) 608-3474, servingsushi.com
Music: YLC Wednesday at the Square
Looking for a festive way to unwind at 5 o’clock? Look no further than the Young Leadership Council’s Wednesday at the Square — a free springtime music series at Lafayette Square. Enjoy live local music, delicious cuisine and spirits from beloved vendors, and even a small arts and crafts village. The 2017 music lineup includes artists like George Porter, Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, John Cleary, John “Papa” Gros, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Kermit Ruffins and more. Local food vendors this year include restaurants like Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza, Crêpes à la Cart, Voodoo BBQ and Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar & Restaurant. ylcnola.org/ylc-wednesday-at-the-square
Green Spaces: Duncan Plaza
In the Downtown Development District’s continuous mission to enrich and enliven the Downtown area, the organization has recently made plans to take over city-owned Duncan Plaza under a 20-year agreement with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration. The underused public space next to City Hall will undergo a potentially $5 million redesign, which will primarily be funded with private donations. The Downtown Development District’s president and CEO Kurt Weigle will be seeking public opinion and suggestions on improving Duncan Plaza to make it a viable urban green space. Most likely, removing the isolating grassy berms that currently exist will be a part of the plan. downtownnola.com
Community: Expanded Homeless Services Planned for the Old VA Hospital
On March 15, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Downtown Development District, and city, state and federal service providers announced their plans to offer a low barrier shelter and other homeless services at the former Veterans Affairs hospital on Gravier Street. This new, comprehensive facility will not only offer 100 new overnight beds, but it will also allow low barriers to entry (like no admission fee or sobriety test), and offer a longer length of stay, including 24/7 access.
“The expansion of low barrier shelter beds at the Community Resource and Referral Center is about more than just emergency housing,” says Kurt Weigle, president & CEO of the Downtown Development District. “It is about creating a front door to a system of care to provide the homeless with permanent homes and the services they need to stay housed.” The Landrieu Administration and New Orleans City Council allocated $1.5 million for 2017 to establish additional overnight shelter bed capacity. The DDD agreed to provide another $1 million to this initial allocation and match future funds for operations. downtownnola.com