The West End neighborhood of New Iberia, a once thriving commercial hub, has endured forty years of steady decline. Although this phenomenon is not unique to the West End, there are other aspects of this community that are exceptional. Because of the cultural and artistic history of this area, we see great possibility in the ability of art and information to connect people and generate an authentic response to ongoing neighborhood challenges.
Beyond the neighborhood level, we visualize great opportunities for city and regional development that spring from existing resources. Iberia Parish is a coastal community with access to rail, air, and water transportation, energy production capacities, agricultural assets, and tourist attractions. Our plan involves designing systems that improve the flow of information through this entire economy economy so that creative approaches to development can emerge.
We use art to show people what the future of Iberia Parish could be, and we use information to show them how to reach that goal. Reaching out and inviting everyone to see what we've done in a public space is a way of opening up neighborhoods, building relationships, connecting, collaborating, innovating, networking, and creating. We think that combining art and technology in public space has the power to open Iberia Parish up to a new world of economic and cultural possibility.
Strengthen the local economy by promoting small business development. Many residents leave Iberia Parish to spend their money. We think that our economy would be stronger if there were more options available in town to meet the needs of the community. Therefore, we want to find ways to foster the creative entrepreneurial spirit, especially among the young.
Re-brand Iberia as a destination for tourists and former residents wishing to return. For years people have left Iberia Parish following high school graduation to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and this "brain drain" has resulted in an overall decline for Iberia Parish. We want to lay out the welcome mat to the lost generations of Iberia residents. Further, we think that making New Iberia more hospitable to young residents will also make us a more appealing tourist destination. The kinds of recreational services and innovations that young professionals desire also appeal to travelers.
Enhance the diverse environmental assets of Iberia Parish. We want to preserve green spaces of Iberia Parish for agricultural, recreational and natural conservation uses and cultivate the network of cultural resources within it. Unlike Lafayette, New Iberia doesn't have exurbs and suburbs-- it is small, dense, and compact. The economy is agricultural and industrial and requires sustainable management practices and smart planning for issues of subsidence and flooding as we move into the next phase of development.
As the owners of NILA Gallery, Freddie and Janita DeCourt welcome you to New Iberia’s newest art venue. By establishing the New Iberia’s Art District along St. Peter Street, it is their hope to further develop Iberia’s cultural economy. NILA Gallery is always seeking out new artists and civic minded individuals. To join contact them at (337) 519-1104.
A monthly event that high-lights local culinary and visual artists at NILA Gallery. Sample European-style pastries and locally roasted gourmet coffee while browsing local art. A unique rummage sale also happens as part of the event. This has been a great way to promote new talent and entrepreneurial opportunities in New Iberia.
EdB’s Showtunes Sing-along happens every last Saturday of the month at Cafe Des Amis Dining and Catering from 7pm-11pm. Patrons belt out big Broadway numbers accompanied by a live piano player with lyrics projected on the wall. Join us for a night of lively music that creates great memories and lasting friendships.
Building Beauty Inside & Out seeks to encourage & inspire young girls to be all that they desire to be. Series of sessions set out to help girls gain a wealth of knowledge in hair, skincare, health, wellness, etiquette, as well as in talent development. They are also encouraged to explore the arts through various mediums. To learn more about how and when you can enroll your student in these fun filled sessions contact Daphne Monique Thomas at (337) 365-7505.
LuLu’s Food Hub & Urban Farm Learning Center is a urban distribution and farming project. The hub was created to provide and promote urban food production, distribution and education. LuLu’s vision is a sustainable food system that serves and nourishes the community by providing healthy food, nutritional education, and employment opportunities. We have set a goal of $20,000 to help us transform the current site which was a Club to the Food Hub.
EdB pulls together volunteer groups, artists and individuals to enhance the charm and architecture of New Iberia’s downtown by dressing up business windows with gorgeous thematic holiday window displays. To participate in this project e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
An urban design proposal presented by the Coalition for Bunk Plaza. It’s going to take a few years to raise the funds needed to renovate the park completely. In the mean time, we are looking for alternative locations within the area to erect colorful artwork, signage and lighting to open a vibrant safe place for planned community events. We are seeking $5000 in donations to pay for the first phase of this project to celebrate the great jazz artist Bunk Johnson.