Library event marks literacy campaign

The New Orleans Public Library and New Orleans Public Library Foundation this month will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Turn the Page campaign, an initiative to make New Orleans a more literate city.

The campaign focuses on early childhood programming, digital literacy and adult literacy.

Irvin Mayfield, Grammy Award-winning musician and chairman emeritus of the Public Library board, will celebrate the anniversary at the main library, 219 Loyola Ave., from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Feb. 26. He will speak about the library’s impact on the community. The event also will feature cooking demonstrations, art expositions and live music.

The New Orleans Public Library branches have seen growth since the campaign began. Last year, total circulation increased by 7 percent, with digital circulation rising by 57 percent. Teen and children’s summer reading programs increased by more than 20 percent.

The library also has introduced new programming for kids and started the first-ever Adult Summer Reading program.

Arts in Education forum is this month

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation will hold an Arts in Education Community Forum on Feb. 24.

Slated for 6 to 9 p.m. at 1225 N. Rampart St., the forum will explain the foundation’s initiative to put arts back into New Orleans public schools.

The foundation is working with the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of a nationwide initiative to expand arts instruction for middle school students. Officials from the foundation also have partnered with the City of New Orleans, KID smART, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Tulane University’s Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives.

At the forum, foundation members will present information about the Kennedy Center program and share results from a survey on how art should be implemented in local classrooms.

The KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School Brass Band will perform.

Admission to the event is free. To RSVP, click here.

Jazz Pilates to be held on Wednesdays

The French Market and the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park are hosting a new Jazz Pilates exercise series with musician Stephanie Jordan.

Held at the park’s Visitors Center in Dutch Alley, 916 N. Peters St., the free fitness classes run every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m.

Jazz Pilates integrates traditional Pilates, a muscle lengthening and strengthening program, with jazz. The classes are designed to improve balance and let the body function at optimal capacity.

The instructor, Stephanie Jordan, is a well-known jazz vocalist. She is also certified under Wise Body Pilates.

Participants must bring their own fitness mats and are encouraged to arrive 15 to 30 minutes early to allow time for parking and signing in.

Ashé Cultural Arts Center expanding

The Ashé Cultural Arts Center is opening a new addition to its Central City campus on Feb. 27, thanks to a partnership with the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership Inc.

The grand opening of Ashé Power House at 1731 Baronne St. will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Festivities will continue through Feb. 28 and will include live performances.

Ashé Power House is a $7.4 million development built in a 1924 streetcar switching station. The new 10,650-square-foot performing arts center and visual art gallery will emphasize the heritage and contributions of African, African-American, Caribbean and indigenous peoples, according to organizers.

“Ashé to Amen,” the center’s first visual art exhibit curated by Leslie Hammond King, will open there during the Easter season.

For information, contact Viola T. Blunt at (504) 813-9008 or (504) 569-9070.