The Committee for a Better New Orleans is accepting nominations through Thursday, July 23, for candidates who will take part in the 51st annual Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum, which begins Saturday, Sept. 12, with a city bus tour focusing on problems and opportunities.

The forum aims to identify emerging community leaders, giving them expert information about issues, and networking opportunities that will stimulate involvement in community service.

Graduates of the program include New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, City Councilman Jared Brossett and philanthropist Roger Ogden. The Class of 2015 will join more than 2,000 alumni.

“I wouldn’t be as involved in the New Orleans community if it wasn’t for the leadership forum,” said Mia Grandpre, a CBNO board member. The forum “pursues the goals and mission of the Committee for a Better New Orleans by raising awareness for community issues and effecting positive change in current and future leaders.”

Forum topics include human relations, housing, health care, education, environment and coastal issues, public safety, economic and workforce development, regionalism and transportation, and city management. Sessions are followed by lively question-and-answer sessions.

A key feature of the forum is the capstone class project. Participants design community service projects focusing on education or housing.

Forum graduates are connected with organizations that match their interests, and two of them also will be invited to serve on the CBNO Board of Directors.

The forum is “an excellent venue for new and lifelong residents to learn about the issues our city and region are facing and increase their involvement,” said Nicole Dillard, chairwoman of this year’s forum.

Any member of the community may nominate forum candidates. Space is limited, and there is a $250 participant fee. The forum also is underwritten by a variety of sponsors and a dedicated endowment. Sponsorships are available.

For information and nomination forms, visit Completed forms may be mailed to CBNO, 4902 Canal St., Suite 300, New Orleans LA 70005, or they may be faxed to (504) 267-4696.

Algiers art for kids

Families are welcome at the Mini Art Center, a new children’s art studio and gallery at 341 Seguin St. in Algiers.

Steps away from the Algiers ferry, MAC is open to tourists and residents. Admission is $5 per child and includes hands-on projects and access to an animation lab. An adjacent gallery showcases works by children, and contemporary and folk artists.

The inaugural exhibition by Nick Mahshie, known as Tranqui Yanqui, is open through Aug. 9. Tranqui Yanqui, a pseudonym meaning “Chill American,” provides a different way of seeing the world and pokes fun with his version of the American dream.

Gallery hours are 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For information, visit

Warren Easton reunion

It’s time to plan for the Warren Easton High School Class of 1965 reunion from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, at Southport Music Hall, 200 Monticello St., near River Road just west of the Orleans Parish line.

The deadline for $45 advance- price tickets is Saturday, Aug. 1. Tickets at the door will cost $60.

The popular reunion welcomes all Warren Easton graduates from the 1960s.

And here’s some lagniappe: Arthur Hardy, Class of 1965 president, will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the reunion at what is now Warren Easton Charter High School, 3019 Canal St.

For information visit, call Wayne Solis or Fran Robinson Solis at (504) 834-7561, or email

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at