Wetlands Festival features art and stories

The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Task Force will present a free “I Remember” Art Exhibit and Wetlands Festival from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 28 at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Marrero.

An art exhibit will feature environmental portraits and landscape photographs by Lane Lefort and oil paintings by Marian Brister Martinez. The Louisiana natives have captured the culture and heritage of communities in coastal Louisiana, according to organizers.

The event also will include recorded presentations by 11 oral historians. Local residents were interviewed over a year to capture varying lifestyles of people living and working in coastal Louisiana.

Festival activities will include nature photography, opportunities to illustrate a wetlands story and bird-watching. Musicians from the Cajun Music Preservation Society will perform.

The art exhibit will remain open for public viewing through June 28.

For information, contact Kelia Fontenot Bingham at (337) 266-8623.

‘House Party’ fundraiser slated for March

The Neighborhood Development Foundation’s annual House Party fundraiser will be held March 28 at the First NBC Bank, 210 Baronne St.

The party, to be held at 7:30 p.m. in the bank’s main lobby, will have the theme “Faces of Affordability.” It will be preceded by a patron party in the board room on the third floor.

Former WDSU-TV anchor Norman Robinson will emcee the event.

The foundation educates prospective first-time homeowners. Since 1986, it has helped nearly 4,000 residents transition from renting to owning homes.

“This is a dream for many working families,” said the foundation’s CEO, Fred Johnson. “It’s a dream that NDF has helped to make a reality for thousands of families throughout the greater New Orleans area. Renters become homeowners, landlords, developers and investors in our community.”

For information, visit www.ndf-neworleans.org or call (504) 488-0155.

St. John Parish Clean Sweep to honor Daley

The ninth annual Spring Clean Sweep event in St. John the Baptist Parish will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon April 11 at the Thomas F. Daley Memorial Park.

The event is organized by the Keep St. John Beautiful Committee.

Following a parishwide cleanup, there will be a ceremony honoring former District Attorney and Keep St. John Beautiful leader Thomas F. Daley.

The Clean Sweep Committee has targeted major thoroughfares for cleaning. Interested participants are asked to register online at sjbparish.com or by calling Dana Milioto at (985) 652-9569.

All supplies and T-shirts will be available at the park at 8:30 a.m. April 11. Participants are invited back to the park at 11:30 a.m. for free food, refreshments, music and a group photo.

Shaolin Institute to hold grand opening

The Shaolin Institute will celebrate the grand opening of the New Orleans Shaolin Martial Arts Campus in Gentilly from Friday through Sunday.

Held at the new center at 1995 Gentilly Blvd., the opening will feature Chinese cultural festivities of firecrackers, a lion dance, kung fu and tai chi. There will also be a weapons exhibition, a presentation of Zen meditation, women’s self-defense classes and an audition for “Badlands,” a martial-arts TV series.

The weekend’s events will start at 6 p.m. Friday with a self-defense seminar for women 14 and older. On Saturday, mini-workshop sessions in tai chi, kung fu and sanshou will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:30 p.m. will be followed by refreshments and raffle drawings for free classes and other prizes. The audition for “Badlands” will be on Sunday.

Additionally, all regularly scheduled classes will be free and open to the public for a week starting Monday. Tai chi, kung fu and sanshou classes are offered for adults of all ages and ability levels, and kids’ kung fu classes are available for children 4 and older.

The Shaolin Institute offers training in total martial arts and ancient Chinese systems of health, wellness and healing.