Two statues of Greek muses will be unveiled at a special ceremony at 4 p.m. Dec. 15 in the lobby of the Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 6500 Airline Drive, Metairie.

Jefferson Beautification Inc. is spearheading a project to erect bronze statues of all nine Greek Muses in the gardens near LaSalle Park, which surrounds the arts center.

Beulah Oswald-Soto, JBI executive director, said the initial phase of the project consists of the four muses who represent the performing arts: Terpsichore, dance; Euterpe, music; Melpomene, tragedy; and Thalia, comedy.

Each bronze statue is 6 feet tall and rests on a 32-inch pedestal.

“Only the first two statues, Terpsichore and Euterpe, will be unveiled and dedicated on Dec. 15,” Oswald-Soto said. “Thalia and Melpomene are scheduled to be finished in April or May next year.”

The first two statues will be located near the street entrance of the Jefferson Performing Arts Center.

The nine muses of Greek mythology were goddesses who ruled over the arts and sciences, offering inspiration in those subjects.

Oswald-Soto said statue sponsorships are available for $30,000 and will include a bronze plaque recognizing the sponsors.

Three of the initial four statues have sponsors: the Robert and Jeri Nims Foundation, Terpsichore; J. Caldarera and Co., Euterpe; and Hollis Companies, Thalia.

Melpomene is still available for sponsorship, Oswald-Soto said.

“We hope to get enough interest at the ceremony to attract future sponsors,” Oswald-Soto added. “If we get any interest in the last five statues, we will start the process of approving the designs of others.”

New Orleans sculpture artist Kim Bernadis was selected for the project.

Jefferson Beautification Inc. was appointed in 1998 by the Jefferson Parish Council as the official landscape adviser for the entire LaSalle Tract.

“In 1999, we started to work with landscape architects Cantrell and Company to design gardens surrounding the performing arts center,” Oswald-Soto said. “JBI came up with the idea of a sculpture garden at that time and began to have fundraisers. In early 2015, when the performing arts center was nearing completion, I appointed a four-member committee to get the project started and sent out a call for artists.”

Sharon Hannahan served as chairperson of the project, with Joy Shane, Kay Andressen and Oswald-Soto on the committee.

Debbie Settoon is president of JBI.

JBI is a volunteer, nonprofit organization formed in 1990 to provide funding for tree planting and beautification projects on public green space in Jefferson Parish.

For more information about the sculpture project or JBI, call (504) 737-7583.

Christmas fest at OLDP

Our Lady of Divine Providence Church and School’s annual Christmas Festival will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday on the school grounds, 1000 N. Starrett Road, Metairie.

Some of the activities will be the blessing of the nativity, a Christmas boutique, a parade of prizes, bingo, photo opportunities, games and a holiday baking contest.

Jambalaya, nachos, hot dogs, pizza and refreshments will also be available.

For more information, call (504) 466-0591.

Holiday luncheon

Colonial Garden Club’s annual Christmas luncheon is planned for 11:30 a.m. Dec. 13 at Chateau Golf and Country Club, 3600 Chateau Blvd., Kenner.

Club President Kelly Kuchler will preside over the meeting. Ribbons will be presented to winners of the Christmas Doorway Contest by head Jeanne Turner. The award for gardener of the winter will be announced by chairwomen Jeanne Turner and Susan Bradley. And Cindy Schalck, philanthropic chair, will report the amount collected for Kelly’s Children’s Home, an orphanage in India.

Chairing the luncheon are Melinda Jackson, Marian Petry and Susan Bradley.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events in Jefferson Parish. She can be reached at