Ten years ago, Douglas Redd and Carol Bebelle founded the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and in so doing, created a home for emerging and established artists to present, create and collaborate in giving life to their art.
Ashé brings together a strong sense of neighborhood and economic development with the awesome creative forces of communtiy, culture and art to revive and reclaim a historically significant corridor in Central City New Orleans: Oretha Castle-Haley Boulevard, formerly known as Dryades Street.
Over the last 10 years, Ashé has produced a range of theatrical works, including "Swimming Upstream," which tells the stories of 10 women who lived through the flood and aftermath of Katrina, and "13 Lessons," a choral drama drawn from oral histories and first-person testimonies of adults caught in the circumstances of illiteracy, which currently traps 40 percent of New Orleans' adults.
Storytelling, poetry, music, dance, photography and visual art all are a part of Ashé, whose name comes from the Yoruban word that translates closely to "amen," or "so let it be done."
This weekend, Ashé culminates months of 10-year anniversary celebrations with Holiday on the Boulevard, a gathering of music, story telling, food, arts and crafts vendors.