Online Optimism’s 2021 Donate, Elevate New Orleans Nonprofit
Online Optimism rolled out Donate, Elevate in June of 2020, and we have been excited to continue offering this program to our team. As outlined in our original blog post, we will 100% match any employee’s donation to any 501c3 nonprofit. As an added twist, we donate an additional 100% to a nonprofit chosen annually by our team. In 2020, we excitedly announced Innocence Project New Orleans as our chosen New Orleans nonprofit for the year.
This year, we chose a nonprofit that focuses on the culture and artists of New Orleans. While COVID-19 has negatively impacted our community in many ways, it has especially taken a toll on our local artists, musicians, and creators. Thus, we chose an organization that supports groups and individuals that comprise New Orleans’ culture and art: Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans. MACCNO supports and organizes with the local music and cultural community to preserve and nurture the New Orleans culture, translate community vision into policy change, and create positive economic impact.
They are significant advocates for New Orleans’ musical artists but are also working on several other initiatives that help the community as a whole, like:
- A Grassroots Cultural Master Plan that will support neighborhood-based cultural programming, recreation centers, and grant programs, in addition to historic and neighborhood venues. This plan will also create a complete preservation plan for culturally significant sites, especially historically Black areas.
- A comprehensive support program for street performers that provides legal assistance for performers, advocacy for changes to laws and policies that unconstitutionally limit busking, and comprehensive economic impact analysis to showcase the benefits New Orleans receives from a robust street performance scene.
- Engaging with musicians, artists, and culture bearers regarding affordable housing and criminal justice reform issues in addition to problems that impact their quality of life and economic stability. These issues include opposition to a massive surveillance camera network that would require all businesses that sell alcohol, including bars, music venues, and restaurants, to install cameras monitored 24/7 by local, state, and federal ‘security partners’ Homeland Security and the FBI. Rather than surveillance, the city should invest in jobs for youth, cultural programming, mental health services, and affordable housing.
MACCNO’s complete list of initiatives and programs is available on their website.