May 2018
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
Quick Search



The Big Issue: Does Progress Destroy Culture?

Date: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Tulane Hillel, The Mintz Center 912 Broadway
Location: uptown campus

The Big Issue: Does Progress Destroy Culture? will tackle questions regarding how gentrification and urban and economic development impacts New Orleans culture. Moderated by Nick Spitzer, featuring Shamarr Allen, Richard Campanella, Ellis Marsalis, Katy Reckdahl and Mike Valentino. Thursday, June 6th Doors at 7:00, Event at 7:30 The Mintz Center, 912 Broadway, New Orleans.

Join Tulane Hillel for the third installment of The Big Issue Debate Series New Orleans, the birthplace of Jazz and home to a thriving arts scene, has recently become a hotbed of entrepreneurship, industry and development. The current economic boom raises serious questions about the continued viability of New Orleans as an authentic cultural epicenter. 

Moderated by: NICK SPITZER: professor of American studies and anthropology at Tulane University where he specializes in cultures of the Gulf South, creolization, cultural representation and policy. Nick is creator and host of public radio’s American Routes. Devoted to American music and cultures, now in its 15th year, American Routes reaches up to a million weekly listeners with interviews, documentaries and music. The founder of the Louisiana Folklife program, Spitzer helped create the Louisiana Folklife Pavilion at the 1984 World Exposition. A former senior folklife specialist at the Smithsonian, Nick has been artistic director for concerts broadcast from the National Mall to Carnegie Hall. In New Orleans he’s worked closely with building artisans and was instrumental in bringing ’Raised to the Trade’: Creole Building Arts of New Orleans to NOMA. A fellow of the American Folklore Society and Guggenheim recipient, in 2006 Nick was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year for his cultural efforts in the post-Katrina flood recovery. 

To discuss these issues our panel will feature: 

  • SHAMARR ALLEN a New Orleans born trumpet player and local music prodigy. Mr. Allen's countless career accomplishments are highlighted by performances with artists Patti LaBelle, Lenny Kravitz, Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis, and a multi-city tour and studio recordings with country legend Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Leon Russell, and R.E.M.
  • RICHARD CAMPANELLA a geographer with the Tulane University School of Architecture, is the author of six critically acclaimed books on the geography of New Orleans. His research has been praised in regional and national publications, he is cited regularly in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and New York Times; and has been featured on NPR All Things Considered, CBS Evening News, PBS NewsHour, CNN, and BBC.
  • ELLIS MARSALIS regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans. He was the first occupant and Director of the Coca Cola endowed Chair of Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. During his tenure at UNO he helped fellow colleague Charles Blancq develop a campus performance center called the Sand Bar. Marsalis continues to be active as a performing pianist leading, and occasionally touring, his own quartet. He has several recordings on the CBS-SONY label and currently releases recordings on his own recording label, ELM RECORDS, developed with his wife Dolores and son Jason.
  • KATY RECKDAHL a journalist who has written insightfully about Mardi Gras Indians, second lines, school bands and attempts to regulate culture for many years, for Gambit, the Times-Picayune and other publications.
  • MIKE VALENTINO a New Orleans native who has been involved in the Travel & Hospitality business for 40 years. He is the Chief Operating Officer of Hotel Management of New Orleans and past president of the New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association. Over his career he has developed and expanded his family's holdings to include hotels, restaurants, parking facilities, apartment buildings, and Basin St. Station, the renovation of the old Southern Railway Building on the edge of the French Quarter and Treme, into a Visitor Information & Cultural Center. Michael recently launched City Sightseeing New Orleans, the hop-on hop-off double-decker open-top bus tour of the city. He's the designer and developer of several web sites, LAsameday and the soon to launch New Orleans & Me.
We look forward to seeing you there! The Big Issue Steering Committee Kyle Wedberg, President & CEO, NOCCA Gabe Feldman, Assoc. Professor of Law & Director of Sports Law Program, Tulane University Jordan Friedman, Partner, Bond PR & Brand Strategy Stephanie Grace, Journalist Michael Hecht, President & CEO, GNO Inc. Greg LaRose, Editor, New Orleans City Business Gordon Stewart, CEO Bootleg Distillation LLC Tania Tetlow, Assoc. Professor of Law & Director, Domestic Violence Clinic, Tulane University Yonah Schiller, Executive Director, Tulane Hillel Corey Smith, Associate Director, Tulane Hillel

Sponsored by: Hillel Center

Admission: Free
Attendance: Open to the public
Open to: Alumni, Faculty, Graduate students, Parents, Prospective undergrads, Staff, Undergraduates, Visitors

For more information contact Yonah Schiller via email to or by phone at 5048667060

Additional information may be found at the event website at

Follow Tulane sponsored and related events on Twitter at!/TulaneEvents

Calendar of Events, Tulane University  504-865-5000