Expanding Our Roots: Gene Meneray


"Expanding Our Roots: Global Conversations With 821" is an online interview series hosted by The 821 Project. The purpose of the series is to showcase the cultural diversity, global connections and social consciousness of the people of southeast Louisiana as well as those who work to expand southeast Louisiana's roots to the world through works that promote social justice and global citizenship.


The series presents community organizers, community leaders, and residents living in southeast Louisiana who come from different parts of the world or who work to promote global citizenship, multiculturalism, and social justice in our regional community.


This interview is with Gene Meneray. Gene Meneray is Co-Founder of The Ella Project, a pro bono legal, business development, and cultural advocacy organization. A native New Orleanian

and graduate of Tulane University, Gene worked for more than a decade as Director of Artist Services at the Arts Council of New Orleans. He has also worked for Thomas Mann Design and for Young Aspirations/Young Artists (YAYA). He has served multiple times as a grant reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts and as a juror for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Festival Internationale de Louisiane, and numerous other art shows and festivals.


From 2011-2017, he taught Arts Business in the Graduate School at the University of New Orleans Arts Administration program. He has been a panelist and moderator for events including the World Cultural Economic Forum, American Bar Association Conference on Pro Bono, the Music Cities Summit in Toronto, and the Sociable City Summit. Gene is also the former Executive Director and current Vice President of the Louisiana Crafts Guild, and serves as on the Executive Committee of the Louisiana State Arts Council and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. He lives in the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans with his wife Elizabeth, a family law attorney and volunteer DJ on WWOZ, and son Campbell.


This interview was recorded on Thursday, March 4, 2021.


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