NOMA Announces First Inaugural Creative Assembly Cohort

A Selection of Talented New Orleans Creatives to Work in Partnership with Museum 

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), with the generous support of the Wagner Foundation, announces the 2021–2022 Creative Assembly Cohort, a multidisciplinary group of New Orleans-based creators selected to engage with the institution in a year-long exchange of ideas and inspiration. The Creative Assembly Cohort is comprised of a selection of creative minds who will immerse themselves within the museum’s collection and use the institution as a catalyst for their own work and creativity.

“As the largest fine arts museum in the Gulf South, situated within one of the most culturally rich cities in the world, NOMA serves as a cultural convener and nexus for New Orleans’ vast creative offerings,” said Susan Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of NOMA. “We are delighted to work with this outstanding group of creative talent, and we look forward to sharing their offerings developed through the Creative Assembly Cohort with the New Orleans community and beyond.” 

The disciplines of cohort members range from musicians, dancers, and poets to mixologists, activists, and educators. Cohort members will symbiotically use the museum as a space for inspiration and collaboration, and work with the museum and its staff to develop and implement programs that speak to a diversity of perspectives.

“The Creative Assembly Cohort model is revolutionary within the museum field,” said Nic Brierre Aziz, Community Engagement Curator at NOMA. “Through this program, NOMA is supporting exceptionally talented and creative individuals, giving them the freedom to ‘choose their own adventure’ within a field and institution that has been historically distant from them.” 

Members of the 2021–2022 Creative Assembly Cohort are: 

  • Hospitality activist, sommelier, and bartender Ashtin Berry
  • Performance artist and dancer Frankie Canga
  • Artist, teacher, community food justice organizer, and mental health advocate Courtney Clark
  • Perfumer, herbalist, breathwork teacher, and craniosacral therapist Kathleen Currie
  • Singer, violinist, percussionist, member of Les Cenelles ensemble, and professional bookbinder Joseph Darensbourg
  • Trumpeter, musician, and artist Steve Lands
  • Poet, writer, and educator Tiana Nobile
  • Pop and electro musicians People Museum (Jeremy Phipps and Claire Givens)
  • Dancer, choreographer, and educator Edward Spots

About Creative Assembly 

Creative Assembly is a community engagement initiative by the New Orleans Museum of Art that uses neighborhood-based participatory art experiences as a vehicle for personal exploration, community collaboration, and social change. NOMA is committed to connecting to people both within and beyond the museum walls, and dedicated to developing sustained relationships with the individuals, organizations, and diverse communities of New Orleans. Bringing together community members, artists, community-based organizations, and museum staff, Creative Assembly facilitates community-generated art projects and programs in New Orleans neighborhood spaces and at the museum.


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Wagner Foundation’s vision is a just and robust community where everyone is valued equally and has the ability to imagine, shape, pursue, and sustain the lives they wish to lead. In pursuit of this vision, the foundation’s mission is to confront the social and historical disparities that perpetuate injustice. The foundation does this by accompanying organizations aligned with this goal, serving as advocates for change and convening thought leaders. Its focus on health equity and shared prosperity is balanced by a holistic approach which aims to develop and strengthen equitable systems throughout the world. In these efforts, the foundation welcomes creative solutions bringing communities together. It is committed to encouraging visionary individuals, as well as arts organizations that expand cultural access. The willingness to explore, ask questions, and support one another makes new solutions possible, transforming culture in the process.


The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 40,000 works of art encompassing 5,000 years of history. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am–5 pm. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features more than 90 sculptures, including works from several 20th and 21st-century master sculptors. NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden is free and open to the public seven days a week, 10 am–5 pm. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to visitors with disabilities. Wheelchairs are available from the front desk. Museum admission is free on Wednesdays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Children 12 and under receive free admission. Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission courtesy of The Helis Foundation.

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