School of Public Policy Capstones

Publication Date



The Chief Jolly Project seeks to use music and cultural arts to improve the opportunities for youth growing up amidst poverty and violence in the city of New Orleans; supporting personal expression and empowerment, skill development, intergenerational connection, and community building and transformation. The Project will also share the living history of this musical culture in order to preserve this heritage and promote it to broader audiences. This study explores the significance of culture in the life and economy of New Orleans, social needs that especially pertain to youth, examples and insights from other organizations and community members, and the potential for working with and among existing cultural nonprofits and enterprises. From this, a vision for the Chief Jolly Project is created. The richness of cultural expression exists alongside the economic poverty in New Orleans’ neighborhoods; it has always been the music, a sense of community identity and the creative spirit that has lifted people up. It is through the arts as an entry point for personal discovery and empowerment, as well as knowledge of and experience in the business of the arts that the Chief Jolly Project will foster hope and opportunity.