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Success Story

ELLA Brings Legal Advice to Co-Op Members

Since 2003, Tipitina’s Foundation Music Office Co-ops have operated as a center for musicians to perfect their trade and learn from one another. Co-op members across the state have the unique opportunity to take advantage of legal and business advice through The ELLA Project. Since 2005, ELLA has served over 1500 clients statewide. This program, based in the New Orleans Co-op, is available as a FREE service to all Co-op members.

We sat down with ELLA Cofounders Ashlye Keaton and Gene Meneray to talk about the ways ELLA is supporting our cultural community. Gene speaks to what separates ELLA from similar programs,

“Our long-lasting relationships with clients is what makes ELLA different from a lot of other arts legal programs around the country. You’re not going to be timed down to 90 minutes. We have the ability to continue to work with people throughout months, potentially years and having it in this location fostering that sense of community with the Co-op makes it a good fit.”

In conjunction with the Tipitina’s Foundation, Arts Council of New Orleans, and Tulane Law School, Ashlye and Gene worked together to develop a permanent program that supports artists’ long-term needs. Over the course of the last eleven years, ELLA has grown to meet the changing temperature of the creative community. Gene also spearheads ELLA’s business consultations to help artists with everything from grassroots marketing to long-term career planning. The ELLA Project works to stay ahead of conversations in the New Orleans Music Community. While their main focus is client services, ELLA works on policy development ranging from noise ordinances to developing copyright law for Mardi Gras Indians to register their suits as art. ELLA serves as a think tank, establishing which issues are relevant to the arts community in real-time, and addressing them on behalf of the creative population. Ashlye speaks to the resources the Co-op has to offer,

“People know they can come here… they love Mark Fowler, (New Orleans Co-op Manager) he’s a hub in the community, and the co-op has the resources that complement the services. It’s like a trifecta, people come in for legal advice, then they need business advice and see Gene, then technical advice and Mark is right there. So we send them out the door with a better understanding of many different topics related to their craft.”

This incredible programming would not be made possible without generous donors like yourselves. Thanks to the Tipitina’s Music Co-op and The ELLA Project, New Orleans artists are able to navigate the legal world of music with ease.

Musicians in need of these services can learn more by calling (504) 891-0580.