New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity and Louisiana Writers Foundation to Hold Truman Capote Black and White Ball Fundraiser

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The Louisiana Writers Foundation (LWF) in cooperation with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH) will hold a Black & White Masque Ball on Tuesday, November 28 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans to raise funds to provide writers with affordable housing. The event will be held on the exact 40th anniversary date of Truman Capote's famous Black & White Ball held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The LWF will host the Ball, a kick-off fundraising event for the Writers' Housing Outreach Program developed with NOAHH, at the Hotel Monteleone, a literary landmark in the French Quarter. Capote's mother stayed there just before his birth in New Orleans and he often returned to the hotel on trips there.

The Louisiana Writers Foundation (LWF) in cooperation with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH) will hold a Black & White Masque Ball on Tuesday, November 28 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. The event will help to provide writers that have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina with affordable housing. It will be held on the exact 40th anniversary date of Truman Capote's famous Black & White Ball.

The LWF will host the Ball, a kick-off fundraising event for the Writers' Housing Outreach Program developed with NOAHH, at the Hotel Monteleone, a literary landmark in the French Quarter. Capote's mother stayed there just before his birth in New Orleans and he often returned to the hotel on trips there throughout his life.

The event will recreate Truman Capote's Black and White Ball held originally on November 28, 1966 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The original ball was modeled after the Ascot Scene in the musical and movie, "My Fair Lady." Invitees are required to wear black and white evening clothes and masks. The ball will begin at 8 p.m. with an unmasking at 10 p.m. and a late night buffet - just as the original 1966 ball.

Honorees at the Black and White Masque Ball will include Louisiana poet laureate Brenda Marie Osbey; prolific fiction writer Earnest Gaines; writer, NPR commentator and Louisiana State University professor Andrei Codrescu; Times-Picayune journalist Chris Rose; and, poet and arts supporter Dave Brinks, founder of the "17 Poets" weekly reading series.

"These outstanding writers represent the pulsing heart of the literary arts in Louisiana," stated Robert Smallwood, founder and Executive Director LWF. "Louisiana has been a home to many writers from Faulkner and Walt Whitman to Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. Our unique history and culture provides a rich environment to write in and about. The living writers we will honor have captured the essence of our uniqueness and successfully promoted the writing culture of the state."

Entertainment at the formal affair will include a Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Ensemble, New Orleans jazz and blues by the Troi Bechet Trio and a special appearance by singer Jesse Moore. Local news anchor and community activist Angela Hill will be the Master of Ceremonies.

New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity will work to assist writers with the Habitat home application process realizing the many challenges they face with income reporting and credit. Many previous applicants have had similar situations as the New Orleans area has a proliferation of non-traditional, contract jobs.

"Habitat has set forth a program that enables low-income families to purchase simple, decent, affordable homes," stated Jim Pate, Executive Director of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. "Our mission is to fight against substandard housing and blighted neighborhoods, by building affordable housing with partner families."

"It's time to celebrate in New Orleans again. We've been focused on the mundane for over a year now, and it's time to gather together and have a party for a good cause - supporting the poets and writers who are telling the story of our grief and recovery and wanting to stay in New Orleans," stated Smallwood. "We are working to provide affordable housing solutions to preserve the rich literary heritage of Louisiana."

Reservations are $250 per couple, $150 for individuals. Reservation requests may be made to CapoteBlackandWhiteBall@Yahoo.com or by calling 504-324-2340. By mail, requests can be made to LWF at 828 Royal St., #182, New Orleans, LA 70116.

The Louisiana Writers Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the writing community in Louisiana with assistance in housing, health care and family needs while recognizing and preserving the literary heritage of Louisiana. More information on the development and purpose of the organization is available at http://nolawriters.blogspot.com.

New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH), an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. NOAHH builds new houses in partnership with sponsors, volunteers, communities, and homeowner families to eliminate poverty housing in the New Orleans area while serving as a catalyst to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Since its inception in 1983 NOAHH has built over 130 new homes for low-income families in need of adequate shelter. In the next five years, NOAHH plans to build 1,500 homes in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. http://www.habitat-nola.org.

CONTACT:

Aleis H. Tusa    

(504)861-2077

(504)251-5710

Robert Smallwood

(504)324-2340

(504)418-6652

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