New Orleans Artists Rebuild Livelihoods with eBay Charity Auction on May 23

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Global market research firm Synovate commissioned 40 artists in New Orleans to create original pieces based on the theme 'My New Orleans.' The pieces will be auctioned off on eBay beginning May 23 with all proceeds going to the artists and the Arts Council of New Orleans to help rebuild the livelihoods of the artist community in New Orleans.

Since Hurricane Katrina the Arts Council has been integral in dispersing recovery money to artists throughout the region in need of assistance

Nearly three years have passed since Hurricane Katrina devastated most of the north-central Gulf Coast but the damage is still evident for many artists in New Orleans that lost not only their artwork but their studios, collections and equipment. To help reinvigorate the artist community in New Orleans, global market research firm Synovate recently commissioned 40 local artists to create original artwork for an upcoming eBay charity auction, with proceeds going to the artists and the Arts Council of New Orleans (ACNO).

Synovate partnered with ACNO to develop and organize the initiative, including approaching local artists about participating. Forty artists were selected and given $1,000 each to create one piece of artwork with the theme 'My New Orleans' to be auctioned online.

"Since Hurricane Katrina the Arts Council has been integral in dispersing recovery money to artists throughout the region in need of assistance," said Mary Len Costa, Interim President and CEO of the Arts Council of New Orleans. "But the opportunity Synovate has provided New Orleans artists is like no other!"

The 40 pieces that were created include work from some of the city's best painters, sculptors, wood workers, glass blowers and mixed media artists, with many of the artists drawing heavily on the theme of Hurricane Katrina. For example, some sculptors used salvaged remnants from Katrina in their pieces. Many of the participating artists are renowned, with work currently on display across the US and around the world.    

All the artwork will open for bid beginning May 23 on eBay's charity auction store and run for seven days. Bidders can access the auction on eBay under the seller ID "synovateforneworleans."

This artist initiative was created to coincide with Synovate's annual week-long global conference held recently in New Orleans. Almost 600 Synovate staff met with the artists in their homes and studios to view the commissioned pieces and create marketing materials to help sell them.

Costa said, "By commissioning new work, Synovate has inspired and reinvigorated the artistic community to create. And by reaching out and inviting their delegates to meet one-on-one with artists in their studios, they showed a real interest in connecting to the community and who we are as New Orleanians. This is a meaningful opportunity for artists to make international connections and gain exposure for their work worldwide."

About The Arts Council of New Orleans
The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City's official arts agency. Now in its 32nd year, the Arts Council works with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through diverse initiatives and services. Visit http://www.artscouncilofneworleans.org for more information.

About Synovate
Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 5,800 staff in 121 cities across 57 countries. For more information on Synovate visit http://www.synovate.com.

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Alicia Kan
Synovate
312-526-4570
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Mary Len Costa
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