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Big Easy Money 

The foundation behind two annual awards shows helps sustain local performers and cultural organizations.

The Foundations for Entertainment Development and Education, also known as the Big Easy Awards foundation, recently awarded $20,000 in grants to local performing artists in recognition of their contributions to local culture.

Gambit Weekly publisher and Big Easy Awards executive producer Margo DuBos formed the foundation in 1990 to underwrite projects and programs that acknowledge the profound importance of the performing arts to the culture and economy of the New Orleans area. The organization works to nurture talented youth, encourage ongoing education for professionals, and build a strong support system for the future of performing arts in the area.

The foundation awarded grants last month to a variety of organizations involved in local music, theatre and dance. Recipients included the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame for the Indigenous Arts Program at Wicker School, Creative Forces workshops in music and dance, the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, Efforts of Grace (Jo 'Cool" Davis' gospel workshops in Central City), Dog & Pony Theatre Co., CAC for the production of What Girls Know, Southern Rep Theatre, ArtSpot Productions, and the Green Lantern Puppet Co.

The foundation is supported by several events, including the annual Big Easy Entertainment Awards shows, the Tribute to the Classical Arts luncheon, and the Reds, Whites & the Blues wine, food and music event held each autumn at City Park's Pavilion of the Two Sisters.

The Big Easy Entertainment Awards, held each April, includes live entertainment from local and national performers. The awards and shows recognize achievements in music and theatre.

The annual Tribute to the Classical Arts luncheon, held in February at the Hotel Monteleone, honors artists in classical music, opera and dance.

Additional foundation supporters include the Annenberg Foundation and the William P. Camp Trust.

For additional information on the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education, contact Gloria Powers, executive director and event coordinator, at 483-3130 or bigeasy@gambitweekly.com.

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