NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA  - AUGUST 25:   Storm clouds are seen over the Mississippi River and downtown New Orleans as Hurricane Laura churns in the Gulf of Mexico on August 25, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Laura is expected to hit somewhere along the Gulf Coast late Wednesday and early Thursday. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

What’s Happening (virtually) in New Orleans this week: Sept. 14-18

Bars are closed again and the maximum size of group gatherings has been reduced, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had online while getting those COVID cases back under control. Here are some of the events we’re most looking forward to in Virtual New Orleans this week.

by Matt Haines | September 14, 2020

Bars are closed again and the maximum size of group gatherings has been reduced, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had online while getting those COVID cases back under control. Here are some of the events we’re most looking forward to in Virtual New Orleans this week:


Art Class for Adults | Noon | Zoom (link sent after purchasing tickets) | $250 (six weeks)
The focus of this course is figurative representation. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art and students in the class will be drawing our inspiration from works of art in the permanent collection and currently on exhibition by artists like Sharon Kopriva, Enrique Alférez, Purvis Young and many more. The course begins with figure drawing studies and progresses to realistic and abstract acrylic painting techniques. Topics of discussion and contemplation will include the “gaze” of the artist on the human form and how to incorporate simple mindfulness exercises into your artistic practice to enhance creative flow. Learn more here.

And a Bottle of Rum with Wayne Curtis | 6 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after purchasing tickets | $50
Rum is the spirit of the New World — a liquor that took root in the West Indies in the 17th century before it roamed throughout the hemisphere, often dissolutely, often playing intriguing and sometimes crucial roles in history — the American Revolution, the slave trade, piracy, Prohibition. This three-week class taught by New Orleans-based author Wayne Curtis will lead you on a dive deep into rum, looking at its role in American history, and examining how it’s produced and why it so often varies depending on where it’s made. The class will finish up with a session on contemporary rum — how it’s made today, how craft distilling has brought rum production back to the United States, and how best to enjoy rum neat or in mixed drinks. Curtis is the author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails, and is a former contributing editor at The Atlantic magazine. He currently writes about cocktails and spirits for The Daily Beast, Imbibe, and Garden & Gun, among other publications.

Audacious Hoops Virtual Hula Hoop Class | 6 p.m. | Zoom | $10 suggest donation
Would you like to explore body and movement via the art of hula hooping? If so, join Audacious Hoops for their classes — held every Monday in September — for students of all skill levels, including total beginners! You can join via the Zoom link, above. The Meeting ID is 785 7253 6631, and the Passcode is HoopClass. It’s a great way to exercise while learning something new and fun! Learn more here.

Live with Helen Gillet | 7 p.m. | YouTube, Instagram Live and Facebook Live | Donations encouraged via PayPal, Venmo or Bandcamp
Helen Gillet and her cello are one of the most popular acts in town. While the effects of this pandemic linger, you’re able to hear her every Monday from the comfort of your own couch. Tune in for her weekly set that alternates between light, beautiful and wild. 

Robin Barnes Presents #SongBirdatHome | 7 p.m. | Instagram Live and Facebook Live | Donations encouraged
Join Robin Barnes, the Songbird of New Orleans and her husband Pat Casey every Monday night for a one-hour set as they bring a concert right from their living room to yours!

A Virtual Evening with Chuck Palahniuk | 7 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after tickets purchased) | $34.50 (includes a signed copy of the book)
Chuck Palahniuk — the author of Fight Club — will be discussing his new novel, The Invention of Sound, in conversation with local author Bill Loehfelm. Each ticket will be entered into drawings for some great prizes (all signed by Chuck) including some bloody arms, giant pencils, comic books , full-sized Fight Club movie theater poster, coloring books, copies of Adjustment Day and Beautiful You, and a limited edition of Fight Club!


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Learn French! | 9 a.m. | Online (link sent after registration) | $380 (two-month course)
Alliance Française of New Orleans is offering numerous opportunities to learn French. Whether you’re an adult or a grade school student, whether you’re experienced or taking your French class, and whether you prefer weekends or weekdays — there’s a class for everyone! One absolute beginner class is on Tuesday at 9 a.m., but you can check the full listing of courses here.

Live FitNOLA Class – PIlates | 10 a.m. | Zoom | Free
The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission is leading virtual exercise classes every day of the week (often two or three times a day). This Tuesday morning, this 45-minute class is focused on pilates, but classes throughout the week are all different. Check out a list of the full offerings here and here to find out when they’ll be leading classes in Zumba, pilates, yoga, fitness, line dancing, swing, hip hop, senior fitness and much more! To join in on Zoom, use the link above and enter the Meeting ID (334-196-3309) and Password (BeFitNOLA).

Level 1 – Absolute Beginner Adult Tap | 7 p.m. | Zoom (link will be sent upon registering) | 1 class for $15; 6 classes for $80; 12 classes for $150
If you’ve never taken a tap dance class, or have had less than six months of classes, this is the class for you. Absolute Beginner Tap is an introductory level tap class designed for adult students looking to enjoy an engaging rhythmic workout in a fun and positive environment! Each week you will receive a 45-minute live virtual dance class, as well as access to weekly supplemental practice videos. Check out the left side of this page for the full listing of adult classes offered by HEIDITAPS.

For the Culture with The Affiliates | 7 p.m. | Facebook Live and Instagram Live | Tips encouraged
House of Blues has been hosting a thrice-weekly series of New Orleans-based musicians, and this Tuesday they’re presenting an hour-long set featuring The Affiliates. This group of musicians-turned-friends is known for their warm and energetic vibe. It’s a great way to spend a windy Tuesday night!


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Quarantini Happy Hour World Tour with Jon Cleary | 8 p.m. | YouTube and Facebook Live | Donations welcome via PayPal or Venmo.
Virtuosic jazz pianist Jon Cleary plays an hour of music with another guest every Tuesday night. This week Mr. Cleary is joined by Jamison Ross

Clown Town TV Premier Party: Season 2, Episode 4 | 8 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips and donations accepted on PayPal and Venmo
Clown Town features a rotating cast of queer NOLA Clowns as well as special guests from afar! It’s a little bit sideshow, a little bit vaudeville and plenty of New Orleans charm! Tune in via the Facebook page for Season 2, Episode 4 as well as to watch earlier episodes.


Lunchbox Lecture: Operation Magic Carpet | 11 a.m. | Zoom (link sent after registration) | Free
September marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the last great troop movement of World War II—Operation: Magic Carpet, the return of more than eight million American military personnel to the United States from the European, Pacific, and China-Burma-India theaters. This lecture will discuss the logistics and “points” system employed during Magic Carpet’s 11-month operation, as well as an overview of the return routes and transport craft used in this mammoth military undertaking.’


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Art & Zen: Online Meditation Series | Noon | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Free, but a $5 donation is encouraged if you are able
Every Wednesday at noon, join the Ogden Museum for a live seated 30-minute mindfulness meditation inspired by a work of Southern art. This online meditation program is led by Ogden Educator and yoga and meditation instructor, Mikhayla Harrell! All experience levels welcome and you can learn more here. This week’s online meditation is inspired by photography by Leeanne Schmidt.

Drawing 101: Sketchbook Making | 6 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Free, but $10 donation is encouraged
Every artist needs a sketchbook! In this second Drawing 101 series, learn the ins and outs of sketching, including how to construct your own sketchbook. Participants are encouraged to tune in each week for a new drawing exercise with Museum Educator, Michelle Pontiff, for an evening of stress-free, beginner-level drawing classes designed to build your drawing skills. Start off the Drawing 101 series by decorating or crafting your own sketchbook from materials in your home. Learn more here.

Joel Dinerstein in Conversation with Melissa A. Weber | 6 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Free
Join Garden District Book Shop as they welcome Joel Dinerstein (Tulane University, The Origins of Cool) in conversation with Melissa A. Weber (Curator, Hogan Jazz Archive, and Tulane University Special Collections) to Garden District Book Shop for this special virtual event. Mr. Dinerstein and Ms. Weber will be discussing Mr. Dinerstein’s book, Jazz: A Quick Immersion. This book focuses on jazz’s development in the African-American communities of five cities – New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, and Los Angeles – through a combination of urban studies, historical context, and key profiles of major figures.


Highlights from The National WWII Museum Education Collection | Noon | Zoom (link sent after registration) | Free
While the Museum’s popular, hands-on Operation: Footlocker program is currently suspended due to the pandemic, students can still get a close-up look at WWII artifacts as they explore highlights from the Museum’s Education Collection of artifacts and primary sources in this hour-long webinar. Suitable for all ages, but most appropriate for grades 7 – 12.

New Orleans Renters Rights Chat | 6 p.m. | Facebook Live or Phone Call | Free
Every Thursday, the New Orleans Renters Rights Assembly is hosting a call to educate New Orleanians about what’s going on with rental and mortgage policies, as well as organizing to create a more equitable world. You can call 504-517-5470 to listen in (Meeting ID: 299411967), or watch the livestream on Facebook (link above). There’ll also be opportunities to ask questions.

“The Great Secret: The Classified World War II Disaster that Launched the War on Cancer” | 6 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after registration) | Free
Join us for a special evening program as Jennet Conant, the author of five books on World War II, shares her latest, which is the gripping story of a chemical weapons catastrophe, the cover-up, and how one American Army doctor’s discovery led to the development of the first drug to combat cancer, known today as chemotherapy. Hear the well-researched story of the fateful Luftwaffe bombing raid on Allied ships in the Italian port of Bari, the investigation that followed and how horrific tragedy gave birth to medical triumph.


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For the Culture with Dawn | 7 p.m. | Facebook Live and Instagram Live | Tips encouraged
House of Blues has been hosting a thrice-weekly series of New Orleans-based musicians, and this Thursday they’re presenting an hour-long set featuring Dawn. Dawn has been one of music’s most distinctive voices and songwriters since 2004, as a member of Danity Kane and then Diddy-Dirty Money, releasing the cult R&B classic Last Train to Paris. However, it’s as a solo artist that she’s really soared. Dawn’s 2015 album Blackheart was her breakthrough as a solo artist, ranked as one of the year’s best albums by Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Fact, LA Times, Spin, Rap Up, and many more.

3 Dolla Bill | 7:30 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips Encouraged
The smooth sounds of 3 Dolla Bill grace the Rock’n’Bowl Facebook livestream for a 90-minute set!


Cardio Blast Live Stream | 10 a.m. | Zoom (link will be sent upon registration) | Free
Join Footprints To Fitness for a free 30-minute cardio workout in partnership with FitNOLA and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. The class is designed for all levels so bring the whole family!

Quarantunes Virtual Concert with Haruka Kikuchi | 2 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
Every Friday at 2 pm, the New Orleans Jazz Museum hosts virtual concerts with an exciting mix of talented Jazz musicians, all performing from their homes. This free online series, broadcasting to music fans around the world, highlights the rich culture and history of New Orleans. This episode features Haruka Kikuchi from Japan — who has made a name for herself as a superstar trombonist right here in New Orleans!

Virtual Happy Hour at Garden District Book Shop | 5 p.m. | Facebook Live and YouTube Live | Free
Each week during the pandemic, the Garden District Book Shop has hosted a virtual happy hour featuring New Orleans authors and literary lovers. This week they’re featuring Serena Valentino. She’s the author of seven Disney Villain novels including her most recent, Evil Things. Have a question about writing? Book-selling? Villains? Princesses? Bring it on! She’ll answer them all.

Honey Island Swamp Band Live from the New Orleans Jazz Museum Balcony | 5 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
The New Orleans Jazz Museum has a different musician or band on their balcony every week, and this week features Honey Island Swamp Band for an hour-long set. You won’t want to miss this local band, whose music has been described as Roots Rock and Bayou Americana!

For the Culture with Robin Barnes | 7 p.m. | Facebook Live and Instagram Live | Tips encouraged
House of Blues has been hosting a thrice-weekly series of New Orleans-based musicians, and this Friday they’re presenting an hour-long set with Robin Barnes. Barnes is known for stunning audiences with her powerful voice, earning her the nickname “the songbird of New Orleans.”

Fridays from the Funky Uncle! | 7 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged via PayPal, GoFundMe or Venmo
“Friday’s From the Funky Uncle!” is a webcast featuring New Orleans Funk Musicians playing live to raise money for all members of the entertainment community in New Orleans who are in need. This week, Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes take center stage!

Live Music at Marigny Studios | 7 p.m. | YouTube Live | Tips encouraged
Join Marigny Studios as they host Riarosa this Friday night for an hour-long set. Riarosa is a Baton Rouge band known for music described as lush dream-pop!


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Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen  | 9 p.m. | Vimeo and Online | Donations welcome via PayPal or Venmo.
Virtuosic, Grammy-winning jazz pianist Jon Cleary is joined by his band this Friday night on a livestream from the Maple Leaf Bar. Keep an eye out for special guest Nigel Hall during this two-hour set.


See? There’s tons going on! If you can afford it, please be sure to tip the band/performers/DJ/teachers/etc. Many of them are battling lost gigs as a result of the pandemic, and are working very hard to keep us entertained during the unique times.

Remember, send me an email if you have an event you’d like me to add for next week’s round-up!



Matt Haines

Matt Haines

Matt Haines lives in New Orleans and writes about all the cool stuff.
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