NGO Funding Request

The recipient entity's full legal name:  Nous Foundation, Inc.

The recipient entity's physical address:
           906 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116

The recipient entity's mailing address (if different):

Type of Entity (for instance, a nonprofit corporation):  Non-Profit Corporation

If the entity is a corporation, list the names of the incorporators:

The last four digits of the entity's taxpayer ID number:  6547

What is the dollar amount of the request?  $20,000

What type of request is this?  General Appropriation

Is this entity in good standing with the Secretary of State?  Yes

Provide the name of each member of the recipient entity's governing board and officers:
           Scott Tilton (Executive Director), 906 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Rudy Bazenet (Director – President), 906 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Pamela Bonner (Director – Treasurer), 7301 Ashborne Drive, Harahan, Louisiana 70123
Autumn Palen (Director – Secretary), 1724 N Edgemont St #110 Los Angeles, California 90027
Denise Frazier (Director), 2434 New Orleans Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
Tiffany Guillory Thomas (Director), 747 JL Drive, Scott, Louisiana 70583
Andrea Huseman (Director), 3 Richmond Pl, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
Anne Normann (Director), 2236 9th Street Mandeville, Louisiana 70471
Denise St. Pierre (Director), 428 Notre Dame Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Provide a summary of the project or program:
           Launched in June 2020, the Nous Foundation is a New Orleans-based cultural institution dedicated to promoting Louisiana’s French culture and heritage. Two years after launching, our organization has already seen major accomplishments: we have designed and carried out innovative programming (including events, original content, and programs); we have raised over $150,000 (from various grants and patrons, and crowdfunding, including $10,000 on GiveNOLA Day 2022); we have developed solid partnerships with local and global institutions (including CODOFIL, Tulane University, the Consulate General of France in New Orleans); and we have developed a community of over 15,000 followers on social media.

Building on these achievements, we are now preparing to open our physical cultural center at the Historic BK House and Gardens in January 2023. Built in 1826, the BK House is a National Historic Landmark and is a member of the French Quarter Museum Association (FQMA). Starting January 2023, the BK House will host our team and our programming. In joining forces, we will be well-positioned to create the first museum and cultural center specifically dedicated to Louisiana’s French heritage and culture – which we believe is a milestone for Louisiana. To celebrate this partnership, we would like to request state support to work on two joint projects:

1/ The creation of a permanent exhibit at the BK House celebrating Louisiana’s French heritage and culture. This exhibit, presented in both French and English, will cover a period ranging from the late 17th century to today, and will present Louisiana’s unique French history (focusing on all the communities that have shared French as a heritage language – namely Cajuns, Creoles, and Native Americans) as well as the current efforts that are being implemented to preserve French as a heritage language (by highlighting the work of CODOFIL and other groups helping revive the language). Presented at a historic house in the heart of the French Quarter, this permanent exhibit will fill a significant gap (as there is currently no museum specifically dedicated to his unique aspect of Louisiana’s unique history) and will reach a wide audience: visitors and locals (with a focus on schools – as this exhibit will be created with educational purposes).

2/ The creation of a tour of the BK House in French (twice a week) and in English (twice a week). Louisiana attracts 41 million domestic and foreign tourists annually, of whom 20 million visitors make it to the French Quarter. However, there is currently no tour dedicated to Louisiana’s French heritage and history. This tour will work hand-in-hand with the exhibit that we will create and will present Louisiana as a vibrant space – with a rich history and culture. In creating a tour in French, we will also be the first museum offering linguistic accessibility in French – which will appeal to the 500,000 tourists from French-speaking countries who visit New Orleans each year.

Receiving state funding to bring these two projects to life would show the state’s continued commitment to the French language and culture in the state. It would also bolster Louisiana’s image as having services provided in French that will further attract visitors and help develop the tourist economy.

What is the budget relative to the project for which funding is requested?:
          Salaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . $8,000
          Professional Services. . . $2,000
          Contracts . . . . . . . . . . . $0
          Acquisitions . . . . . . . . . $5,000
          Major Repairs . . . . . . . $0
          Operating Services. . . . $5,000
          Other Charges. . . . . . . $0

Does your organization have any outstanding audit issues or findings?  No

If 'Yes' is your organization working with the appropriate governmental agencies to resolve those issues or findings?
          Not Applicable

What is the entity's public purpose, sought to be achieved through the use of state monies?
          As a cultural nonprofit, the Nous Foundation serves the people of Louisiana by making sure our state’s unique French culture and language are passed down. From 1970 to today, Louisiana has gone from 1 million French speakers to around 200,000. We aim to stop this decline from happening and encourage a new generation to learn about the culture and language – and for this reason, we serve diverse communities across the state, including K-12 students and minority communities. The use of state monies would allow us to open our cultural center at the BK Historic House and Gardens under the best conditions, thus reinforcing our public purpose in two ways:

1/ The exhibit and tour specifically dedicated to Louisiana’s French heritage and culture that we aim to create through the use of state monies will reach a wide audience, including both Louisianans and visitors. We think that it is important that Louisianans have access to a museum and community space dedicated to their French heritage. We want to reach various communities across the state, and we will also work closely with schools and K-12 students as we also want this space to encompass educational purposes. For visitors to our state, this space will also be of significant interest as a lot of people who visit Louisiana are interested in our unique history and culture. This will also position Louisiana as a “French-speaking” space which will attract additional visitors from French-speaking countries – thus having a long-term economic impact on our state.

2/Creating our cultural center will give a community space for all Louisianans interested in French – and, more broadly, Louisiana's culture. In helping us launch our cultural center (through the creation of the exhibit and tour), the state will shed light on the importance of our mission – and our programming. Our programming has so far reached about 30,000 people and is articulated around three main components: events, original content, and programs. Our events aim to bring everyone together and define an inclusive narrative on French through the organization of conferences (our series “New Orleans to the World is organized in partnership with Global New Orleans), concerts (we have collaborated with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra), and networking events. In terms of original content, we aim to create updated cultural and educational resources in French through books (we created an education booklet with CODOFIL, distributed to 2,000 students across Louisiana), films (our short feature film in French was aired worldwide on TV5Monde and our documentary on Creole was aired on PBS), and exhibitions (our first-ever exhibition, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, featuring original artworks by eight artists questioning the future of French and Creole in Louisiana is currently on display at the West Baton Rouge Museum). Finally, our programs encourage everyone to participate in and support innovative projects carried out by entrepreneurs, community leaders, and researchers through scholarship programs (we created a scholarship program in partnership with Fulbright between France and Louisiana), workshops (we will organize, in January 2023, a French economic forum at Tulane University, in partnership with the French Embassy), and our cultural incubator program (Le Lab, which supports four innovative projects each year).

Overall, our mission targets a wide audience. Our moving to a historic house in the heart of the French Quarter will give us increased visibility. It will position Louisiana as a vibrant space for French, which would contribute to the development of cultural and economic cooperation with the rest of the French-speaking world (88 countries and regions, accounting for 16% of the world's GDP).

What are the goals and objectives for achieving such purpose?
          The goal for receiving state funding is to create a permanent exhibition on the history and present of French-speaking communities and a tour provided in French. The objectives are three-fold: [1] Provide Louisianans and visitors alike with publicly-funded access to Louisiana's French culture, [2] provide French-speaking tourists with a tourism experience not currently offered to make Louisiana more appealing to visit, thus growing the state's economy, and [3] provide an educational experience for children to come to visit the BK House and teach them from a young age the importance of learning a language and connecting to the state's culture.

1/ The first objective is to raise awareness of Louisiana's French heritage and culture. This culture is the bedrock of Louisiana. Our Grammy-winning musicians, from Jazz to Zydeco & Cajun music to our cuisine and lifestyle, are rooted in Cajun & Creole cultures that helped form Louisiana's cultural gumbo. In New Orleans, no exhibit or museum exists to talk explicitly about the stories of these communities. We want to set up an 18-panel (3 x 5 ft each) exhibit that will be on display at the BK House in a beautiful salon space that will talk about the history (starting in the 1680s to today) and the culture of these communities. We will work with Dr. Denise Frazier (Tulane) and Dr. Robin White (Nicholls State) on curation with input from local cultural bearers. We believe the exhibit will attract 10,000 visitors annually, especially with communications and marketing campaigns targeting visitors and locals. Talking about these cultures in the French Quarter, which is the heart and soul of New Orleans and a gem for Louisiana, has added significance.

2/ The second objective is to provide a tourism experience for French-speaking tourists to attract international visitors. The state's funding will support our having a permanent tour in French at the BK House. Today, 21 million visitors come to New Orleans, of which the vast majority visit the French Quarter. Of these tourists, roughly 500,00 French-speaking tourists visit annually, but no museum in New Orleans provides regular French tours. Given the particular interest that French-speaking tourists have in Louisiana, the lack of French tourism services damages our reputation as a foreign destination where French is spoken, which is a significant draw for visitors. We want to make the BK House the first stop for tourists coming to New Orleans to interact with the French-speaking history and culture of the state. We then want to work with other French-speaking museums and organizations in the rest of the state, such as in Acadiana, to encourage tourists to visit the rest of Louisiana. We will also work with French travel guides and press to highlight the French experience that tourists can have in Louisiana.

3/ Finally, our third objective is to provide an educational experience for K-12 students. Louisiana currently has 35 French immersion programs with 7,000 students – around 17 of these programs are in New Orleans. We want the exhibition we create and tours of the BK House to be made available for students in the immersion programs and any school across Louisiana. We can provide a rich educational experience to get young people excited about local history and culture and learn a language that will help them professionally.

Our overall goal is to make sure Louisiana celebrates its rich French culture and, by doing so, invests in tourism and education. Nous has emerged as a leading French cultural institute nationally and internationally. The state's investing in our creating an exhibit and tour in French in the French Quarter would align both our goals of seeing a culturally vibrant Louisiana passed down to a new generation.

What is the proposed length of time estimated by the entity to accomplish the purpose?
           8 months

If any elected or appointed state official or an immediate family member of such an official is an officer, director, trustee, or employee of the recipient entity who receives compensation or holds any ownership interest therein:
     (a) If an elected or appointed state official, the name and address of the official and the office held by such person:
     (b) If an immediate family member of an elected or appointed state official, the name and address of such person; the name, address, and office of the official to whom the person is related; and the nature of the relationship:

     (c) The percentage of the official's or immediate family member's ownership interest in the recipient entity, if any:

     (d) The position, if any, held by the official or immediate family member in the recipient entity:

If the recipient entity has a contract with any elected or appointed state official or an immediate family member of such an official or with the state or any political subdivision of the state:
(a) If the contract is with an elected or appointed state official, provide the name and address of the official and the office held by such person: 

(b) If the contract is with an immediate family member of an elected or appointed state official:
          Provide the name and address of such person:

          Provide the name, address, and office of the official to whom the person is related:

          What is the nature of the relationship?  N/A

(c) If the contract is with the state or a political subdivision of the state, provide the name and address of the state entity or political subdivision of the state:

(d) The nature of the contract, including a description of the goods or services provided or to be provided pursuant to the contract:

Contact Information
name:  Scott Tilton 
                                       address:  906 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116
                                       phone:  5044705619
                                       relationship to entity:  Executive Director