New Orleans Airlift About Us

Who we are / What we believe / What we do


Who we are

New Orleans Airlift is an artist-driven initiative that collaborates and creates along side the artists we support for the mutual benefit and artistic fulfillment of all parties and the city at large.

The New Orleans Airlift was founded by musician and DJ Jay Pennington and Delaney Martin, a visual artist and curator, in response to the unparalleled destruction of Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath which left city artists, like all New Orleanians, struggling for their lives and livelihoods.

The New Orleans Airlift recognized a need for new audiences who could support these artists as they rebuilt their city. Using an import/export model and a multi-disciplinary approach, the Airlift began to facilitate and create programming that took New Orleans’ art and its artists to far flung parts of the globe. In turn artists from abroad have been hosted in New Orleans for collaborative projects.


What we believe

New Orleans is the last great bastion of living folk culture in the United States. It is the vitality of these enduring and evolving city traditions that nourishes and distinguishes the unique character of New Orleans’ contemporary art, music and performance.

Today, the Airlift continues to create artistic programming for city artists using our successful import/export model. Our focus now is to celebrate and nourish the growth of an against-all-odds artistic renaissance that is currently flourishing in New Orleans – that same city that some people said would never come back.


What we do

The New Orleans Airlift originates innovative programming and facilitates creative opportunity for New Orleans artists within the city and around the world.

We support New Orleans-based artists of all disciplines. Our particular focus is on peripheral artists from outside the mainstream who make up the wonderful diversity of New Orleans street culture and contemporary art scenes.

- Projects -

Visual art exhibitions in London, theatrical performances in Berlin, collaborative recording projects in New York, and the publication of our artists and their work in international magazines like Tank and Ponytail are just some of the projects that the Airlift has brought to fruition.

In turn the Airlift has brought successful national and international artists and their work to New Orleans for collaborations with local artists. Visiting artists have included the visual artists Swoon (NY) and Caron Geary (London), performance artists Non Grata (Estonia) and Rosie Cooper (London), musicians Japanther (NY) and Haverflocken Swingers (Berlin) amongst others.

- Networking -

The Airlift is rapidly expanding a network of world-wide institutions and individuals who are interested in supporting New Orleans art and culture.

By acting as a liaison and facilitator between outside organizations, curators, festivals, music bookers and others who can provide outlets for New Orleans’ tremendous wealth of creative talent we make connections that bring our artists to the attention of people who can further their careers and expand their audiences.

In addition the Airlift can assist out of town artists who wish to visit New Orleans with information about galleries, residencies, or music venues that might suit their work. More importantly we can introduce them to like minded individuals in our creative community.

- Providing Resources -

The Airlift acts as a resource and umbrella for New Orleans artistic professionals who have ideas for projects or tours but need help to see them through.

We encourage new ideas and are open to them being produced under the New Orleans Airlift banner.

For information on any of our programs contact us here.