New Orleans Airlift forges connections between people, ideas, and cultures
through collaborative artworks.


We envision a world in which relationships and community exchanges are
guided by imagination and understanding.


Stay curious. Be joyful.
Transcend boundaries and expectations.
Share resources and resist oppression in all its forms.


  • Who we are

    New Orleans Airlift is an artist-driven initiative that collaborates and creates alongside the artists and communities we support.

    Airlift was founded in 2008 by musician and artist manager Jay Pennington and Delaney Martin, a multi-media installation artist, as a response to the unparalleled destruction of Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath which left local artists, like all New Orleanians, struggling for their lives and livelihoods.

    Jay and Delaney recognized a need for new audiences who could support these artists as they rebuilt their city. They dreamt up a one-time project that took city artists to Berlin and called it The New Orleans Airlift after the Berlin Airlift of WWII. Other exchange projects that used an import/export model and a multidisciplinary approach soon followed and the name stuck.

  • What we believe

    Airlift programming highlights our city's underground art and under-the-radar artists, transporting the dynamic street culture, living folk culture and growing contemporary arts scene of New Orleans to far-flung locations around the world for exhibitions, workshops, festivals, performances, and collaborative projects.

    Airlift also brings influential artists from abroad to participate in collaborative endeavors with local artists in our own community. We believe that collaboration between artists and across communities shares resources, empowers learning and unites disparate groups in common and powerful goals.

    New Orleans is the last great bastion of living folk culture in the United states. Airlift projects honor tradition alongside innovation, leading our artists, culture and communities in meaningful new directions.

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