The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.

In 1970, the Foundation was set up as the nonprofit owner of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – Jazz Fest – with a mission to sow the seeds of our unique culture for generations to come.

In the early days, the festival wasn’t the world-famous event that it is today – one that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to New Orleans and pumps $350 million a year into the local economy. It is often said that at the first Jazz Fest there were more performers onstage than people in the audience. But the founders believed that Jazz Fest would one day grow into a major success. Everyone involved wanted to make sure that the festival’s proceeds would be redistributed into the local community. To that end, the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established with the following mission:

“The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. promotes, preserves, perpetuates and encourages the music, culture and heritage of communities in Louisiana through festivals, programs and other cultural, educational, civic and economic activities.”

In service of this mission, the Foundation has developed numerous programs and assets. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation has a dedicated full-time staff to carry out the work of the organization. The staff is overseen by a diverse Board of Directors whose members represent the many communities and cultures found in our city.

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