Community Involvement
The Krewe of Muses is an organization committed to improving our community through effective action. Together, we have helped reconstruct homes after tragedy, worked with community partners to create spectacular decorations for our parade, and raised thousands for causes we care about deeply. Our projects and community partners change year-to-year, though our focus is always on our community. Every Muses event, whether it’s a Thirsty Thursday or parade day, is tied to a charitable cause and is an outreach opportunity.

Our Inaugural Years

Our initial vision was to have a parade collaboratively sponsored by the community. To this end, our first parade featured guest artists who helped decorate floats and local school children who made our rider’s masks. In our second year, we expanded our community involvement to include adult groups, such as senior citizens and individuals in rehabilitative environments, who took over the mask-decorating activities. Hurricane Katrina displaced or eliminated many of the programs operated by our mask-decorating community partners. In response, we created new programs, such as the cup decorating contest, to fulfill our vision of a community collaboration in our parade.

Cup Decorating Contest

From our first year, the artwork on our cups has been selected through a cup-decorating contest among local students. The artwork typically highlights a particular Muse and includes a basic Greek mythology lesson. The winning student’s art program receives a $1,000 donation and their artwork displayed on the more than 80,000 cups thrown at the parade. Winners have been: Natalie Sciortino of Ben Franklin in 2001, Carl Trim of Rabouin and the Ya/Ya Group in 2002, Arwen Byrd of Ben Franklin in 2003, Kevin Thomas of Warren Easton in 2004, Rashawn Williams of Rabouin in 2005, Erica Aupied of Hahnville High School in 2006, Alisha Lewis of McMain in 2007, Dat Nguyen of McMain in 2008, Lauren Moret of Hynes Elementary in 2009, Dylan Pham of McMain in 2010, Michael Washington of O. Perry Walker in 2011, Pedro Richars of O. Perry Walker in 2013, Myron Solomon of McDonough #35 in 2015, Darrell Donaldson of New Orleans Military & Marine Academy in 2016, Ana Richter of Lusher Charter School in 2018 and Mia Birrell of Edna Karr High School in 2019.

Honorary Muse Program

Through the Honorary Muse Program, a woman who embodies the attributes and spirit of the nine Muses is honored. The Honorary Muse rides in a coveted spot on a 17-foot tall, fiber optic, high-heel shoe at the beginning of the parade, and a charitable contribution is made to a selected charity. Recent honorees include Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Tamron Hall, Solange Knowles, Ruby Bridges, and Patricia Clarkson.

Annual Ride Auction

Our annual ride auction raises proceeds for a select charity and provides a non-member the opportunity to experience the parade from the rider’s perspective. Over the years, we have donated over $30,000 to local and international charities such as Newcomb College, the Juvenille Diabetes Foundation, Grace House, Dress for Success, Raintree, St. Jude, Lindy’s Place, House of Ruth, the St. Bernard Project, Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), and NO AIDS Task Force “Clothing Closet” program.

Shoes for Charity

Our Shoes for Charity Program is a popular year-round initiative that helps our community partners raise proceeds. Custom-decorated Muses shoes are donated to charities for raffle or auction prizes. Beneficiaries include Angel’s Place, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, NOLA Dogs Race, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the annual Krewe’s for Karnival First Responder event, the St. Bernard Project, the American Heart Association, and the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South. If you are a member interested in donating shoes or a representative from a charitable organization, please contact info@kreweofmuses.org for more information.

Thirsty Thursdays, Twelfth Night & Annual Events

One of the most popular events among members, our Thirsty Thursdays started in 2007 and have grown into a Muses tradition. Several times throughout the year we partner with a local charity and venue. Typically, we raffle items such as pre-glittered shoes to raise funds for our community partner. And a portion of the bar tab for the evening is also donated to the organization. Beneficiaries include Angel’s Place, Girls First, the Metropolitan Battered Women’s Program, CASA New Orleans, Roots of Music and the Youth Rescue Initiative. To celebrate the arrival of Carnival Season, we hold an annual Twelfth Night party complete with king cake. Similar to our Thirsty Thursdays, our Twelfth Night parties raise funds through raffles and beverage sales which are donated to a local charity such as St. Jude Community Center, the New Orleans Women’s Shelter and Hagar’s House.

At many Muses events, you will find our pink Period Poverty donation bin. Period Poverty affects millions globally and 1 in 5 girls in the US. The high cost of supplies, which are taxed as a luxury item and not covered by food stamps in most states, can be crippling for women and families. Our members have embraced Period Poverty as an ongoing issue and donate hygiene products in an effort to spread access while reducing stigma.

We also throw a mini-parade for the residents of St. Margaret’s Nursing Home. Previously, we have sponsored mini parades for patients at Children’s Hospital and the children’s ward at Tulane Medical Center. Another Muse activity is the sponsorship and staffing of children’s art tables at local art events such as the Art Council’s fall fair and KIDsmART’s spring fair. We have also financially sponsored teams to walk in the Police Foundation’s Walk the Beat event and organized a team to help rebuild houses for St. Bernard Project.

Charitable Responses to Tragedy

The Krewe of Muses has been spurred to benevolence as a result of tragedy. After the events of 9/11, we donated $1,000 to both the New Orleans Police and Fire Departments, and two police officers and firefighters were honored with free riding spots in our 2002 parade. In 2004, we created and funded a trust to benefit David Allen Bell, the one-year old child of a woman who was killed on the parade route during our parade. To help raise funds, we began organizing Thirsty Thursday events, which featured door fees or donations from the proceeds of drink sales and raffle items. After raising over $15,000 for the Bell Trust, proceeds from Thirsty Thursday events were directed to our foundation, the Muses Foundation. Bereavement donations have also been made, including $100 to Jewish Family Services in honor of member Roz Koretzky, $500 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of Pixie Naquin, and $200 to Bridge House in honor of Lieutenant Jennifer Badeaux.

Hurricane Katrina

Another tragedy to which our Krewe responded with empathy and generosity was Hurricane Katrina. Despite the great losses suffered by a significant percentage of our membership, riders clamored to parade in 2006 as an act of healing. To assist affected members, the Krewe offered free throw packages to those riders whose Katrina losses might have otherwise prevented them from participation. The Krewe also made emergency cash grants in 2005 to members who were financially devastated by the hurricane in order to “tide them over.” To assist our most vital community partner, the New Orleans Police Department, we made a grant in 2006 of $50,000 to the department and challenged other area Mardi Gras organizations to do the same. For our 2006 parade, we offered free rides and throw packages to 12 area first responders, including animal rights and healthcare workers and area law enforcement officials who valiantly served the community in the post-Katrina days. In 2008, the Foundation donated $2,000 to Katrina Warriors to help fund the Metropolitan Battered Women’s Program in connection with the Vagina Monologues Tenth Anniversary celebration in New Orleans.

The Muses Foundation

The Muses Foundation is a donor-advised charitable fund maintained by the Greater New Orleans Foundation. This foundation enables the Krewe to receive deductible donations which are utilized to fund our charitable gifts. Would you like to contribute to the Muses Foundation for community support? We support local charities with a focus on women, children, the arts, and ongoing Katrina recovery. Contributions can be mailed to:

The Krewe of Muses Foundation

5500 Prytania Street #621

New Orleans, LA 70115


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The Krewe of Muses
ph. 504.269.1422
email. info@kreweofmuses.org
5500 Prytania Street #621
New Orleans, LA 70115

© Copyright Krewe of Muses 2008-2012