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Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans
(2.5/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web)
The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) was formed in the fall of 1976 by a passionate group of visual artists when the movement to tear down the walls between visual and performing arts was active nationwide. The CAC began as an artist-run, artist-driven community organization in the nearly empty arts district of New Orleans. As the burgeoning arts district grew, so did the CAC, evolving to meet the increasing needs of a diverse audience and artist communities. Renovated in 1990, and donated to the CAC in 1999, the CAC’s building mixes the timelessness of New Orleans’ historic architecture with contemporary materials and usable open spaces. Throughout the CAC’s 35 years, the center has remained active in the visual and performing arts and arts education communities, continuing to represent an era of creative freedom and multi-disciplinary expression.

Today, the CAC is one out of a handful of nationwide arts organizations who have remained solvent and successful while serving a truly multi-disciplinary mission. Currently dedicating two floors, about 10,000 square feet of gallery space, on the 4-story building to rotating exhibitions throughout the year, the CAC is home to artists’ bold experiments in painting, theater, photography, performance art, dance, music, video, education, and sculpture. Since 2006, the CAC has awarded $350,000 in grants to individual New Orleans’ artists who were affected by Hurricane Katrina through the CAC Theatre Arts Fund and the SweetArts Katrina Fund. Offering creative outlets and opportunities, the CAC’s education department successfully engages over 10,000 children and adults annually, including those with special needs. The CAC’s education and outreach projects offer unique arts education settings where students, most for the first time, work together with professional artists, generating a greater impact through more personal, interactive experiences. The CAC’s significance and role in the cultural community of New Orleans has and always will be cemented in its broad community-based programs and initiatives.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The building looked cool from the outside and we love visiting art museums when traveling. Admission was $10/pp.... Which was about $10 too much. This should really be a donation only attraction. A ha...  more »
  • The show that was up took the entire building into consideration. More importantly the work engaged the viewer in a fantastical way by compelling the view to ask what was being looked at, was this par...  more »
  • It cost me $26 to stare at nothing; there was three levels of galleries, but one floor was white walls with three random black canvases, another gallery was of a film just talking about the streets, a...  more »
Google
  • Visited to buy a possible wedding card and the shop in the lobby has great items, ranging from indie books to holiday or blank cards, shirts. I bought a cool screen print that says, "Common as Cornbread" and the cashier was friendly and helpful.
  • A little out of the way and a bit underrated, but the museum is home to exhibits that are not only impressive but deeply thought provoking. Deserves more recognition.
  • Nice venue
  • There were only two display floors.
  • My sister was visiting me for the weekend, and I thought that the COC would be a good place to take her. Their website made it sound like they had a multitude of exhibits on display. I was sadly surprised when we went to find that half of the mentioned exhibits were not being displayed at that time. The building was mostly empty, and worse they had open areas with exhibits either half put up or half torn down. It looked pretty trashy. I felt really dumb for going and had to apologize to my sister. The admission is very reasonable, but even with that I felt like the $ was wasted. Go to the New Orleans Art Museum instead. .