One of the great cultural heritage aspects of New Orleans, besides its great food, entertainment and year-round events, is its video heritage. In a post-Katrina world, saving history is a goal of the New Orleans Video Access Center – NOVAC.
NOVAC was founded in 1972 as a VISTA project. As a 501c3 nonprofit existing at the intersection of creativity and technology it has been a 38-year challenge to bring innovative and valuable programs to the community. Even so, the past four years have brought unprecedented success.
Liz Dunnebacke, Executive Director of NOVAC has launched an endeavor to preserve this great historical heritage of New Orleans. Most people usually think of touristy things, yet little do they know New Orleans has its own video program history.
A Vital Part of the Region’s Recovery
Since 2007 NOVAC has been an integral part of this region’s recovery process, training hundreds of locals to work in Louisiana’s flourishing creative industry, having put the majority of these individuals to work on major motion picture productions and in the fields of marketing, design and communications.
NOVAC has been recognized by local nonprofit, for-profit, and government agencies as one of the the most agile and quick to respond to changing workforce needs. One graduate of the program writes, “I am now working on a Walt Disney picture full time. I was hired onto the film because of the knowledge I gained during the workshop. NOVAC’s LFCTP [Louisiana Film Career Training Program] helped me to start the career I wanted in the film industry, and I would recommend the program to anyone who wants to start working now!”
Giving a Voice to the Community
NOVAC programs engage locals in community media making and many local organizations have benefited from this work. Their recent workshops have profiled the important work of institutions working to improve the community, such as Operation Reach, the Alliance for Affordable Energy, the Innocence Project of New Orleans, Threadhead Records, the Bywater Neighborhood Association, Café Reconcile and JoLu Productions.
35 Years of Archives in Danger of Disintegrating
Most recently NOVAC reclaimed its archive, which consists of over 170 boxes representing a treasure trove of community media created over the past 35 years. These videotapes remain un-preserved and the media is literally disintegrating on the original tape stock. We are working against the clock to preserve and digitize this collection in order to bring these community projects alive again.
NOVAC Needs Your Help
In the six years that Dunnebacke has been involved with NOVAC, they have never reached out to constituents to ask for donations. NOVAC is asking you to celebrate their successes and to support their future, including the preservation of its archives. Your contribution, in any amount, is 100% tax deductible and is critical to ensuring that this long-standing community institution will continue to thrive and bring valuable programs that help grow Louisiana’s great creative industry.
NOVAC is planning another exciting year of programs, workshops and educational panels and they can’t do it without your help. Click here to make a charitable contribution today!
With Louisiana coming on strong, as the third largest producer of film and television shows – behind only New York and California, respectively – any charitable contributions will help go to preserving a history which may be soon lost to time.
Welcome to Louisiana!
Stanley B. Gill
Founder & Editor In Chief