August 2023 Edition

Dear CID Supporters and Community Members, 

Welcome back to the latest CID update! It has been a while since our last regular update and I have missed you all dearly. 


We're excited to share some incredible milestones and updates with you in this newsletter. From groundbreaking construction for Phase I (Backatown Plaza) to the unveiling of new murals, we're making strides in enriching the Claiborne Corridor community. Dive in to learn more and find out how you can be part of this amazing journey.

As always, we thank you for your continued love and support! - Ny

Nyree A. Ramsey

Executive Director

Cultural Innovation District (CID) 

Ujamaa Economic Development Corp. 


Elevating the Claiborne Cultural Innovation District:

A New Chapter Begins

We are thrilled to announce that construction has officially commenced on the Claiborne Cultural Innovation District (CID). This milestone marks a transformative moment not only for the district but for our entire community. Before the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) recognized the critical importance of this initiative, describing it as a means to "center our community's voice in order to address a legacy of demolition and disinvestment."


Learn more about the EDA’s unwavering commitment to our community by clicking the button below.


The CID's Phase I (Backatown Plaza) Construction

We're excited to share that construction is well underway for Phase I of the Claiborne Cultural Innovation District (CID) at Backatown Plaza, situated beneath the bridge between Orleans Avenue and St. Louis Street. This phase brings a host of marketplace improvements designed to enhance both the community and its environment:


  • Enhanced Public Safety Lighting: Brighter and more energy-efficient lighting options to keep public areas safe.
  • Eco-Friendly Stormwater Management: Green infrastructure to better absorb stormwater and mitigate environmental hazards.
  • ADA-Compliant Accessibility: Sidewalks and access ramps will adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
  • Surface Upgrades: Pavement and surface overlays to pedestrian flow and walkability.
  • Custom Kiosks: To support the formal and informal marketplace and inclusion of game carts for family and guided youth play.
  • Utility Connections: Tie-ins to municipal lines for seamless utility services.
  • Aesthetic Touch-ups: Pressure-washing and painting, as needed, to maintain a clean and welcoming appearance for this community gathering space.


Always remember, the overarching aim is to transform the underutilized space beneath the bridge into a valuable economic asset for our community. Stay tuned for more construction developments!

Unveiling Two New Murals: A Collaborative Artistic Achievement

We are delighted to announce the completion of two amazing murals within the Claiborne Cultural Innovation District (CID). Created in collaboration with the youth group Eternal Seeds, these art installations serve as vibrant landmarks for our community.


The first mural, dedicated to Joyce and Big Chief Allison "Tootie" Montana, graces the façade of the former Liberty Hardware building, located at the intersection of N. Robertson and St. Bernard Avenue. The second mural refreshes the iconic "Welcome to Treme" sign situated at the crossroads of old Bayou Road/Gov. Nichols, and N. Claiborne.


We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Eternal Seeds Summer Session, the BeLite Collective, BMike and StudioBE for their artistic contributions, as well as to the volunteers from TechStars NOLA for their support in bringing the "Welcome to Treme" mural to life.


Apply Now for the Neighborhood Enrichment Grant

The City of New Orleans' Neighborhood Engagement Office is now accepting applications for its Neighborhood Enrichment Grant. Specifically crafted to promote community involvement, this grant focuses on beautification and "Green Infrastructure" projects that enrich local neighborhoods. Award amounts range from $5,000 to $7,500.

Don't miss this opportunity to make a positive impact in your community. Apply by September 15th.


Join the Green Infrastructure 101 Workshop: Part of the Water Wise Education Series

Learn how to tackle localized flooding through DIY green infrastructure solutions at the Green Infrastructure 101 Workshop. This informative event is hosted by the Greater Treme Consortium and is an excellent opportunity for members of our community to engage in practical, hands-on learning. Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 21, and take a proactive step toward a more resilient property.



The 1st Annual Cultural Futures Fest

The Cultural Futures Fest held JuneTeenth/Father's Day weekend, not only wowed the attendees but it also served as a dynamic launch pad for enhanced community involvement in the Claiborne Innovation District (CID). Ujamaa EDC is excited to collaborate with Colloqate Design and the "Claiborne Reunion" team as we gear up for CID Phase 2: Tamborine & Fan. Stay tuned for upcoming events and new opportunities to engage with your community!


Kermit Ruffins, Mama Shirley Ramsey and Christina Ruffins

Honoring Legacies and Resuming Our Conversations

It's been some time since our last update, and I appreciate your patience during this period. I lost my mother, "Mama Shirley" Ramsey Jones, earlier this year. She is pictured above at CID’s Tricentennial launch with our favorite neighbor, musician Kermit Ruffins and the talented Christina Ruffins (April 2018). Many of you knew my mom and kindly sent your condolences and prayers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. May her life and legacy be forever blessed.

Jessie Smallwood

Barbara Lacen Keller

We also take a moment to honor the remarkable lives of Barbara Lacen Keller and Jessie Smallwood. These incredible women were driving forces in our community, nurturing growth and empowering those around them and they are featured in CID videos. Their contributions were pivotal in shaping the Claiborne Corridor Cultural Innovation District, and their legacies will continue to inspire us.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we

move forward together!

Promote Your Business

Ensure your business is in the loop on what's happening on the Claiborne Corridor and get featured in our Business Directory. Join the Claiborne Merchants and Business Association.


Connect With Us!

If you would like us to include an upcoming event, opportunity, or resource, please email flyers and links to

Send Us A Message

Don't Forget to Follow Us on

Social Media!

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram