Cultural Products Districts
What is a Cultural Products District?
The primary goal of the Cultural Products District (CPD) is to revitalize the communities and contribute to the lives and livelihoods of the citizens by creating locally driven hubs of cultural activity. The program provides two incentives for communities to create or rebuild cultural destinations:
Renovations to historic structures (the building must be over 50 years of age from current year) within the district may be eligible for state historic tax credits.
Sales of original, one-of-a-kind works of visual art are exempt from local and state sales tax.
Cultural Products Districts play a vital role in the life, economic and cultural development of New Orleans. Most focus on a cultural asset such as a major art institution, art and entertainment businesses, and/or artisan production. These communities are actively engaged in the promotion, preservation, and educational aspects of the arts and culture of the neighborhood. Each neighborhood in New Orleans has its own unique history, traditions, culture and even architecture.
Other benefits produced by the CPD program include increased occupancy, property renovations, an improved sense of community, and increases in cultural activities and related jobs.
For more details on the CPD program, including the legislation, application process and state-wide cultural districts outside of New Orleans, visit the official state website.
What Qualifies as Original Works of Visual Art?
Original works of visual art eligible for the tax exemption include:
Visual art: not limited to but including drawing, painting, sculpture, clay, ceramics, glass, fiber, leather, metal, paper, wood, installation art, light sculpture, wearable art, or mixed media
Art made by the hand of the artist or under his direction
Art not intended for mass production
Limited, numbered editions (up to 100) of lithographs, photography, silk screen, intaglios, etchings and graphic design
Ineligible media and products: performing arts, food products, live plants, music recordings, and reproductions of original art works
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Cultural Products Districts in New Orleans
Treme/7th Ward and Faubourg St. John
These districts are rich in African American historical and cultural resources, home to some of the city’s most famous festivals and events, and rich in historical architecture. Main attractions include the New Orleans African American Museum, the Backstreet Cultural Museum which features history and artifacts related to Mardi Gras Indians, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Armstrong Park and Congo Square, as well as many historic buildings and churches.
Downtown and the Rampart-Basin Street Corridor
Located in the heart of Downtown, these two districts encompass 65 arts-based businesses including cabarets, jazz clubs, performance venues and theatres, and art galleries. In addition to fabulous art galleries, the Ogden Museum, Contemporary Arts Center, and National World War II Museum draw thousands of artists, art collectors, and history enthusiasts each year.
Freret Street has recently developed “Restaurant Row,” featuring many of the city’s most talked-about eateries. The Freret Market is a monthly special event and culminates in the annual Freret Street Festival featuring local food and music each spring. The district also features three historic cemeteries and two parks.
The French Quarter is host to a dozens of art galleries, antique stores and unique clothing and jewelry boutiques. The center of the Quarter includes Jackson Square, the St. Louis Cathedral, and the Cabildo, which is home to the Louisiana State Museum. Unnoticed by most visitors, the French Quarter is also largely residential, showcasing unique architecture like Creole cottages, shotguns and elaborate ironwork. Some of New Orleans’ oldest and most famous restaurants are located in the Quarter and are landmarks of their own.
Although mostly residential, this district also encompasses historic Dillard University and the Southern University of New Orleans. This district also contains a high concentration of historical architecture including Spanish and Mediterranean revivals, camel-backs, and shotguns, much of it located around Pontchartrain Park.
Lincoln Beach and Viet Village
Eastern New Orleans is bordered on the north by Lincoln Beach, a historic area that served as recreational space for African-Americans and now features several restaurants serving New Orleans cuisine. Viet Village is a unique district that offers a variety of Vietnamese food, products, and services. Many customs and traditions are preserved through agricultural practices, markets, and events. The Farmers Market offers fresh produce grown by residents and the Tet New Year Festival attracts thousands and presents culturally distinct entertainment, games, and food.
Lower Garden District
The district is home to art galleries, and entertainment businesses such as recording studios and sound stages for feature films. Many restaurants in the area also function as rotating gallery space for local artists. Numerous historic churches dot the neighborhood. The area features an abundance of green spaces which host cultural events, such as musical performances, theatrical production, art shows and cultural fairs.
Lower Ninth Ward
The Lower 9th Ward is where many past and current greats of our city including Fats Domino, John Scott, Oliver Morgan, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Gertrude Morgan, and Herlin Riley Jr. resided and worked. Visitors can tour the House of Dance and Feathers, a grass-roots museum featuring Mardi Gras Indian, Second Line, and New Orleans histories. The Tekrema Center for Art and Culture hosts exhibitions, theatrical performances and provides a community space for cultural expression.
Magazine Gallery and Irish Channel
The Magazine Gallery District houses some of New Orleans’ most established and also notable new galleries. A historic neighborhood on the river, the Irish Channel District encompasses part of the vibrant Magazine Street shopping district. This portion of Magazine features antique shops, bars, restaurants, and local fashion stores, catering to young and diverse residents. Historic shotguns and Creole cottages are the prevalent architectural features.
Museum-City Park and the Lafitte Greenway
The area is home to arts and educational venues such as The New Orleans Creative Glass Institute, where visitors may view glass making techniques up close; and City Park, the home of the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. The Lafitte District runs through Faubourg Treme, the neighborhood which is the home of many Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs as well as the St. Louis Cemetery # 1, the oldest cemetery in the city, famous for its above-ground tombs.
Nestled next to the river on the edge of the city, this district hosts the popular Po-Boy Preservation Festival. The area is defined by a combination of historic homes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries; and art galleries, vintage clothing stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and cafes.
Old Algiers and Federal City
These districts feature commercial buildings dating to the early 20th century, galleries, and city landmarks such as the Algiers Courthouse and historic homes. Nestled in the curve of the Mississippi River, Old Algiers has the advantage of being accessible by foot, car, bicycle, and ferry. Amazing views of the river and downtown skyline make Algiers Point a perfect setting for a variety of festivals and events such as the Old Algiers Riverfest.
Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
The Oretha Castle Haley Blvd Cultural District, once one of the most vibrant retail corridors in New Orleans, is again on its way to becoming a thriving retail, business and cultural destination. The area’s rich heritage and cultural pride is reflected in unique murals and multiple outdoor festivals and markets. Prominent landmarks include the Ashé Cultural Arts Center and the Zeitgeist Arts Center which house the district’s active arts community.
St. Claude Cultural District is home to some of the most dynamic artists and art organizations in the City, including New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and a series of artist studios, galleries, and artist collectives on and around St. Claude Avenue. The New Orleans Fringe Festival features local and innovative theatre every November at locations throughout the district.
South Broad Street
This district encompasses the Broadmoor, Central City, and Gert Town neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have a rich history of producing talented musicians, artists and craftsmen. The area includes the ArtEgg studio, Xavier University, and the historic Rosa F. Keller Library. Homes in the area are architecturally diverse and include designs of bungalows, classic revival, Mediterranean, mission revival, and craftsmen homes.
This district features Audubon Park and Golf Course, the Audubon Zoo, Tulane and Loyola Universities, and some of the most famous architecture in the City along the St. Charles Avenue corridor. Residents and visitors alike can ride the historic St. Charles streetcar past the majestic Greek-revival mansions under towering 100 year old oak trees. In the northwest corner of the district, Palmer Park hosts a monthly art market each 1st Saturday, with more than 100 artists, jewelers, and crafters participating, accompanied by live music and a variety of New Orleans culinary specialties.