E. Benjamin Data News Weekly Contributor
At City Hall leaders from across the City and State were on hand to announce a five-year extension in the contract between Essence Fest, the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell spoke at press conference remarking on the Fest and being part of history as the first Female Mayor of the City.
“It really is an honor and privilege to be Mayor of the City of New Orleans. And you know we made history with electing the first female mayor of the city. And of course, embarking upon 25 years of Essence; it’s always been a part of me as a woman and as an African American woman, something to be proud of.”
Also, on hand was Governor John Bel Edwards, who is seeking re-election. He gave remarks on the impact of Essence Fest over its quarter of a century existence.
“It is great to be here at the announcement of the extension of the partnership between the State of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans and Essence. This is a 25-year partnership and one that we believe will continue for at least another 25 years.”
The Governor also praised how Black Women Leaders are important voices helping grow Louisiana’s economy. Additionally, he spoke of how in a state as diverse as Louisiana is a great asset.
“Our Progress as a state would not be possible without the African American leaders in my administration, in our legislature and in the communities all across the great State of Louisiana. And leaders like my partner, Mayor LaToya Cantrell who is certainly taking the City of New Orleans to the next level.”
“You know, I believe diversity is one of Louisiana’s greatest strengths and I am proud to serve a state with so many rich beautiful cultures.”
President of Essence Communication Michelle Ebanks says that because of the leadership of Mayor Cantrell and her team there will be more community engagement as well as a focus on local entrepreneurs feeling some of the economic impact that Essence Fest brings to New Orleans.
“You have helped chart a new course for this Festival. We now will go deeper into the community, to drive further economic impact for entrepreneurs. We know that the Essence Festival creates economic activity,” she says as Essence wants some of those dollars getting into the hands of more local businesses and people who live in New Orleans.