Steppin’ Out for Thirty Years

WYES’ Weekly Arts & Entertainment Program Remembers Three Decades

WYES-TV’s weekly arts and entertainment program STEPPIN’ OUT celebrates 30 years. And what better way to toast the anniversary than to reflect on the three decades of New Orleans’ cultural scene on A STEPPIN’ OUT SPECIAL: 30 YEARS AND COUNTING!

The 30-minute program airs on Friday, September 2 at 7:30 p.m. on WYES-TV/Channel 12.

“I always felt like there was a need for a show that would spotlight our city’s ever flourishing visual and performing arts scenes.” said creator, producer and host Peggy Scott Laborde.

steppinout30“Over the years we’ve covered hundreds of plays, art exhibits, local books and of course food and restaurant news. Initially airing on WLAE-TV on March 19, 1986, the program moved, complete with set, over to WYES in January 1988. During that time WLAE had ceased local production temporaritly and fortunately then WYES general manager Mike Labonia saw the need for this type of program in the community,” recalls Laborde. Included in the special will be an excerpt from the first show.

From the first season until his passing in 2009, theatre critic Al Shea covered the performing arts scene. He started his long television career at WDSU and was considered to be among America’s first television broadcast entertainment critics. Debuting that first season and still covering the visual arts scene for STEPPIN’ OUT is Louisiana Life Magazine Art columnist John Kemp.

Among the weekly features for many years has been the Artist Spotlight, introducing a new artist to the viewers each week. Also popular is the Julia Street New Orleans trivia question (courtesy of New Orleans Magazine). In the more recent past, the program has added performance segments featuring bands, theatre productions and even Mardi Gras marching groups. “We have been so honored to have Deacon John Moore, Irma Thomas, the late Allen Toussaint and many other fine musicians on our program, recalls Laborde. “We have also had internationally known but New Orleans born tenor Bryan Hymel and soprano Sarah Jane McMahon with us as guests.”

steppinout30aAppearing on the program on a regular basis are food writer Poppy Tooker and theatre critic Alan Smason. Among the program’s occasional guests are WWNO’s book reviewer Susan Larson and WWL movie reviewer Alfred Richard, who provides updates on the local movie and television production scenes.

In addition to the weekly overview of the arts, since the program’s first season Mardi Gras historians Errol Laborde and Arthur Hardy have previewed the annual celebration with a special edition called STEPPIN’ OUT “It’s Carnival Time.”

For the past five years, the Celeste Judell Arts Award has been given to someone who is active on the local performing or visual arts scene.  Judell was a longtime New Orleans arts patron and worked with the STEPPIN’ OUT production staff. This year’s honoree is actor/playwright/producer Ricky Graham.

The program has garnered numerous awards over the years, including the New Orleans Press Club Award for Best Talk Show.

Tom Gregory is reporter and director of STEPPIN’ OUT.  Ashli Richard Morris is associate producer.  Kelsi Schreiber is production associate.  Larry Roussarie is editor.


For over 59 years, WYES has worked to inform, teach, illuminate, entertain and inspire our entire community. It is the oldest public television station serving southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the 12th oldest in the nation, and the most utilized non-profit organization in our two states with as many as a half-million people using our broadcasts, outreach activities and website each week. We are proud to be part of the nation’s largest classroom, the largest stage for the arts and a trusted window to the world. For more information, call (504) 486-5511 or visit Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram.

Charlie’s Neighborhood News!forum/charlies-neighborhood-news

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News from Your Neighbors


I recently sent out a request for neighbors to let me know about what’s happening in, around and about Faubourg St. John because, unlike ya momma, I can’t be everywhere at once. Many kind neighbors responded. You can see what they reported below.

~Charlie London

broad-theatreLisa Amoss sent in a report from City Business, “Brian Knighten is out to give people another reason to visit the neighborhood. The New Orleans native has started renovations on a vacant 1920s era warehouse at 636 N. Broad St. that will house a four-screen movie theater for independent and art house films. You can check out the full City Business article by clicking here.

slowfoodlogoMichael Cohn reported, “The Slow Food New Orleans garden in Faubourg St. John just produced its first harvest of greens that were immediately sold to neighborhood restaurants Pagoda Cafe and 1,000 Figs. Revenue created by the sale of produce will support the garden and eventually fund a Slow Food Garden in Africa. Please contact Faubourg St. John neighbor Gary Granata at if you are interested in volunteering in the garden … and please visit Pagoda and 1,000 Figs for some Good, Clean & Fair Food. You can see the entire article Michael sent in by clicking here.

Pamela Danner reports, “This is to let everyone know that there is a Half Marathon that will go through our neighborhood and Treme on Sunday (Nov 23) The race starts at 7:00am but will not finish for at least 4 hours. Please plan accordingly.” Learn more at

Thea Morgan reports, “The city traffic department has implemented the car counter equipment for the intersection of Grand Route St. John and N White. The data collected will be used to justify stop signs at this dangerous intersection. Please spread the word.”

nopd-crescentBonnie Lee sent in news about the new NOLA PATROL in the French Quarter. Click here to learn more.

Mona McMahon sent in a plea to support our local law officers:
Its no accident that Faubourg St. John enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the city: we owe a great deal of our quality of life to the New Orleans Police Department.

Most of us would agree that it takes a special person indeed to commit to a career in law enforcement in New Orleans. These dedicated citizens are tasked to protect the citizens of a city that more often than not is listed in the top of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports for murder, violence, and property crime. The regional minimum salary for a police officer is $42,579 and an entry-level police officer in the city of New Orleans is $36,570 so it is not surprising that the city of New Orleans is failing to retain experienced officers or to recruit new officers.

The Civil Service Commission has recommended that the New Orleans Police receive an immediate 10% raise and another 10% raise over the next two years to bring them up to the regional average. In this way, the NOPD will be better able to retain its experienced officers and be able to be competitive with other regional law enforcement organizations. If you support a raise for our NOPD officers, please consider conveying that support to our City Councilmembers and the Mayor.

Do you have news about what’s happening in, around and about Faubourg St. John. Please send it to!

Neighborhood News


Happy New Year!

City Touts 2013 Successes

Fair Grinds Opens 2nd Location


Whole Foods February 4th

Camelias Arrive

City Park Academy – Then and Now

Timeless Message

Thanks CN

Neighbor Start Consulting Group

Pitot House Wants YOU


Esplanade Apartments Sold

Rail Compact Initiative

What’s Happening in Council District A ?

Nominate a Landmark

Lafitte Greenway

Bayou Gets Big Trees

How to Take Care of Your New Tree

Wetlands are Important

Get Your Fruit Tree Harvested for Free and Get a Tax Donation!

Crime Fighting Strategy

Heavenly View

Creole vs. Cajun

Painting the Town

2nd Line with the Trash Mob on January 5th

Lakefront Airport Restored

Broad Community Connections

Free Stuff for Computer Users

An Early Morning Walk is a Blessing the Whole Day

City Proposes Abandoned Boat Ordinance

Creating Wetlands Where Bayou St. John Meets Lake Ponchartrain

Urban Waters Plan

Help Others to Read

Bayou Reflections

City of Angels

100 Broad Trees




Faubourg St. John is a Cultural District

Bastille Day

Postcard from Home

Power to the People

Esplanade Gets New Look

Real Vodou

Neighborhood Participation Plan

Bicycle Safety

City Putt Opens

Go Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams

Animal Ordinances

Plenty to See in Faubourg St. John

Streetcars in Faubourg St. John

Fortier Park Festival

Joan Mitchell Center

BlightStat Revisited

BlightStat Reports

Legal Short-Term Rentals

Bayou St. John is the Reason for New Orleans

Park Excellance

Walking the Planks

Flood Map, Neighborhood Map, more…

Neighbor Saves Children

Archeologists Discover Artifacts

Home Security

Neighbor Finds Ring

Old Soldiers Home

About Faubourg St. John

Charlie London  |

Neighborhood News You Can Use

Just a few days ago, I sent out a link about breakfast options in the neighborhood…

Just down the road on Esplanade there is one more!

For those looking for coffee and beignets, there’s an option in City Park…

Speaking of City Park, did you check out Jimmy Fahrenholtz’s awe-inspiring photo?

And, for entertainment right here in Faubourg St. John, there is Romeo and Juliet tonight…

and Scrooge in Rouge on Thursday…

Don’t forget your civic duty this Saturday…

Neighbor Howard Mielke suggests you get the lead out…

Work on removing the old flood control structure has begun!

Neighbors Get Letters…

Did you hear about the neighbor that got exposed at City Hall?

‘Tis the season for Buck Moths…

Let’s roll! Give generously at Rouse’s to fill an 18 wheeler full of much needed items for storm victims in the Northeast. Remember how good it felt after “the storm” to have all those wonderful people helping us recover? Let’s share the love!

Don’t forget to bring your food donation to the meeting on December 11th…

Check out info about the racing season at the Fair Grounds…

Hey, if you don’t mind sharing your bumper crop of fruit on that tree in your yard, consider giving these folks a call… They’ll pick your tree for free!

How ’bout that Jared Zeller and the Mothership Foundation? Five huge trees planted along the bayou. Now we just have to keep them watered. Can you help?

Those trees are real treasures. Planting those five huge trees on Bayou St. John yielded some bounty! Come to the FSJNA meeting at the Fair Grounds in the Black Gold room this Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. and you’ll get to see first-hand some of the items found.

Richard Angelico generously put the items in a display box so everyone can see them at the Dec. 11th meeting.

Did you know Tommy Lewis can cook?

Got Wild Cats?

Faubourg St. John got railroaded. That’s right, CN railroad donated $ 1,250 to the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association.

City Takes Action on Relentless Bandit

Did you know you could be a Blight Czar?

If you live in Faubourg St. John, you know it’s a wonderful life here. The Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association’s mission is to make sure that it stays that way. What would Faubourg St. John look like if the neighborhood association had never been born?

Have any news you’d like to share? Send it to info at fsjna dot org (

Charlie London

BlightStatus Arrives

Click here to view the City’s presentation at today’s BlightStat meeting.

If you are having trouble viewing this message, read this in your browser.


NEW ORLEANS, LA—October 11, 2012 | Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Code for America (CFA) will announce the launch of BlightStatus, a new interactive tool for residents to track the progress of blighted properties within the code Enforcement system in New Orleans.

Nearly two years ago, Mayor Landrieu announced a new, aggressive blight strategy aimed at reducing the blight count in New Orleans by 10,000 properties by 2014. A recent study released by The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center showed that blighted properties have been reduced by approximately 8,000 addresses since 2010. The study attributed the reduction in part to the focused efforts of City agencies to bring properties into compliance.

Neighborhood groups and engaged citizens have always been a crucial partner in the city’s fight against blight, and now, with the launch of BlightStatus, they will have access to previously inaccessible City data about the status of blighted properties. Easy access to this information will reduce barriers to participation in public blight hearings, and improve the quality of the interactions between the City and the community in the common goal of blight eradication.

WHO: Mayor Mitch Landrieu
Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin
City officials
Code for America team

WHAT: Launch of BlightStatus, a new interactive tool for residents to track the progress of blighted
properties within the Code Enforcement system in New Orleans

WHEN: Thursday, October 11, 2012
1:00 PM

WHERE: 1708 St. Roch Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70117


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Follow the Mayor:

    BlightSTATUS makes it simple for residents to find out what’s going on with blighted properties in their community – no long waits on the telephone or visits to City Hall required.
    A great example of government transparency at work, BlightSTATUS pulls up-to-date property information directly from the City’s official records, providing a single, comprehensive and authoritiative view to the public for the very first time.

    Write to for more information.

    For decades residents have asked for easy access to information on the status of blighted buildings, and now we’re delivering. BlightStatus is a new interactive online tool for residents to track the progress of blighted properties within the Code Enforcement system in New Orleans.

    Anyone with an Internet connection can visit to:

    •search for any property to view its case history in a clear and simple format;
    •create a “watchlist” to track the progress of multiple properties;
    •receive email alerts whenever a property on your “watchlist” moves forward in the blight process;
    •analyze blight citywide or down to the block level using interactive maps and charts; and
    •learn more about the blight process itself at the Help Center
    Reducing blight citywide is a top priority of my administration. Blight threatens our safety, the value of our homes, our quality of life and our environment. Nearly two years ago, we announced a new, aggressive blight strategy aimed at reducing the blight count in New Orleans by 10,000 properties by 2014. A recent study released by The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center showed that blighted properties have been reduced by approximately 8,000 addresses since 2010. The study attributed the reduction in part to the focused efforts of City agencies to bring properties into compliance by prioritizing aggressive code enforcement and code lien foreclosure sales.

    Recently, the City’s blight strategy was named a 2012 Bright Idea in Government by Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and was awarded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary’s Award at the 2012 Council on Philanthropy Conference for its public-philanthropic partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) and the Center for Community Progress (CCP).

    This is a major step forward in reducing barriers to public participation in blight hearings, and improving the quality of the interactions between the City and the community in the common goal of eliminating blight.

    Mitchell J. Landrieu
    City of New Orleans

    News You Can Use

    Magical Mystery Tour (continues every Wednesday)

    BlightStat Gets National Recognition

    Blight Status Available October 11th

    Councilperson Encourages Citizen Involvement

    Police Encourage Calm

    Demolition Begins at 1264 Moss

    Movie about Bayou St. John

    Postcard from Home (every Sunday)

    Desmare Playground

    Lafitte Corridor Gets Green Room Funding

    City Updates Website




    SEPTEMBER 28th

    SEPTEMBER 29th

    SEPTEMBER 29th

    Meeting October 8th

    OCTOBER 11th

    OCTOBER 17th

    OCTOBER 18th

    OCTOBER 25th

    OCTOBER 27th
    Voodoo on the Bayou – Treme Brass Band to play

    NOVEMBER 6th

    DECEMBER 1st