Grant #433

Congo & New Orleans Connection

January 11, 2021

NOLA + DRC + ARTISTS = Musical Architecture

Are you starving for extraordinary experiences that take your imagination for a ride outside your pandemic parameters? Meet New Orleans Airlift, a small artist-driven non-profit. Airlift’s Music Box Village project features 15 installations of “musical architecture,” structures and interactive art sculptures representing their creators’ aesthetic and sonic influences. New Orleans based designers, fabricators, inventors, sound engineers, and others partner with artists from all over the country (and indeed, the world) to create these happenings.

Airlift is collaborating with African American women artists and one African elder for the first time as designers and builders of an installation. Kara Olige and Monique Moss are the visionary co-leaders on the project to honor the age-old relationship between the people of New Orleans and their forebears in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The envisioned installation reflects the resilience and cultural legacy of people in New Orleans, many of whose ancestors were from Congo. The plan is to bring authentic experiences to the space. When travel is safe, Papa Titos, an elder and culture bearer from the Congo, will come to New Orleans to assist with the build of a new installation. Local organizations (including the Congo Square Preservation Society) will bring dancers, drummers, and others into the project.

The AWB grant money will pay for materials, instruments, and unique artifacts from DRC to help create the musical architecture installation.

Oh, if you can’t wait for the rabbit hole of distraction, just go to Airlift’s project page and buckle your seat belt.

Category: Art, Civic Engagement, Community, Culture, Music, Performance



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders