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UNO graduate opens collaborative art space in the Bywater

Carly Zimmerman, Contributor

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If you have been involved in any recent conversation about New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood, you have probably heard a slew of comments about how the eclectic safe space where all feel welcome.”

Huster is a singer-songwriter who has been making music from the Ninth Ward since his arrival in the city to study arts administration at UNO a year-and-a-half ago. He and his bandmate, Jake Ryan, make up the dynamic duo, Mighty Brother, and they can be found performing at local haunts like Neutral Ground Coffeehouse, Circle Bar and Apple Barrel.

The band is known for their collaborations, most recently with the homegrown film production company, Worklight Pictures. Worklight currently films many of Mighty Brother’s music videos, one of which was featured at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival.

Opening a space where artists of all disciplines are encouraged to feed off of one another (hence the organization’s name) was a natural extension of Huster’s musical work.

“In my ‘arts, artists, and administrators’ course with Tony Micocci, we talked directly to a lot of artists about what they most need from arts administrators, and one common theme in their responses was that they needed space to experiment and feel free and unlimited … [and] space to fail … we are attempting to provide that space to artists.”

Huster also emphasizes the impact of knowledge gained from all of his UNO coursework in his decision to open Feedback, including classes in marketing, community engagement, event planning and fundraising.

The group’s vision for Feedback is currently open-ended. Its founding members are receptive to ideas for community events, performances and other projects. Feedback’s opening event, which occurred last week, was well-attended and featured a mix of improvised and planned music, food and canvas for free public expression.

Huster encourages anyone looking to get involved with the space to contact him: 317-437-3713.

neighborhood is changing for the worse. Airbnb is moving in, and artists are moving out. Home prices are skyrocketing, and the creative and working-class people who have energized the area for decades are struggling to afford the increase.

Though some of these observations may be discouraging for the city’s long-standing creative sector, University of New Orleans graduate student Nick Huster said that he believes there is plenty of art left to be made in the area.

Last month, Huster opened Feedback, a multi-functional collaborative art space in the Bywater’s London Clayworks building on Royal Street, with two fellow artists.

“Right now, the space is a blank canvas,” Huster said. “We look forward to using the space to … work on our own artwork and to curate community events focusing on recognizing underrepresented talent, creating collaborative dialogue and providing a

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UNO graduate opens collaborative art space in the Bywater