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"The HeArt of New Orleans": The New Orleans Museum of Art reopening

The New Orleans Museum of Art is finally reopening this Friday for the first time since last August. It weathered the storm unscathed, but was surrounded by floodwaters so that from the air it resembled Mont St. Michel, the ancient French abbey bounded by the sea. Guarded by employee volunteers and a crack, heavily armed security team, NOMA survived catastrophic floods, winds and urban unrest only to be laid low by city budget cuts that decimated the staff and shuttered the doors -- until now. As longtime Director John Bullard recently noted, the museum's founder, Isaac Delgado, envisioned "a 'temple of art for rich and poor alike.' Now the Museum is free to Louisiana residents, and we feel we have fulfilled Delgado's wish. Welcome back ... ." The three-day weekend of festivities will include musical performers including Irvin Mayfield, the Soul Rebels and the LPO String Quartet, with readings by noted authors such as John Barry and Chris Rose -- plus a whole lot more. To christen the reopening, NOMA will open three new exhibitions. For complete information on this weekend's events and the exhibitions, visit the NOMA Web site. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Free admission to "The HeArt of New Orleans." -- D. Eric Bookhardt

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