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KID smART Helps Families with Back-To-School at BEST FEST on Friday, Sept. 15th

Free arts festival celebrates new school year while offering families motivation and education

NEW ORLEANS — On Friday, Sept. 15, KID smART will host its annual back-to-school bash known as BEST FEST with local literary and performance greats Loreal Ivory, Laveau Contraire and Treme Brass Band.

The event kicks off with Ivory’s book reading of “Who Let the Nerves Out” designed to motivate children to strive for academic goals. The fun continues with a special drag story time with Contraire who was named “Best Drag Queen” by the community at the 2020 FLAME Magazine Awards. Contraire is passionate about making drag accessible to audiences of all ages. The event concludes with an exciting live musical performance by the Treme Brass Band.

BEST FEST features arts-integrated activities, interactive workshops and live performances for children and families to enjoy for free. This year’s event will take place at Zony Mash Beer Project located at 3940 Thalia Street, New Orleans, LA 70125 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“We cannot wait to welcome families out to the FEST,” said Elise Gallinot Goldman, executive director of KID smART. “BEST FEST is our way of celebrating the beginning of the school year and getting children in our community excited and engaged about learning.”

Festival goers will have the opportunity to meet this year’s KID smART’s Arts Integration Specialists, Teaching Artists and Creative School Partners.

The presenting sponsor of this year’s BEST FEST is The Sunstone Project. For more information about BEST FEST, visit

Artists Campbell Hutchinson and Allison Stewart founded KID smART in 1999 to provide public school students with greater access to arts-rich education. In its 24-year history, KID smART has served more than 32,000 students and 5,000 teachers in schools throughout New Orleans. With the belief that the power of the arts should be available to all New Orleans children, KID smART works within public schools to reach underserved children with the most to gain from an arts-rich, social-emotional education.

About KID smART
Over the last two decades, KID smART has collaborated with more than 40 New Orleans public schools to blend the arts into academic lessons to make classrooms more effective and joyful places to learn. Through full-year artist residencies, students in KID smART Creative Schools prove to grow academically, artistically and emotionally. KID smART also partners with national thought leaders, including Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom, to incorporate best practices in arts and education into its program model.


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