The third day of the Build-a-Thon ended on a high note (pun intended)--the topping out ceremony of the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music (EMCM).
After a long day of building homes as part of our 5th Anniversary Build-a-Thon, volunteers, staff, and homeowners gathered with friends, families, and dignitaries in Musicians' Village to celebrate another milestone in the construction of the EMCM, the centerpiece of Musicians' Village.
There to help us celebrate the event were the McDonough 35 Choir, Musicians' Village co-founder Harry Connick, Jr., New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and EMCM namesake Ellis Marsalis, who gave the signal for the topping out to begin. Musicians' Village residents in the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band also performed, including an impromptu set with Harry Connick, Jr. and a collaboration with the McDonough 35 Choir.
The center is getting closer and closer to completion, and Thursday's event marked the placing of the highest beam and the drying in of the roof. Instead of the traditional tree or branch, we decided to mark the occasion with more local flavor--a fleur de lis lit i green and blue Habitat colors.
The center will serve as a performance space and learning area for local musicians and musicians-to-be. It will also feature space for Mardi Gras Indians and other resources for the community.