of elaborate Mardi Gras Indian costumes and jazz funeral memorabilia; the New Orleans Museum of Art (www.noma.org) exhibits fine art from every culture and is the crown jewel of the city’s exhibition halls with a $200 million collection containing Asian, African, and Native American art. It’s new Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden showcases 54 whimsical and thought-provoking masterworks by 20th- and 21st-century artists (including Alison Saar), and the self-guided tour is free. Lastly, the ambitious Louisiana ArtWorks (www.artscouncil ofneworleans.org), which is not yet open, is a $26 million project intended to anchor the city’s reputation as an arts mecca. This state-of-the-art facility will give visitors a front row seat as artists work with metals, ceramics, and glass, illustrating how an arts-focused soujourn brings the creative experience to life.
For more information, check out New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network (www.soulofneworleans .com; 800-725-5652) or New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (www.neworleansonline.com; 800-203-2144). And for luxurious lodging in the historic Garden District, take a look at Hubbard Mansion (www.hubbardmansion.com), which is a black-owned bed and breakfast.