A funny thing happened when the Summit Neighborhood Association lost funding from the City’s Neighborhood Performing Arts Initiative for its signature event, the Summit Music Festival. “I called the City and I said, ‘I agree,’” recalls SNA President Dean Weinberg. “Just give us the stage and let us use the park, and we’ll figure out the rest.” They figured it out and then some, elevating the Music Festival, held at Hope Street’s Lippitt Park, from a neighborhood celebration that showcased local talent into a marquee summer event with national touring acts at the top of the bill. For the fourth festival, in 2013, SNA brought in New Orleans’ Stooges Brass Band to headline and never looked back. It was a perfect example of how a neighborhood should work. Dean explains: “That is when we turned to local business to support this thing, and business stepped up. In fact, making that leap to a community-sponsored event allowed us to start booking national acts.” SNA has big plans for the sixth annual Summit Music Festival on August 15. In keeping with the move towards bigger bands, SNA is bringing in New Orleans’ Dirty Dozen Brass Band as this year’s headliner, with local talent also sharing the bill. That’s how you keep the party going.
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