November 1, 2008 – January 18, 2009
When it opened on November 1, 2008, the 11-week Prospect.1 New Orleans was the largest biennial of international contemporary art ever organized in the U.S. and the most ambitious art exhibition in New Orleans’ history. The exhibition spanned the entire city, driving traffic to venues throughout New Orleans with free shuttle service and maps.
Visitors and Attendance
Prospect.1 generated approximately 90,000 admissions, and many of its venues broke attendance records. At least 40,000 individuals attended Prospect.1, and more than 22,000 of that number were out of town visitors.
Economic Impact on New Orleans
The organizers of Prospect.1 raised $4.5 million, 75% outside the state of Louisiana, to produce the biennial, and invested more than half that amount on local hotels and restaurants, renovation of exhibition spaces, and contracting New Orleans artists, musicians, designers, artisans, publicists, art installers, security and transportation.
The direct economic impact of Prospect.1 on the city of New Orleans, including hotels and restaurants, goods and services, contract employment and media exposure, was $25 million.
More than 3,000 students visited Prospect.1 on field trips, incorporating curriculum developed in workshops with more than 150 teachers from 30 local schools. Prospect New Orleans subsidized transportation costs for 19 student groups to attend field trips.
National and International Attention for New Orleans
Prospect.1 garnered unprecedented acclaim from local, national, and international media, including feature-length pieces in ARTFORUM, The Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Times-Picayuneand The Wall Street Journal; and in December 2008, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aired a special national television feature on Prospect.1. The press coverage of New Orleans generated by Prospect.1 had an equivalent advertising value of $5.2 million.
80 artists from around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Thailand, participated, and ten of the artists were Louisiana-born or -based.
During 2007 and 2008, Prospect.1 invited 50 of the best-known participating artists on research trips to New Orleans, and later collaborated with most of them to produce new works based on their response to the city, its history and culture.
Venues and Sites
Prospect.1’s 24 venues, brought visitors to a broad range of New Orleans neighborhoods. Partnering venues included: Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Museum of Art, Newcomb Art Gallery, Harrah’s Casino, The George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Battleground Baptist Church, Louisiana Art Works, Studio at Colton, and L9.