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This Weekend at the Center: Panel Discussion and Open Mic Showcase

The Helis Foundation John Scott Center, a new public art space and community center at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, kicks off a robust series of summer programming this weekend beginning with a celebration of the birthday of artist, teacher, and mentor John T. Scott.

On Thursday, June 29, the center will host the panel discussion “Studio Insights: Exploration of the Artistic Process” from 6 to 8 p.m. and featuring Ron Bechet, artist and Art and Performance Studies Department Head at Xavier University of Louisiana; Kim Dummons, artist and Associate Professor of Art and Design at Middle Tennessee State University; and Ayo Scott, artist and son of John T. Scott.

Panelists will discuss the artistic process of John T. Scott and demystify the art-making process, offering a behind-the-scenes conversation with several of his artistic contemporaries. Several incomplete low relief, three-dimensional sculptures will be on display for attendees and ground the panel discussion as well as participant learning and engagement. This event coincides with the opening of a companion temporary exhibit of several of these incomplete sculptures at center, which will be on view through September 30, 2023. 

The Pass It On Open Mic showcase will take place Saturday, July 1, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. A staple of the New Orleans spoken word community for nearly 15 years, Pass It On began in tribute to John T. Scott and his mantra, “Pass It On.” The show has been an incubator for many of this city’s finest artists spanning poetry, music, and visual art. Each Pass It On event includes expert-curated programming, which highlights featured artists and creates an engaging experience for people of all ages and all interests.

The July 1 Pass It On event will feature spoken word poetry by Emanuelee Bean, also known as “Outspoken Bean,” who was Houston’s 2021-23 Poet Laureate and a 2022 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow; and music by trumpeter Troy Sawyer; DJ Clavo; and Profess.

Admission to both events is free. Guests will be invited to view The Helis Foundation John Scott Center’s inaugural exhibition before and after these programs free of charge. Following these programs viewing of the “Studio Insights” exhibit is included in regular admission to the center, which is $7 per person 13 and older. Learn more at