About Sloane Berrent
Sloane Berrent is a cause-based marketing and social branding consultant, nonprofiteer and budding social entrepreneur. She uses social media, product evangelizing, fundraising and community development services to help for-profit and nonprofit companies with a focus on social action campaigns. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she has lived in Burlington VT, Boston MA, Rome Italy, and Los Angeles, CA. She spent 2009 as a digital nomad, traveling the world experiencing life and volunteering including stints in South America, New Orleans and three months in the Philippines as a Kiva Fellow.
She co-created “Cause It’s My Birthday” a campaign to raise money (over $19k to date) and awareness for malaria prevention in Ghana. Sloane moved to New Orleans as her new home at the end of 2009 and co-launched NOLAlicious, a weekly newsletter of events in New Orleans. She was recently named the citizen journalist to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland for the MySpace and The Wall Street Journal communities. Her consulting practice, Answer With Action, focuses on strategic integrated marketing consulting. She speaks frequently on building community and blogs at The Causemopolitan.
Latest Posts by Sloane Berrent
Recently named to Oprah’s Favorite Things list, Kiva is a constant in many of my business and personal relationships. Much of that is from my time as a Kiva Fellow. One of the biggest perks of being a Kiva Fellow is being associated with the other amazing people who are also Kiva Fellows. While our time together is limited, we are only together in-person during a week long training at Kiva HQ in San Francisco, we are all linked together by our shared experiences in the field around the world. There are Kiva Fellows out there doing amazing work in sustainable development, microfinance, technology, getting their masters in business or public administration and running companies.
I wanted to take a moment to share some cool projects I do know about, there are many many others. But here are five of my favorite people I met through Kiva and a quick glance of “where are they now.” Support their organizations and follow these rockstars, they are on the cutting edge of their fields and amazing people to know. I also created a list on Twitter called “Kiva Fellow” which you can follow.
1. iMentor’s mission is to improve the lives of young people from underserved communities through innovative, technology-based approaches to mentoring. Over the past ten years, iMentor has transformed over 20,000 lives including matching over 10,000 mentor-mentee pairs, and partnering with 30 NYC schools and after school programs in four of New York City’s five boroughs and programs all over the country. Hanh Tran, a Kiva Fellow in Vietnam, who recently graduated from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, is now working at iMentor as a Program Manager.
2. It’s hard to pick one venture of Halle Tecco’s, so I’m going to include two. First, before becoming an intern at Kiva, Halle founded YogaBear, a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting more opportunities for wellness and healing to the cancer community through the practice of yoga. Yoga teachers and studios around the country provide free services to those in the cancer community. This past year she authored with friends, including another Kiva intern Analisa Shah (a powerhouse herself), The Flexitarian Cookbook, a cookbook for carnivores and vegetarians, with recipes from chefs around the country. Proceeds from The Flexitarian Cookbook benefit Slow Food USA and Yoga Bear and can be purchased here.
3. You all know Habitat for Humanity, right? Founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, the organization has built over 350,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.75 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. Dave McMurtry, a Kiva Fellow in Libya, now serves as the Senior Vice President of Strategy for Habitat International. In his role, he travels the world to visit projects and is hard at work at new and innovative strategies to take Habitat forward. I always love hearing about his exciting travels.
4. Worldreader’s mission is to make digital books available to all in the developing world, enabling millions of people to improve their lives. Where many schools and villages lack a library because they cannot keep current books in circulation, worldreader provides an endless amount of learning with one device. Zev Lowe, a Kiva Fellow in Indonesia, leads worldreader.org’s finance and research, and supports trial development while based in Barcelona. Zev, also known as an international man of mystery, is an enigma. Worldreader is so lucky to have him.
5. Pando Projects is a nonprofit that empowers people to step up as leaders and develop new, local solutions to the problems in their communities and called “the next big thing” by Kiva CEO, Premal Shah. Milena Arciszewski (who wrote a guest blog post on The Causemopolitan this summer) is the Founder and Executive Director and has been working on Pando since she returned to the States earlier this year from a yearlong Kiva Fellowship in Bosnia, Kenya and the Philippines. Launching in 2011, they are currently looking for 10 people (age 18+) with ideas that can be executed within 3 months in the New York City area. You can find out more about submitting a project here. Milena is a true social entrepreneur. I have loved hearing about Pando from an idea she described over dinner at the Bohol Bee Farm in the Philippines to seeing it executed on the verge of launching, it’s the makings of an incredible success story.
GO: Have plans for Thanksgiving Day? If not, head over to the Fairgrounds for the opening of the 139th Thoroughbred Racing Season. This New Orleans Turkey Day tradition is a great opportunity to meet new people and it’s a perfect place to start the day off with family and friends. Eat a little, enjoy a delicious cocktail, and, of course, place a few bets! First post at 11:05am. General admission to the Grandstand is always free. 1751 Gentilly Blvd.
EAT: Sometime we are in the mood for a huge, juicy burger. We just received a tip forMVBurgers, New Orleans first ever pop-up restaurant. When Slim Goodie’s shuts down at night, they step in to serve the city’s best burgers, fries, and shakes. From our sources to your mouth, we are positive you won’t regret trying this joint out! Follow them on Twitter for up-to-date news. Sundays only, 5:00pm. 3322 Magazine Street.
SEE: Sachet on up to the top of the Shops at Canal Place to their Theatre, where you can view all the latest big-screen flicks while simultaneously enjoying a gourmet meal and cocktails delivered straight to your plush leather seat. Chef Adolfo has created a Mediterranean-inspired menu that includes such delicacies as glazed breast of duck, flatbread pizza and specialty popcorn made with white truffle oil. You can even order an Italian cookie plate or dress down with a good ole’ Hubig’s Pie. Mon-Sat 10:00am-7:00pm; Sun 12:00pm-6:00pm. 333 Canal Street.
DO: This Wednesday, folkie revolutionaries Rising Appalachia will follow up on last week’s Music Happy Hour at the 3 Ring Circus Art Education Center with a full live performance. If you’ve never had the chance to imbibe the ethereal beats of this growing sound collective, built up around sisters and vocalists Leah and Chloe, be sure to check out their show of what Huffington Post calls, “the kind of music you can believe in.” Wed 8:00pm-12:00am. 1638 Clio St.
LAGNIAPPE: Locals and visitors alike could argue at length about the one-and-only, can’t-miss stop on Frenchmen Street. But, you can never go wrong at Blue Nile, a gorgeous bar and live music venue housed in the first building ever constructed on Frenchmen in 1832. 532 Frenchmen Street.
GO: In a city packed to the gills with incredible, wacky dive bars, one of the greatest among them has to be Saturn Bar in the Bywater. The dusty wooden hole-in-the-wall, originally owned and operated by the late O’Neil Broyard, has become famous for its nutty pack-rat decor – think Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders, filled not with gold and jewels, but with faded old photographs, original artwork, an array of taxidermy, neon signs, and of course, a full bar.
With its splendidly ancient architecture and sweeter-than-sugar bartenders, Saturn is a joy to drink at – when it’s open. Its hours tend to be erratic, but playing hard to get is the oldest trick in the book. We love you, Saturn Bar, you old tease. 3067 St. Claude Ave.
EAT: The real question upon reaching the front of the line at Cake Cafe & Bakery to order your brunch feast is not what do you want, but what don’t you want? Cake’s menu is ruthlessly on-point – from the mammoth omelets laden with fresh veggies and oozing with cheese, to the chubby, triumphant cupcakes in halos of thick frosting, to the legendary crab sandwich, a messy, saucy mouthful of seafood genius.
It’s a perfect spot to kick back with friends for breakfast after a night out or a hefty snack after a morning bike ride. True to its namesake, cake also makes cakes to order and theKing Cake menu is a whole other story – their apple and goat cheese rendition will make you weak in the knees. 2440 Chartres St. Tuesday through Sunday, 7:00am – 3:00pm.
SEE: Recently reopened on Labor Day, The Alamo Underground in Bayou St. John is now screening free movies every Wednesday and Sunday. The bizarre entertainment space, designed to imitate the architectural style of the Alamo, will host a live benefit show for Pakistan featuring the angsty melodies of Les Sages on Wednesday night from 8:00pm to 11:00pm, and this Sunday’s featured flick is cult classic SLC Punk. Doors open at 6:00pm for some schmoozing and boozing before each screening – a cool scene for the droves of New Orleans twenty-somethings looking to kick it with their buddies on the cheap. 1547 Crete St. #2.
GO: Fringe theater is a tradition that started in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947 when eight performing groups were excluded from the mainstream annual arts festival and decided to perform anyways. Today, that same anything-goes spirit drives fringe festivals around the world – and theNew Orleans Fringe Festival, sure to be one of the fringiest of them all, starts today. Performances will be held at venues all over the city, and with a week’s worth of “wild weird fresh original theater,” you’ll want to scope the lineup to make sure you don’t miss out on this freaky, funky, fantastical series of artistic experiments. November 17 – 21.
LAGNIAPPE: You’ve heard of speakeasy pizza, but now speakeasy bagels? Apparently craving New York staples is a punishable crime in the city of New Orleans, but if these bagels are wrong, we don’t want to be right. Laura Sugerman of Sugerman’s Bagels takes orders for her tasty dough rings by email, then sets up a time (usually on Wednesdays or Sundays) for you to retrieve your culinary contraband from her location in the Bywater. The bagels, still piping hot in their brown paper bag, are seriously addictive. Sugerman offers flavors like whole wheat rosemary, roasted garlic, pumpkin spice and satsuma, and is also open to offers for new flavors. She even delivers upon request. Bagels are $13 for a dozen, $8 for half a dozen.
Last week I had the priviledge of going to Ireland (my first time) for not one, not two, but three reasons. First, one of my clients, ezetop, is located there. I conducted a day and a half workshop with their online communications and marketing team on a wide variety of buckets we created in advance based on their needs with emphasis on how social media and online communications can help get their message across.
Next, I spoke at the Dublin Web Summit, which is where the above presentation comes from. There I spoke to the nonprofit/NGO track about finding the social entrepreneur in all of us. What does that mean? That all of us have the ability to look at a problem and find a way to solve it in an entrepreneurial way that ties in social innovation.
Last, I attended F.ounders. An invite-only event that was two nights and three days in Dublin. Everything was included from the pub crawl to dinners to panels and walking tours. 200 founders of companies got together to talk, network, learn and just be together to see what happens. It was an ambitious project and a huge success. Truly one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to, from start to finish, not a detail was overlooked.
Best part? All attendees got a “gold key” that provides a fully paid return to Ireland to futher explore business and investment possibilities in Ireland. So while I didn’t make it too far past Dublin this time around, I’m looking forward to returning soon and seeing more of the country and deepening the conversations and relationships I met while I was there.
Hope you enjoy the presentation above, I loved giving it! Thanks to Paddy Cosgrave and the whole Dublin Web Summit and Founders (#dws4 & #founders respectively on Twitter) team for a terrific experience.
DO: Next time the daily grind in the city starts to get to you, escape into the wild with a guided bayou canoe tour at Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve. The tours, which are free by appointment on Sundays (reserve a canoe for every two people), are no gimmick – this is a chance to get up-close and personal with the gorgeous wildlife and nature of Southern Louisiana.
The guides provide plenty of educational information about the history of the bayou, and help you to visualize a time when the French Quarter was filled with birds, fish and alligators instead of tourists. Contact the Barataria visitor center at 504-589-2330 for more information.
GO: Every Monday night, crusty kids and wizened bluegrass junkies alike descend upon the Hi Ho Lounge for not only for the $1 red beans and rice, but also for a massive jam session with guitars, banjos, mandolins and a chorus of voices that comprise the weekly Bluegrass Night.
Anyone is welcome to jump into the jumbled circle of chairs and situate yourself in the dark-red depths of the beloved drinking den. So if you’ve been secretly harboring mad bluegrass skills, come on down and become a part of the noise – it’s a great chance to meet other musicians, and for those less musically inclined, an amazing show to witness. 2239 Saint Claude Avenue. Monday – Saturday 4:00pm-4:00am; Sunday 11:00am-4:00am.
SEE: Elysian Fleas Marigny Market returns this Sunday the 14th with its usual bounty of local fresh food and produce, along with flowers, plants, hand-crafted creations and vintage fashion. The one-day-only event will also feature live entertainment and a variety of only-in-New-Orleans attractions, making this market the definition of funky-fresh shopping – definitely don’t want to miss this one! Held in the courtyard next to Michalopoulos Studio at 527 Elysian Fields on the corner of Chartres St. 11:00am-4:00pm.
EAT: “Trust me,” murmured the man behind the counter as he extended a wooden spoon full of gooey Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake ice cream. “Just taste it.” Trust him we do, just as we trust every frosty tub of frozen goodness on display at Creole Creamery. Their flavors are constantly rotating, but just to give you an idea of their creative flavor inventions, consider the genius of Candied Bacon & Cinnamon, the absurdity of Gorgonzola & Toasted Walnut (yes, we’re still talking about ice cream), and the seasonal brilliance of Mexican Hot Chocolate, which packs a cayenne-peppery punch in a frigid guise. Their motta is easy to follow: “Eat ice cream. Be happy.” 4924 Prytania Street, Sunday – Thursday 12:00pm-10:00pm, Friday – Saturday 12:00pm-11:00pm and 6260 Vicksburg Street, Lakeview, Sunday – Thursday 2:00pm-9:00pm, Friday – Saturday 2:00pm-10:00pm.
Cloak yourself in your own creativity every Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon at Louisiana ArtWorks drop-in printmaking sessions! Swing by with an acetate drawing of the vision for your design, or a photocopy to coat with oil, and learn screenprinting art from the pros – they’ll provide the supplies and the expertise. You can even bring your own screen to burn and take home, and start up that line of clever t-shirts you’ve been dreaming about. 725 Howard Avenue. Tuesdays 6:00pm -10:00pm, Sundays 1:00-5:00pm. Sliding Scale $5-20.
My stepdad is from Braddock, PA, a small working class town just on the eastern outskirts of Pittsburgh, but still within Allegheny county. Growing up we heard the classic, some over-inflated, some as real as the sky is blue, stories of growing up in a steel community. Getting an apple for Christmas if you were good, nothing if you weren’t. Braddock held a lure, a mystery to it, because when I was a kid it wasn’t “cool” to go into areas like that and revitalize and pump hope in the community.
All that has changed now. It is incredibly “cool” to find neighborhoods and help them along, and in many cases the artists that moved into these empty warehouses to make them into lofts are the new cowboys, the fearless ones letting the rest of us know “it’s ok” to go, settle, create commerce, opportunity and places to call home amongst the long-term residents who have seen-it-all.
When I first saw the video above, a single tear slid down my cheek. I’m serious! It’s such an incredible tribute to a town not just of survivors, but of people who continue to thrive, fight adversity and fight back. Part of Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign around their corporate social responsibility campaign that was recently named one of the best of the year by Forbes magazine.
Levi’s also partnered with IFC and the Sundance Channel to create “Ready To Work” which is about Braddock and has been airing segments on both networks, some of which you can see on Levi’s YouTube. The channel say, “We Are All Workers: Braddock, PA, a town of pioneers answering the call to mend what needs mending and build what’s theirs to build.”
Part of what the series talks about is the effort to repair and mend the Braddock branch of the Carnegie Library, another personal connection to me. So this whole campaign struck very close to home.
My favorite line in the video at the top of this post is, “People think their aren’t frontiers anymore, but there are frontiers all around us.”
I’ve been thinking about that the last few days. What is means to create your own frontier and look beyond the horizon to a horizon that you’re creating. Here’s my conclusion; these new frontiers don’t have to be completely new to be special. And they don’t have to be entrepreneurial or something that only a specific group (or clique) of people can do. A frontier is for the every man, and we can all work to finding our frontiers and horizons and share them with those we love.
At least that’s my, somewhat realist but deeply idealist, interpretation.
EAT: New Orleans is all about the throwback charm, from horse-drawn carriages clattering through the Quarter, to the early 20th century tunes echoing from jazz clubs, to the gorgeous architecture of the shotguns in the Marigny. But we’ve yet to find anywhere that kicks it old school quite like Angelo Brocato’s, an Italian ice cream parlor in Mid-City whose founder and namesake learned the art of crafting fine desserts in his native Italy before crossing the pond to open his own shop in New Orleans back in 1905.
To this day, stepping into the darling little storefront is like falling into the pages of a history book – except way tastier. Angelo’s own descendants serve up monstrous, puffy pastries, authentic Italian lemon ice and spumoni, and velvety gelato in to-die-for flavors like gooey, glorious praline. Ride the streetcar up to their Carrollton location for the ultimate old-fashioned outing. 214 N. Carrollton. Tuesday – Thursday 10:00am-10:00pm, Friday and Saturday 10:00am-10:30 pm, Sunday 10:00am-9:00pm, closed Mondays. 504-486-1465.
GO: We know there are some of you out there that cannot be bother until you’ve had your morning cup of coffee. Man do we have the place for you to be! It’s the 2nd Annual New Orleans Coffee Festival! As part of the Feret Street Market, this interesting fest is just right for those caffeine connoisseurs out there. Over 100 vendors will be on hand for those who love to celebrate, learn about and most importantly, drink coffee! Saturday, November 6th. 12:00pm-5:00pm. Feret Market.
SEE: We are sure that many of you enjoyed the awesome art and artists that were part of Prospect 1 New Orleans. Well, this Saturday Prospect 1.5 New Orleans kicks off a hole new round of new art and instillations, music food and fun. Head down to the Julia Street Galleries for the kickoff party at the Le Mieux Gallery. If you can’t make this one, don’t fret: there will be plenty more show to see over the next few months. 6:00pm-9:00pm. 332 Julia Street.
GO: Word nerds rejoice! The New Orleans Book Fair fast approaches, starting with a kickoff partyat Sound Cafe on Friday night. A veritable bookworm-palooza, the evening will feature live readings by Sarah K. Inman from her novel The Least Resistance, set in post-Katrina Uptown, and Jordan Flaherty, author of the radical activism tell-all Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena 6. And as if that weren’t delightful enough, the always-scrumptious Cake Cafe and Bakery will provide refreshments. Be there and be square! Friday, November 5th. 6:00pm. FREE. 2700 Chartres Street.
LAGNIAPPE: Katrina & Beyond – Much has been said, written, sung, painted, and performed to express the impact Hurricane Katrina has had on New Orleans, but no project has been quite as comprehensive and, most of all, interactive, as the Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond exhibit at the Presbytere on Jackson Square. The 6,700 square-foot multimedia spectacular opened last week through the Louisiana State Museum, aspiring to be “the world’s definitive hurricane exhibition.” The exhibit fuses the personal, the political, the scientific and the artistic in a series of immersive environments and installations in an attempt to give the visitor an in-depth understanding of Katrina on both a local and national level. The interactive component is extended into cyberspace as the Museum invites those with stories, videos and photos relating to Katrina to share them on their Facebook page. Hit “like” and peep the wall for posts from locals and updates on all of LSM’s exhibits. 751 Chartres Street. Open Tue-Sun 10:00am-4:00pm.
DO: It never seems like Halloween until you and a group of friends go to a haunted house. We know they can be corny sometimes, but it’s such a tradition and one that certainly can’t be passed up here in New Orleans. Round-up a group of friends and head down to Mortuary, one of the oldest haunted house in the city. Get scared. Scream. Take funny pictures and then talk about how lame it was (even though you were really scared)! Open daily 7:00pm – 12:00AM. Admission is $25.
SEE: Opera season just opened and for longtime enthusiast and newcomers there is Opera on Tap. Join the New Orleans Opera in the fourth season of bringing you the finest young local and regional singers in casual, 90-minute concerts of opera. This weekend head out to the Abita Springs Brew Pub for this free event. October 27 7:00pm-8:30pm. 72011 Holly Street | Abita Springs, LA 70420.
EAT: Cheekily-named for the copious amounts of water it took in during Katrina, the Mid-City Yacht Club does not want for a sense of humor nor for delightful, garden-fresh cocktails. The superb bloody mary comes with home-pickled green beans from one bartender’s backyard, and their peppery take on a mojito pops with cucumber-infused gin. Join them for their Saints game potlucks on Sundays, where whoever bring the favorite dish receives $20 worth of complimentary bar tab, and the less popular cooks console themselves with a bucket of six beers for just $10. The Yacht Club is a kickback joint where you can drink on the cheap but feel like you’re treating yourself. 440 S. St. Patrick. Open noon to 2:00am Monday – Thursday, noon to 4:00am Friday, 11:00am-4:00am Friday and 11:00am-2:00am Sunday.
EAT: Picture this masterpiece: a gooey, melty cheese quesadilla loaded with juicy grilled shrimp, applewood smoked bacon, and sweet, spicy pineapple salsa. Drooling? Then get your yearning taste buds over to Juan’s Flying Burrito Creole Taqueria, where the aforementioned Luau Quesadilla and a ton of other messy, mouthwatering inventions await you. Juan’s is the perfect fusion of fresh mexican flavor and New Orleans quirk, serving up fun creations like Mardi Gras Indians tacos, Gutter Punk burritos, and The Lowrider margarita. The dining space, popping with vivid paintings and bright pinatas, has the badass attitude of a barrio fiesta with the bracing, mind-boggling tastiness you’d expect when New Orleans does South of the Border. $5.50-$12.95. 2018 Magazine Street. Monday-Thursday, 11:00AM – 10:00PM, Fridat & Saturday until 11pm, and Sunday 12:00PM – 10:00PM.
EAT: As a rule, any establishment offering two full bars, a pool table, live music, and dancing, will inevitably provide a menu of greasy, gutbombing disgraces that cannot be stomached sans gratuitous inebriation. Mimi’s in the Marigny doesn’t play by those rules – follow the narrow staircase to the second floor of this spectacularly dingy watering hole to find its cozy dining space, which on any given night could be featuring acoustic singer-songwriters on the mic, locals dancing lindy hop to a traditional jazz band, or a rump-shaking funk set from DJ Soul Sister. The kitchen serves up both hot and cold tapas delivered to the table by the chef himself. 2601 Royal Street. Kitchen closed Mondays. Open Tues-Thu,Sun 4:00PM – 5:00AM; Fri-Sat 4:00PM – 6:00AM.
Too low on dough to buy Voodoo tickets but still hankering for a taste of the Experience? Check out some of the most hype-worthy after parties, happening all over New Orleans as a part of Voodoo After Dark:
- Thursday, October 28 - KICKOFF PARTY with Finger 11, Taddy Porter, and The Sleeping. House of Blues. 225 Decatur St. 7:00pm doors, 8:00pm show. $16.50 advance, $18.50 at the door.
- Friday, October 29 - Vtech & Filter Magazine Official After Party featuring Eagles of Death Metal, Fitz & The Tantrums, and Cary Ann Hurst at One Eyed Jacks. 615 Toulouse St. 11pm. Free with RSVP.
- Saturday, October 30 - Dance After Dark featuring BoyzNoize, Savoy, Ana Sia, Vaski, and Wildchild + guests at the Contemporary Arts Center. 900 Camp St. 7:30pm. $20 general, $60 VIP.
- Sunday, October 31 – chill out and wind down with Jenny & Johnny (featuring Jenny Lewis & Johnathan Rice) at the House of Blues. 225 Decatur St. 8:30pm doors, 9:30pm show. $16.50.