The Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation (LCEF) was launched as a result of then-Lieutenant Governor Mitchell J. Landrieu’s Cultural Economy Initiative in late 2005. Its first two years of service were dedicated to disaster relief and recovery of cultural economy workers affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita with almost $1 million distributed for their recovery support.
In 2008, LCEF’s then recently concluded strategic plan guided LCEF to implement two major programs: LCEF Economic Opportunity Fund, and our LCEF Healthcare Initiative. These programs moved the organization out of a disaster relief mode and into a proactive economic development and quality of life focus. The programs provided access to capital and to healthcare, and supported cultural workers’ ability to earn a decent living and maintain a respectable quality of life. The Economic Opportunity Fund raised and distributed over $1 million to nearly 500 artists, cultural organizations and small cultural businesses. LCEF’s healthcare programs have connected thousands of creatives to services through healthcare referrals and screenings.
In 2014 LCEF re-examined its goals and purpose through a facilitated process that resulted in very focused programs and reduced overhead to ensure organizational sustainability. This new emphasis on cultural entrepreneurialism spun-off the Catapult Fund and the Louisiana Culturepreneur Fund. A continued interest in the health of Louisiana’s cultural workers coincided with the birth of the Affordable Healthcare Act, so LCEF adapted to the new environment by becoming a Certified Counselor to assist creatives with the process. LCEF has also formed a deep partnership with the Louisiana Public Health Institute to ensure Healthier Air for All throughout the state, with an emphasis on smoke-free performance venues for musicians.
LCEF was established as a 501(c)3 organization in 2005. Its primary mission is to be a catalyst for the development and enhancement of the distinct cultural industries of Louisiana by promoting the economic health and quality of life of our cultural economy workforce.