Court 13 Arts is a New Orleans-based nonprofit arts engine whose mission is to support the creation of adventurous art that inspires the public. By developing innovative spaces to create and exhibit new work, we strive to build and support a creative community that generates ground-breaking artistic experiences across cultures and mediums.
Building off the the success of our four-time Academy Award nominated film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Court 13 Arts is in the unique position to create community-based art that reaches audiences on a global scale. By investing in artists and makers within our community, we can forge an innovative model for sustainable local art-and filmmaking that is rooted in unique collaborations, recycling materials, and education.
WHO WE ARE
Benh Zeitlin is a writer, director, composer, animator, and founding member of Court 13. His award-winning shorts include Egg, Origins of Electricity, I Get Wet, and Glory at Sea. Benh’s first feature film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, won 74 awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival and the Camera D’Or at Cannes. In addition, the film received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana with a pack of wild animals.
Casey Coleman is a film- and art-event producer, and Executive Director of Court 13 Arts. As a freelance filmmaker, his credits include: Associate Producer on Beasts of the Southern Wild, supervising locations and casting; Speciality Casting for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave; and Producer for Big Freedia’s Y’all Get Back Now music video. Casey has been working with Court 13 since 2006 and believes enormously in the power of celebration and collaboration as uniting forces. He lives in New Orleans where he plays music and is Uncle Awesome to 5 children.
Dimitri Apessos is a fundraising professional working for a marketing firm that currently counts the Special Olympics, ACLU, and NAACP as clients. Previously, he was the Membership Director for WWOZ, New Orleans’ jazz and blues radio station, where he still hosts a weekly show. If Dimitri had known when he was 12 years old that in his late 30s he would be living in New Orleans, getting paid to write, and spinning records for fun, he would have been very impressed. Personal heroes include his father, Woody Guthrie, Snooks Eaglin, and Tintin.
An artist, curator and artistic director, Kristy Edmunds, Executive and Artistic Director at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, holds a reputation for innovation and depth in the presentation of contemporary art in all disciplines, with a particular emphasis on contemporary performing arts. In her current role at UCLA’s venerated performing arts program (previously known as UCLA Live), Edmunds is shepherding an exciting new era. Under her leadership, the organization has evolved to become Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), a creative habitat for supporting artists and presenting their work.
Edmunds was the Founding Executive & Artistic Director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) and the TBA Festival (Time Based Art) in Portland, Oregon. She was the Artistic Director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival from 2005 – 2008, and was the first to serve an unprecedented four-year term.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson is a multimedia producer living in New Orleans. She hosts and produces TriPod: New Orleans at 300, NPR station WWNO’s fresh history series leading up the the city’s tricentennial. She runs her own live storytelling event, Bring Your Own, which is also a radio show and podcast. Previously, Laine was a producer for The Moth, The Listening Post, and LandofOpportunity; the managing editor at NolaVie; and the assistant publisher at the NOLA Defender. Some only know Laine as DJ SwimTeam, where she plays parties in one-piece Speedo bathing suits.
Rose Murray is an environmental attorney in New Orleans who has also worked in international criminal and refugee law. The highlights of her practice include working for prisoner civil rights and bringing suit on behalf of the New Orleans area levee boards against 97 oil and gas entities for destruction of wetlands and coastal erosion. She believes that everything is possible and leads with her heart. Rose likes to travel, write, mosaic, and learn new things. She is a bike commuter and biking zealot; she and her bicycle, Squeaks, finished last in a 170-mile ride from New Orleans to Angola prison to raise awareness and funds for loved ones to commune with their imprisoned kin.
Jen Rainin is the President and CEO of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, a private foundation working to enhance quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy, and supporting research to cure chronic disease. Jen operates on the belief that innovation, inquiry, creativity and connection make life better for everyone.