Court 13 began as a small crew of friends – filmmakers, artists, craftspeople, and builders – who were drawn to Louisiana. We had a goal to make a new kind of movie, one crafted from collaboration. The four-time Academy Award nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild was the result of those labors. Beasts was successful because we met new people (a baker, musicians, fishermen, children) and together worked to create something beautiful. Court 13 Arts is our big effort to expand this process, to include ever more and different people.
In 2015, we founded Court 13 Arts—a New Orleans-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization—to serve as an incubator for art and filmmaking rooted in unique collaborations, social inclusion, recycling materials, and education. In June of 2016, we purchased a headquarters to house all future activities. By providing shop and exhibition space, recycled materials and supportive capital, we will address the practical and creative needs of community-based art year-round.
WHO WE ARE
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.
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 Beasts of the Southern Wild won 74 awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, the Camera D’Or at Cannes, and four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a pack of wild animals.
Director of Development
Gianna Chachere A tenth-generation New Orleanian and graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Gianna Chachere is the Founder/Executive Director of The New Quorum, a nonprofit which brings musicians to New Orleans for cultural exchange. From 2006 to 2014, Gianna was the Producing Director of the Hamptons International Film Festival. She has directed several film and music festivals, including Slamdance Film Festival and Don’t Knock the Rock Film and Music Festival. During the last 20 years, she lived in New York and Los Angeles, working in development and programming with arts and higher educational institutions, including New York University, The New School, and Two Boots Pioneer Theater. After Hurricane Katrina, Gianna began returning to New Orleans periodically, and made the decision to return full-time in 2014 and hasn’t looked back.
Director of Community Engagement
Dan Etheridge – Dan Etheridge has resided in New Orleans for 15 years when he moved here from Australia to complete his studies in coastal environmental planning. While it was intended to be a short stay Dan – like so many others before and after him – got stuck here and has thoroughly enjoyed the highs, lows and eccentric in betweens the city has thrown his way in that time. Since working on coastal restoration in the years prior to Hurricane Katrina, Dan has co-launched the Tulane City Center, a community design center at Tulane School of Architecture where he was Associate Director for 9 years, co-launched a design and research practice in New Orleans called Colectivo, opened the Pagoda Cafe in the 7th Ward neighborhood where he lives, and started an annual week long workshop for architecture and planning students interested in using their training to further issues related to equity and social justice called Design Futures Student Leadership Forum. At Court 13 Arts Dan is leading the effort to design and develop the Franklin Avenue space to be a thriving and open creative hub that benefits the work of artists individually, and New Orleaniens collectively. As part of this work Dan is responsible for building strong partnerships with community based organizations in the surrounding neighborhoods and arts based organizations across the city.
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.
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.
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.
Julie Griff is an independent consultant focused on social justice, public health, conflict resolution, and organizational development. Julie currently serves as a mediator with the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program and a facilitator with the Center for Restorative Approaches, both organizations that seek to resolve conflict, repair relationships, and build community in New Orleans. Previously, Julie served for four years as Operations Manager for Breakthrough, a human rights organization that uses art and media to raise awareness about women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, immigrant rights and racial justice in the US and India. Julie received a BA in history and humanistic studies from McGill University in Montreal.
Philipp Engelhorn founded Cinereach, a not-for-profit film production company and foundation, in 2006 with the goal of stimulating global unity and cross-cultural dialogue through supporting and creating socially conscious films. Originally from Germany, Phil comes from a diverse background of social innovators, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. He is a member of the boards of the Independent Feature Project (IFP), Cinema Conservancy, and the Founders Board of the Patrons of the Pinakothek in Munich. He executive produced Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, Cameron Yates’ The Canal Street Madam, and Ryan Wong’s The Road Ahead: The First Green Long March. He is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
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.
We have and will continue to support community-based art and artists by:
- Identifying artists and creatives through programming and providing the resources and opportunities needed to pursue ambitious work.
- Fostering collaboration between artists—we have a track record of nourishing and inspiring unpredictable work that is generated from the collective energy of creative people — across disciplines — working together.
- Providing space for artists to produce work and a space for artists to show work.
- Building a communal workshop of raw materials recycled from past projects, found objects, and existing artistic creations—a Materials Library that will offer access to supplies and dramatically reduce waste
- Developing dynamic and unconventional venues for folks like YOU to enjoy and experience art, music, film, festivals, performances, and more.
- Creating a headquarters that is, in its own right, a work of art—not just a functioning workshop for artists, but also a creative landmark.