Only in New Orleans: Honoring young professionals, tasting wine and more

Back in April, 850 people dressed up in white, packed their own picnic baskets and gathered on the Riverfront for a do-it-themselves sunset gala called Le Dîner en Blanc.

It was one event in a series under the umbrella of Social Renaissance, designed to bring young professionals together and recognize their contributions to the community.

This Saturday, Social Renaissance stages the Millennial Awards, honoring young professionals in 20 categories, including health, education and media, said Malana Joseph of organizer Spears Consulting. Future events include an international festival and a New Year’s Eve blowout.

Nominees, submitted by the community, will gather for the awards — a “may I have the envelope, please?” moment, since the finalists won’t be announced ahead of time, Joseph said.

The show takes place at 7 p.m. at the Civic Theatre, the beautifully refurbished 1906 venue at 510 O’Keefe St. in the CBD. For tickets and information, call

Artist’s friends stepping in

Friends of George Dureau are stepping in to help the famous New Orleans artist, who is, sadly, very ill with Alzheimer’s and living in a nursing home.

The 82-year-old painter, sculptor and photographer is well cared for, but finances are a concern, pal Katie Nachod said.

Acquaintances are organizing a fundraising event for Dureau to help with his medical expenses. The fundraiser, an auction of some of Dureau’s artistic tools and furniture, will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Crescent City Auction Gallery, 1330 St. Charles Ave.

Gallery owner Adam Lambert is not only donating space and time for the auction, but also giving a percentage of the buyer’s premium to benefit the artist.

On the block will be antique furniture, photo props and pottery, among other items. Call the gallery for more information at (504) 232-6361.

A toast at the track

A glass of bubbly at the race track must mean your horse came in. Or it could mean it’s time for “Tastings at the Track,” July 25 at the Fair Grounds, 1751 Gentilly Blvd.

The wine-tasting series, planned from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., is called “Bountiful Bubbles: Sparkling Wines from Around the World.”

Held in partnership with Dorignac’s Food Center, the tasting will feature 30 sparkling wines from California and France, Cava from Spain and Italian Prosecco, among others. Experts will be on hand to opine on the wine. Tickets are $25 at Dorignac’s (710 Veterans Blvd., Metairie), or buy at the door. Call (504) 948-1285.

Academy of Fine Arts

The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts continues its summer exhibition of student work at its gallery on the campus, 5200 Magazine St.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show continues until July 20. Admission is free. Call (504) 899-8111.

Annette Sisco is community news editor. She can be reached at or at (504) 432-9257.