Community Music Theater

Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts

It is the belief of Gretna Mayor Belinda Constant that for a community to have vibrancy, it must have a place dedicated to the arts. This is what motivated Mayor Constant to dedicate herself to opening The Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts.

Located at the former location of the Gretna Post Office at 740 4th St. in Gretna, Mayor Constant worked for 9 years on her vision of having a place in Gretna that would host art shows, plays, and other events. Built in the 1930’s, the city of Gretna wanted this historic building to stay in public use, but not as a post office. Mayor Constant went to work and hosted a party at the old post office building, in order to share her vision of a cultural center. Over 300 attendees liked the idea and the process of restoring the building began. Restorations began in 2012 using parish money and, after the work was complete, the cultural center had a “dry run” on a production thanks to local actress Sandy Bravender. Bravender had confidence in Mayor Constant’s vision and brought the play The Women to the center in 2015.

Once the wheels were in motion, there was no stopping the excitement of having a place like this in the center of Gretna. The Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts held their grand opening in 2016 and the first big production that the center hosted featured none other than local legend Irma Thomas and Al “lil fats” Jackson. Since then the cultural center has continued to host events including a production of The Nutcracker at Christmas time and a tribute to Fats Domino by Al “lil fats” Jackson, which was hosted by Hurricane Promotions and sold out in April of this year.

The upcoming calendar for The Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts is packed with a lot of exciting events. From July 17th to August 4th, the cultural center will be hosting the Gretna Kids Playhouse Summer Workshop. Young thespians will have the opportunity to put on a production of the play Fairytale News Network written by Morrey McElroy. Performances of the play will take place on August 4th, 5th and 6th. In October, the center will be hosting a Halloween dance, and in December a Patsy Cline tribute show is planned.

If you want to visit The Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts, you have the perfect excuse on June 17th at 8:00 pm when it will be hosting The Beatles Tribute Show. Over the past fifteen years, the tribute show has grown into one of New Orleans’ most exciting and anticipated annual events, drawing Beatles fans from around the world to the city to celebrate the music of The Beatles. Guest performers that have played in the tribute show include Irma Thomas, Marc Broussard, Bonerama, Jimmy Robinson, Fred LeBlanc of Cowboy Mouth, Thaddeus Richard of Paul McCartney’s Wings, Pete Winkler of Motorway, Jim Lockwood, Bill Davis of Dash Rip Rock, and Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. Tickets are $75 and proceeds will support The Post Backstage- an organization dedicated to promoting the arts in the city of Gretna, most notable for their conversion of the Gretna Post Office into a state-of-the-art “black box” theater. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-beatles-tribute-tickets-34202231796.

The Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts seats 260 to 300 people and is available for rent to the public. For more information, please call 363-1500.

About the author

Marielle Songy

Marielle Songy was born and raised on the Westbank and currently resides in Gretna. She is a graduate of Archbishop Blenk High School and UNO. A true Louisiana girl, Marielle enjoys creole food, jazz music and the occasional swamp tour.

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