From stormwater management to the fight against gentrification, we know that the cultural community is always thinking about the challenges their city and neighborhoods face, how their lives are impacted, and how to create a better future. Yet, artists, musicians, and traditional culture bearers are often left out of the conversations that could make their ideas a reality. This workshop explores how arts and culture help us understand our cities, using New Orleans as an example. We ask how and why the thinking and practices of artists, musicians and traditional culture bearers can help create urban areas that are stronger and more sustainable in the face of change. In 2018, two arts academics from the UK, Patrick Duggan and Stuart Andrews, came to New Orleans for ten days. They interviewed artists, curators, performance-makers, venue managers, and arts and city stakeholders asking: ‘How are the arts useful to imagining the future of this city?’ In 2019, Patrick and Stuart are back in New Orleans. They want to see if their initial ideas are useful, unique, or interesting. As MaCCNO is already engaging in a local grassroots cultural planning process, this presents a unique opportunity to further the conversation and help show the value of having the creative and cultural community driving the conversation about the future of their communities, rather than as an afterthought. We will be hosting a conversation on June 7th, from 2:30 to 5:30, at the Treme Petit Jazz Museum (1500 Governor Nicholls). It is free, and refreshments will be provided.