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What We Fund

Paintings. Murals. Sculptures. Dance. Music. It’s all art.  

The Helis Foundation advances access to the arts across the Greater New Orleans region. 


If you’ve ever driven down Poydras Street or walked through the halls of a New Orleans museum, you’ve likely experienced what The Helis Foundation funds. Through the generosity of the William G. Helis Family, the Art Funds of The Helis Foundation ensure that locals and visitors alike have access to the arts through contributions that sustain operations for, provide free admission to, and underwrite major exhibitions and special projects of institutions within the New Orleans Metropolitan area.


Some current initiatives and projects  

Experience a sculpture made of fog, murals that are larger than life, and exhibitions that expand your mind by clicking on one of the links below.


Evenings with Enrique

Live music and food Wednesdays in April and October in The Helis Foundation Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden


Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition

View sculptures along Poydras Street between Convention Center Blvd. and S. Galvez


Louisiana Contemporary

An annual, statewide, juried exhibition that promotes contemporary art practices in the state of Louisiana.



A collection of large-scale murals by local and international artists throughout Downtown New Orleans


Art for All

The Helis Foundation underwrites free admission for Louisiana residents at local institutions


The Helis Foundation John Scott Center

Interactive innovative exhibits, programs, and experiences inspired by artist, educator, and humanist John T. Scott

Where kids do more than play, they experience magic. ​

As soon as you cross the footbridge outside of the Louisiana Children’s Museum, you’ll feel as though you’re stepping into a dream world. This incredible footbridge is a passageway through Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya's sculpture which floats across the footbridge as a sea of fog that shifts and changes as quickly as the wind moves it.   

The Largest Collection of Enrique Alferez sculptures nestled in a corner of New Orleans City Park. 
Everyone loves visiting the New Orleans Botanical Gardens in City Park, but it’s not just the flowers and plants that have people coming back again and again. It’s The Helis Foundation Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden. There’s nothing like walking through the 8,000 sq. ft. garden and experiencing the 15 iconic Alférez sculptures set within its sweeping footpaths and hundred-year-old oak trees. 

Shining a Light on Louisiana Artists. 

Launched in 2012 by Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Louisiana Contemporary, presented by The Helis Foundation, is an annual, statewide, juried exhibition that advances the work of artists living in Louisiana and highlights the dynamism of art practice throughout the state. This exhibition features The Helis Foundation Art Prize, a $5,000 award, chosen by the juror and given to an artist in the exhibition in support of their studio and artistic practice.

Babies are artists, too!  
Young Audiences of Louisiana (YALA), in partnership with The Helis Foundation, helps New Orleans’ youngest learn about art in a hands-on way at cultural institutions across the city.  If you’re interested in your tiny tyke participating, click the link to learn more. 

Dynamic programs and innovative strategies.
This program is aptly named for providing New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) students and their families with significantly reduced admission to performances by world-renowned dance companies in the NOBA Main Stage Series.

One generation of artists teaches the next.  
Based on the master-apprentice approach, and because of The Helis Foundation, NOCCA faculty bring in 75 – 100 master artists annually to work in the classroom with students, challenging their practices, exposing them to new methods, and sharing their professional experiences as working artists.   

Bringing art to New Orleans to revitalize and contemporize a historic city.
Every three years, Prospect invites artists from all over the world to create projects in a wide variety of venues spread throughout New Orleans.


This Collection honors our musical heritage.
With the support of The Helis Foundation, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation purchased over 60 works of art from Louisiana artists that honor our state’s rich musical and cultural heritage and installed them in The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center on Rampart Street in New Orleans. 

Tune in for More Accessible Education.
With support from The Helis Foundation, New Orleans Public Radio went from a local-only station to a regional vibe maker. Known for cultural news stories, music that moves you, and programs about history, art, and cultural activities, New Orleans residents, as well as people all over the Gulf South, are able to tune in to be enlightened. 

Get an unparalleled look into New Orleans’ past.
The Helis Foundation and The Historic New Orleans Collection have been able to capture the hearts and minds of visitors alike. Each magnificent work of art offers viewers an unparalleled glimpse into the rich and diverse history of New Orleans.

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