Tastes of Africa (Caleb Smith)

The Ashe Cultural Arts Center of central city New Orleans is no stranger to Tulane’s Center for Public Service. The Andrew Mellon Graduate Fellowship in Community Engagement seeks to strengthen an existing partnership but through student-led efforts. Caleb Smith, a third-year doctoral student of history, began working with Ashe Cultural Arts Center in the Fall of 2017. During his tenure with Ashe, the university-community partnership aims to increase collegiate student participation at the center. Specifically, Smith works with Ashe to aid in soliciting college student and young professionals who are interested in cultural arts and nonprofit organizing and planning. In order to build a stronger adult presence at Ashe, Smith and the center’s staff are continuously reaching out to campus organizations and student leaders throughout the city who have a particular interest in planning events at Ashe and those students who are in need of nonprofit experience and cultural arts education outside of the formal academy. On April 26th, 2019, the Tulane African Student Association hosted their annual “Taste of Africa” event at Ashe. The event featured authentic Ghanian cuisine from a local community caterer. The event also featured African dancing from students of Xavier University of New Orleans. Aside from the most recent event, the Mellon fellowship and Ashe seeks to build its influence by developing a stronger cohort of student leaders and young professionals within the city.