In the spring of 1986, a handful of young New Orleanians came together to tackle problems facing the community. They were a few years out of college and didn’t think existing civic organizations would afford them opportunities for hands-on involvement. So, they formed their own organization and called it the Young Leadership Council. Their unique and primary focus was leadership development through community projects.
The YLC lives on more than 25 years later in the same tradition with more than 1,300 members and numerous community projects.
YLC is credited with founding the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, which recruits major sporting events to the city. The Sports Foundation has had an economic impact of more than $1 billion.
YLC made a major impact on the city’s skyline by raising more than $500, 000 to add lights to the Mississippi River Bridge, later named the Crescent City Connection.
In 2012, we launched a public awareness campaign to keep funding for the Crescent City Connection decorative lights. You can view our video below.
YLC created the civic pride campaign, New Orleans: Proud to call it home, which is best known by bumper stickers found on cars around town and across the country.
YLC presented Festival of Fins, the largest art display to ever hit the streets of New Orleans. An auction of the fish sculptures raised more than $550, 000 for 65 local non-profits.
YLC partnered with the Literacy Alliance of Greater New Orleans to highlight issues of adult literacy and bring people together across cultural lines by reading one book at the same time. This project was dubbed: One Book One New Orleans, and it continues today with an eight-week reading period and new book every year.
YLC took over full production of the YLC Wednesday at the Square concert series from the Downtown Development District in 2006. The free, live concert series has become an annual rite of spring, attracting an average of 6,000 people per week.
YLC launched its second public art display – this time with miniature streetcar replicas designed by local artists and sponsored by area businesses. A Street Car Names Inspire serves as a tangible sign of New Orleans’ recovery post-Hurricane Katrina.