What is JAMNOLA and why it is so Instagrammable?
New Orleans is a beautiful, Instagrammable city full of art, museums, music, and of course, delicious food to eat. But JAMNOLA is a new, interactive selfie museum that brings together local artists celebrating New Orleans. JAMNOLA is Joy, Art, and Music.
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I was gifted two adult passes to complete this blog post. This Blog was completed during the 2020 pandemic and photos do not reflect current state.
What is JAMNOLA
JAMNOLA is New Orleans’ first self-guided immersive 12-room exhibit created to inspire Joy, while enjoying Art, and listening to Music. It is designed for audiences of all ages. It is built out of converted warehouse space and is a cultural funhouse for anyone needed to escape from the French Quarter.
The founders of JAMNOLA wanted to bring an interactive museum with cultural gems to New Orleans area as a Love Letter to the city. Locals and tourists alike can come to share in the interactive experience both in-person and online.
Right off the bat, JAMNOLA is not your typical museum! JamNola is located at 2832 Royal Street and is the perfect stop during your New Orleans Vacation.
There isn’t a “NO CAMERAS ALLOWED” rule. In fact, JAMNOLA wants you to take photos, videos, boomerangs, and whatever the next social media phenomenon.
As part of the immersive technology, JAMNOLA even has an exhibit named WHO DOT that pulls user-created photos from social media so each visitor can become a part of the art.
At the end of your trip, you also get a little microsite that will give you additional information about the rooms, things to do in and around New Orleans.
How Much is JAMNOLA?
Exploring JAMNOLA is a family-friendly activity that is the perfect thing to do in the Bywater or to fill up some time on a rainy day afternoon.
Tickets for adults are $29, Children ( 3-12) are $20, and Children under 2 are free!
Tickets for students, seniors, military, teachers, first responders, and health care providers (with ID) are $20.
JAMNOLA’s Experiential Rooms
JAMNOLA has thirteen different Experiential rooms that are ever-changing! All of these rooms are artfully decorated to bring out the best of New Orleans.
Each room tells a different story and allows for creative inspiration. During different holidays, additional exhibits are introduced to each room.
What’s your JAM?
What is your JAM? Joy? Art? Music? At the beginning of the semi-private tours, your storyteller will give you a brief history of JAM NOLA.
Co-founders Johnny Liss and Chad Smith created this museum as a love letter to New Orleans. And so far, this love letter does not disappoint.
Photography Tip: See that wallpaper?
Flavor Paper creates it, and you will spot it throughout different Experiential rooms. The mirrors are reflective, so make sure to grab a photo or two.
Talk about sensory overload.
When you first walk into this room, you will think that the whole room is made out of feathers! My favorite thing about this room are the feather chandeliers.
But look a little closer, and you will notice that much of the room is upcycled art.
Go ahead – touch the feathers! Yup, in JAMNOLA you are allowed to touch the art.
Photography Tip: Get your camera ready! This room is small but mighty. You will want to spend so much time touching everything that you may forget to snap a few pics!
All on Mardi Gras Day
All on Mardi Gras Day is a video immersion room that honors documentary filmmaker Royce Osborn. The short film, edited by Alexander Glustrom, is the perfect combination of Joy, Art, and Music.
If watching this film doesn’t get you in the mood for Mardi Gras, I’m not sure what would!
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What’s your Jam
What is your JAM? In recent years, something uniquely New Orleans is the explosion of street art and murals sprinkled throughout the neighborhoods.
In this one room, Ceaux, Noah Church, Josh Hailey, and Jeremy Paten created the art and murals.
There are many different Instagrammable Spots you can grab a photo of yourself in a crowd at Mardi Gras, sitting on a stoop, or grabbing a bite of a Poboy. If you need some delicious po-boy recommendations to check out this blog post.
While you are busy looking around at the beautiful murals in the room, don’t forget to look down at your feet and see yourself walking down the mighty Mississippi River! Also – in the digital edition of JAMNOLA you can learn the culinary significance of foods from our friend Dr. Nicole Carididad Ralston of Eaten Path Nola, one of the local experts.
Photography Tip: I could have spent hours here taking photos and taking in the whole room. My favorite spot for a picture is right in the middle next to the street lamp!
The Bead Goes On
Moving on to the next exploration room – the Bead Goes On. If you have never been to Mardi Gras, this is almost the next best thing.
The first room gives you all of the fun and glory of a day parade, while the second room gives you the vibe of a night parade.
My favorite part is the large reflective beads installed in the room.
Photography Tip: Not only will you want to take photos of rooms themselves, but look around for fun photos in reflections. If you look up, you will notice that the ceiling is also a mirror, and you can get a selfie of yourself in a sea of beads.
Walking into this room reminds me of walking into a swanky party on New Year’s Eve. Everything is blinged out to the Max, and what’s better than a space that is full of black and gold.
After walking into the room, you will see two main features: a sequined alligator and a tree. The alligator makes the perfect photo op for pretending you are down in the Louisiana bayou, while the tree, when touched, changes from black to gold.
But if you look closely, you will see a plethora of leftover Mardi Gras beads, CDs, and other discarded items in this art installation. All of the art is discarded trash found in the Mississippi River.
Not only is Pompadour Productions upcycling with art, but the movement can help remind us that we need to do a better job with litter and trash.
Photography Tip: From what I’ve been told, the alligator is indestructible. So whether you want to post next to him, sit on him, or run away from him, that is your choice!
After your sense of sight is thrown for a loop from room to room, this room is much like a pallet cleanse. Walking into this room is a cleanse from the sensory playground!
I don’t know about you, but I had a sense of calm come over me when I walked into this room and never wanted to leave!
The focal point of the room is the Spirit Tree, which has deep West African roots.
Photography tip: The vases and mantras on the wall are my favorites; unless you have the right lens, it will be tough to get them all. Focus on which words speak to you and snap!
Joy of Crawfish
Welcome to the most instagrammable moment in all of JAMNOLA. After going through 12 rooms, taking amazing photos, and having fun with your family or friends, I guarantee that a photo with one of the giant crawfish will show up on your Instagram.
This whole scenario reminds me of a Louisiana Fais do-do from my youth, but instead of me playing with the crawfish (and preparing them for lunch), they are doing it to us. Think I’m crazy? Look down at your feet; you will notice you are standing on top of pages of The Times-Picayune.
Snap your photos quickly, or you might get eaten! You are the main food on this menu!
Photography tip: If you are visiting on a summer day and wearing sleeveless, you can get hilarious with the crawfish in the bathtub. My favorite is seeing life-sized crawfish pots and realizing the crawfish is the one boiling you in a pot of water.
Yeah You Write
Anonymous muralist Hugo Girl secretly came into JAMNOLA and installed this exhibit. Legend says that only one person on the JAMNOLA team even knows who Hugo Girl is, and that person isn’t even sure what they saw!
Photography Tip: If you leave your arms down and stand with the muscles, you can give yourself super large muscles.
The Costume Closet is unique in itself. This whole area is dedicated to the love of costuming and the most costumed holiday in New Orleans – Mardi Gras.
This room was curated by Shel Roumillat with custom Flavor Paper by Jon Sherman and photography by Erika Goldring. Make sure to visit and spend time in this room!
Photography Tip: There are so many costumes that you can try on! From headpieces to costumes, make sure you make your way around all of the costumes.
Add some of these activities to your upcoming trip or staycation!
🚌 Take a 2-Hour City Sightseeing Bus Tour which is great way to learn about the history and romance of this magnificent city
🚢Experience Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with dinner while soaking in incredible views.
👻 Hear tales of vampires, voodoo, and witchcraft on this city walking tour of New Orleans’ French Quarter
🦸 Try Escape Room Adventure and test your problem-solving skills with fun and tactile challenges
⛰️ Go on a food tour and explore the history and culture of the area with an expert local guide while tasting regional specialties at some of the best restaurants around.
The Umbrella Strut room continues with the Mardi Gras theme by paying homage to the Baby Dolls, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux’s Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indian Tribe.
Photography tip: There is a kiosk in this room that will make a quick boomerang of you in front of the umbrellas! These umbrellas will make you topsy turvy!
There are two interactive cultural sound installations by Marcus Brown in JAMNOLA. The first installation is the Adinkrahene, a west African symbol of leadership and charisma. The second installation is full of symbols to produce sound.
Photography Tip: Time to switch your camera to video! The Sound Garden room is most fun when you are making music and dancing around.
Garden of Legends
From Louis Armstrong to Weezy Skye Erie to Lil Wayne knows how to make larger-than-life sculptures full of New Orleans greatest Legends. This room may be the last one and small, but all of the larger-than-life busts will sure have your group talking.
Photography tip: If you stand at the beginning of the room, you can snap a photo of half of the legends without anyone in the background. Make sure to grab a photo with your favorite legend.
The drinking culture of New Orleans is notorious for our Go-Cups, and Charles Hoffacker brought a portrait of James Booker to life in the Gift Shop.
Photography tip: It is very easy to accidentally miss this stunning portrait! Take a photo before your start your shopping.
The tour ends in the perfect place all tours end – the gift shop! Here you can buy a commemorative shirt, mask, or other tokens. During Mardi Gras, there is a specialty King Cake by Bywater Bakery available for sale!
There are also memberships available for sale, so if you decide that you want to come to the ever-changing museum, you are in luck!
What to do after the tour
There are so many things to do, places to eat, and murals to see in the ByWater and Faubourg Marigny neighborhood. You could spend a whole day in this part of town checking out additional off-the-beaten-path spots in this neighborhood.
On your way, you will get a to-go cup that has a QR code on it. Scan this code and you can get discounts and codes to use at local eateries in the Bywater and Marigny. You have two days to use this discount!
Looking for more Unique Things to do in the United States? Check out these blog posts below!
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