Material Institute

About the Institute

Located in New Orleans’ 9th ward, Material Institute is a progressive arts center that provides resources to a new generation of New Orleans’ artists. We offer space, tools, and instruction for our community to generate original work. We invite community interests and ideas to develop our programming. We strive to dissolve divisions between disciplines. Science and sustainability are woven into every department. Respect, inclusivity and mutual learning are at our core.

We operate three programs: The Embassy (a recording studio and music residency), 24 Carrot Garden (an urban food and education garden), and a Fashion and Textile Design program.

Our vision for the future space is to include organic food production, dance, and ceramics with the goal of building successful social enterprises.


While working collectively towards the goal of building an inspiring community, we intend to honor the following values, with acknowledgement that we are imperfect and will need to be reminded of our values and realign when we falter:

Mutual Learning

We are a learning organization seeking to adopt experimental processes. We recognize that new potentials emerge when supportive interactions occur among all stakeholders – those invested in the success of Material Institute. These interactions bring about insights that didn’t exist before, and that none would have created on their own. This means that we rely on our peers, collaborators and students to have a learning mindset which is open, enthusiastic and non-judgemental.


Vive la Différence. We can maximize cooperation and mutual learning if we respect each other and appreciate diversity of culture, race, gender, sexuality, spirituality, philosophy and other identity and cultural characteristics. We are committed to employing, collaborating with, and supporting people with diverse life experiences. We treat people with respect whether they are colleagues, collaborators, students or community members. We have a goal of respecting the environment by adopting practices and methods of sustainability, where possible.

Power Sharing – Equity

We identify as an anti-racist, multi-cultural organization. Our goal is to work alongside community members, promoting ‘power with’ or ‘power for’ our stakeholders rather than working within a system that maintains ‘power over’ individuals. We continually review our services in response to community feedback and talent, our environment, and resources available to us. We learn by understanding different points of view and working through conflict productivel


We value transparency, integrity and authenticity at all levels – individual, departments, and organization. We aim to communicate openly about who we are, what we’re thinking, why decisions are made, where we’re headed as an organization and take notice of the community response to our activities. We are committed to sharing all information needed for participants and staff to take up their roles and do good work.


24 Carrot Garden //

Gilda Gibson
Tysean Riles

The Embassy //

Aimée Toledano
Andy Gross
Preston Holm
Mike Mosko

Fashion and Textile //

Jaohn Orgon
Maria Lisogorskaya
Faustine Steinmetz
Amanda Coleman
Norma Hedrick
Tora Lopez

Operations Coordinator //

Amina Massey

Social Media //

Lucia Honey

Campus Build //

Jaohn Orgon