It probably comes as no shock that the people at Carnival Cruise Line know how to throw party, but readers may be surprised to know that Carnival has been using this skill to benefit the arts in communities where they dock. In conjunction with the company’s recent addition of the Carnival Triumph to their New Orleans fleet—which operates year-round and is estimated to carry 45,000 passengers each year—Carnival recently organized an entertaining charity event to raise money for music organizations who make the City of Jazz, well, so jazzy.
This raucous event revolved around an American-Idol style competition in which four local music organizations competed for $35,000 worth of donations. The competitors included Shamarr Allen, competing on behalf of the Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Jazz C singer; saxophonist Robin Barnes, competing for the Tipitina's Foundation; and Derek Douget, representing The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation. The competition was as convivial as the city these organizations call home, but at the end of the day the Tipitina's Foundation took home the $15,000 first prize, while the other groups split $20,000 in runner-up funds.
Carnival also partnered with the Port of New Orleans, which has been essential in economic development in New Orleans, using its status as a port city to attract business investment and travelers.
This event reflects a larger drive by the international cruise company to engage with local communities and support the creative character of their brand. As the Crescent City’s largest cruise operator, Carnival has shown that when supporting the local arts scene by throwing a fabulous party, one can never go overboard (pun very much intended).