Artist Aron Belka Named the Inaugural COHN | GNOF | NOLA | ARTS Award Program Winner

September 27, 2021

Artist Aron Belka Named the Inaugural COHN | GNOF | NOLA | ARTS Award Program Winner

The Annual Awards Program makes grants to local nonprofits and awards a $10,000 grant to the selected artist our group whose work challenges and inspires the community

The Greater New Orleans Foundation has announced artist Aron Belka as the inaugural COHN | GNOF | NOLA | ARTS Award program winner. As the winner, Belka will receive $10,000 and be honored at a special reception at the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Center for Philanthropy. Today’s announcement falls on the centennial anniversary of the birth of Dr. Isidore Cohn, Jr. one hundred years ago on September 25, 1921, The COHN | GNOF | NOLA | ARTS  Award is made possible due to a generous bequest from Marianne and Dr. Isidore Cohn, Jr.  Due to COVID-19, the reception honoring Mr. Belka has been postponed until the Spring of 2022.

In conjunction with this announcement, the Foundation also announced COHN | GNOF | NOLA | ARTS awards from the Dr. and Mrs. Isidore Cohn, Jr. fund that will be made to the Ellis Marsalis Center, Cafe Reconcile, the Arts Council of New Orleans, The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), and the Isidore Cohn, Jr., MD Student Learning Center at the LSU Health Science Center.

“We are thrilled to announce artist Aron Belka as the inaugural COHN | GNOF | NOLA | ARTS Award winner,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Aron was selected, because he is a true example of a brilliant New Orleans artist whose work inspires and challenges us to reflect on society’s hardest questions.”

The COHN | GNOF | NOLA | ARTS Award is made annually on September 25 to nonprofits supporting the arts through education and community programs, and also includes a special award presented to an individual artist or group from our region whose work in the visual arts, performance, music, or culinary arts is judged to best exemplify how the arts can challenge and inspire us, and in so doing, enrich our lives.

“It’s fitting that as we celebrate what would have been our father’s 100th birthday, we get to remember him through this award,” said Ian J. Cohn. “We see, by extension, that in funding arts education, as well as supporting the careers of [young] artists, Dad and Marianne’s everlasting gift to the New Orleans community will be in the development of new talent, new voices, and new ideas, with art, performance, music, and culinary arts a thread connecting one generation to the next.”

“It is an honor to have my work recognized and to receive this award,” said artist Aron Belka. “The unique traditions and culture of New Orleans have greatly inspired my work and it has been a privilege to highlight the “overlooked” and underserved of this region. I look forward to lifting up the voices of those that are often not heard.”

You can read a conversation between Ian J. Cohn  and Aron Belka here and visit Belka’s gallery here.