Giving Tuesday Spotlight: The Ella Project

December 15, 2020 | Written By Laurel Sceviour

Giving Tuesday Spotlight: Partner Nicole Gaither serves as a volunteer attorney with The Ella Project: an organization that works with New Orleans artists, musicians, entertainers, filmmakers, and other small creative business owners who qualify for pro bono civil legal services based on income. Most of her work is focused on intellectual property issues, such as obtaining copyright registrations and trademark registrations, copyright infringement issues, and copyright and trademark contract disputes.

Ms. Gaither first became involved with The Ella Project because of her passion for protecting the creative rights of the artists and culture ambassadors in a community she loves. “In most cases, our musicians and artists are working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet so they can pursue their passions. Unfortunately, they are often taken advantage of by unscrupulous managers, agents, so-called ‘talent scouts,’ or venues. They need someone to help protect their interests so they can focus on their creativity and developing their talents,” said Ms. Gaither.

The Ella project was launched in January 2004 by co-founders Ashlye Keaton and Gene Meneray in partnership with the Arts Council of New Orleans, Tipitina’s Foundation, and Tulane Law School to offer dedicated pro bono legal assistance to low to moderate income artists, musicians, and grass roots non-profits of Louisiana. Since launching in 2004, the Ella Project has served more than 3,000 clients in the community and remains dedicated to the tenets of arts, business development, legal services, cultural advocacy, and policy engagement. (The Ella Project)

Co-founder, Gene Murray describes artists as “the heart and soul of New Orleans,” explaining that their “access to high level effective advocacy, regardless of their ability to pay, is key to their continued success.”

The success of The Ella Project relies not just on the talents of the creatives, but also on the passion of volunteer attorneys to serve the varying needs of qualifying independent artists in the community. “Volunteers like Nicole Gaither are a critical component to serving our artistic community,” said Murray. “Nicole brings a high level of specific knowledge, a deep understanding of our culture, and tireless advocacy on behalf of our clients. Her work is invaluable to ensuring that New Orleans culture, this gift to the world, continues to inspire countless individuals for years to come.”

To learn more about Nicole Gaither, click here.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with The Ella Project, click here.


Ella Project


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