The space is founded on the belief in the value of free high quality education for all; and the learning environment as a community and place for experimentation and expression. Material Institute grows out of the incredible, unique and diverse heritage of craft, costuming and fashions of New Orleans.
The tools include industrial sewing machines, a large dye sublimation printer and heat press, weaving loom, natural dye facilities, as well as many more hand tools and materials.
Assemble art and architecture collective designed the project, workshop spaces, ran and curated the pilot phase of the educational programme, collaborating with experts in the fashion industry. The invited collaborators to date include: Big Chief Demond Melancon, Carola Jones, Faustine Steinmetz, Michael Hawkins, Kenneth Ize, Kristine Pichon, Kai Bussant, Briana Henry, Norma Hedrick, Tracee Dundas, as well as consultancy from Aimée Toledano, Jaohn, Terrisiah, Tysean Riles, MaPo Kinnard, Kim Folse, Bradley Bowers, Esther Choi, Adjoa Armah, Claire Miller, Kieren Jones, Phillipa Brock, Central Saint Martins Textiles and Material Futures. The school is funded and initiated by MONA (The Museum of Old and New Art)
The first fashion show took place in December 2018; the second in February 2019; you can see some of the photos on our IG @materialinstitute. The founding students are: Al Beauti, Anita Nuñez, Cherise Lockett, Chez Augustin, Daquine J Hebert, Jalisa Riels, Jonathan Faulkner, JD Williams, Kai Bussant, Kenitra Harding, Logan Jackson, Mohneeq, Paige McRae, Reuben Craddock, Sarah Hernandez, Tahj Pierre, Trevor Bryant, Tyrone Shoemaker, Tysean Riles. Student admins to date: Anita Nuñez, Jonathan Faulkner, Tahj Pierre.