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On this edition of the NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias we discuss an important topic – sexual assault in the alcohol industry. Molly Bird and Mark Schettler of the Proof Positive Project join the show for this conversation. We also welcome Tracy Napolitano, executive director of the New Orleans Bourbon Festival – a new event taking place later this month in town.

Pictured above, from left – Bryan Dias of NOLADrinks, Molly Bird and Mark Schettler of the Proof Positive Project.

NOLADrinks – 03-02-17 – Sexual Assault in the Alcohol Industry and New Orleans Bourbon Festival

We start the show off with a brief chat about the close of Mardi Gras and the start of Festival Season here in New Orleans (no rest here!) Activities kick-off right away… We talk about a special event taking place at Louisiana Music Factory – the greatest record store in the world – celebrating their 25th anniversary on Saturday, March 4 with live music, a wine tasting by Pontchartrain Vineyards, and more fun. We also talk about the cool Music Box Village, a terrific multi-medium art project.

Tracy Napolitano (pictured at left with Bryan Dias), executive director of the New Orleans Bourbon Festival, comes on to talk about the inaugural (and, hopefully, annual) event. The festival features dinners, tastings, seminars, and more. Much of the focus will be a celebration of New Orleans’ connection and important role the city played in the development of Bourbon. The event will feature numerous luminaries from the industry leading seminars and participating in the tastings. Importantly, the festival serves as a benefit for the very worthy St. Michael Special School. We also discuss how you can attend the various events and even be a judge!
In the second hour of the show, we discuss a serious topic and one that we will revisit again multiple times in the future – sexual assault in the alcohol industry. Molly Bird, of Cane and Table, and Mark Schettler, of Bar Tonique, and both of the newly minted Proof Positive Project (website and more info coming soon – thanks to Sebastian Rey of the new LGBT Community Center of New Orleans), join the show. Being a complex issue, there is a lot of ground to cover. We touch on various components, realities, and efforts such as predation, threats to members of the industry, male dominance in the industry, victim blaming, threat reduction versus threat prevention, and more. We also touch on the responsibility the industry itself has, one that has been woefully neglected, to do something about this.
Again, any part of this discussion could be an entire show and we will come back to these issues again. As part of this, we will be sharing more information on programming coming from the Proof Positive Project and others to address these issues, including what can be done “where the rubber hits the road” (in bars, within the industry) and longer-term processes needed to change inner-industry and societal norms. Stay tuned on our social media channels, website, and for upcoming shows on sexual assault in the alcohol industry.

Lastly, a way you can help is head out to a bar participating in Tip Out Day, a national event where members of the service industry donate their tips to charitable efforts. The next Tip Out Day is Sunday, March 26 and will focus on local organizations dedicated to sexual assault response, prevention, and education. We’ll have more info on where in New Orleans you can go!

Below the map that features some of the locations discussed on the show and the episode promo video, you can subscribe to, download, and stream the NOLADrinks Show podcast. Please share!

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