In her hometown of Metairie, La., Marianne Cohn is known for three things: her kindness, compassion and love of her community. Over the years, she has committed herself to civic projects that have allowed her to give back to her neighbors and families in the region. Her work has spanned many organizations, all with varying objectives and contributions to the town. Since 1992, Ms. Cohn has been the chairman of the Odyssey Ball, the annual elegant gala hosted by the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). According to NOMA’s website, “The Odyssey Ball raises the funds necessary to support NOMA’s nationally recognized exhibitions and educational programs, which bring more than 250,000 annual visitors to the museum and sculpture garden.” As an art lover, Ms. Cohn has held this event near and dear to her heart for the last 25 years. Odyssey 2017, she notes, will commemorate the New Orleans Tricentennial and highlight NOMA’s and Odyssey’s integral place in New Orleans’ cultural life and history.
Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ms. Cohn was tremendously involved with the National Conference for Community and Justice (formerly known as the National Conference of Christian and Jews). The mission of the nonprofit organization was to promote compassion and justice, and fight bias, bigotry and racism in communities across the United States. In her work with the organization, Ms. Cohn held numerous prominent roles. In particular, she served as a national board director in 1993, treasurer and secretary from 1991 to 1992, and executive board member from 1987 to 1996. Around the same time, Ms. Cohn was involved with the New Orleans Tourist and Convention Commission, where she was a member of the executive board, and the American College of Surgeons, where she was chairman of the spouse program. Over the years, she has been affiliated with the Arts Council of New Orleans, Louisiana Museum Foundation, Jewish Endowment Foundation of New Orleans, Louisiana State Museum, and the New Orleans Symphony Auxiliary. Today, Ms. Cohn continues in her involvement with the National Jewish Health Center, where she has been a member of the national board since 1976 and a regional vice chairman since 1999.
In recognition of her commitment and contributions to her civic endeavors, Ms. Cohn has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards. In 2012, she earned the Chairman’s Award from the Arts Council of New Orleans. Additionally, the Jewish Endowment Foundation presented her with the Tzedakah Award in 2009. Looking toward the future, Ms. Cohn intends to continue her work within the community, as she feels that it has been her life’s calling and she feels blessed to fulfill it in any way that she can.
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