Sponsorship Opportunities

Audubon Nature Institute operates the nation’s largest collection of nature-themed attractions and Louisiana’s #1 paid-attendance venues.  We welcome more than 2 million visitors annually across 4 unique properties—Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy IMAX®Theatre and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. As a leading non-profit brand in the Gulf South, Audubon is perfect partner to assist you in reaching your target audience. 

Audubon Nature Institute offers sponsors the opportunity to achieve...

  • Product Launch
  • Consumer Trials and Surveys
  • Signature Event underwriting
  • Custom-tailored events and promotions

Audubon Nature Institute facilities have a myriad of special events, promotions, festivals and more available for sponsorship. Every season offers unique programs for thematic branding, product sampling and press recognition within a family venue. Also, customs events and promotions can be designed.

Audubon Nature Institute delivers attendance and consumer trial. Choose from natural tie-ins to established events or stand alone promotions to extend your brand messaging.

All events and programs are executed under the guidance of dedicated personnel who pride themselves on creating quality experiences for our sponsors. Our objective is to help you effectively reach your target audience, through partnership with Audubon Nature Institute.

Please contact Cheryl Forschler at (504) 212-5363 or Eileen Johnson at (504) 212-5253 with any questions regarding partnership opportunities.

Earth Fest

Audubon Zoo
A New Orleans family tradition bringing food, art, and music together for a fun filled weekend. Local restaurants provide the delicious tastes of New Orleans while artisans showcase handmade works of art including recycled jewelry. With a diverse group of supporters and exhibitors exploring conservation issues, Earth Fest provides a fun way for Zoo visitors to learn about saving the environment.
Mid-March. 1 day event.
Sponsorship Levels $2,000 - $15,000
Attendance 18,000+
Audience Area families with children

Mother’s Day

Audubon Zoo
Moms of all ages get into the Zoo for free on Mother’s Day! Visitors can shop at the craft tents and pick out something special for their mother. Special treats are available for purchase so Mom doesn’t have to cook on her special day. Grammy Award-winning Artist Irma Thomas and the Professionals take the stage in an emotion-filled performance, singing directly to the moms in the audience. Their concert is filled with personal anecdotes, old favorites and hot new hits.
Mother's Day Sunday. 1 day event.
Sponsorship Levels $1,000 - $5,000
Attendance 12,000+
Audience Area families with children

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium's ANT-iversary

Come celebrate bugs of all kinds and visit with special bug guests. Learn about bugs and try some buggy cake and cookies!
Mid-June. 2 day event.
Sponsorship Levels $1,000 - $2,000
Attendance 1,000+
Audience Area families with children

Boo at the Zoo

Audubon Zoo
Bring your little ghosts and goblins to Boo at the Zoo! The annual four day Audubon Zoo extravaganza is a safe, fun-filled Halloween event for children up to age 12, featuring trick-or-treat houses with candy, the Mombassa Ghost Train, a haunted house, games with prizes and entertainment.
Late-October.  4 day event.
Sponsorship Levels $2,000 - $15,000
Attendance 20,000+
Audience Area families with children

Jingle Bugs

Audubon Insectarium
Jingle Bugs offers the perfect way to start off the holiday season right. Guests will have a chance to meet Santa, attend a unique insect-themed reading of The Cajun Night Before Christmas, and make one of a kind bug ornaments. Staff entomologists will teach guests how various insects survive the chilly holiday weather. Also, guests will want to stop by Bug Appétit where they will be able to sample some deliciously hoppy holiday treats.
Second Saturday in December. 1 day event.
Sponsorship Levels $500 - $1,000
Attendance 1,000+
Audience Area families with children

Celebración Latina

Audubon Zoo
Audubon Nature Institute and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies join forces to host Celebración Latina. This event includes live music, authentic Latin American cuisine and children's activities. 5,000 free tickets are distributed to local schools, churches, community organizations and Hispanic community.
Mid-October. 1 day event.
Sponsorship Levels $10,000 - Presenting
$5,000 - Contributing
$2,500 - On-site
Attendance 6,000+
Audience Hispanic Americans, age 20-55 with children, locals and day-trippers (50-100 mile radius)

Soul Fest

Audubon Zoo
Soul Fest at Audubon Zoo is two-day family oriented Black History celebration. It includes live music, Soul and Creole cuisine, wellness, children's activities and arts and craft artisans. 10,000 free admission coupons are distributed to local public schools.
First weekend of March. 2 day event.
Sponsorship Levels $20,000 - Presenting
$5,000 - Contributing
$2,500 - On-site
Attendance 20,000+
Audience African Americans, age 20-55 with children, income of $25k+, locals and day trippers (50-100 mile radius)

Get Yah Praise On

Audubon Zoo
Get Yah Praise On is part of a month long Black History celebration at Audubon Zoo. This event features local gospel artists including acclaimed gospel artist Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr. and offers an opportunity to engage target audience and connect with prominent local ministries. 7,000 - $5 coupons are distributed to local churches.
Late-February. 1 day event.
Sponsorship Levels $10,000 - Presenting
$5,000 - Contributing
$2,500 - On-site
Attendance 8,000+
Audience African Americans, age 20-55 with children, income of $25k+, locals and day trippers (50-100 mile radius)

Member Events

Audubon Nature Institute members are 30,000 households strong, and Member Events are how we say thank you for being part of the Audubon Family. Seeking a Presenting Sponsor to give Audubon Members exclusive opportunities to interact with the Gulf South’s favorite Zoo and Aquarium, supporting a cornerstone of the community and creating memories that last a lifetime. Member Events include: ZOObilation at Audubon Zoo on the second Wednesday in June; SEAlebration at Audubon Aquarium on the first Wednesday in August; and Holiday Shopping Discounts between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Presenting Sponsor will gain distinctive recognition and presence with a key audience, the guests who actively visit, purchase, promote and love Audubon venues.
Sponsorship Levels $10,000 - $50,000
Attendance 2,500 - 6,000
Audience Audubon Members

Audubon Nature Institute's purpose of Celebrating the Wonders of Nature is woven into our vision of creating a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. This vision is fulfilled by eight objectives that support our mission:

  • Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality
  • Exhibit the diversity of wildlife
  • Preserve native Louisiana habitats
  • Educate our diverse audience about the natural world
  • Enhance the care and survival of wildlife through research and conservation
  • Provide opportunities for recreation in natural settings
  • Operate a financially self-sufficient collection of museums and parks
  • Weave quality entertainment through the guest experience

Audubon Nature Institute’s family of museums and parks include:

  • Audubon Park and Riverview
  • Audubon Zoo
  • Woldenberg Riverfront Park
  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
  • Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center
  • Entergy IMAX® Theatre
  • Audubon Louisiana Nature Center
  • Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species
  • Audubon Wilderness Park
  • Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
  • Audubon Nature Institute Foundation

The Commission is, in effect, a board of trustees. Appointed to a six-year term by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council, the Commission is composed of 24 registered voters of the City of New Orleans. It retains all authority granted to it by Louisiana State Act No.191 of 1914. It has specific authority to approve and control design and development of its projects. All monies from bond or tax revenues, approved by the voters of New Orleans for the Audubon Commission, are administered by the Commission. Title to all improvements, furnishings and equipment at the facilities remains in the name of the City of New Orleans via the Audubon Commission.

Calendar Minutes

J. Kelly Duncan: President
Daniel O. Conwill IV: First Vice President
Linda G. Baum: Secretary
K. Barton Farris, MD: Treasurer

Judy Bajoie
Gayle Benson
Frances Fayard
Rashida Ferdinand
Ashley Francis
Deborah D. Harkins
Bruce R. Hoefer, Jr.
Wilmer Jacobs
Beth Lambert
Olivia Manning
Peter Moss
Field Ogden, MD
Pamela Ryan
Charles C. Teamer
Tom Watson
Carol B. Wise
D. Brent Wood

The Audubon Nature Institute Board oversees Audubon Nature Institute, the 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation currently managing day to day operations for all of the Commission’s facilities through a management contract between the Board and the Audubon Commission. All employees work for the Audubon Nature Institute, Inc. Elected by the 30,000 membership households of Audubon Nature Institute, at least 75% of the Institute’s 32 Board members live in Orleans Parish and at least 25% of them are minorities. Members are elected for no more than two consecutive four-year terms. Funds generated by the Institute’s operations and fund raising efforts are administered by the Institute. Certified audited statements of the Audubon Nature Institute are provided to the Audubon Commission on an annual basis.

Meet Our Board Calendar Minutes

Leslie P. Gottsegen, DDS: Chairman
Joseph A. Jaeger, Jr.: First Vice Chair
Christopher Bardell: Second Vice Chair
Katherine B. Werner: Recording Secretary
Ronald Markham: Corresponding Secretary
Vincent J. Palumbo: Treasurer
Lynes R. Sloss: Parliamentarian
Stephanie S. Feoli: Immediate Past Chair

Byron A. Adams, Jr.
Robert W. Brown
Jennifer D. Charpentier, MD
Cecile V. Colhoun
Paul Fine
John F. French
Jeffrey B. Goldring
Jennifer S. Heebe
André V. Hooper
Deirdre O. Hooper, MD
Stephen Kupperman
F. Theodore Le Clercq
Nolan A. Marshall, III
John Payne
J. Stephen Perry
Julie Quinn
Charles L. Rice, Jr.
Mark C. Romig
Virginia F. Rowan
Michael O. Smith
Allison B. Tiller
Thomas D. Westfeldt II

The Audubon Nature Institute Foundation is a 501(c)3 support organization whose mission is to manage and increase the Audubon Nature Institute endowment while it provides additional operating revenues for Audubon’s facilities. The Board consists of eight members, of which one is the Chairman of the Audubon Nature Institute Board. The other seven members are elected by the Board membership for a three-year term. Audubon Nature Institute Foundation William A. Goldring, Chairman Leslie Gottsegen, DDS, Vice Chairman Linda G. Baum Catherine H. Cary Stephanie S. Feoli Joseph A. Jaeger, Jr. Peter E. Moss II Charles C. Teamer, Sr., Ph.D.

L. Ronald Forman, President and Chief Executive Officer

A past president of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, Ron Forman began his tenure with Audubon Park and Zoological Garden in 1972 as City Hall liaison. Made Deputy Director in 1973 and Executive Director in 1977, the major transformation of Audubon Zoo from an "urban ghetto" to an "urban Eden" was underway.

Today, Ron Forman oversees a family of attractions and facilities that make up the dynamic Audubon Nature Institute, leading a staff of 600 people in the Audubon mission of conservation and education.

Forman serves locally on the New Orleans Business Council, is Chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District and the Immediate Past Chairman of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau. A past member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Museums, he is also on the Advisory Committee of Chimp Haven.

Read more about Ron Forman

Audubon Nature Institute Senior Staff:

  • Ron Forman—President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Bill Kurtz—Senior Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff
  • Larry Rivarde—Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Zoo and Park
  • Laurie Conkerton—Executive Vice President for Development
  • Richard Buchsbaum—Vice President of Food & Beverage and Special Events
  • Clyde Butler—Senior Vice President of Construction
  • Joel Hamilton—Vice President and General Curator
  • Steve Dorand -Senior Vice President of Design & Exhibitry
  • Chimene Grant—Vice President of Marketing
  • John Hewitt—Senior Vice President/Director of Animal Husbandry 
  • Debra McGuire—Vice President/Gift Shops
  • Toni Mobley—Vice President of Human Resources
  • David NiebuhrVice President of Education
  • Rich Toth - Acting Managing Director, Downtown Facilities

Audubon Nature Institute is committed to transparency. As a successful example of the public/private partnership model, Audubon values its role as a steward of the public trust. A fiscally responsible 501(c)3 non-profit, Audubon Nature Institute is an enduring and ethical community partner which effectively manages its collection of attractions and facilities on behalf of the City of New Orleans.

Magic, wonder, connection—Audubon Nature Institute attractions inspire these feelings. Connection to nature; a sense of wonder at the incredible world around us; the magic of the continuing circle of life—each visit to an Audubon attraction is filled with all this.

Audubon's guests have grown to expect the sense of wonder that comes with the discovery of new and exciting features. These capital projects are important for a number of reasons. New features throughout Audubon Nature Institute generate visitation, which in turn generates revenue to keep Audubon at the leading edge of conservation, education and quality family attractions. New projects implement the latest in enrichment and technology, incorporating newest and best practices in management for Audubon's cherished collection of animals, many of which are critical to breeding programs to stem the tide of extinction. These projects also fuel the economy of our region, providing jobs and economic impact.

Recently Completed Projects:


Capital Projects In Progress:


Capital Projects Planned for the Future:

  • Cool Zoo III
  • Cooper Plaza lighting
  • Asian Elephants III including new tiger habitat, lorikeets and primates
  • Jaguar Jungle II with nocturnal house
  • Louisiana Swamp Cafe improvements
  • African Savannah
  • Great Maya Reef
  • Penguin Parade
  • Wetlands Gallery



  • 2008: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is the first major attraction to open in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, adding more fun and foot traffic to Canal Street.
  • 2006: Audubon Aquarium reopens the following spring with the joyous return of its penguins, signaling recovery is indeed underway.
  • 2005: Hurricane Katrina is a heart-stopping milestone. In November, tears flow as Audubon Zoo welcomes weary residents back to their Zoo in an emotional homecoming.
  • 2003: Audubon invites educators and community groups to take advantage of the Jeri and Robert Nims Community Center, a community meeting room and resource center at Audubon Zoo.
  • 2001: Guests are welcomed into the heart of Audubon Zoo with a dynamic new front gate, including a palm-line promenade and a large, colorful flock of flamingos.
  • 2001: The challenging Audubon Golf Course changes the face of golfing in New Orleans when it is renovated and opened to the public in Audubon Park.
  • 2000 : An Audubon Park tradition is renewed with the construction of Audubon Tea Room, replacing an iconic building destroyed by fire in the 1970s.
  • 1998: A stunning example of innovation in immersive exhibitry, Jaguar Jungle opens at Audubon Zoo with spider monkeys, anteaters and jaguars within a setting filled with authentic reproductions of ancient Central American structures.
  • 1996: Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species brings new focus to the Survival Center. The Research Center logs 26 scientific firsts and earns Audubon Nature Institute worldwide accolades in conservation.
  • 1995: Entergy IMAX® Theatre opens on the New Orleans Riverfront.
  • 1994: Audubon assumes operation of Louisiana Nature Center.
  • 1993: Audubon opens a secluded 1200-acre breeding center for endangered species, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center.
  • 1990: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas opens and introduces family tourism to downtown New Orleans.
  • 1986: Voters approve a $25 million bond issue to build Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, located in a brand new space that took the dilapidated New Orleans riverfront and, for the first time, opened it up and renovated it so everyone could enjoy it.
  • 1960s1970s: Audubon Zoo suffers severe disrepair. The public demands closure unless changes happen. Friends of the Zoo forms, and Audubon Zoo is on its way to world-class. As a private, not-for-profit, Audubon Zoo generates operating funds from revenue earned, managing the Zoo (and future attractions and facilities) on behalf of the City of New Orleans. Cities nationwide take notice as the Zoo opens natural habitat exhibits where animals thrive and attendance soars.