(CNS) – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is scheduled to complete a visit to New Orleans today, where he is participating in the World Cultural Economic Forum, then fly to Louisville, Ky., to attend meetings of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Kentucky Derby, an aide said.
Villaraigosa gave opening remarks and attended forum sessions Thursday, according to Peter Sanders, his senior press secretary. The forum, held annually in New Orleans, highlights the role of culture as an economic social force that drives the creation of vibrant cities, according to organizers.
Villaraigosa attended in his role as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which partnered with New Orleans city officials for the first time “to create a unique platform for mayors from around the world to come together to exchange ideas, build new partnerships between their cities and shape the international discussion on culture as an effective tool to spur innovation,” forum organizers said in a statement.
The Conference of Mayors paid for both portions of the trip. Villaraigosa paid for his ticket to Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, Sanders said.
The trip is Villaraigosa’s second in about a week. He was in Washington, D.C., Saturday and Sunday to attend the White House Correspondents Association dinner and appear on the CBS public affairs program “Face the Nation.”