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About Me

Richard Bienvenu

Hi! I'm Richard Bienvenu.

If you've read some of this site you'll get an idea of who I am. But I thought maybe a little bio page might help give you a better idea of my background.

Born and raised a New Orleanian I was a resident of Washington State for 16 years living off the land, raising our own food and animals and building a solar/hydro electric home. (I say "our" because I was married at the time)

I received a BA in Communications at Spring Hill College, a Jesuit institution in Mobile, Alabama. I received an MFA in Film Production at USC Film School and a film I directed at film school won second place at the Chicago Film Festival. I taught theatre and screenwriting at East Los Angeles College. I've directed and acted for stage.

In Spain I got my first experience teaching ESL at Columbus International College (the school is no longer in operation). I found that I really loved teaching and really loved the perks that go along with it.

The being in an academic environment, friendship with teachers and students, learning about new languages and cultures, the respect teachers receive, the mental challenge of teaching and conveying information are all the things which add to making teaching a rewarding career.

Also, I like the self-improvement aspect of it. For me it's about learning new things, self-control and dealing with different personalities and trying to bring that all together in an effective and supportive classroom environment.

From 2003-2005 I taught at Modern Languages Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana an institution founded by a Mexican businessman in 1963. This school had students from all over the world and had for me been one of the most rewarding jobs. I didn't see it as a job really because it was too much fun. Hurricane Katrina changed all that and after 43 years the school closed down. We were all saddened by this. Now New Orleans has very few places where one can go to study ESL. Even the big universities closed their ESL programs.

In 2006 and 2007 I taught ESL in a special program for a group of Costa Ricans in the music department at Loyola University. It was specifically designed for them to pass their TOEFL test. Once they passed the test our jobs were finished. Oh well. I really enjoyed teaching at Loyola, it was a great experience and another plus I can add to my resume.

I am a successful musician as well and perform once a month at The Neutral Ground, a local New Orleans coffeehouse. I am a singer/songwriter who plays the guitar and piano. I have two CDs out, one of all original solo piano work called Tone Poems, the other of Nouveau Folk Music titled Awaken the Dream with a singing partner who is a Cherokee medicine woman.

I love living in New Orleans, love living in the South. Love the tropical breezes, the music, the food, the hospitality, the festivals, the traditions, the architecture and of course the music. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

New Orleans, LA
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2008 Richard Bienvenu