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Friday, August 21, 2015

Monday "Katrina at 10" panel: How did local culture fare?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 2:07 PM

The Hot 8 Brass Band. Founder Bennie Pete will be on an Aug. 24 panel discussing changes in the city's cultural scene since the storm and the flood. - SHAWN COLIN
  • SHAWN COLIN
  • The Hot 8 Brass Band. Founder Bennie Pete will be on an Aug. 24 panel discussing changes in the city's cultural scene since the storm and the flood.


Many, if not most, people assume that New Orleans’ rich culture survived Hurricane Katrina more or less intact, perhaps because local music clubs and other cultural institutions have returned. But the torchbearers of local culture themselves — the musicians, artists, Mardi Gras Indians and others — often tell a different story.

The Crescent City Cultural Continuity Conservancy (C5) will present a two-hour panel discussion Monday, Aug. 24, on the state (and future) of New Orleans culture 10 years after Katrina. “Ten Years After: the State of New Orleans Music and Culture” starts at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Basin Street Station, 501 Basin St.

The announcement from C5 is under the jump.

A decade after the federal levees failed, nearly drowning New Orleans, the city’s music culture has survived. But in the face of excessive parade fees, ongoing harassment of musicians and Mardi Gras Indians, noise ordinance disputes, zoning problems, and an expanding economy that has left most of black New Orleans behind, can New Orleans culture thrive?

This panel discussion will feature artists at the grassroots of New Orleans’ indigenous cultural traditions. It will explore the challenges and opportunities in post-Katrina New Orleans for brass bands, jazz musicians, Social Aid & Pleasure clubs, Mardi Gras Indian gangs and other culture bearers of the city.

There will be a question-and-answer period following the panel discussion.

Panelists include:

Evan Christopher, clarinetist, composer and advocate for New Orleans culture and the city’s indigenous music traditions.

Lolis Eric Elie, author, former Times-Picayune columnist, co-producer of the documentary “Faubourg Treme: the Untold Story of Black New Orleans,” and story editor for HBO’s Treme series.

Jordan Hirsch, writer and advocate for New Orleans’ cultural tradition bearers, founding Director of Sweet Home New Orleans, and staff writer for HBO’s TREME.

Tamara Jackson, president of the Social Aid & Pleasure Club Task Force, president of the VIP Ladies & Kids, and executive director of Silence is Violence, a nonprofit campaign for peace in New Orleans.

Tamara Jackson, director of the Neighborhood Development Foundation, founding member of the Black Men of Labor, and former spy boy with the Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indian gang.

Howard Miller, Chief of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indian gang, president of the Mardi Gras Indian Council, and veteran carpenter.

Bennie Pete, founding member, leader & sousaphone player in the Hot 8 Brass Band.

Moderator: Larry Blumenfeld, writer on music and culture for The Wall Street Journal. His writing on post-Katrina New Orleans has also appeared in the Village Voice, Salon, Truthdig, and others.

C5 is a Louisiana not-for-profit corporation established for the purpose of educating and galvanizing support for the continuation of New Orleans’ tradition of rich cultural expression.

For more information, contact Ashlye Keaton at 504-782-8271.

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