World Art Project
In December 2005, 16 professional performers from New York City, traveled by bus to the Hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast to perform in the most neglected and forgotten areas. We called the project, “World Art” and invited local choirs, musicians and singers to join us for a week, while we brought music, holiday spirit, toys and supplies to those desperately in need.
Partnering with grassroots aid group Disaster Corps (www.disastercorps.org), our shows took us all over the Gulf including Slidell, Louisiana, and the ruins of Mississippi towns-Waveland, Kiln, and Bay St. Louis, which were demolished by the eye of Katrina. We sang in tent cities, feeding stations, churches, libraries and a FEMA distribution center. The tour concluded with a memorable concert in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
For us, New York City-based performers, the first Christmas after Hurricane Katrina presented a special opportunity to repay the efforts, generosity, and goodwill that gulf coast residents gave to New Yorkers in the days and months after September 11th. Countless people from the Gulf Coast, and around the globe, stopped their lives, left their families and came to New York to volunteer in a disaster zone. “In the dead of winter after 9/11, a Mardi Gras group from New Orleans parked right outside of the Ground Zero perimeter and set up shop. You could smell their delicious jambalaya for blocks,” said Liza Politi, Statement Arts Co-founder/Creative Director. “It was very cold outside but we all made an effort to spend a few minutes each day at their truck. There was music and laughter and for a few days a bit of the Big Easy made living in a very hard place a little more comfortable. We wanted to give that feeling back this holiday season.”
The World Art Project is an extension of a program we started during the first holiday season after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Singers of all ages came together to visit many “forgotten” NYC Firehouses, particularly those in the outer boroughs that few people visited. To chronicle our tour and the shocking situation we witnessed on the ground in these communities, World Art performers wrote, took photographs and posted video clips on the web. To experience the journey, please check out our blog. katrinabayoutour.blogspot.com
For more information: read a letter from Liza and a note from our friends down South