Monday, October 8, 2007

NOLA Project Update

The NOLA Project Update

I have been passionately and personally involved in the struggle of the lower ninth ward in New Orleans to recover their land, and keep their culture intact. I knew I wanted to visit the area, but not as a tourist. Then it came to me like a vision, I knew I had to go there as an artist, paint and document, and bring something of this place and time back with me to share with others.

My daughter has been volunteering for the past 5 months in the lower 9th. Through her I have become very connected to the tragedy that continues to befall these folk 2 years after the levees broke. Having this personal connection has been the catalyst for me and I will be creating a body of work that will hopefully help other people connect with what is happening and what should be happening there.

I will be in New Orleans Oct. 10-17. While there I will be creating artwork, blogging and uploading photos daily here. My daughter will be my escort. Below is an outline the areas we will be visiting and painting:

Outline of the Painting and Blogging Locations

Lower 9th Landscape–painting and trying to get a sense of the area–what has been and what the future might hold. Plan to paint at the site of a levee breach

Survivors Village–Survivor's Village is a tent city erected on June 3, 2006 by the residents of New Orleans public housing. Joined by other public housing residents, the residents of St. Bernard Public Housing Development initiated the tent city as a response to the federal government's continued undermining of the residents' rights to return to their homes and resume their leases, which is guaranteed by the UN International Policy on Internally Displaced Persons.

The Wetlands Restoration Project–a project of Common Ground Relief Organization. This project seeks to rebuild the destroyed wetlands that are crucial to absorbing storm surge.

Common Ground Relief Headquarters–a grassroots organization that has been there from day one. Many college age people flocked to Common Ground and offered immense help in gutting and mold abatement for example.

Bayou Communities–though not part of the lower 9th, this is an impoverished area that little is heard about. They are struggling to survive post hurricane. Painting site.

The Eco Green House and Habitat For Humanity home sites–painting at the construction sites and finding out about the reconstruction that is going on through volunteer and philanthropic efforts. Painting site.

Holy Cross Neighborhood Association–a very active area in the lower 9th. I have been contacted through my blog by another blogger from Kansas who is a volunteer for Holy Cross. Making a connection through the online community is another important part of this project.
Displaying the Work.

After returning from New Orleans, the work created will be displayed online at The blog will be ongoing and will also contain photos and links for more information.

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful support I have received!!
Its not too late to buy a bracelet if you haven’t already as many expenses have yet to be covered)

Next I will be talking to you from New Orleans!

Best Wishes,


trixy said...

Hey Suze! you are a champion for your cause! I toast to you and Brandon....!!
Completely enjoyed all the blog writings, pastels and paintings...actaully were they all pastels?
and pix to very sensive portrayal of a surrendered isolated travesty of america...How much would it cost for a poorly paid teacher like me to go down for 5-7 days do you think? food, hotel, transport etc....are you going back again?
if so , when and would you want company? Love to you and Brandon Tracy

Suzanne Campbell Anderson said...

Thanks so much Tracy! I am so glad you read the blogs. It is sooo hard to express all the difficulties and problems and the gigantic scope of it all. It frustrates me to no end what this government is up to. I felt bad leaving but am glad to be home.

As far as going down there, you could do it for pretty cheap. What I would recommend is going down and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. They are very organized and get a lot done. For $100 a week you can stay at their “camp” I would love to go, but it won’t be till, like maybe, spring after the guide is printed. I would love to have company.

My airfare from Portland was only $240 total. I had to spend for at least one meal a day for the two of us but it didn’t cost too much, rest of the meals I had in my little kitchen. The rental was something I got on Craig’s list ($330 for the week). It was ok—no windows, but in an awesome building.

New Orleans was an intense and moving experience--I would love to go again and try to help.--Suzanne