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Katrina, Katrina

The "Katrina, Katrina" project is a month-long commemoration of the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It includes multimedia and photographic exhibits throughout campus, as well as several displays about the hurricane and its aftermath, including the response of authors and musicians to the disaster; the impact the hurricane had on displaced musicians; Katrina-inspired poetry and historic New Orleans sheet music from the Harris Collection; a virtual exhibit about the impact of the hurricane damage on Gulf Coast libraries; and a special exhibit of rare historical documents relevant to New Orleans and Louisiana. To this end we are utilizing space at the John Hay, the Rock, the John Carter Brown, Hillel Gallery, Grant Recital Hall and the Orwig Music Library. Our hope is that these high traffic areas will provide an opportunity for students and staff to stop and reflect on what happened and, just as importantly, what still needs to be done.

In our efforts to make this a campus-wide event, we have collaborated not only with the entire library system but also with the Brown University Bookstore, the Brown Faculty Club, and several academic departments.

  • The Literary Arts Program will present a staged reading of Greg Moss's Katrina-inspired play "The Argument”.
  • Sociology Professor John Logan will give a talk about his recent work studying the social impact of Katrina on New Orleans.
  • The Brown Film Society will be showing several classic New Orleans films during September.
  • The Faculty Club chef will be offering Cajun and Creole foods on the menu throughout the month!

Our collaboration with the Bookstore includes an author reading and book signing by New Orleans author/musician Louis Maistros, reading from his book "The Sound of Building Coffins". In addition to his book signing, Mr. Maistros will also lead an informal discussion on Jazz in New Orleans and how the hurricane and the city has influenced his song-writing. And the Bookstore’s Cub Explorer program features two Katrina-related events for children: a talk about pets rescued during Katrina, and a demonstration by a local representative of Habitat for Humanity.

The final "Katrina, Katrina" event is a musical tribute to New Orleans in the Salomon Center on September 25th. This gala fundraising event includes a street band parade through campus, a performance by Matt Leder and his Jazz Ensemble, a dance performance by Michelle Bach-Coulibaly and her dancers, a slide show presentation of before/after pictures of New Orleans, and a brief documentary about the Brown students who have volunteered in the Gulf over the past 4 years. A gala champagne reception for patrons at the Faculty Club follows the performance.

The goal of the “Katrina, Katrina” project is three-fold:

  • to acknowledge the generous volunteerism of Brown's staff and students in the Gulf following the hurricane
  • to raise awareness that there is still much rebuilding to be done
  • to raise money for Habitat for Humanity in the Gulf

With the exception of the fundraiser performance & gala reception on September 25th, all events are free. Monies taken in at the fundraiser will be sent to Habitat for Humanity in the Gulf.

“Katrina, Katrina” is made possible in part by a grant from the Brown University Creative Arts Council, with funding from The Sara and Robert A. Reichley Fund, the Department of Music, the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, and Hillel House. We also acknowledge the generous assistance of the Brown University Library, the Literary Arts Program, the Brown Faculty Club, and the Brown University Bookstore.