An impassioned panel and audience discussion that took place in New Orleans on August 24, 2015.
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 featured artists at the grassroots of New Orleans’ indigenous cultural traditions. They explored 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. Audience members, some of them important cultural figures themselves, avidly participated.
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.
President, the Social Aid & Pleasure Club Task Force and the VIP Ladies & Kids; Executive Director of Silence is Violence, a nonprofit campaign for peace in New Orleans
Founding member, leader & sousaphone, Hot 8 Brass Band
Clarinetist, composer and advocate for New Orleans culture and the city’s indigenous
Chief, Creole Wild West; president of the Mardi Gras Indian Council; veteran carpenter
Director, the Neighborhood Development Foundation; founding member of the Black Men
of Labor; former spy boy with the Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indian gang
Writer and advocate for New Orleans’ cultural tradition bearers; founding Director of Sweet
Home New Orleans, staff writer for HBO's Treme
Lolis Eric Elie
Author, former Times-Picayune columnist; co-producer, Faubourg Treme: the Untold Story of
Black New Orleans; story editor, HBO’s Treme
The program was presented at Basin St. Station by The Crescent City Cultural Continuity Conservancy (C5), 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.