Throughout this Beatles piano adventure, there have been many “Y’all ain’t gonna believe this…” kind of moments. Today, we added more to that list. The day began with an email...
It’s the Roman numeral for “ten.” And in 2015, it’s what follows the word “Katrina,” marking the tenth anniversary of the most catastrophic natural disaster in America’s history. It was the storm that made August 29, 2005 the gauge by which those impacted would come to define their lives – pre-K or post-K.
It was the chilling symbol spray painted on the doors or walls of homes throughout the gulf south area as search and rescue crews went door to door looking for survivors. After each home was searched, the quadrants of the big, orange X-Codes indicated, along with other data, how many bodies, if any, had been found.
On August 29, 2015, that X became the symbol of rebirth. Of crossing Katrina off our calendars and out of the forefront of our memories, so we can instead commemorate a decade of rebuilding, of recovery and moving forward. Hope for Habitat: Katrina X (KX) recognizes the can-do spirit and the sheer determination of the storm’s warriors to overcome the obstacles.
We will never forget that past, the pain, the losses, or the devastation. But we will not let such define who we are or all that we can be.
Pictured in exhibit graphic: The Circle of Life mosaic by Rose Marie Sand.
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About the exhibit and the artists
This exhibit is presented by Artists & Causes in partnership with the East St. Tammany Cultural Economy Coalition, an independent coalition of all genres of artists, arts organizations and the broad scope of commerce affected by the cultural economy. By working together, members can continue to foster the growth of the arts as an economic engine and to build awareness of the need to support artists as well as the causes they represent.
Each of the CEC artists featured in Hope for Habitat: Katrina X has his or her own post-disaster story to tell. Collectively, the artists are sharing their talents to benefit East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity, as the local affiliate continues its mission to provide affordable homes for deserving families.
Hope for Habitat: Katrina X works were exhibited in the Slidell Cultural Center in City Hall from July 24 through August 8, 2015. Some of the works include the addition of autographs provided by iconic performing artists and celebrities as a show of support for the recovery and the cause. The first round of auctions took place on August 29, 2015, on the tenth anniversary of Katrina. Additional autographed works were auctioned via Charity Buzz. Auctions were also offered during the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity’s annual “Home Is Where the Art Is” gala on November 20, 2015.
Featured artists: Connie Born, Devin Boutwell, Kenny Bridges, Mary Christopher, Charlotte Lowry-Collins, Tami Curtis, John Doherty, Phil Galatas, Joel Geiger, Carol Hallock, Mandie Manzano, Kelly Landrum-Hammell, Nelle Landry, Michael Reed, Al Reisz, Adam Sambola, Rose Marie Sand, Caron Sharpe, Stephan Wanger and event curator, Kim Bergeron.
Hope for Habitat: Katrina X is much more than an art exhibit and auction. It’s an opportunity for the world to become part of the celebration of recovery and renewal. To that end, we are encouraging people to send to us uplifting messages of hope and support, some of which will be incorporated into exhibit works, others which will be included in the Hope for Habitat: Katrina X exhibit book showcasing the artists, their works and their stories.
To be part of the celebration, please mail your sentiments to Hope for Habitat, P. O. Box 3343, Slidell, LA 70459. Submissions can be a single word or a phrase, a full length letter, or anything in between, or a sketch symbolic of renewal or hope. You can use the downloadable Rebirth Leaf or any non-glossy paper of your choice. For optimum visibility, use of markers is recommended for signatures.
Please include your first name, city and state. Last name is optional. By submitting your messages, you are providing permission for use of your submission within the exhibit artwork and book.
We reserve the right to decline the use of messages deemed inappropriate or offensive.
Rebirth: the community artwork. Now in creation.
Visitors to the Hope for Habitat: Katrina X exhibit were invited to share a farewell message to Katrina on art boards on display with the exhibit. As August 29, 2015, marked the end of a decade of post-Katrina recovery, August 30 brought the beginning of a new chapter, celebrating the recovery, resilience and rebirth. This has been commemorated with the creation of the Rebirth tree, a large scale, mixed media work of art built upon those farewell messages and the messages of hope received from around the world. The Rebirth tree has grown, leaf by leaf, with each signed leaf representing hope.
To date, signed leaves and messages of hope have been received from individuals in 26 states and numerous countries from around the world. Celebrity submissions include Ian Somerhalder, Tony Hawk, Evander Holyfield, Ted Nugent, India Arie, BernNadette Stanis, Super Bowl Champion Phil Villapiano, Heismann Trophy Winner Johnny Rodgers and A&E/Swamp People’s Terral Evans and Johnny Panks. The Rebirth tree also will be auctioned in support of East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity.
About Slidell, Louisiana and East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity
Slidell is a suburb located just north of New Orleans. In 2005, it was the Louisiana city hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, with the eye of the storm passing directly through the community of 30,000. The storm flooded 40% of the city and damaging or totally destroying over 90% of the city’s homes. Sadly, even ten years following the storm, some of Slidell’s residents have been unable to return to their homes.
But there’s always hope. A big part of that hope has come from East St. Tammany for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. The East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Slidell, Louisiana was established in 1992 to serve the communities of Slidell, Lacombe, and Pearl River, Louisiana.
Prior to Katrina, ESTHFH had built 24 homes in the community. In the aftermath of the storm, the affiliate has since renovated 13 Habitat homes that were damaged by the storm and has provided new homes for an additional 106 families. To date, East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity has served 133 families in eastern St. Tammany Parish through the development of strong partnerships with more than 100 businesses and churches on both national and local levels. In 2012, the organization added a Veterans Build program to its community initiatives, and the first veteran’s build home has just reached completion.
To learn more about Slidell, see the Telly Award winning post-Katrina video here: Day of Destruction.
Support of this effort, the artists represented and the cause was made possible by Hope for Habitat: Katrina X sponsors.
Complete information is available here: Hope for Habitat: Katrina X Sponsorship Opportunities.
Thanks to our sponsors for making this event possible.
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Inspired by New Orleans' own Harry Connick, Jr. This oversized ceramic bowl features Adam Sambola's iconic "RedBean the Crawfish" encircled by piano keys and performing the song near and dear...
Autographed by Terral Evans and Johnny Panks of the History Channel's hit show, "Swamp People." SOLD The Mardi Gras MisChief Swamp Lady in Green is ready to emerge from the...
For many Katrina warriors, words provided a much needed escape and post-storm therapy. Acclaimed poet Dennis Formento presents a literary take on the aftermath and recovery. If You’re Waiting for...
On behalf of all of the Hope for Habitat artists and East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity, thank you to the many sponsors whose support made this event possible. ...
Public Relations Society of America – New Orleans Fleurish Award/Best of Category, Social Media – 2015; Award of Excellence – 2016; Certificate of Merit 2017; Award of Excellence/Blog Post – 2017
Public Relations Association of Louisiana – New Orleans’ Flambeaux Award, “Best Website” – 2016
Press Club of New Orleans Excellence In Journalism Awards Finalist – Lifestyle Blog – 2017
This website initially was created to chronicle the quest for autographs from the two surviving Beatles on a piano created for East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity.
While the blog presents the adventures (and misadventures) of this epic journey, the actual signings are covered in the posts on The Beatles Adventure page, titled "Starr Struck," (October 18) and "Sir Paul Says, 'Yes'," (November 24.)
Click the photo of Ringo Starr for a direct link to the auction listing at CharityBuzz.com. Proceeds from the auction have enabled East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity to provide an affordable home for a deserving veteran and his or her family.
Thank you to all who have been part of this journey!