What do you do when your home away from home is filled with mold, mud and 7 ft high floodlines? How do you begin to rebuild? These were some of the questions I had, sitting at a table in the Mid-City staple, Liuzza’s, talking to… read more

Derek Rankins, trainer at the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), gave his own history of Katrina and its aftermath. During the interview, Derek recounted his personal Katrina experience as a long process of evacuation, displacement and return, and its impact on people like… read more

Jenny Hamilton, Executive Director of the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA), chats with me about her struggles and ultimate determination and passion to get herself, her non-profit organization, and her wonderful dancers through Hurricane Katrina. Interview took place at The Chevron Studio at Lyons NORDC… read more

Audubon Zoo: A Family Affair

February 18th, 2014

William Walkenhorst describes the role Audubon Zoo played in his life pre- and post-Katrina. Raised in New Orleans, Walkenhorst recounts memories he created there as a child, accompanying his mother to work at the Zoo, and later working at the Kids’ Camp at the Zoo… read more

In this interview, I speak with Joan Long, Technical Director of the New Orleans Ballet Association, about how she dealt with the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, her absence and then return to New Orleans, and even how her love of landscape architecture helped the… read more

When everything you have is gone, when your life fundamentally changes to where the only thing you know for sure about your family’s future is insecurity, to where do you turn? Longtime Liuzza’s waitress Rosa “Lola” Perron discusses the impact of Hurricane Katrina on her… read more

Robert Washington, an oyster shucker at Casamento’s Restaurant, sat down and spoke with me about his experience with Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Washington was one of the many victims of Katrina that was displaced because of the storm. During this interview, you will hear about the… read more

Amy Schully, a former student at St. Paul’s, was in 6th grade when Katrina hit. In this interview, she talks about the impact hurricane Katrina had on her education and her connection to the St. Paul’s community. She also discusses long-term changes she has seen… read more

An interview with Greg Lambousy, Director of Collections at the Louisiana State Museum during Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Lambousy was one of the original employees of the museum to return in the immediate aftermath of the storm. In this interview, he discusses the process of restoring… read more

Charles Pfeifer shares his oral history of Hurricane Katrina from the unique perspective of a member of the “Storm Rider” team for Audubon Zoo. Enduring the storm while bunkered down in the Reptile Room of the Zoo, he offers insight into the realities of Katrina’s… read more

What is tradition’s place in a changing city? What is the future of French bread in the new New Orleans? Fourth-generation New Orleans baker and po’ boy advocate Jason Gendusa discusses the impacts of Hurricane Katrina on his business, his clientele, his family, and his… read more

Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Audubon Zoo, Larry Rivarde Sr., discusses the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Zoo. He reveals the various challenges the Zoo faced in enduring and preparing for opening post-Katrina, procedural changes that were made as a result of… read more

The owner of Casamento’s Restaurant, Charles “CJ” Gerdes, shared with me his story of Hurricane Katrina. Thankfully, Casamento’s Restaurant was one of the first restaurants to reopen after the storm. However, Mr. Gerdes was faced with the heartbreak of reopening the restaurant after having lost… read more

In this interview, Karen Leathem, local historian and curator of the Louisiana State Museum’s “Katrina and Beyond” Exhibit, discusses the storm’s impact on her life, the museum, and the city, and how it ultimately inspired her to collect the artifacts that told the story of… read more

Chris Chopin is the director of technology at St. Paul’s. In this interview he talks about returning to St. Paul’s and getting the technology up and running, and about the FEMA grants that helped him do it. He also talks about his experience with his… read more

I this interview I speak with Connie Uddo, director of the St. Paul’s Homecoming Center. We discuss her journey since Katrina, from being a tennis instructor and stay at home mom to the executive director of a non-profit. She details her mission in disaster recovery… read more

In this interview with Benny Miller, owner of Louisiana Seafood Exchange, I sat down and spoke with him about his experience with Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Miller describes what it was like to re-open immediately after Katrina and what it has been like since then. He… read more

Ronald Chisom, co-founder of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), talked about his Katrina experience and the disaster’s impact on his anti-racist work based in New Orleans. He recounted the story of losing his mother not to the storm but to the trauma… read more

Diana Dunn, one of the founding members of People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), talks about her own Katrina experience and how several organizing principles set up by PISAB played out in the aftermath of Katrina. In this first part of the interview Diana… read more

Diana Dunn, one of the founding members of People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), talks about her own Katrina experience and how several organizing principles set up by PISAB played out in the aftermath of Katrina. In this second part of the interview Diana… read more

Renee Corrigan, trainer at the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), talks about her experience coming down and staying in New Orleans after Katrina as a college student. She particularly dwells on the privilege white volunteers enjoyed over local African Americans, the conflict between… read more