Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sweet Home New Orleans: Helping New Orleans Musicians Return Home

On December 1, FMC and Sweet Home New Orleans invite you to join Mike Mills of R.E.M. at a Washington, DC house party to aid one of the Big Easy's most beloved musicians, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. There are a limited number of tickets available to this private event; for info on how you could attend, e-mail hopeforhome@futureofmusic.org.

We figured this would be a fine time to post about the event's beneficiaries, sponsors and special guests. Today's entry is about Sweet Home New Orleans, a fantastic group that aids Crescent City musicians.

Sweet Home New Orleans is a collective that works to revitalize New Orleans music community by connecting artists impacted by Hurricane Katrina to an array of social services, while providing direct assistance for relocation and housing. SHNO’s goal is to help New Orleans retain and maintain its unique musical culture, by helping its artists and performers return to and stay in their old neighborhoods. This is accomplished through relocation, rental and renovation assistance for affected musicians.

According to SHNO data, out of 4,500 musicians who previously called New Orleans home, nearly 3,000 have yet to secure stable housing in the city post-Katrina. 1,500 of these families remain displaced outside the metro area.

Here's some more info from the Sweet Home New Orleans Website:

  • Sweet Home New Orleans directs resources to this community through an innovative data-sharing system that connects local and national service providers.
  • Since opening its intake center in June of 2007, Sweet Home has served 250 tradition bearers with $150,000 in housing aid, and approximately $96,000 in assistance from its network of partners.
  • Sweet Home New Orleans administers housing assistance through a case management system that addresses each household’s needs holistically.
New Orleans' rich and vibrant culture has contributed to almost all of our nation's musical idioms, from jazz and funk to rhythm & blues and rock 'n' roll. At the heart of it all are New Orleans' musicians, whose oversized talent and contagious energy make up the soul and spirit of the Big Easy. We applaud SHNO's commitment in helping Al "Carnival Time" Johnson and many other musical talents reestablish their community and cultural roots.

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